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Our cross-country team of regulatory, corporate/commercial and litigation lawyers allows Blakes to bring depth and expertise to the challenges our clients encounter. We regularly provide advice to those involved in the card industry, including card networks, credit card issuers and merchant acquirers, debit card issuers, gift card issuers, loyalty program providers, stored value card issuers and service providers, including card processors and distributors (ISOs). Our breadth of experience in this industry enables Blakes to understand the business as well as the law. We apply our broad-based knowledge and experience in working with our clients to develop practical solutions to the man​y complex issues that arise in the payment card industry.

From a regulatory perspective, we have the largest and most active financial institution 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. Blakes regulatory lawyers are in frequent contact with the Canadian federal and provincial regulatory bodies that govern or affect our payment card clients. In particular, Blakes works extensively with the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), and this relationship is key to many of our clients in the industry. 

Blakes also provides advice on compliance with both federal and provincial consumer protection legislation, guidelines and codes of conduct, including advice with respect to cost of credit disclosure, credit reporting, privacy, anti-spam, escheatment and collections practices. As part of our practice, we regularly draft and review cardholder agreements, applications, account statements, privacy statements and other required disclosures and customer communications to ensure compliance with the applicable federal and provincial laws and regulations. Blakes also provides regulatory advice on mobile and emerging payments and compliance with laws applicable to mobile wallets, payment apps, mobile and contactless payments and tokenization.

Our corporate/commercial lawyers have extensive experience in all aspects of the establishment, acquisition and divestiture of every type of payment card business. We have significant expertise in reorganization work for payment card businesses, as well as a broad range of experience in program agreements, sponsorship or rent-a-BIN agreements, partnership, joint venture, alliance, co-brand and distribution agreements, outsourcing contracts and merchant contracts.

Blakes has extensive litigation experience across Canada acting for financial services clients on a broad range of payment card issues. We have defended national and provincial class actions brought with respect to criminal interest rate allegations, payment and posting-date issues, currency exchange rate claims and alleged violations of consumer disclosure obligations. We also routinely act for payment card issuers in individual contractual claims and in collection proceedings.

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Awards & Recognition

Blakes Financial Services Regulatory lawyers have been recognized as leaders in the most recent editions of the following publications:

  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business

  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory

  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada

  • Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Corporate Lawyers in Canada

  • IFLR1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial and Corporate Law Firms

  • Who's Who Legal: Banking

  • Who's Who Legal: Canada

  • Euromoney’s LMG Banking, Finance and Transactional Expert Guide

  • Euromoney’s LMG Women in Business Law Expert Guide

  • The Legal 500 Canada

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada