“A strong choice for large transactions in the agribusiness sector.”

“They work with us to deliver the results that we require and are very flexible. The answers they provide are very clear – they know our business inside and out.”

Client comments, Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2017


The food, beverage and agribusiness (FBA) sector is one of growing importance to national and international communities. It encompasses a wide range of activities that contribute to the world supply of food and natural fibres, ranging from research and development to marketing strategies and retail sales. In order to succeed, this dynamic business must respond to technological advances, major changes in trade and policy, and a consumer-driven marketplace. Businesses operating in the FBA sector face complex legal issues that require innovative, practical and effective solutions from legal advisers who understand the industry.

Blakes has one of the most active FBA teams in the country. We are internationally recognized as one of Canada’s leading law firms for global FBA mergers and acquisitions deals. In addition to M&A, lawyers in our FBA group advise on a wide range of legal matters affecting the sector, including corporate/commercial, technology, intellectual property, banking, labour and employment, pension and employee benefits, class action defence, consumer product safety, administrative and regulatory processes, and real estate. Our financial services lawyers also assist our lender clients who are active in this industry.

Well-known consumer brands in the FBA industry regularly retain Blakes to assist with regulatory compliance matters, advertising and marketing of food and beverage products, including structuring promotions, offers and campaigns, as well as the negotiation of advertising agreements. We frequently assist with product claim substantiation and advise on labelling issues; product recalls; the acquisition, licensing, transfer and litigation of patent, trade-mark, copyright and industrial design rights; and regulatory classification issues (food versus natural health product versus drug).

Representing clients in a wide variety of civil, administrative and quasi-criminal proceedings, our litigators and regulatory lawyers regularly resolve disputes between companies and regulatory officials involving interpreting legislation as well as administrative and policy matters. We have resolved numerous agency disputes and complaints with Advertising Standards Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and Health Canada; merger reviews before the Competition Bureau and abuse of dominance cases; and international trade rights and disputes, including subsidies, tariffs, food and health regulations impacting market access, and import controls.

Blakes Environmental lawyers often advise on matters such as spills, wastewater, noise and odour emissions, as well as offer regulatory guidance on fertilizer, nutrient management, toxic substances and pesticide issues.

Clients appreciate our cross-disciplinary approach that allows us to represent them efficiently and cost-effectively in business dealings, regulatory challenges and in litigation.

Representative Matters:

  • Represented BHP Billiton on its US$40-billion offer to acquire Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan
  • Advised the sellers of Quebec-based Liberté Brand Products on its acquisition by Paris-based Yoplait SAS, the second-largest brand in fresh dairy products in the world
  • Advised Agrium Inc. in connection with its acquisition of UAP Holding Corp. for an aggregate transaction value of US$4.5-billion
  • Represented Nestlé S.A. on its US$3.7-billion acquisition of Kraft Foods’ North American frozen pizza business
  • Acted for Labatt Brewing Company Limited on its acquisition of Lakeport Brewing Income Fund
  • Advised InBev in connection with its US$46-billion acquisition of Anheuser-Busch
  • Acted for Fortune Brands in connection with its £7.75-billion bid with Pernod Ricard for Allied Domecq
  • Assisted a major multinational food company with the reformulation of many of its food products to include healthier ingredients and associated regulatory, claims and branding issues
  • Advised a North American agriculture association on the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules applicable to regulatory barriers in the EU, Japan, South Korea and Brazil to imports of various agricultural products
  • Counselled a North American supplier of specialty fertilizers on the application of the Canada-Egypt Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement
  • Assisted Sun Capital Partners in connection with its disposition of Timothy’s Coffees of the World to Green Mountain Roasters
  • Advised a North American government on the establishment of consistent supply management programs regulating various agriculture and agri-food commodities (chicken, dairy, meat) in light of several WTO decisions and rulings
  • Acted for GE Capital in connection with its asset-based credit facilities for Viterra, Clearwater Fine Foods, Barry Group and Hensall District Co-operative
  • Counselled Arla Foods Inc., a co-operative owned by approximately 7,200 Swedish and 8,300 Danish milk producers, on its purchase of National Cheese Company Limited



Members of the Food, Beverage & Agribusiness group are consistently recognized as leaders in their fields by the following publications: 

  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business
  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory
  • The Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Corporate Lawyers in Canada
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada
  • Who’s Who Legal: Canada
  • Who’s Who Legal
  • Legal Media Group's Guide to the World's Leading Women in Business Law
  • Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys


