OVERVIEW & EXPERTISE

 

"Clients herald the firm as extremely knowledgeable about insurance, insurance law and the regulators – in terms of giving you the advantages and disadvantages of making decisions.'” 

Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2019
ranks Blakes in Band 1 in Insurance: Transactional & Regulatory
 
Probably the market leader for insurance ​work’, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP’s ‘deep bench’, ‘strong experience in sophisticated transactions’ and ‘great ability to marshal support in relevant areas’ all stand out for clients.”  
 
The Legal 500 Canada 2018 ranks Blakes in Tier 1 in Insurance: M&A and Regulatory
 
 
The insurance industry is undergoing many changes. Evolving International Financial Reporting Standards, heightened regulation, shifting demographics and increased competiti​on 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
  • Hub International Limited on the acquisition of the insurance business of Cypher Systems Group Inc. and certain of its affiliates. The acquisition establishes a new regional operation for Hub, Hub Customer Central, to be based in Windsor, Ontario.
  • Outland-Carillion Services, a subsidiary of Carillion Canada Inc., on the sale of certain assets and liabilities to a wholly owned subsidiary of Fairfax Financial Holdings.
  • Central 1 Credit Union, the largest shareholder of Credential Financial Inc., on the merger of Credential Financial Inc., Qtrade Canada Inc. and NEI Investments.
  • CDP Investissement Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, on its acquisition of approximately 19 per cent of the share capital of First Lion Holdings Inc., an insurance broker, and its pending acquisition of an additional approximately three per cent of the share capital from the same sellers each year in 2019, 2020 and 2020. Concomitantly, CDP Revenu Fixe II Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, has lent approximately C$17-million to First Lion Holdings Inc.
  • Hub International Limited on its acquisition of Integro (Canada) Ltd.
  • Hub International Limited on its acquisition of Delisle Agencies Ltd., an insurance agency based in Delisle, Saskatchewan, specializing in personal lines and government automotive insurance solutions.
  • Hub International Limited on its acquisition of Belyer Insurance Ltd. (operating as EasyInsure) through its subsidiary Totten Insurance Group Inc.
  • Insurance Bureau of Canada, an industry association comprised of many of Canada's largest property and casualty insurers, on successfully opposing a constitutional challenge brought in the Nova Scotia courts to statutory limitations with respect to a plaintiff's ability to recover damages for pain and suffering for minor injuries.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • VRG Capital in connection with its backing of a management buyout of Jones Brown Inc., and the subsequent acquisition of Pearson Dunn Insurance.
  • Genworth MI Canada Inc. on its C$850-million Canadian initial public offering. 
  • 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.
  • MetLife Canada on the sale of its Canadian life 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.
 

 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 | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9601
Areas of Expertise: Insurance Litigation, Energy Litigation, Insurance, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Corporate Litigation, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Product Liability
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: 416-863-5262
Areas of Expertise: IP Litigation, Class Actions, Corporate Litigation, Insurance Litigation, Product Liability, Life Sciences, Technology, Insurance
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, Government & Public Sector
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2492
Areas of Expertise: Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate & Commercial, Financial Services Regulatory, Financial Services, Life Sciences, Private Equity, Emerging Companies & 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
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-4021
Areas of Expertise: Information Technology, Outsourcing, Corporate & Commercial, Cybersecurity, Financial Services, IP Licensing & Agreements, Fintech, Banking, Insurance, Power, Technology, Mergers & Acquisitions
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: Class Actions, Corporate Litigation, Energy Litigation, Insurance Litigation, IP Litigation, Franchising, Insurance, Oil & Gas
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
Partner | 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, Private Equity, Fintech, Insurance
Partner | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-4016
Areas of Expertise: Arbitration, Product Liability, Corporate Litigation, Securities Litigation, Insurance, IP Litigation, Procurement, Government & Public Sector
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, Construction, Insurance, Oil & Gas, Arbitration, Product Liability, Shareholder Activism, Employment Litigation, Energy Litigation, Energy Regulatory, Environmental Litigation & Enforcement
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