OVERVIEW & EXPERTISE

 

“Blakes is widely regarded as ‘a top-notch firm with a tremendous amount of experience and expertise’ in the insurance space.” 

Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2018
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

 
  • 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.
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  • Citi Holdings on the sale of Financial Reassurance Company 2010 Ltd. to a subsidiary of Munich Re. 
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  • Desjardins Group on the sale of its pet insurance business to Economical Mutual Insurance Company. 
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  • 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. 
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  • SCOR Global Life regarding the C$5-billion Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada/Bell Canada (BCE Inc.) pension de-risking insurance contract.
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  • Standard Life plc on the sale of its Canadian business to Manulife for C$4-billion. 
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  • Transamerica/Aegon on the C$600-million sale of its business in Canada to Wilton Re/CPPIB. 
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  • Intact Financial Corporation on its C$2.6-billion acquisition of the Canadian insurance businesses of AXA SA. 
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  • Munich Re in Canada with respect to its acquisition of HSB Group from AIG.
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  • MetLife Canada on the sale of its Canadian life business. 
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  • Munich Re in the disposition of its Canadian excess workers’ compensation insurance business. 
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  • 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. 
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  • Canada Life Assurance Company on the completion of its acquisition of Crown Life Insurance Company.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and RBC Dominion Securities on the demutualization of Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • Genworth MI Canada Inc. on a C$850-million Canadian initial public offering.
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     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: 416-863-4284
    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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