OVERVIEW & EXPERTISE

 

 

“The work they have done for us has been excellent. They are very responsive, and pay incredible attention to detail. They are strong on technical issues and their communication skills are outstanding.”

 Client comments, Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2017
 
Recognized as one of Canada’s leading domestic and cross-border restructuring practices, the Blakes Restructuring & Insolvency group combines unmatched experience and depth to meet the immediate and critical needs of our clients with expert practitioners in each of Canada’s four main business centres. Collaborating with our colleagues in Financial Services, Capital Markets, Competition & Antitrust, Employment & Labour, Commercial Real Estate, Tax, Environmental and Intellectual Property, as needed for each engagement, the Blakes team provides top-quality coordinated service and effective solutions to the unique and complex challenges our clients face wherever the parties are located or the insolvency proceedings are commenced.

We represent all parties impacted by insolvencies and restructurings, including Canadian and U.S. banks and financial institutions, corporate debtors in domestic and cross-border insolvency proceedings, restructuring financial advisory firms that act as court officers, debtor-in-possession (DIP) lenders, and investors seeking to acquire assets and businesses in distressed circumstances.

We assist clients in a wide range of industries through workouts and restructurings (including under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA), the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA), cross-border recognition of Chapter 11 proceedings under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code as well as federal and provincial corporate restructuring statutes), DIP financing, security enforcement, distressed business acquisitions and post-restructuring issues.

Over the last few years, there has been much activity in North American resource, mining, energy and retail insolvencies. Some of our significant retainers on the public record in those industry sectors are described below.
 Representative Matters

 Lightstream - Counsel to Lightstream Resources Ltd. in CCAA proceedings and successful defence of an attempt by certain holders of unsecured bonds to have their unsecured claims recognized as secured claims based on allegations of oppression, breach of contract and misrepresentation by utilizing a novel procedure for determination of certain threshold issues.

 U.S. Steel Canada - Counsel to United States Steel Corporation (USS) in the CCAA proceedings of U.S. Steel Canada Inc., one of the largest and most complicated steel manufacturer insolvencies in Canadian history. Successful at trial and at the Ontario Court of Appeal in disputing allegations of “equitable subordination” and maintaining secured and unsecured claims of USS, in the aggregate amount of more than C$2-billion.

• Sears Canada - Counsel to a significant group of unsecured creditors and prominent inventory suppliers holding millions of dollars of claims in the Sears Canada CCAA proceedings. The Sears Canada Group was one of Canada’s largest multi-format retailers that employed approximately 17,000 people at 225 stores across Canada prior to its CCAA proceedings.

• Toys “R” Us Canada - Counsel to the DIP agent in connection with the US$2.3-billion DIP facility to Toys “R” Us Canada and its U.S. parent. In this complex cross-border proceeding, Toys “R” Us Canada, the largest dedicated toy and baby products retailer in Canada, filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 in the U.S. along with its larger corporate family. It also separately filed under the CCAA in Canada.

• Express Canada - Counsel to the court-appointed monitor of Express Canada in the orderly wind-down of its Canadian business. With the assistance of the monitor, Express Canada negotiated a successful plan with its landlords, which paid all other unsecured creditors in full.

• Target Canada - Counsel to the largest group of suppliers to Target Canada in its CCAA proceedings. Blakes lawyers served on a court-appointed Consultative Committee formed of senior practitioners who represented key stakeholders in the case. With the support of the Consultative Committee, Target Canada entities ultimately submitted a plan that received the unanimous support of creditors.

• Sanjel Group - Canadian counsel to the lending syndicate in the cross-border (CCAA/Chapter 15) restructuring proceedings of the Sanjel Group, a privately owned oilfield services group. Successful negotiations between the parties resulted in the sale of two key business units of the debtor within four weeks of the initial CCAA order over objections from subordinate creditors in both the Canadian and U.S. proceedings.

• Nortel Networks - Counsel to U.K. pension claimants in successfully obtaining a landmark “modified pro rata” allocation of US$7.3-billion raised from the sale of the Nortel Networks global business units and patent portfolio.

• Cliffs Natural Resources - Counsel to Bloom Lake Group and Wabush Group (iron ore) in their restructuring proceedings under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA). Prior to being idled, the Bloom Lake Mine located in Quebec, which was majority-owned by the Bloom Lake Group, was the fifth-largest iron ore exporting basin in the world. The Bloom Lake Mine, the Wabush/Scully Mine in Newfoundland and a port facility in Quebec were successfully sold in 2016 and 2017, completing the exit of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. from the Canadian iron ore market.

