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
  • Jupiter Resources Inc. – Counsel to Jupiter and certain of its affiliates in a plan of arrangement pursuant to the Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA), involving the applicants and holders of 8.5 per cent senior unsecured notes (Notes) issued by Jupiter pursuant to the indenture governing the Notes. The effect of the arrangement was the elimination of the principal amount of Jupiter's Notes by US$1.1-billion and the associated annual cash interest payments of US$93.5-million. 
  • Sears Canada – 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. Blakes is involved in all aspects of the proceedings: 
    • Counsel to a significant group of unsecured creditors and prominent inventory suppliers holding millions of dollars of claims in the proceedings.
    • Counsel to Morneau Shepell Ltd in its capacity as plan administrator of the Sears Canada Inc. Registered Pension Plan. Blakes participated in a complex, multi-party mediation that led to a settlement of pension priority litigation and terms of support by pension claimants of a plan of compromise and arrangement for distribution of the proceeds. Blakes is also involved in litigation commenced against officers and directors for wrongful conduct.
  • Carillon Canada Group – Counsel to Carillon on all aspects of its Canada-wide restructuring efforts. Blakes assisted Carillion in selling its various business lines to maximize recovery for creditors. Each sale of a business line was a stand-alone, multimillion-dollar transaction.
  • The Concordia Group – Counsel to Concordia in its reorganization proceedings under the CBCA. Blakes acted for Goldman Sachs as agent for a lending facility that provided for aggregate financing of US$1.3-billion and £500-million. The filing included a number of offshore entities. The CBCA plan was approved, and the recapitalization transaction was completed in 2018. This filing presented unique challenges to secured lenders as arrangements approved in these restructuring proceedings can have a long-term impact on commercial lending and workout strategies.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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, 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, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Corporate & Commercial, Oil & Gas, Financial Services, Banking, Energy
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, 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, Commercial Real Estate, Europe, Pension Funds Investment, Pension Funds Investment, Pension Funds Investment, Financial Services
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, Capital Markets, Pension Funds Investment, Pension Funds Investment, Pension Funds Investment, Oil & Gas, Oil & Gas, Financial Services
Associate | Ottawa
Ottawa: 613-788-2246
Areas of Expertise: Restructuring & Insolvency, Corporate & Commercial, Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Associate | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9760
Areas of Expertise: Energy, Corporate & Commercial, Mergers & Acquisitions, Oil & Gas, Oil & Gas, Oil & Gas, Energy, Restructuring & Insolvency
General Counsel and Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2572
Areas of Expertise: Restructuring & Insolvency, Financial Services, Corporate & Commercial, Banking, Government & Public Sector
Partner | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-4020
Areas of Expertise: Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Restructuring & Insolvency, Aviation/Aerospace, Manufacturing, Banking, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Partner | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9710
Areas of Expertise: Environmental, Environmental, Environmental, Environmental, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Energy, Restructuring & Insolvency, Power, Environmental, Aboriginal
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2958
Areas of Expertise: Restructuring & Insolvency, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Aviation/Aerospace
Senior Counsel | Vancouver
Vancouver: 604-631-3304
Areas of Expertise: Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Restructuring & Insolvency, Capital Markets, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Intellectual Property, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Commercial Real Estate, Commercial Real Estate
Partner | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-5032
Areas of Expertise: Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Restructuring & Insolvency, Intellectual Property, Intellectual Property, Intellectual Property, Government & Public Sector
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2789
Areas of Expertise: Commercial Real Estate, Commercial Real Estate, Commercial Real Estate, Commercial Real Estate, Financial Services, Restructuring & Insolvency, REITs, Gaming, Infrastructure, Banking, Power
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2164
Areas of Expertise: Financial Services, Financial Services, Restructuring & Insolvency, Financial Services, Financial Services, Financial Services, Capital Markets, Capital Markets, Pension Funds Investment, Pension Funds Investment, Pension Funds Investment
Partner | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9792
Areas of Expertise: Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Oil & Gas, Energy, Restructuring & Insolvency, Energy, Government & Public Sector
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-4174
Areas of Expertise: Restructuring & Insolvency, Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Partner | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9648
Areas of Expertise: Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Intellectual Property, Energy, Construction, Restructuring & Insolvency, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Intellectual Property
Associate | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9661
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Energy, Mergers & Acquisitions, Oil & Gas, Oil & Gas, Oil & Gas, Restructuring & Insolvency
Partner | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9664
Areas of Expertise: Financial Services, Oil & Gas, Corporate & Commercial, Restructuring & Insolvency, Banking, Aviation/Aerospace, Financial Services, Financial Services, Financial Services, Financial Services, Capital Markets, Oil & Gas
Associate | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9731
Areas of Expertise: Restructuring & Insolvency, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Office Managing Partner | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9702
Areas of Expertise: Oil & Gas, Corporate & Commercial, Mergers & Acquisitions, Energy, Restructuring & Insolvency, Oil & Gas, Oil & Gas, Oil & Gas, Oil & Gas, Oil & Gas, Oil & Gas, Oil & Gas, Oil & Gas, Oil & Gas, Oil & Gas
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