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Aird & Berlis is consistently recognized as a leading Canadian law firm by several international and national guides to the legal profession, including:

  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business
  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business
  • Expert Guides: The World’s Leading Lawyers Chosen by Their Peers
  • Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory
  • The Legal 500 Canada
  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada
  • Who’s Who Legal: Canada
  • IAM Patent 1000 - The World's Leading Patent Professionals 

In addition to our accolades, we are repeatedly acclaimed by clients, peers and market commentators during the research process conducted by various legal publications. A selection of published commentary is highlighted below:

Cannabis Law

Aird & Berlis
  • Well-regarded Toronto-based team that frequently advises companies seeking to expand their footprint in the sector. Particularly active assisting companies involved in medical marijuana with the move towards recreational cannabis. Adept at handling an array of commercial issues, from tax to corporate governance. Market observers appreciate that "they know the industry very well." Chambers Canada 2019

Capital Markets/M&A/Private Equity

Aird & Berlis
  • Provides advice on the Canadian aspects of cross-border M&A and corporate finance deals, as well as acting on a range of domestic commercial matters. The firm has established a particularly solid reputation for mid-market private equity transactions, and offers specialised expertise in capital formation, frequently representing clients in connection with the TSX Venture Exchange and Capital Pool Company programme and the TSXV reverse takeover process. It is particularly well versed in technology and energy industry transactions. Chambers Canada 2019
  • “A very good firm - they are practical and have our best interests at heart.” Chambers Canada 2018
  • “A very professional law firm - we get excellent service and quality from them.” Chambers Canada 2016
  • Aird & Berlis LLP attracts praise for its “excellent service” and “exceptional value for money”, with clients highlighting the team as “very strong with outstanding business acumen.” The Legal 500 Canada
  • Aird & Berlis LLP is distinguished by its “strong commitment to client service” and for its “competence across a broad range of skill sets.” The Legal 500 Canada
  • The “first-rate” team at Aird & Berlis LLP sets itself apart through its “outstanding and client-driven lawyers.” The Legal 500 Canada
Martin Kovnats
  • Martin Kovnats maintains a broad corporate practice and is widely recognised for his expertise in M&A and private equity transactions. He is also well versed in handling debt and equity financings and general commercial matters. Chambers Canada 2019
  • Toronto stalwart Aird & Berlis LLP “punches above its weight” under the leadership of M&A and private equity chair Martin Kovnats. The Legal 500 Canada
  • Martin Kovnats is widely respected for his work on capital markets and M&A deals. He is the chair of the firm’s M&A and private equity group and is regarded as an effective lawyer who is a “hard worker and has good experience.” Chambers Canada 2018
  • Martin Kovnats is recommended by clients for his “knowledge of the local market, outstanding legal ability and responsiveness.” His practice covers both M&A and capital markets and he acts as the chair of the firm’s international team. Chambers Canada 2017
  • Department chair Martin Kovnats is “extremely knowledgeable and very responsive.” The Legal 500 Canada
  • Department head Martin Kovnats “is a good lawyer who understands his clients’ objectives,” say sources. Chambers Canada 2016
  • Martin Kovnats is “exceptional in all areas.” The Legal 500 Canada
  • Martin Kovnats at Aird & Berlis is commended for his “active” practice which covers takeover bids and public and private debt and equity financings. Who’s Who Legal: Canada
  • In particular, M&A chair Martin Kovnats is singled out for “working diligently to familiarize himself with the client’s business to give practical advice.” The Legal 500 Canada
  • Martin Kovnats specializes in cross-border and multinational matters and “excels” in takeover bids. Who’s Who Legal: Canada

