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Top-tier national tax practice with offices in Toronto, Montréal, Calgary and Vancouver. Highly sought after for its experience in transactional planning, including a high volume of M&A work. The firm’s diverse offering also features impressive capabilities in transfer pricing and commodity tax issues, as well as tax controversy and litigation.

Clients say: “The team is very professional and responsive, providing practical solutions to their clients.” “The lawyers at Blakes adapt well to changing circumstances and issues.”
Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business 2021

As the trend towards global transparency and international coordination among tax authorities accelerates, successful businesses require direct access to tax advisers who understand their businesses and provide responsive, thoughtful and practical advice. Experienced dealmakers know that one of the key features of most successful transactions is increasingly early-stage input of tax counsel.

The national leadership role of the Blakes Tax group is widely recognized by the Canadian and international tax bar. Lawyers in the group have served as active members and chairs of the Joint Committee on Taxation of the Canadian Bar Association and Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, and have even been invited to testify before the Canadian Senate regarding proposed tax legislation. Members of the group also participate actively as leaders in the International Fiscal Association, the Canadian Tax Foundation, the tax sections of provincial bar associations and numerous other professional and industry organizations in Canada and abroad. With this longstanding tradition of deep involvement in the profession, Blakes Tax lawyers are constantly “plugged in” to the very latest tax developments, enabling our clients to plan effectively.

Blakes Tax lawyers work seamlessly with other team members to plan and execute a wide variety of transactions. Members of the group have specialized expertise in many practices and industries, including transfer pricing, financial institutions, capital markets transactions, structured finance, investment funds, real estate investment trusts, private equity and natural resources. The Tax group includes lawyers whose practices are dedicated exclusively to commodity taxes (harmonized sales tax and other sales taxes), providing our clients with an unmatched level of expertise. In addition, our Tax Controversy & Litigation lawyers advise and represent our clients in the audit process, administrative appeals, advance pricing agreements, competent authority proceedings and in the courts.

Operating as a unified group in all major markets across Canada, the Blakes Tax group provides exceptionally responsive, thoughtful and practical advice on all aspects of Canadian tax law and tax planning.

The group regularly publishes bulletins containing thoughtful commentaries on legislative proposals, major cases and pivotal tax rulings. To subscribe to receive these bulletins, please click here.

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Recent Experience
  • Equinix, Inc., a digital infrastructure company (and a U.S. real estate investment trust) on its acquisition of 13 data centres in Canada and their operations from BCE Inc. (Bell).

  • Hudson’s Bay Company and its Special Committee of Independent Directors in connection with its successful completion of its plan of arrangement resulting in HBC becoming a private company.

  • The Fertility Partners on the acquisition of two fertility clinics in Montréal (clinique ovo), Vancouver (Olive Fertility Centre), Kelowna (Kelowna Regional Fertility Centre) and Saskatchewan (Aurora Reproductive Care), as well as securing approximately C$90-million in equity and debt financing. 

  • TC Energy Corp. on its sale of a 65 per cent equity stake in the Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project to KKR and AIMCo and the concurrent execution of a credit agreement providing non-recourse project-level financing to fund the majority of construction costs for the project.

  • HgCapital LLP, a U.K. private equity firm, on its acquisition of Benevity, Inc., a Calgary-based software company. Blakes acted as Canadian counsel to HgCapital.

  • London Stock Exchange Group plc on its US$27-billion acquisition of Refinitiv.

  • PayPal on its acquisition of HyperWallet Systems Inc.

  • Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. on its C$4.5-billion sale of the Trans Mountain Pipeline system and expansion project to the Government of Canada.

  • Linamar Corp. in connection with its C$1.2-billion acquisition of MacDon Industries Ltd.

  • The Coca-Cola Company on the sale of Coca-Cola Refreshments Canada Company, responsible for all Coca-Cola bottling and distribution operations across Canada, to Kilmer Group.

  • Transurban Group in connection with its acquisition of the A25 toll road bridge in Montréal from Macquarie Infrastructure Partners.

  • Canadian Real Estate Investment Trust (CREIT) on its C$3.9-billion combination with Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust.

  • Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. on its acquisition of Atoka Cranberries Inc. from The Bieler Group.

  • Jarislowsky, Fraser Limited on the sale of its business to Scotiabank for approximately C$950-million.

  • Pembina Pipeline Corporation on its US$9.7-billion acquisition of Veresen Inc.

  • The Washington Companies in connection with its C$1.5-billion acquisition of Dominion Diamond Corporation, and related debt financing.

  • Nexus REIT (formerly Edgefront REIT) in connection with its friendly merger with Nobel REIT to create a C$300-million diversified REIT.

  • DP World Limited on its joint venture with Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec to create an investment platform focused on investing in ports and terminals globally.

  • Warburg Pincus on its majority investment in SCM Insurance Services.

  • Wells Fargo & Company on its C$32-billion acquisition of GE Capital’s Commercial Distribution Finance and Vendor Finance Businesses.

  • TransCanada Corporation on its C$13.3-billion acquisition of all of the outstanding shares of Columbia Pipeline Group, Inc. and C$4.4-billion bought deal offering of subscription receipts in Canada and the United States.

  • 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. and ECN Capital Corp.

  • Mackenzie Investments, a subsidiary of IGM Financial Inc., on its acquisition of 13.9 per cent interest in China Asset Management Co., Ltd. for C$647-million.

  • Standard Life plc on the sale of its Canadian business to Manulife for C$4-billion.

Awards & Recognition

Members of the Blakes Tax group are consistently recognized as leaders in their field in the latest editions of the following publications:

  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business – Ranked in Band 1.

  • Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business – Ranked in Band 1.

  • International Tax Review’s World Tax – Ranked in Tier 1 for Canada.

  • International Tax Review's World Transfer Pricing – Ranked in Tier 1.

  • International Tax Review’s North America Tax Directors Poll – Ranked in the top tier for both Transactional and Tax Planning categories.

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory

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

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

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

  • The Legal 500 Canada – Ranked in Tier 1.

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada

  • International Tax Review’s Women in Tax Leaders

  • International Tax Review’s Tax Controversy Leaders

  • International Tax Review’s Indirect Tax Leaders

  • Legalease Ltd.’s Tax Directors Handbook – Ranked in Tier 1.

  • Legal Media Group's Guide to the World’s Leading Transfer Pricing Advisers

  • Legal Media Group's Guide to the World’s Leading Tax Advisers

  • Legal Media Group's The Best of the Best

  • Legal Media Group's The Best of the Best Top 30 – Transfer Pricing Advisors in the World

  • Who's Who Legal: Corporate Tax

  • Who's Who Legal: Canada

  • Who's Who Legal

The Blakes Tax group has also received the following awards:

  • International Tax Review's Americas Tax Awards 2017 – The Blakes Tax group has been awarded the "Canada Tax Firm of the Year," "Canada Tax Court Firm of the Year" and "North America Tax Disputes Firm of the Year."

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada 2017 – “Law Firm of the Year” in the practice of Tax Law.