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Leadership Appointments at Blakes

January 11, 2022

This article was originally published on December 1, 2021, and was updated on January 11, 2022, to include a new leadership appointment in the Blakes Aviation & Aerospace group.

As part of our commitment to the long-term success of our clients and the growth of our Firm, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP (Blakes) has, over the last several months, announced a number of appointments across practice groups, offices and diversity initiatives.

“We are proud of the depth of leadership talent we have at Blakes, and we are delighted to announce the new roles being assumed by these exceptional partners and lawyers. We know they will continue to work collaboratively with those who preceded them,” said Bryson Stokes, Firm Managing Partner. “All of these individuals are respected in their fields and bring a wealth of experience to their roles.”

Aviation & Aerospace
Jason MacIntyre was appointed Chair of our market-leading Aviation & Aerospace group, replacing Donald Gray, who led the team for more than 12 years. Donald will continue to support the group and our clients until he retires at the end of this year.

Jason is a top-ranked aviation lawyer who has been named a Rising Star by both Lexpert and Legal Media Group. He also launched and co-leads the Blakes Drones group, which advises on the use of drone technology in commercial operations.

Navin Joneja and Julie Soloway are succeeding Brian Facey as Co-Chairs of our Competition, Antitrust & Foreign Investment group, which is widely acknowledged as the pre-eminent competition practice in Canada. Brian will continue his leading practice with the group, focusing on key client work on some of Canada’s most complex competition and anti-trust matters, as well as business development on behalf of the Firm.

Julie and Navin are seasoned, award-winning leaders in their field and have led some of the country’s highest-profile competition matters. Navin is the immediate past Chair of the CBA National Competition Law Section, and Julie co-chairs the ABA’s Section of Antitrust Law’s International Committee.

Energy, Calgary
Christine Milliken has joined Keith Byblow as co-leader of the Energy group in Calgary. Christine’s experience covers a broad range of M&A transactions for private and public entities, as well as divestitures and project development.

Financial Services, Calgary
Nick Tropak has joined Michael McIntosh as co-leader of the Financial Services group in Calgary. Nick regularly acts for Canadian and foreign clients on a wide range of financing transactions in the areas of oil and gas, power and renewables.

Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Calgary
Renee Reichelt and Michael Dixon are now leading the Firm’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution group in Calgary, succeeding David Tupper. David remains on the Blakes Executive Committee and will continue to lead many of Canada’s most complex disputes.

Renee’s practice focuses on corporate commercial litigation, including banking and securities litigation, class action litigation, oil and gas litigation, fraud litigation and matters involving reputational risk. Michael's practice involves all aspects of corporate commercial litigation and arbitration, with a focus on oil and gas, contract and royalty disputes, fraud claims and insurance matters.

Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Toronto
Catherine Beagan Flood and Iris Fischer are now at the helm of our Toronto office’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution group, previously led by Bradley Berg. Brad will continue to represent Blakes clients on complex commercial cases and precedent-setting public interest litigation.

Cathy litigates complex commercial and regulatory cases and defends class actions with a regulatory component. She also leads the Blakes National Cybersecurity group and served on the Firm’s Executive Committee from 2015 to 2020. Iris’ litigation practice involves complex commercial disputes, internal and government investigations, and extensive experience in the areas of media and defamation. Iris also leads the Blakes Media & Defamation practice and co-leads the Firm’s Public Sector Crisis & Compliance group.

Commercial Real Estate
John Hutmacher has joined Thomas von Hahn as co-leader of our Commercial Real Estate group. He succeeds Chris Huband, who will continue to advise Blakes clients on some of the largest and most complex real estate transactions in Canada.

John’s practice focuses on acquisitions and dispositions, joint ventures, financing, development, condominium and leasing transactions involving major Canadian commercial real properties, including many of the country's most prominent retail, office and industrial developments.

Office Managing Partner, Montréal
Sébastien Vilder will take over as Managing Partner of our Montréal office in the new year, succeeding Robert Torralbo, who has led the office for 10 years. Robert will continue his practice as one of the country’s leading litigators, representing a wide range of clients in consequential disputes, class actions and arbitrations.

Sébastien previously served on the Blakes Executive Committee for six years. His practice focuses on banking and financing, renewables and infrastructure.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Several Blakes lawyers have assumed key leadership roles on both new and longstanding initiatives to promote equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) with the expansion of the Firm’s programming in this area in 2021.

Kyle Elliott has been appointed Counsel, Diversity and Inclusion, having played a pivotal role managing Blakes EDI and outreach initiatives, including our efforts to attract students from diverse backgrounds. Kyle is also an individual member of the Law Society of Ontario’s Equity Advisory Group and the Director of Communications for the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers.

Silvana M. D’Alimonte is now leading the Women@Blakes initiative and the range of programming we provide to promote the careers of women legal professionals at Blakes and beyond. Silvana is a Partner in the Commercial Real Estate group and a member of the Blakes Executive Committee.

Lawyers of Asian heritage launched two new internal networks dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion and fostering the long-term career success of their members. Kevin Rusli and Linda Tu, both Partners in our Capital Markets group, lead EastAsian@Blakes. Paul Singh and Alyssa Shivji, both Partners in our Corporate & Commercial group, lead SouthAsian@Blakes. These initiatives expand the Firm’s set of affinity groups, which also include Black@Blakes, Pride@Blakes and Women@Blakes.