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The defence sector is emerging as one of Canada’s most complex areas of law. A deep understanding of this sector is becoming increasingly more important to both private and public organizations, brought on by regulatory changes, high-stakes transactions and matters of national security. Organizations operating in the defence sector often work at the interface of government and business, and must contend with issues that require innovative, practical and effective solutions from multidisciplinary legal advisors who understand the unique business environment and regulatory frameworks within which they operate.

The Blakes Defence group provides clients with a comprehensive approach to regulatory, privacy, international trade, finance, M&A, tax, litigation and general corporate law. Our team is comprised of dedicated professionals with backgrounds in areas most relevant to the defence sector, including domestic and international aviation regulation, aerospace and aviation policy, procurement, export controls, transportation security, international satellite operations, radio communications, and intellectual property.

Clients depend on our cross-disciplinary approach that allows us to represent them efficiently and cost-effectively in a variety of issues, including litigation, due diligence and compliance, regulatory, and commercial. Our national and international presence means that Blakes can provide seamless, first-tier coverage on large, complex mandates, as well as ready access to other specialized practice areas within the Firm to provide a comprehensive and experienced range of advice.

Recent Experience

Much of our work on defence-related matters is highly confidential and cannot be disclosed.

  • Canadian M&A counsel to a major international company active in the defence and aerospace sectors.

  • QinetiQ Group on its £57.5-million acquisition of a division of Meggitt Target Systems, which provides unmanned aerial, naval and land-based target systems and services for test and evaluation and operational training and rehearsal.

  • The funders on a contracted project providing military flight training and facilities to the Royal Canadian Air Force at Southport Airport, Manitoba.

  • A client on a C$322-million design, build, finance and maintain project with regards to a 50,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art, mission-critical operating data centre located at the Canadian Forces Base in Borden, Ontario.

  • A premier global provider of high-quality law enforcement and security products for the public safety, military and personal protection markets on the acquisition of two business units involved in making body armour and robots for bomb disposal, and armour for military vehicles, respectively. Blakes advised this client on due diligence and compliance issues, including with the Controlled Goods Program under the Defence Production Act and export permits under the Export and Import Permits Act. Matters involved secret and top-secret clearances under the Industrial Security Program, as well as licences to use prohibited chemicals pursuant to the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act.

  • A client on the development, certification, operation and regulation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)/unmanned aerial systems (UASs)/drones for both military and commercial purposes in Canada.

  • Canadian counsel to Aperion Management, LLC on its acquisition of Ontario Drive & Gear Limited, a leading manufacturer of amphibious utility/extreme vehicles.

  • A client on compliance with Defence Production Act and Controlled Goods Program issues arising from change in control of a business involving controlled goods and technology.

  • A U.K. security and civil-defence-related services provider on the corporate reorganization of its Middle Eastern operations and its ongoing regulatory obligations.

  • Nuytco Research Ltd., a world leader in the development and operation of undersea technology, including the manufacture of specialized mini-submarines for commercial and other uses, regarding the export of its products to various countries, including advising on its dealings with the Canada Border Service Agency.