Geoffrey S. Belsher
Partner | New York, Toronto
New York: 212-893-8223
Toronto: 416-863-2223

Geoff practises in the area of corporate law with a focus on cross-border mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance. He advises Canadian, U.S. and international public and private companies; investment dealers; private equity, venture capital and alternative investment funds; and family offices with respect to Canadian law matters.

Geoff frequently acts as special counsel to boards of directors and special committees in mergers and acquisitions, governance, shareholder activism, and internal investigation matters. He has been special counsel to the target company and acquirer in a number of high-profile Canadian hostile take-over bids. He has also led some of the largest public offerings ever completed in Canada at the time.

Geoff has experience advising clients in a number of industries, including mining, energy, life sciences, financial services, gaming, technology and manufacturing.

Geoff has been a member of the Firm's Executive Committee since 2006 and previously was a member of the Partnership Committee. He has worked in each of the Firm’s Toronto, Vancouver and New York offices and has also worked in the U.K.


The following is a list of certain matters in which Geoff has acted:

  • Lead counsel to The Stars Group Inc. in connection with its announced US$15-billion enterprise value merger of equals with Flutter Entertainment Inc., one of the largest transactions in Canada in 2019

  • Lead counsel to PlayAGS Inc., a NYSE public company controlled by Apollo Global Management, in connection with its acquisition of Integrity Gaming Corp.

  • Counsel to Cronos Group in connection with the C$2.4-billion strategic investment by Altria Group Inc., one of the largest transactions in Canada in 2018

  • Lead counsel to The Stars Group Inc. in connection with its C$6-billion acquisition of Sky Betting & Gaming from CVC Capital Partners and Sky plc and related C$8-billion in financings and refinancings, which created the world's largest publicly listed online gaming company, and was one of the largest transactions in Canada in 2018

  • Lead counsel to The Stars Group Inc. in connection with its concurrent acquisition of CrownBet Holdings Pty Limited and William Hill Australia Holdings Pty Ltd. for US$430-million, creating a leader in the regulated Australian online sports betting market

  • Represented David H. Batchelder of Relational Investors in connection with D.E. Shaw's activist campaign and appointment of him to the board of Lowe's Home Improvement

  • Lead counsel to Washington Companies in connection with its C$1.5-billion acquisition of Dominion Diamond Corporation and related debt financings, the largest mining transaction in the world in 2017

  • Lead Blakes counsel to KPS Capital Partners, LP in connection with its acquisition of TaylorMade, Adams Golf and Ashworth golf brands from Adidas AG

  • Lead counsel to Sojitz Corporation in connection with a debt financing of Quebec Iron Ore and related framework offtake agreement

  • Lead counsel to Just Eat PLC in connection with its acquisition of SkipTheDishes Inc., one of Canada'’s largest online food marketplaces

  • Lead Blakes counsel to Catalent Pharma Solutions on its acquisition of Accucaps Industries Limited

  • Lead counsel to the special committee of Amaya Inc. on its consideration of a C$8-billion enterprise value going-private transaction proposal received by its founder and certain other matters

  • Lead counsel to Sojitz Corporation in connection with its acquisition of an interest in Cad Railway Industries Limited

  • Lead Blakes counsel to BBA Aviation Plc in connection with its US$2-billion acquisition of Landmark Aviation

  • Lead Blakes counsel to UnitedHealth Group in connection with its US$15-billion acquisition of Catamaran Corporation, the largest transaction in Canada in 2015

  • Lead counsel to Quadra FNX Mining Ltd. in connection with over C$10-billion in transactions, including its C$3.5-billion sale to KGHM Polska Miedz S.A., its C$1.5 billion acquisition of FNX Mining Company and its C$3-billion joint venture with Sumitomo Metal Mining/Sumitomo Corp. for the Sierra Gorda project in Chile and numerous equity and debt capital markets transactions

  • Lead Blakes counsel to HUB International Inc. on over C$7-billion in transactions, including its going-private sale to Apax Partners and others for C$2.1-billion and its subsequent sale to Hellman & Friedman for C$5.2-billion, which was the largest ever acquisition in the insurance brokerage industry

  • Lead counsel to the financial advisers in connection with Mosaid Technologies Inc.'s successful defence to a C$600-million hostile take-over bid made by WiLAN

  • Lead counsel to the financial adviser in connection with Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation's successful defence to numerous attempts by Carl Icahn to acquire control, including proxy fights

  • Lead counsel to JDS Energy and Mining Group in connection with a number of equity and debt investments by U.S. private equity firms for a variety of projects

  • Lead counsel to a number of private equity firms in undisclosed matters

  • Counsel to Suncor Energy Inc. on its C$43-billion strategic merger with Petro-Canada

  • Lead counsel to Stornoway Diamonds Corporation on its C$110-million successful unsolicited take-over bid for Ashton Mining

  • Lead counsel to Kinross Gold Corporation on its C$2-billion three-way merger with Echo Bay Mines and TVX Gold Inc.


Geoff has been ranked as one of the leading lawyers in Canada by a number of publications:

  • The Legal 500 Canada 2020 (Leading Lawyer in International Expertise)

  • Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business 2019 (Corporate/M&A)

  • Who’s Who Legal 2019 (Mergers & Acquisitions)

  • Who’s Who Legal - 2019-2020 (Mining)

  • WWL: Thought Leaders - M&A 2019

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2019 (Private Equity)

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2019 (Mining)

  • The 2018 Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Corporate Lawyers in Canada (Mining)

  • The 2007 Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada ("40 Corporate Lawyers to Watch")

  • Lexpert magazine's "Rising Stars: Top 40 Lawyers Under 40" - 2004 and 2006

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