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Ian Aversa

Partner Admitted to the Ontario Bar: 2008

Ian Aversa is a partner and member of the Financial Services Group and the Litigation Group at Aird & Berlis.

Ian works with his clients to develop sophisticated acquisition, divestiture and recovery strategies, negotiate complex commercial agreements and financings, manage and strategize time-sensitive litigation matters and deliver business-focused solutions to a broad range of corporate and commercial issues.

Ian maintains an active restructuring and insolvency law practice focused on the corporate and litigation aspects of financial restructurings, mergers and acquisitions and distressed lending. He has been involved in some of Canada’s largest restructuring proceedings and is frequently retained to act for court officers appointed under the BIA, the CCAA and other corporate statutes. Ian also has significant experience negotiating the purchase and sale of distressed assets and businesses and structuring DIP financing and other distressed lending transactions.

Ian regularly appears as counsel before Toronto’s Commercial List, well-known and respected for both restructuring matters and complex business disputes.

Ian advises corporations, Schedule I banks and other financial institutions, court-appointed officers, secured creditors and bondholders, landlords, purchasers and financiers on domestic and international matters in a variety of industries, with a particular focus on financial services, technology, social media, retail, transportation, real estate, construction, mining and health care.

A frequent writer and presenter, Ian has authored a number of publications and is often called on to speak at industry conferences. Ian is an executive member of the National Insolvency Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association and the secretary of the Insolvency Law Section of the Ontario Bar Association.

Ian was recently recognized by Lexpert as one of the leading lawyers under 40 in Canada.

Other Languages

French

Awards & Recognition

  • Recognized as a Lexpert Rising Star: Leading Lawyer Under 40 (2019)
  • Recognized in The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a “Leading Lawyer To Watch” in the area of Insolvency & Financial Restructuring – Insolvency Litigation (2019)
  • Recognized in The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a “Leading Lawyer To Watch” in the area of Insolvency & Financial Restructuring – Financial Restructuring (2019)

Professional Involvement

Memberships

  • American Bankruptcy Institute 
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • INSOL International
  • The Advocates' Society
  • Toronto Lawyers Association
  • Turnaround Management Association

Representative Matters

Counsel to The Superintendent of Financial Services, with respect to its successful application under the Mortgage Brokerages, Lenders and Administrators Act, 2006 to appoint a trustee over Building & Development Mortgages Canada Inc., the lead broker for Fortress Real Developments, which raised >$800 million via syndicated mortgage investments (SMIs) from ~14,000 investors for real estate development projects across Canada.

Counsel to Alvarez & Marsal Canada Inc., in its capacity as the court-appointed receiver of Sameh Sadek (aka Sam Sadek), St. Maharial Pharmacy Inc. dba MD Health Pharmacy, St. Maharial Clinic Inc., SRX Investment Inc., Shepherd RX Pharmacy Inc. and Lilian Fam. The Receiver was appointed on a motion by AstraZeneca Canada Inc. pursuant to the Ontario Courts of Justice Act in connection with an alleged multi-million dollar fraud involving several large pharmaceutical companies.

Counsel to Grant Thornton Limited, in its capacity as the court-appointed trustee of Textbook Student Suites (525 Princess Street) Trustee Corporation, Textbook Student Suites (555 Princess Street) Trustee Corporation, Textbook Student Suites (Ross Park) Trustee Corporation, 2223947 Ontario Limited, MC Trustee (Kitchener) Ltd., Scollard Trustee Corporation, Textbook Student Suites (774 Bronson Avenue) Trustee Corporation, 7743718 Canada Inc., Keele Medical Trustee Corporation, Textbook Student Suites (445 Princess Street) Trustee Corporation and Hazelton 4070 Dixie Road Trustee Corporation. The Trustee was appointed on an application by The Superintendent of Financial Services under the Mortgage Brokerages, Lenders and Administrators Act, 2006 to protect the interests of ~1,000 investors who invested >$100 million via syndicated mortgage investments (SMIs) in real estate development projects across Ontario.

Counsel to The Corporation of the City of Sault Ste. Marie in the cross-border insolvency proceedings commenced by Essar Steel Algoma Inc. et al. under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act. The City was owed >$25 million in unpaid taxes, the majority of which were recovered.

Counsel to Facebook, Inc. with respect to certain commercial litigation matters involving defamation, internet intermediary liability, intellectual property, data protection and freedom of expression issues.

Counsel to certain landlords in the insolvency proceedings commenced by Payless ShoeSource Canada Inc. and Payless ShoeSource Canada GP Inc. under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

Counsel to Richter Advisory Group Inc., in its capacity as the proposal trustee in the insolvency proceedings commenced by Jones Canada, Inc. and Nine West Canada LP under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.

Counsel to several significant creditors in the insolvency proceedings commenced by Toys “R” Us (Canada) Ltd. under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

Counsel to a significant creditor in the insolvency proceedings commenced by Target Canada Co. et al. under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

Canadian counsel to the Nortel Trade Claims Consortium in the cross-border insolvency proceedings commenced by Nortel Networks Corporation et al. 

Counsel to The Fuller Landau Group Inc., in its capacity as the court-appointed receiver of Amsen Quarry Limited.  

Counsel to A. Farber & Partners Inc., in its capacity as the court-appointed receiver of Toronto Right Choice Brokerage Inc. (formerly Re/Max Right Choice Inc.).

Counsel to Richter Advisory Group Inc., in its capacity as the trustee in bankruptcy of Blutip Power Technologies Inc.

Counsel to PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc., in its capacity as the trustee in bankruptcy of Gemma Communications LP and certain related entities.

Counsel to Royal Bank of Canada, the senior secured creditor in the receivership proceedings involving 2236715 Ontario Limited o/a Luxury and Sports Cars.

Counsel to Grant Thornton Limited, in its capacity as the court-appointed receiver of Unimac Group Ltd.

Counsel to Bank of Montreal, the senior secured creditor in the receivership proceedings involving Kappeler Masonry Corporation and certain related entities.

Counsel to HPI Advisory Inc., in its capacity as the court-appointed receiver of Naturstone Corporation

Counsel to msi Spergel inc., in its capacity as the court-appointed receiver of 2399295 Ontario Inc. o/a Fast Track Alliance.

Counsel to Royal Bank of Canada, the senior secured creditor in the receivership proceedings involving PTX Performance Products Inc. and certain related entities.

Independent counsel to A. Farber & Partners Inc., in its capacity as the court-appointed receiver and manager of Axios Mobile Assets Inc. and certain related entities. 

Counsel to Grant Thornton Limited, in its capacity as the proposal trustee in the insolvency proceedings commenced by Coupgon Inc. under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.

Counsel to MNP Ltd., in its capacity as the proposal trustee in the insolvency proceedings commenced by Besra Gold Inc. under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act

Counsel to KSV Kofman Inc., in its capacity as the court-appointed receiver of Mady Steeles 2011 Ltd.

Counsel to The Fuller Landau Group Inc., in its capacity as the proposal trustee in the insolvency proceedings commenced by Canadian Industrial Distributors Inc. under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.

Counsel to Grant Thornton Limited, in its capacities as the court-appointed interim receiver and receiver of Ebersole Excavating Inc. and D&S Railway Construction Inc.

Counsel to KSV Kofman Inc., in its capacity as the court-appointed receiver and receiver and manager of Goudas Food Products and Investments Limited.

Counsel to Bank of Montreal, the senior secured creditor in the insolvency proceedings commenced by KK Precision Inc. under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

Counsel to Grant Thornton Limited, in its capacities as the court-appointed monitor, receiver and manager and trustee in bankruptcy in the insolvency proceedings commenced by Redstone Investment Corporation and Redstone Capital Corporation under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

Counsel to Grant Thornton Limited, in its capacity as the court-appointed monitor of Silver Streams Homes Inc. and certain related entities under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

Counsel to BDO Canada Limited, in its capacity as the court-appointed monitor of BioExx Specialty Proteins Ltd. and BioExx Proteins of Saskatoon Inc. under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

Counsel to The Toronto-Dominion Bank, the senior secured creditor in the receivership proceedings involving 450477 Ontario Limited o/a Chartrand Equipment.

Counsel to KSV Kofman Inc., in its capacity as the court-appointed liquidator in the winding-up proceedings of Diversinet Corp. under the Ontario Business Corporations Act.

Counsel to the senior secured creditor in the insolvency proceedings commenced by Ghana Gold Corporation and certain related entities under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

Counsel to Ernst & Young Inc., in its capacity as the court-appointed receiver of Pine Tree Resorts Inc. and 1212360 Ontario Limited o/a the Delawana Inn.

Counsel to the debtors in the cross-border insolvency proceedings commenced by The John Forsyth Shirt Company Ltd., Forsyth Holdings, Inc. and Forsyth of Canada, Inc. under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

Counsel to the debtor in the insolvency proceedings commenced by Extreme Fitness, Inc. under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

Counsel to a secured creditor and the purchaser of certain assets in the receivership proceedings involving Amaizeingly Green Products, L.P. and Amaizeingly Green Products GP Ltd.