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Associate | Vancouver, Toronto
Vancouver: 604-631-4201
Toronto: 416-863-3338
Areas of Expertise: Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate & Commercial, Private Equity, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Pension Fund Investment
Partner | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-4117
Areas of Expertise: Tax, Tax Controversy & Litigation, Mergers & Acquisitions, Venture Capital, Technology, Private Equity, Life Sciences, Aviation/Aerospace, Cannabis, Emerging Companies & Venture Capital
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-5827
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Mergers & Acquisitions, Life Sciences, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Private Equity, Energy
Partner | Vancouver
Vancouver: 604-631-3375
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Mergers & Acquisitions, Information Technology, Private Equity, Infrastructure, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness
Partner | Vancouver
Vancouver: 604-631-3344
Areas of Expertise: Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Corporate Litigation, Securities Litigation, Class Actions, Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance, Anti-Corruption & Bribery, Construction, Construction Dispute Resolution, Mining Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Cannabis
Partner | Vancouver
Vancouver: 604-631-3391
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Mergers & Acquisitions, Procurement, Outsourcing, Information Technology, Construction, China, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Cannabis
Patent Agent | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3166
Areas of Expertise: Patents, Life Sciences, India, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Intellectual Property
Partner | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-4031
Areas of Expertise: Anti-spam, Drugs & Medical Devices, IP Licensing & Agreements, Information Technology, Privacy, Life Sciences, Retail & Consumer Products, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Cybersecurity
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2585
Areas of Expertise: Health & Safety, Human Rights & Accommodation, Executive Compensation, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Employment Law, Employment Litigation, Cannabis
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-4273
Areas of Expertise: Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate & Commercial, Corporate Governance, Private Equity, Venture Capital, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-5840
Areas of Expertise: Trade-marks, Copyright, IP Licensing & Agreements, IP Litigation, Hospitality & Leisure, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Life Sciences, Retail & Consumer Products, Anti-Counterfeiting , Cannabis
Associate | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9771
Areas of Expertise: Corporate Governance, Debt Capital Markets, Equity Capital Markets, Corporate & Commercial, Mergers & Acquisitions, Cannabis
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3314
Areas of Expertise: Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate Governance, Private Equity, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Retail & Consumer Products, Corporate & Commercial
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2159
Areas of Expertise: Financial Services, Mining, Banking, Asset-Based Finance, Debt Finance & Lending, Project Finance, Mining Lending, Mining Streaming & Royalties, Cannabis
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2634
Areas of Expertise: International Trade, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Aviation/Aerospace, Tax, Sales & Commodity Taxes, Cannabis
Chair | Calgary, Toronto
Calgary: 403-260-9610
Toronto: 416-863-2150
Areas of Expertise: Capital Markets, Mergers & Acquisitions, Oil & Gas, Energy, Restructuring & Insolvency, Australia, Africa, Europe, Middle East, Latin America, Equity Capital Markets, Pension Funds Investment, Investment Funds, Investment Vehicles, Major Projects, Mergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures, Cannabis, Credit Unions
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-4162
Areas of Expertise: Corporate Governance, Corporate & Commercial, Investment Products & Asset Management, Equity Capital Markets, Cannabis
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-4025
Areas of Expertise: Leasing, Acquisitions, Dispositions & Joint Ventures, Cannabis
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3296
Areas of Expertise: Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate & Commercial, Private Equity, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Capital Markets, Pensions & Benefits, Equity Capital Markets, Pension Funds Investment, Investment Funds, Investment Vehicles
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2355
Areas of Expertise: International Trade, Tax, Sales & Commodity Taxes, Customs & Import Controls, Infrastructure, Structured Finance & Derivatives, Public-Private Partnerships, Cannabis
Partner | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9674
Areas of Expertise: Mergers & Acquisitions, Energy, Oil & Gas, Infrastructure, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Hospitality & Leisure, Construction, United States, Transportation, Major Projects, LNG, Downstream & Marketing, E&P Conventional, E&P Unconventional, Oil & Gas, Mergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures, Pipeline & Midstream
Partner | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9744
Areas of Expertise: Energy, Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate & Commercial, Oil & Gas, Infrastructure, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Transportation, Major Projects, E&P Conventional, E&P Unconventional, Joint Venture & Co-ownership Structuring, Mergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures, Pipeline & Midstream, Oil Field Services, Power
Associate | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9717
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Oil & Gas, Energy, Mergers & Acquisitions, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Corporate Governance, Joint Venture & Co-ownership Structuring, Pipeline & Midstream, Middle East, Transportation, Major Projects, Mergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-4318
Areas of Expertise: Mergers & Acquisitions, Debt Capital Markets, Equity Capital Markets, Corporate Governance, Technology, Cannabis
Partner | Vancouver
Vancouver: 604-631-3366
Areas of Expertise: Employment & Labour, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Employment Law, Employment Litigation, Health & Safety, Labour Law, Cannabis
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