OVERVIEW & EXPERTISE

 

 

Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2017 ranks Blakes No. 1 in Insurance: Transactional & Regulatory:

“Market-leading insurance and reinsurance practice with extensive transactional and regulatory capabilities, as well as advising on big-ticket litigation in the sector.” 

 

 
The insurance industry is undergoing many changes. Evolving International Financial Reporting Standards, heightened regulation, shifting demographics and increased competition are impacting the ways companies are doing business, driving new product development and affecting M&A activity. Meeting these challenges requires legal counsel with deep industry knowledge and specialized legal expertise.

Clients come to Blakes for sophisticated legal advice on all aspects of insurance business, operations, structure, investments, acquisitions, corporate governance and risk management. Our multidisciplinary team advises on financings, restructurings, onshore and offshore reinsurance arrangements and related trusts, pension de-risking transactions, real estate, and portfolio investment management. We also counsel clients on the development, marketing, licensing and distribution of new insurance products.

From a regulatory perspective, we have the largest and most active financial services regulatory practice in Canada, allowing us to effectively advise clients on the current regulatory framework, as well as on any draft legislation and regulatory proposals that may affect them. Insurance industry leaders, whether insurers, distributors, or third-party administrators, retain Blakes for regulatory compliance guidance when structuring transactions and products. We assist clients in identifying regulatory issues in connection with the development, marketing, licensing and distribution of new insurance products. We regularly represent involved parties before the federal Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) and provincial regulators and advise clients on the current regulatory framework, as well as on any draft legislation and regulatory proposals that might affect them. Blakes regularly advises ceding insurers and reinsurers on structuring, implementing, negotiating and maintaining complex reinsurance and retrocession transactions.

Our pre-eminent M&A expertise includes the insurance sector where we advise major domestic and foreign insurance companies and insurance distributors on all aspects of sale and purchase transactions, including regulatory, employment, pension, outsourcing, tax and intellectual property matters. Blakes also provides its M&A clients with the benefit of strategic advice from our Competition & Antitrust group, Canada’s top-ranked competition law practice.

When disputes arise, the Blakes Litigation & Dispute Resolution team represents both insurers and insureds at all court levels and before administrative tribunals and government commissions, routinely prosecuting and defending specialized insurance claims.

 

 
Representative Matters

  • Intact Financial Corporation on its US$1.7-billion proposed acquisition of OneBeacon Insurance Group, Ltd., and its related offerings of C$754-million of subscription receipts, C$150-million of preferred shares and C$425-million of medium term notes.
  • Citi Holdings on the sale of Financial Reassurance Company 2010 Ltd. to a subsidiary of Munich Re. 
  • Desjardins Group on the sale of its pet insurance business to Economical Mutual Insurance Company. 
  • Canadian Western Bank on the proposed sale of its property and casualty insurance subsidiary Canadian Direct Insurance Inc. to Intact Financial Corporation for C$197-million. 
  • SCOR Global Life regarding the C$5-billion Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada/Bell Canada (BCE Inc.) pension de-risking insurance contract.
  • Standard Life plc on the sale of its Canadian business to Manulife for C$4-billion. 
  • Transamerica/Aegon on the C$600-million sale of its business in Canada to Wilton Re/CPPIB. 
  • Intact Financial Corporation on its C$2.6-billion acquisition of the Canadian insurance businesses of AXA SA. 
  • Munich Re in Canada with respect to its acquisition of HSB Group from AIG.
  • MetLife Canada on the sale of its Canadian life business. 
  • Munich Re in the disposition of its Canadian excess workers’ compensation insurance business. 
  • Standard Life Assurance Company and its affiliates in connection with the Canadian aspects of its demutualization and reorganization, including the transfer of most of its insurance business in Canada from a branch to a Canadian subsidiary through three separate transactions. 
  • Canada Life Assurance Company on the completion of its acquisition of Crown Life Insurance Company.
  • The CUMIS Group Ltd. on its C$232-million acquisition by Central 1 Credit Union and Co-operators Life Insurance Company and on the sale of Canadian Northern Shield Insurance to Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group.
  • RSA Overseas Holdings B.V. and Roins Holding Limited on the C$235-million sale of Royal & Sun Alliance Life Assurance Company of Canada to The Maritime Life Assurance Company.
  • Trent Health Insurance Services Corp., a new joint venture between The Co-operators Group and Canadian Insurance Marketing Inc., on the purchase of Ingle Life and Health Assurance Group.
  • Transamerica Life Insurance Company of Canada (now Transamerica Life Canada) on the purchase of NN Life Insurance Company of Canada, a branch of Dutch financial giant ING Group.
  • Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and RBC Dominion Securities on the demutualization of Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada.
  • Metropolitan Life Insurance Company on the C$6-billion sale of MetLife’s Canadian retail life insurance, savings and group insurance operations to Mutual Life of Canada.
  • Extendicare Inc., a major Crown Life Insurance Co. shareholder, on the C$5-billion transfer of its insurance business from Saskatchewan-based Crown Life to Canada Life Assurance Co. of Toronto.
  • Power Financial Corporation and its operating subsidiary, The Great-West Life Assurance Company, on their C$2.9-billion acquisition of London Insurance Group Inc., the parent corporation of London Life.
  • Genworth MI Canada Inc. on a C$850-million Canadian initial public offering.
 

 INDUSTRY RECOGNITION

 
BTI Consulting has ranked Blakes as one of 16 firms, and the only Canadian firm, for having the Best Client Relationships in the BTI Power Rankings 2016.

Members of the Blakes Insurance team are recognized as leaders in the following publications:
  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business – Insurance: Dispute Resolution – Canada, and Insurance: Transactional & Regulatory
  • 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
  • IFLR1000: The Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms
  • Who’s Who Legal: Banking
  • Who's Who Legal: Canada
  • Who’s Who Legal: Insurance & Reinsurance
  • Legal Media Group's Guide to the World's Leading Insurance and Reinsurance Lawyers
  • Legal Media Group's Guide to the World's Leading Lawyers in Banking, Finance and Transactional Law
  • The Legal 500 Canada
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada
 

 PEOPLE

 
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Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3337
Areas of Expertise: Financial Services Regulatory, Aviation/Aerospace, Banking, Consumer/Retail Financial Services, Insurance, Reinsurance, Payment Cards & Technologies, Residential Mortgage Business, Debt Finance & Lending
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-4284
Areas of Expertise: Financial Services Regulatory, Insurance, Mergers & Acquisitions, Investment Products & Asset Management, Banking, Consumer/Retail Financial Services, Payment Cards & Technologies, Residential Mortgage Business, Reinsurance, Financial Services, Pension Funds Investment, Investment Funds, Investment Vehicles, Enterprise Risk & Crisis Response, Government & Public Sector, Fintech, Credit Unions
Senior Counsel | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9650
Areas of Expertise: Insurance Litigation, Construction Dispute Resolution, Arbitration, Product Liability, Insurance, Reinsurance
Counsel | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-4017
Areas of Expertise: Financial Services Regulatory, Consumer/Retail Financial Services, Residential Mortgage Business, Payment Cards & Technologies, Marketing & Health Regulatory, Banking, Insurance, Reinsurance, Lobbying, Financial Services, Fintech
Partner | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9786
Areas of Expertise: Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance, Constitutional & Charter of Rights, Insurance, Oil & Gas, Insurance Litigation, Enterprise Risk & Crisis Response
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2492
Areas of Expertise: Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate & Commercial, Financial Services Regulatory, Financial Services, Life Sciences, Private Equity, Venture Capital, Technology, Mining, Insurance, Pension Funds Investment
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-4236
Areas of Expertise: Financial Services Regulatory, Insurance, Banking, Consumer/Retail Financial Services, Payment Cards & Technologies
Senior Counsel | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2693
Areas of Expertise: Mergers & Acquisitions, Financial Services, Corporate & Commercial, Banking, Insurance Litigation, Insurance, Reinsurance, Automotive
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-5831
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Insurance, Financial Services Regulatory, Mergers & Acquisitions, Banking, Insurance Litigation, Consumer/Retail Financial Services, Reinsurance, Payment Cards & Technologies, Fintech, Credit Unions
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2956
Areas of Expertise: Financial Services Regulatory, Banking, Insurance, Reinsurance, Anti-Money Laundering, Consumer/Retail Financial Services, Payment Cards & Technologies, Residential Mortgage Business, Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance, Lobbying, Cybersecurity, Government & Public Sector, Credit Unions
Partner | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9632
Areas of Expertise: Corporate Litigation, Securities Litigation, Energy, Insurance, Intellectual Property, Insurance Litigation, Class Actions
Partner | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-5089
Areas of Expertise: Class Actions, Corporate Litigation, Construction Dispute Resolution, Product Liability, Procurement, Public-Private Partnerships, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Competition Litigation, Securities Litigation, Insurance Litigation, Media & Defamation, Insurance
Associate | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9652
Areas of Expertise: Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Insurance, Insurance Litigation
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-4325
Areas of Expertise: Investment Products & Asset Management, Corporate & Commercial, Capital Markets, Financial Services Regulatory, Insurance, Equity Capital Markets
Law Clerk | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2182
Areas of Expertise: Financial Services, Financial Services Regulatory, Consumer/Retail Financial Services, Insurance, Aviation/Aerospace
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-5272
Areas of Expertise: Financial Services Regulatory, Anti-Money Laundering, Consumer/Retail Financial Services, Payment Cards & Technologies, Corporate & Commercial, Banking, Insurance, Reinsurance
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-5286
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Mergers & Acquisitions, Life Sciences, Financial Services, Retail & Consumer Products, Insurance, Pension Funds Investment, Consumer/Retail Financial Services
Partner | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-4016
Areas of Expertise: Arbitration, Product Liability, Corporate Litigation, Securities Litigation, Insurance, IP Litigation, Procurement
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2602
Areas of Expertise: Financial Services Regulatory, Consumer/Retail Financial Services, Payment Cards & Technologies, Corporate & Commercial, Banking, Anti-Money Laundering, Insurance, Equipment Financing, Fintech
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2575
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Financial Services Regulatory, Mergers & Acquisitions, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Life Sciences, Reinsurance, Insurance
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-4154
Areas of Expertise: Financial Services, Financial Services Regulatory, Banking, Anti-Money Laundering, Payment Cards & Technologies, Debt Finance & Lending, Insurance, Reinsurance, Payment Cards & Technologies, Sanctions & Export Controls, Capital Markets, Credit Unions
Partner | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9722
Areas of Expertise: Class Actions, Corporate Litigation, Securities Litigation, Construction Dispute Resolution, Insurance Litigation, Energy, Environmental, Construction, Insurance, Oil & Gas, Arbitration, Product Liability, Shareholder Activism
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