Counsel to the senior secured creditor in the insolvency proceedings commenced by The Futura Loyalty Group Inc. under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

Counsel to the debtors in the insolvency proceedings commenced by PCAS Patient Care Automation Services Inc. and 2163279 Ontario Inc. under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

Counsel to the debtors in the insolvency proceedings commenced by Vanguard Shipping (Great Lakes) Ltd. and Vanship Ltd. under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

Counsel to Bank of Montreal, the senior secured creditor in the receivership proceedings involving Newtek Automotive Inc. and Newtek Automotive Midwest, Inc.

Counsel to Business Development Bank of Canada, the senior secured creditor in the proceedings involving Priyance Hospitality Inc. o/a the Radisson Plaza Mississauga Toronto Airport.

Counsel to A. Farber & Partners Inc., in its capacity as the court-appointed monitor of Cantar Pool Products Limited/Produits de Piscines Cantar Limitee under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

Representative counsel to certain investors in the insolvency proceedings involving Edgeworth Properties Inc. and certain related entities under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

Counsel to a significant landlord in the insolvency proceedings commenced by Priszm Income Fund et al. under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

Canadian counsel to certain current and former employees of Nortel Networks Inc. in the cross-border insolvency proceedings commenced by Nortel Networks Corporation et al.

Counsel to Grant Thornton Limited, in its capacity as the court-appointed receiver of Tires Direct Distribution Inc.

Counsel to the senior secured creditor in the receivership proceedings involving Linea Marketing Group Inc.

Represented Liquidation World Inc. in connection with the consideration of various strategic alternatives resulting in a sale of all of its outstanding shares to Big Lots, Inc. by way of a plan of arrangement. Under the terms of the agreement, Big Lots acquired all outstanding shares of Liquidation World, thereby acquiring Liquidation World's 89 Canadian stores in the process. This transaction was completed on July 18, 2011.

Counsel to A. Farber & Partners Inc., in its capacity as the court-appointed receiver of Tabi International Corporation.

Counsel to Bank of Montreal, a secured creditor in the receivership proceedings involving Barber Glass Industries Inc.

Counsel to the court-appointed receiver and manager of Burlington Technologies Inc.

Counsel to the liquidator in the insolvency proceedings involving Movie Gallery Canada, Inc.

Counsel to the purchaser of certain assets in the bankruptcy proceedings involving Rtica Corporation.

Counsel to the court-appointed receiver of C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures Inc. et al.

Counsel to the purchaser of certain assets in the insolvency proceedings involving Great Lakes Fish Corporation and Kingsville Fishermen's Company Ltd.

Counsel to the DIP lender in the insolvency proceedings commenced by Maxtech Manufacturing Inc. under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

Counsel to the debtors in the insolvency proceedings commenced by Extreme Retail (Canada) Inc. and Extreme Properties Inc. (d/b/a Buck or Two) under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

Counsel to the stalking horse bidder in the insolvency proceedings commenced by Nexient Learning Inc. and Nexient Learning Canada Inc. under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

Counsel to the debtor in the cross-border insolvency proceedings commenced by The Tall Girl Shop Ltd.

Counsel to the senior secured creditor in the proceedings involving Applied Energy Systems Inc., DDR North America Inc., Flexible Eutectic Sales Ltd., Flexible Eutectic Sales (USA) Ltd., DDR Americas Inc. and DDR Americas Ltd.

Counsel to the senior secured creditor in the proceedings involving Rotoflex International Inc.

Counsel to Grant Thornton Limited, in its capacity as the court-appointed receiver of North American Charters Group Inc., 1401277 Ontario Limited o/a North American Charters 2000 and NAC Air, LP.

Selected Speaking Engagements

Co-Chair, “Analyzing The Dianor Decision,” Ontario Bar Association, November 14, 2019 (Toronto, Ontario).

Speaker, “Surviving a Workout: Navigating Special Loans Groups,” GTA Accountants Network, March 20, 2018 (Toronto, Ontario).

Speaker, “For Consideration: Equitable Subordination and Substantive Consolidation,” Commercial List Users’ Committee Annual Retreat, May 31, 2017 (Richmond Hill, Ontario).

Speaker, “What’s New and Notable in the World of Insolvency Law?,” OBA Institute, February 7, 2017 (Toronto, Ontario).

Moderator, “A Judgment is Nice, Now Where's My Money?,” CBA National Insolvency Law Conference, September 30, 2016 (Chicago, Illinois).

