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Blakes has learned about fraudulent phone calls impersonating John Wilkin. If you receive an unsolicited or unexpected call from someone claiming to be John, it may be an attempted fraud.

About John

John's practice focuses on domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance transactions for public companies. He regularly advises purchasers, vendors and target companies in connection with public and private mergers and acquisitions transactions, and acts for both issuers and underwriters on public offerings and private placements of debt and equity securities. He also advises Canadian and international companies on a wide range of securities law compliance, corporate governance, and other ESG-related matters.

John has significant experience in the mining, power and utilities, telecommunications and financial services sectors, and with issuers listed on multiple exchanges.

Select Experience

Recent matters include advising:

Capital Markets and Strategic Investments

  • First Quantum Minerals Ltd. on:

    • Its C$1.55-billion bought deal public offering of common shares and certain Canadian aspects of other components of its US$5.5-billion comprehensive refinancing package

    • The establishment of its inaugural base shelf prospectus

  • Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. on:

    • Eight public offerings of common shares aggregating approximately C$3.7-billion

    • Its US$1.15-billion cross-border public offering of equity units consisting of a share purchase contract and an interest in senior notes conducted under Algonquin's Green Financing framework and the subsequent cross-border public remarketing of US$1.15-billion principal amount of senior notes issued as part of the equity unit offering

    • The establishment and renewal of its US$3-billion cross-border base shelf prospectus

    • Its cross-border public offering of US$750-million principal amount of fixed-to-fixed reset rate hybrid notes and concurrent domestic public offering of C$400-million principal amount of fixed-to-fixed reset rate hybrid notes

    • Two cross-border public offerings of fixed-to-floating hybrid notes aggregating US$600-million

    • The establishment and renewals of its US$500-million cross-border public "at-the-market" common share offering

    • Its C$1.15-billion issuance and secondary public offering of convertible unsecured subordinated debentures represented by instalment receipts

    • The private placement by its subsidiary Algonquin Power Co. of C$300-million principal amount of green bonds

  • A syndicate of underwriters in connection with Aclara Resources Inc.'s C$118-million combined initial public offering (IPO), private placement and TSX listing, effected concurrently with the spin-off of Aclara from its parent company, Hochschild Mining plc

  • Aura Minerals Inc. on its primary and secondary cross-border offering of an aggregate of C$197-million of shares including its IPO in Brazil and the first ever dual listing of a TSX-listed issuer on the Brazilian Stock Exchange

  • A syndicate of underwriters in connection with the establishment and renewals of the Ontario Power Generation Inc. C$4-billion medium term note program, five public offerings of notes aggregating C$2.2-billion and five public offerings of green bonds aggregating C$2.45-billion including its inaugural nuclear green bond

  • A syndicate of underwriters in connection with the renewals of Toronto Hydro Corporation's C$1.5-billion medium term note program and eight public offerings of notes aggregating C$1.6-billion

  • CI Financial Corp. on the establishment and renewals of its C$1.5-billion base shelf prospectus and five public offerings of notes aggregating C$1.625-billion and the establishment of its US$2-billion cross-border base shelf prospectus and two public offerings of notes aggregating US$960-million

  • A private investor in connection with its investment of up to US$300-million in a Canadian iron ore project by way of equity subscription and option on project marketing rights

  • Triple Flag Precious Metals Corp. on a C$80-million streaming and equity subscription finance package and subsequent US$35-million royalty, stream and equity financing package for Nevada Copper Corp.

  • A syndicate of underwriters on the C$132-million public offering of subscription receipts of Stornoway Diamond Corporation forming part of the C$948-million financing package for the development of the Renard Diamond Project

  • BlackBerry Limited on its US$1.25-billion private placement of convertible debentures to Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited and other institutional investors

  • Avnel Gold Mining Limited on its IPO and subsequent private placements, rights offering, public offering of ordinary shares, and establishment of a $325-million base shelf prospectus 

  • Underwriters in connection with the IPO of Labrador Iron Mines Holdings Limited and its five subsequent public offerings of common shares and flow-through shares aggregating approximately C$350-million

  • Equinox Minerals Limited on its IPO and four subsequent public equity offerings aggregating C$675-million

Mergers, Acquisitions and Reorganization Transactions

  • The vendors on the US$75.3-million sale of the limestone quarry and port operations of Atlantic Minerals Limited to CEMEX Inc.

  • ICPEI Holdings Inc. and the Special Committee of the Board of Directors on its management-led going private transaction

  • The Special Committee of the Board of Directors of IBI Group Inc. on its C$873-million acquisition by Arcadis N.V.

  • The Special Committee of the Board of Directors of GCM Mining Corp. on its related party privatization of Aris Gold Corporation

  • BHP in connection with its board-supported take-over bid for Noront Resources Ltd.

  • Triple Flag Precious Metals Corp. on its US$45.7-million acquisition of 34 royalties from IAMGOLD Corporation and certain of its subsidiaries

  • The Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Teranga Gold Corporation on its C$2.4-billion acquisition by Endeavour Mining Corporation

  • Aura Minerals Inc. in connection with its

    • US$35-million acquisition of the Gold Road Project from Para Resources Inc.

    • C$25.4-million related party public acquisition of Rio Novo Gold Inc. by way of shareholder approved merger

  • Avnel Gold Mining Limited on its C$160-million acquisition by Endeavour Mining Corporation

  • A leading mining finance company on its acquisition of a portfolio of interests in streaming agreements on Canadian mining projects

  • Bell Aliant Inc. and Bell Aliant Preferred Equity Inc., and the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of each, on BCE Inc.'s C$4-billion privatization of Bell Aliant, and Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership on its C$2.3-billion exchange of medium term notes

  • As co-counsel to BlackBerry Limited in connection with a US$4.7-billion acquisition proposal from Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited

  • Talison Lithium Limited on its

    • C$728-million proposed acquisition by Rockwood Holdings Inc. and the subsequent C$848-million competitive offer by Chengdu Tianqi Industry (Group) Co., Ltd.

    • C$47.9-million acquisition and related C$40-million financing of Salares Lithium Inc. and concurrent C$327.4-million listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange


  • Various public companies and special committees of boards of directors on strategic advisory and securities compliance matters, including corporate governance and other ESG-related matters, continuous disclosure obligations, executive compensation and shareholder meetings
Awards & Recognition

John has been recognized as a leading lawyer in the following publications:

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada 2024 (Mining)

  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business 2024 (Energy & Natural Resources: Mining)

  • The Legal 500 Canada 2024 (Energy and National Resources: Mining)

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2024 (Corporate Finance & Securities, Mergers & Acquisitions, Mining)

  • Who's Who Legal: Canada 2024 (Capital Markets, Mining)

  • Who's Who Legal: Global 2024 (Mining)

  • Thomson Reuters Stand-out Lawyers 2024 – Independently Rated Lawyers (As nominated by senior in-house counsel)

  • IFLR1000: The Guide to the World's Leading Financial and Corporate Law Firms 2023 (Highly Regarded – Mining, Equity Capital Markets, Debt Capital Markets)

  • Lexpert magazine, November/December 2011 (Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40)

Professional Activities

John has taught a range of international and corporate law subjects at law schools in Canada and the U.K., including the University of King's College London School of Law, where he taught private international law. He has also delivered lectures and seminars at Osgoode Hall Law School on international transactions, mining transactions and securities law.

John is a leading contributor to professional development in securities law in Canada, including the following:

  • Founding Program Chair and Presenter (Green Bonds and Sustainable Finance), Osgoode Hall Law School Professional Development – The Intensive Short Course on Canadian Capital Markets Transactions, April–May 2023

  • Founding Program Chair, Osgoode Hall Law School Professional Development – Canadian Equity Capital Markets Transactions, 2022

  • Presenter (Public Offerings), Osgoode Hall Law School Professional Development – The Intensive Course in Canadian Securities Law and Practice, 2006–2023

John has written several articles and chapters for publications on M&A, corporate governance and securities law topics.

Media Activities
  • Interviewed : Canada aiming to protect critical minerals — Strategy will shift transaction type and incentivize an exploration of new funding sources
    Article by Aidan Macnab, Lexpert Special Edition: Finance and M&A, April 19, 2023.
  • Quoted : Mining in a changing world — Economic volatility, inflation and geopolitical risk paint a murky picture for mining M&A, lawyers say
    Article by Zena Olijnyk, Lexpert Special Edition: Mining, October 5, 2022.
  • Interviewed : FP Dealmakers — How a ‘rock fuel’ tech sector drove the year of the IPO to new heights
    Article by Stephanie Hughes, Financial Post, January 31, 2022.

BCL (With Distinction), University of Oxford – 2001
Admitted to the Ontario Bar – 1999
LLB, Dalhousie Law School – 1997
BCom (Hon.), Queen's University – 1994
BA (With Distinction), Queen's University – 1994

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