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Blakes is a leader in domestic and international arbitration. We have repeatedly been named Arbitration Firm of the Year by Benchmark Canada, and our lawyers are recognized by various publications as leaders in their field. Our diverse Arbitration team advises and represents clients in complex, high-value arbitrations across a broad range of industries and sectors.

We advise and act as counsel in both domestic arbitrations and institutional international arbitrations conducted under the rules of the world’s leading international arbitration institutions, such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), the Vancouver International Arbitration Centre (VanIAC – formerly, BCICAC) and under the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Arbitration Rules and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) Convention Rules. We are adept in selecting the right arbitrators, negotiating the appropriate procedures, articulating complicated arguments and conducting all aspects of complex arbitration.

A Canadian law firm with global reach and language capabilities that include English, French, Mandarin, Arabic, German, Italian and Spanish, among others, we offer a strategic advantage for clients operating in or across North America, Europe, Asia and other international jurisdictions. We are often engaged to resolve choice of law/venue issues, advise on arbitration clauses, take evidence in foreign proceedings and enforce foreign judgments. 

Our group includes fellows of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, chartered arbitrators and members of the arbitration panels of such institutions as the ICC and the ICDR. 

We are committed to improving diversity and inclusion within our Firm and the wider arbitration community. We have signed the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution’s Diversity Commitment and the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge, and we are constantly seeking opportunities to educate ourselves and expand our efforts in this area.

We are regularly sought out for our experience in a wide variety of industries, including:

  • Mining – Canadian and international mining companies in mine ownership, control and operations disputes

  • Energy – Leading energy companies in disputes between companies in the regulatory realm and governments regarding virtually every aspect of energy law

  • Technology – Clients on software development and licensing, and arbitrating royalty and misuse disputes between developers and end users

  • Cannabis – Domestic and international producers and distributors regarding disputes over product supply and processing

  • Insurance – Domestic and international policyholders and underwriters in complex commercial insurance disputes, including arbitrations under large property and liability insurance programs

  • Construction/Infrastructure – Owners, developers and suppliers in some of the largest projects in the country

  • Public authorities – Government agencies for highly sensitive disputes where the public interest is at issue

  • Hospitality – Hotel owners and management companies in ownership and management disputes

  • International Commercial Disputes – Clients in international contract disputes, under the ICC Rules and otherwise

  • Investor-State – Clients in arbitrations under the former North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Chapter 11 and bilateral and multilateral investment treaties, pursuant to the ICSID Convention and under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules
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Recent Experience
  • Nutrien Ltd., through one of its wholly owned subsidiaries, on the sale of its stake in Misr Fertilizers Production Company S.A.E. (MOPCO) to the Government of Egypt and in connection with the settlement of all arbitration claims made against the Government of Egypt and MOPCO’s affiliate, the Egyptian Nitrogen Products Company S.A.En. for an aggregate amount of US$540-million.

  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Canada) Inc. and Toronto Commercial Arbitration Society, as intervenors, in Uber Technologies Inc. v. Heller, in which the Supreme Court of Canada ruled an arbitration clause to be unconscionable.

  • The prime contractor in an arbitration relating to the construction of a 1,400 km transmission line involving claims of delay and disruption in amounts exceeding C$100-million and a counterclaim of C$45-million.

  • A Canadian multinational corporation in an investment arbitration against a Middle Eastern state under a bilateral investment treaty.

  • A large public transit agency in consolidated labour arbitrations involving public health and safety.

  • A party in an ICC arbitration arising out of an agreement for the purchase and sale of fertilizer.

  • Several parties in ICC arbitrations arising out of long-term agreements for the purchase and sale of iron ore and shipment from Northern Canada to Asian customers.

  • A mining producer and manager in a series of ad hoc arbitrations relating to a long-term lease and royalty agreement in Newfoundland and Labrador.

  • A large international hospitality company in securing control over 60 hotel properties in Canada following an expedited arbitration process.

  • The parties on three related arbitrations seeking damages of approximately C$90-million in respect of construction projects in the Alberta oil sands.

  • A party in an international ad hoc arbitration relating to a power infrastructure project involving hundreds of different construction sites.

  • A party on a domestic arbitration relating to the greenhouse gas emission provisions of a power purchase agreement.

  • A party in an ICC arbitration and the successful settlement negotiations in a dispute between Canadian and Panamanian companies in connection with a coal mine in Colombia (Xira Investments Inc. v. Andean Coal Corporation).

  • A party in an arbitration and resolution of a dispute between two Canadian public companies regarding a gold mine in Spain (Glen Eagle Resources v. Kinbauri Gold Corp.).

  • A party in an UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules arbitration relating to failure of major equipment at a mine site involving claims in excess of C$200-million.

  • A party in an ad hoc UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules arbitration of software royalty and copyright infringement issues and defence of the C$109-million award in favour of our clients in the Ontario courts (MPI Technologies v. Xerox).

  • A group of multinational insurance companies based in Europe and North America in an international commercial arbitration with a value of over C$800-million, involving construction issues and insurance coverage issues in the oil sands.

  • A Canadian policyholder in an arbitration with international and domestic underwriters over coverage under a global property and liability insurance program arising out of legal proceedings in Italy.

  • A party in an arbitration involving a major international petroleum company in the Gulf Region.

  • A party in a domestic arbitration arising out of right-of-way agreements between governmental corporations and energy pipeline companies.

  • A party in a domestic arbitration between two air carriers arising out of a capacity purchase agreement.

  • Member of an arbitration panel in a dispute regarding the termination of an agency agreement.

  • The sole arbitrator on a domestic ad hoc arbitration in a share valuation dispute.

Awards & Recognition

Blakes Arbitration lawyers have been recognized as leaders in their field in the current editions of the following publications:

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

  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s World Leading Lawyers for Business

  • 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 Litigation Lawyers in Canada

  • Who's Who Legal: Canada

  • Who's Who Legal: Mediation

  • Who's Who Legal: Business

  • Legal Media Group’s Guide to the World’s Leading Experts in Commercial Arbitration

  • Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada