Canada: Mining [Legal Superstars in Canadian Mining] – Who’s Who Legal (October 2012)

The Toronto Stock Exchange is home to 58 per cent of the world’s public mining companies and the industry is crucial for the Canadian economy and job market. In this chapter we identify 49 exceptional lawyers, an increase of four listings since our last publication.

According to our research, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP has proved itself again as one of the leading mining firms in Canada with six lawyers selected for inclusion. Mark Bennett leads a “very good practice” with a focus on corporate finance and M&A. Gordon Chambers is “first class” and works on corporate finance with clients such as Anvil Mining. John Craig has an “excellent practice for mining” and is a “key player” in the negotiation and drafting of mining concession agreements around the world.

Jay Goldman has “an outstanding mining practice nationally” and is a member of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute. Another “superb” lawyer at the firm is Erik Goldsilver who has advised clients such as Goldcorp and Yamana Gold. Paul Stein is “building a name for himself” in the field and comes highly ranked by our respondents. He specialises in negotiating joint ventures, farm-in agreements and the financing of development and exploration projects both domestically and internationally.

Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP also has six “leading” lawyers in this area. Michael J Bourassa is an “amazing lawyer” and a “rare person”. He has extensive experience with international mining due diligence and is past chair of the Natural Resources Section of the Ontario Bar Association. Andrew Gabrielson is “top notch” and is a member of the firm’s global mining and business group. The “brilliant” Jean Gagné has “in-depth” knowledge of business transactions in the mining and forestry industries.

Charles LK Higgins is “great on the domestic scene” and has “enviable” experience in advising mining companies on commercial and financial matters. He is a former senior economist of the Federal Department of Energy, Mines and Resources. Another “very good” partner of the firm, Josh Lewis, specialises in resource industries, both domestic and international. The final offering from the firm, John Turner, “rates very highly” and has been described as “the sort of lawyer I love to work with”. He has vast transactional experience and is head of the firm’s global mining group.

Five lawyers from Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP have been included in this section. Brian Abraham QC, co-chair of the firm’s national mining group, is “highly regarded” for his work in all areas of the industry. Also at the firm is Frank Davis who is an “excellent” practitioner and Christopher Manderville who is “well regarded” for his work in worldwide natural resource exploration, production and services. Michael Melanson also specialises in international natural resources law and has “extensive” experience in the field. John Sabine is another “knowledgeable” lawyer at the firm with clients such as Meridian Gold and Minera Rayrock.

McMillan LLP boasts four lawyers who have come “highly recommended”. Barry Finlayson has “vast knowledge of client needs” and represents technology, mining and natural resources companies. Darrell Podowski, chair of the firm’s mining group, concentrates his “strong” securities and business law practice on the mining and resource industries. William Sheridan has a “long history in mining” and is “highly experienced” in mining securities. Bernhard Zinkhofer provides “insightful advice” and has been described as “reliable”, “professional”, “very pleasant to work with” and “knowledgeable about our business”.

“Top” mining lawyer at Bennett Jones LLP, Eden M Oliver, specialises in transactional, advisory and regulatory work in the industry.

Peter O’Callaghan, of Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP, is head of the firm’s national securities group and boasts high-profile international mining companies as clients of his “strong” practice. He is joined at the firm by Bob Wooder who is “leading” in the field, producing “quality” work and a “consistent standard of excellence in legal advice”. As one of our respondents told us: “no one comes close when it comes to legal experience or talent – Bob is a rare gem”.

The “quality” Fred Pletcher, of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, is “well regarded” and “very active” in the mining industry.

At Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, Ian McBride uses his strong international focus to provide a “first-class” service for clients such as China Minmetals, Barrick Gold and Richmont Mines. Also at the firm is “terrific” Kevin Thomson whose focus lies in high-level mergers within the mining and resources industries.

At Davis LLP, Rodney Snow is “the person to go to in the Yukon” and is “well regarded” for his “extraordinary experience” in the sector. He is a former president of the Canadian Bar Association and previous director of the Yukon Chamber of Mines.

Corey Dean is a “respected” partner at DuMoulin Black who focuses on M&A and corporate finance for the natural resource industry.

For the rest of this article, please go to the Who’s Who Legal website: