Paul Stepak
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2457

Paul is the National Practice Group Leader for the top-tier Blakes Tax group. Paul practises primarily in the areas of corporate and partnership income taxation. He advises on domestic and cross-border income tax planning, including public and private mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, corporate reorganizations, financings, capital markets transactions and the taxation of mutual funds, partnerships and other investment vehicles. Cross-border inbound structuring is a significant component of Paul's practice.

Paul also has experience assisting clients with the resolution of Canadian federal and provincial tax audits and appeals at all stages.


Recent representative matters include advising:

  • Hidden Harbor Capital Partners in connection with its acquisition of Anchor Danly and AWC Manufacturing from Cornell Limited Partnership

  • Xero Limited in connection with its acquisition of Hubdoc Inc.

  • PHI, Inc. in connection with its acquisition, with Don Wall, of HNZ Group Inc. in a transaction valued at C$240-million

  • RR Donnelley on the restructuring of its Canadian business in preparation for the spin-offs of its publishing and retail-centric print services and office products business and its financial communications and data service business

  • Warburg Pincus on its majority investment in SCM Insurance Services

  • Element Financial Corporation on its “butterfly” spin-out transaction by way of plan of arrangement pursuant to which Element separated into two new public companies: Element Fleet Management Corp. (TSX:EFN) and ECN Capital Corp. (TSX:ECN)

  • Lavazza S.p.A. on its acquisition of Kicking Horse Coffe Co. Ltd.

  • Cerberus Capital Management on its acquisition of ABC Group, one of the world's leading automotive suppliers of thermoplastic components and systems, and subsequent sale-leaseback of ABC's real estate portfolio to W.P. Carey

  • Capstone Infrastructure Corporation on iCON Infrastructure Partners III's acquisition of Capstone for approximately C$480-million

  • Johnson Electric Holdings Limited on its C$800-million acquisition of Stackpole International

  • Bell on its C$670-million acquisition of Glentel Inc. and subsequent sale of a 50 per cent interest in Glentel Inc. to Rogers Communications Inc.

  • Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. in connection with its C$1-billion convertible debenture offering by way of instalment receipt to partially finance a C$3.4-billion acquisition of The Empire District Electric Company

  • UnitedHealth Group on its subsidiary OptumRx's US$12.8-billion combination with Catamaran Corporation

  • Audax Private Equity in connection with its acquisitions of LifeMark Health Corp., Viewpoint Medical Assessments and Altasciences Company

  • Pet Valu, a portfolio company of Roark Capital, in connection with numerous acquisitions, including Pet Supermarket

  • Pearson plc in connection with its global trade-book-publishing joint venture with Bertelsmann to form Penguin Random House

  • Gilead Sciences, Inc. in connection with its C$500-million acquisition of YM BioSciences Inc.

  • McKesson Corporation on its purchase of Katz Group Canada Inc.'s banner and franchise pharmacy businesses for approximately C$920-million

  • Mirae Asset Global Investments in connection with its acquisition of BetaPro Management Inc.

  • Genworth MI Canada Inc. on its C$950-million initial public offering and subsequent public offerings of C$425-million of debentures and substantial issuer bids for an aggregate of C$485-million of common shares


Paul has been recognized as a leading tax practitioner in the following publications:

  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada 2020 (Corporate Tax)

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada - 2018-2020 (Tax Law)

  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business - 2017-2020 (Tax Law)

  • Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business 2019 (Tax Law)

  • The Legal 500 Canada 2019 (Tax)

  • Acritas Stars: Independently Rated Lawyers - 2016, 2018-2019 (Nominated as a stand-out lawyer by senior in-house counsel)

  • Who's Who Legal: Canada - 2017 and 2018 (Corporate Tax)

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory - 2016-2018 (Corporate Tax)

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Speaker: Recent Inbound Cross-Border M&A Issues
33rd Annual Senior Tax Practitioners' Institute, Cambridge, Ontario, October 25, 2019.
Speaker: Recent Cross-Border Tax Developments
Blakes Business Class Seminar, New York, New York, May 16, 2019.
Speaker: Canadian Inbound Investments: The Private Equity Perspective
Toronto Young Practitioners Group Meeting, Canadian Tax Foundation, Toronto, Ontario, May 2, 2019.
Speaker: Recent Cross-Border Tax Developments
Blakes Business Class Seminar, New York, New York, May 3, 2018.
Speaker: PE Investment in Canadian Companies
69th Annual Tax Conference, Canadian Tax Foundation, Toronto, Ontario, November 19-21, 2017.
Speaker: Recent Cross-Border Tax Developments
Blakes Business Class Seminar, New York, New York, May 2, 2017.
Speaker: Issues in Inbound & Outbound Collective Investing
International Fiscal Association, Toronto, Ontario, April 25-26, 2017.
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