Corporate Tax

Aird & Berlis
  • A popular choice among multinational companies for international planning, cross-border M&A, financings and restructurings. Offers a depth of knowledge in a number of tax law areas, including dispute resolution. Regularly acts for clients in the finance, energy and mining sectors. Recognised for its national reach, this Toronto-based firm has a strong bench in tax law. Chambers Canada 2019
  • Aird & Berlis LLP has a strong track record in M&A-related matters and also shines in estates and trusts, cross-border matters and tax litigation. The Legal 500 Canada
  • Sources enthuse: “Their work is thoughtful and well researched.” Other clients commend the firm’s “outstanding” performance and “technical ability.” Chambers Canada 2018
  • Aird & Berlis’ tax practice enjoys a prominent position in the Canadian market and is regularly engaged by multinationals to assist with international tax law and the tax implications of cross-border transactions and restructurings. The firm is home to three nominees. Who’s Who Legal: Corporate Tax 2017
  • Referral favourite Aird & Berlis LLP has strong links with global US and UK firms, ensuring a steady flow of local roles on major cross-border transactions. The Legal 500 Canada
  • “They’re really our go-to organisation, and the more complex our issues are, the more added value they provide.” Chambers Canada 2017
  • “Their technical knowledge is amazing, the service is excellent, and the team is very responsive. They always look for the best practical answer.” Chambers Canada 2016
  • Lawyers at Aird & Berlis LLP are valued by clients for their “excellent technical and communication skills” and “strong service levels.” The Legal 500 Canada
  • Sources say (the Aird & Berlis LLP Tax Group has) “Excellent oral and written skills, as well as excellent judgement and strategic insights.” Chambers Global
  • Aird & Berlis Lips “exceptionally capable team” is held in high regard by clients for its “quick response times, excellent technical skills, practical approach and reasonable fees.” The Legal 500 Canada
  • “We’re very happy with Aird & Berlis” declared one client, reflecting the views of many. With a burgeoning reputation outside the USA where it is based, the firm has been expanding and is now a significant player in Canada. Chambers Global 2015
  • Working with Aird & Berlis’ Tax Experts is “a seamless experience, as the lawyers are up to speed on all aspects of transactions and are always available to offer advice,” praise clients. The group is a well-recognized name in the USA and offers a sophisticated tax practice to mid-market entrepreneurial businesses. Chambers Global 2014
Jack Bernstein
  • “Rainmaker” Jack Bernstein is described as both “exceptional” and “outstanding” by one market source. He has a broad tax practice, with particular experience in multi-jurisdictional matters and corporate taxation. Chambers Canada 2019
  • Jack Bernstein routinely advises on international matters and corporate taxation. He has a “great reputation” among sources and is particularly lauded by clients for his “forthright” approach and quick response times. Chambers Canada 2018
  • Thought Leader Jack Bernstein heads the firm’s international tax group and is regarded by one source as “the leading Canadian tax adviser” with an “unparalleled profile” in the market. He regularly advises on international tax planning issues and transactional tax matters. Who’s Who Legal: Corporate Tax 2017
  • Head of the international tax group Jack Bernstein is known for his international tax and corporate work. One client identified his main strengths as his “knowledge of the local market, outstanding legal ability and responsiveness.” Chambers Global 2017/Chambers Canada 2017
  • Aird & Berlis has a particularly strong tax offering under the stewardship of Jack Bernstein, who is seen as a leading figure in tax planning, M&A, reorganisations and financing. “He is extremely strong - a number of players see him as the star of the tax bar,” notes one peer. Who’s Who Legal Corporate Tax/Who’s Who Legal: Canada
  • Featuring in the top 10 most highly regarded individuals, Jack Bernstein at Aird & Berlis is a “seasoned veteran of the Canadian tax bar” having practised for over 30 years in this area. According to respondents, Bernstein is a “world-class tax planner” with a wealth of experience in advising clients on international tax planning and the structuring and tax-related aspects of M&A transactions, restructuring and financing. Who’s Who Legal Corporate Tax
  • Jack Bernstein, of Aird & Berlis, is a vastly experienced tax practitioner who is described as “absolutely top of his game.” His advisory practice involves tax planning, mergers, acquisitions, corporate restructuring, reorganisations, and financing work both in Canada and internationally. Who’s Who Legal Canada
  • International tax head Jack Bernstein is “a very service-oriented partner with a great track record.” The Legal 500 Canada
  • Jack Bernstein from Aird & Berlis in Toronto chairs the firm’s international tax practice and is praised for his “exceptional abilities.” Peers describe him as being in a “league of his own.” Who’s Who Legal Corporate Tax
  • Jack Bernstein leads the firm’s international tax department and is well regarded for his personal and offshore tax planning practice. Sources say: “He’s very good, very practical and has got a lot of experience. It’s a delight working with him.” Chambers Global 2016/Chambers Canada 2016
  • Jack Bernstein is highlighted for his “broad and deep knowledge of Canadian taxation.” The Legal 500 Canada