Speaker, “2015 Annual Cross Country Check-Up (Ontario),” CBA National Insolvency Law Conference, September 11, 2015 (Winnipeg, Manitoba).

Speaker, “Mid-Market Technical Update,” CAIRP Insolvency and Restructuring Forum, June 15, 2015 (Toronto, Ontario).

Selected Publications

"Insolvency Legislation Reforms to Take Effect November 2019,” co-authored with Shakaira John and Andy Nguyen, Aird & Berlis LLP Financial Services Flash, September 19, 2019, and National Insolvency Review, Volume 36, Number 6, December 2019.

"CCAA Priming Charges May Supersede Statutory Deemed Trusts,” co-authored with Shakaira John and Gaurav Gopinath, Aird & Berlis LLP Financial Services Flash, October 23, 2019.

"Pre-Bankruptcy Payment to Secured Creditor Escapes Statutory Deemed Trust," co-authored with Jeremy Nemers and Mark Strychar-Bodnar, Aird & Berlis LLP Financial Services Flash, January 8, 2016.

"Court of Appeal Confirmation: The ‘Interest Stops Rule’ Applies in CCAA Proceedings," co-authored with Jeremy Nemers and Alyssa Gebert, Aird & Berlis LLP Financial Services Flash, October 21, 2015.

"2015 Annual Cross Country Check-Up (Ontario)," co-authored with Jeremy Nemers, presented at the 11th Annual Pan-Canadian Insolvency & Restructuring Law Conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba, September 11, 2015.
 
"Mid-Market Technical Update," presented at the CAIRP 2015 Insolvency and Restructuring Forum in Toronto, Ontario, June 15, 2015.

"Real Estate Development and Investment Companies Having Trouble Finding Shelter Under the CCAA," co-authored with James Desjardins, Collateral Matters Newsletter, May 2013.

"Business Development Bank of Canada v. Pine Tree Resorts Inc. and 1212360 Ontario Limited: A Unified Test for Granting Leave to Appeal under Section 193(e) of the BIA," Financial Services Flash, May 23, 2013.

"Bill C-331: An Act to Amend the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (pension plans)," Collateral Matters Newsletter, December 2011.

“No Shortcut to an Injunction: Royal Bank of Canada v. Rastogi,” co-authored with Aaron Collins and Miranda Spence, National Banking Law Review, October 2011.

"The Sale of Assets by a Receiver: A Cautionary Tale," co-authored with Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, Collateral Matters Newsletter, March 2011.

"Update on Bill C-501: An Act to Amend the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and Other Acts (Pension Protection)," Aird & Berlis LLP Collateral Matters Newsletter, September 2010.

"Update on Bill S-216: An Act to Amend the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act in Order to Protect Beneficiaries of Long Term Disability Benefits Plans," Aird & Berlis LLP Collateral Matters Newsletter, September 2010.

"Insolvency and Tax Aspects of the Purchase and Sale of a Distressed Business in Canada," co-authored with Steven Graff and Jack Bernstein, Tax Notes International, March 2010.

"Changing a Corporate Name in the Context of an M&A of a Financially Distressed Business," co-authored with Morli Shemesh, Corporate Financing, Volume XV, No. 3.

"When Things Go Bad – Practical Remedies for Landlords and Tenants in Dealing with Bankruptcy, Insolvency, Trustees and Receivers: The Choices Available to an Insolvent Tenant," co-authoured with Steven Graff, March 2009.

"New Rules for the Lending Industry: The Mortgage Brokerages, Lenders and Administrators Act, 2006," co-authored with Cameron Paulikot and Ben Wong, Aird & Berlis LLP Collateral Matters Newsletter, December 2008.

"Limitation Periods on Guarantees," Aird & Berlis LLP Banking Law Newsletter, October 2008.

"Vicarious Liability of Vehicle Lessors and Rentors," Aird & Berlis LLP Banking Law Newsletter, December 2007.  

"Perspectives on Insolvency from the Bench, the Bar and the Regulator," Canadian Institute’s 7th Annual Advanced Insolvency Law & Practice, January 2007.

Insolvency Case Law Digest, co-authored with Gregoire Major, Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada, 2005-2006.  

Insights

Publications Article Sep 11, 2015 2015 Annual Cross Country Check-Up (Ontario)
Publications Article Jun 15, 2015 Mid-Market Technical Update

Education

  • LLB, LLL, University of Ottawa, 2007
  • B.Comm. (Finance), McGill University, 2003