 

 INDUSTRY RECOGNITION

 

Our members are consistently recognized by clients and peers as leaders in restructuring and insolvency law in the most recent editions of such leading publications and awards as:

  • Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business
  • IFLR1000: The Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory
  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada
  • The Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Corporate Lawyers in Canada
  • The Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Litigation Lawyers in Canada
  • Who's Who Legal
  • Who's Who Legal: Insolvency & Restructuring
  • Who’s Who Legal: Canada
  • Legal Media Group's Guide to the World's Leading Lawyers in Banking, Finance and Transactional Law (Insolvency and Restructuring)
  • 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
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada
  • The Legal 500 Canada
 

 PEOPLE

 
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Partner | Vancouver
Vancouver: 604-631-4236
Areas of Expertise: Capital Markets, Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate & Commercial, Restructuring & Insolvency, Australia, Equity Capital Markets, Mining, Corporate Governance, Life Sciences, Technology
Partner | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-4006
Areas of Expertise: Restructuring & Insolvency, Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Partner | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9697
Areas of Expertise: Restructuring & Insolvency, Corporate Litigation, Corporate & Commercial, Oil & Gas, Financial Services, Banking, Energy, Credit Unions
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3261
Areas of Expertise: Financial Services, Restructuring & Insolvency, Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Associate | Vancouver
Vancouver: 604-631-4218
Areas of Expertise: Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Restructuring & Insolvency, Corporate Litigation
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-4185
Areas of Expertise: Restructuring & Insolvency, Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2594
Areas of Expertise: Restructuring & Insolvency, Financial Services, Corporate & Commercial, Financial Services, Mining, Mergers & Acquisitions
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3860
Areas of Expertise: Commercial Real Estate, Restructuring & Insolvency, Hospitality & Leisure, Real Estate Financing, Europe, Pension Funds Investment, Investment Funds, Investment Vehicles
Partner | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9724
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Capital Markets, Energy, Oil & Gas, Restructuring & Insolvency, Equity Capital Markets, Automotive, Investment Funds, Investment Vehicles, Mergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures
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
General Counsel and Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2572
Areas of Expertise: Restructuring & Insolvency, Financial Services, Corporate & Commercial, Banking
Partner | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-4020
Areas of Expertise: Corporate Litigation, Product Liability, Restructuring & Insolvency, Aviation/Aerospace, Manufacturing, Banking, Class Actions, Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance
Partner | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9710
Areas of Expertise: Brownfields Redevelopment, Climate Change, Environmental Assessment & Approvals, Environmental Litigation & Enforcement, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Energy, Restructuring & Insolvency, Renewables (Wind, Solar, Hydro & CleanTech), Chemical & Waste Regulation, Aboriginal
Associate | Vancouver
Vancouver: 604-631-5227
Areas of Expertise: Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Restructuring & Insolvency, Corporate Litigation, Product Liability
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2958
Areas of Expertise: Restructuring & Insolvency, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Aviation/Aerospace
Partner | Vancouver
Vancouver: 604-631-3304
Areas of Expertise: Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Restructuring & Insolvency, Capital Markets, Corporate Litigation, Securities Litigation, IP Litigation, Construction Dispute Resolution, Mining Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Partner | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-5032
Areas of Expertise: Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Class Actions, Corporate Litigation, Securities Litigation, Restructuring & Insolvency, Intellectual Property, IP Licensing & Agreements, IP Litigation
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2789
Areas of Expertise: Acquisitions, Dispositions & Joint Ventures, Development, Real Estate Financing, Leasing, Asset-Based Finance, Restructuring & Insolvency, REITs, Gaming, Infrastructure, Banking, Renewables (Wind, Solar, Hydro & CleanTech)
Associate | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-4066
Areas of Expertise: Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Restructuring & Insolvency, Arbitration
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2164
Areas of Expertise: Financial Services, Financial Services Regulatory, Restructuring & Insolvency, Asset-Based Finance, Debt Finance & Lending, Project Finance, Structured Finance & Derivatives, Equity Capital Markets, Pension Funds Investment, Investment Funds, Investment Vehicles
Partner | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9792
Areas of Expertise: Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Oil & Gas, Energy, Restructuring & Insolvency, Energy Litigation
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-4174
Areas of Expertise: Restructuring & Insolvency, Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Office Managing Partner | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9648
Areas of Expertise: Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Intellectual Property, Energy, Construction, Restructuring & Insolvency, Class Actions, Construction Dispute Resolution, IP Litigation
Partner | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9664
Areas of Expertise: Financial Services, Oil & Gas, Corporate & Commercial, Restructuring & Insolvency, Banking, Aviation/Aerospace, Asset-Based Finance, Debt Finance & Lending, Equipment Financing, Project Finance, Structured Finance & Derivatives, LNG
Associate | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9707
Areas of Expertise: Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Restructuring & Insolvency, Cannabis, Financial Services, Banking, Emerging Companies & Venture Capital, Life Sciences, Oil & Gas
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