  • Clients say (Jack Bernstein) is “high-profile, business development-oriented and very successful.” Chambers Global
  • Jack Bernstein from Aird & Berlis impresses with his “wealth of experience” and is “extremely well regarded” in the market. He chairs the firm’s international tax group, and specialises in tax planning and M&A deals. Who’s Who Legal: Canada
  • Jack Bernstein is listed in the section on Corporate Tax as “a phenomenal practitioner” and is featured in the publications” breakdown of the top ten most nominated individuals in the world in its research. Who’s Who Legal: The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers
  • Jack Bernstein is “indefatigable” in his work and his wide-ranging tax practice is “truly phenomenal.” Who’s Who Legal: The International Who’s Who of Corporate Tax Lawyers
  • International tax chair Jack Bernstein is “creative and closely tuned to changes in the Canadian and US tax landscape” and “extremely knowledgeable.” The Legal 500 Canada
  • “He is an effective advocate, knows the law very well and is the best in terms of service.” Chambers Global 2015
  • Chair of Aird & Berlis’ international tax practice Jack Bernstein is “very well known outside of Canada” and deals with both public and private corporations. Who’s Who Legal: Canada
  • Chair of the firm’s international tax practice, Jack Bernstein is “renowned” for his “in-depth expertise” in tax planning. Who’s Who Legal: The International Who’s Who of Corporate Tax Lawyers
  • Jack Bernstein is a renowned practitioner and chair of the firm’s international tax practice.  Clients say: “We are absolutely thrilled with his advice.” Chambers Global 2014
  • Described as a “bright and creative lawyer with plenty of energy and skill,” Jack Bernstein is a major figure in the team. He is heavily involved in International tax planning, with M&A and corporate restructuring projects also forming part of his workload. Chambers Global 2013
  • Jack Bernstein is chair of the firm’s international tax practice and is “extremely commercial and very visible” in the market. He also enjoys a “tremendous reputation south of the border” and is also known for his “prolific writing.” Chambers Global 2012
  • A key driver of its [Aird & Berlis LLPs] profile is chair of international tax in Toronto Jack Bernstein, who is “reputed to be among the best tax attorneys in the country.” Chambers Global 2011
  • Jack Bernstein … [is] highly recommended by competitors. International Tax Review — World Tax
  • One client reported, “I cannot even put into words how truly superb Jack is,” and peers suggested that he “could not be rated highly enough.” Who's Who Legal: Canada
  • The “remarkable” Jack Bernstein at Aird & Berlis LLP is described by peers as “one of the country’s best tax experts” and is also one of the most highly nominated names in our research overall. Who’s Who Legal: Canada
  • “At the very top of our research, the “phenomenal, indefatigable” Jack Bernstein is a praised “rainmaker” at Aird & Berlis LLP, the recipient of mountains of international acclaim from the industry’s foremost practitioners and a lawyer “without whom the list would be simply incomplete.” Who’s Who Legal: Canada
  • “Featuring in our top 10 most highly regarded individuals, Jack Bernstein at Aird & Berlis LLP is a “world-class” lawyer. Chair of the firm’s international tax practice, he is renowned for the depth of his expertise.” Who’s Who Legal: The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers
Louise Summerhill
  • Tax litigation practice co-chair Louise Summerhill is also recommended for her proficiency advising and representing clients in tax disputes. Who’s Who Legal: Corporate Tax 2017
Barbara Worndl
  • Barbara Worndl is “solid” and “very responsive,” according to clients, while one market commentator felt: “She is one of the engines that makes the firm run.” With expertise in corporate and partnership income tax in both the domestic and international spheres, she acts for clients across a wide range of matters. Chambers Canada 2019
  • Barbara Worndl represents clients in a broad spectrum of issues, with a specific strength in all aspects of corporate and partnership income tax in both a domestic and international context. Chambers Canada 2018
  • The “excellent” Barbara Worndl impresses respondents with her strong expertise advising clients on corporate and partnership tax matters. Who’s Who Legal: Corporate Tax 2017
  • Barbara Worndl is well regarded for her cross-border corporate and partnership tax expertise. One interviewee highlighted her “personable and friendly” demeanour and her “talent for explaining things clearly and in layman’s terms.” Another focused on her “very broad knowledge of taxation matters in Canada and worldwide.” Chambers Global 2017/Chambers Canada 2017
  • Barbara Worndl is seen as a key figure at the firm. Who’s Who Legal Corporate Tax/Who’s Who Legal: Canada
  • Barbara Worndl is “always clear in her thoughts and practical in her advice.” Who’s Who Legal: Canada
  • Barbara Worndl is especially highly regarded within the personal income tax space. Sources commend her “great customer service and really strong technical knowledge.” Chambers Global 2016/Chambers Canada 2016
  • Barbara Worndl impresses for her “good business sense.” The Legal 500 Canada
  • Barbara Worndl of Aird & Berlis LLP does a significant amount of tax planning work and is regarded as a “contemplative and thorough individual” by her peers. Chambers Global
  • Barbara Worndl at the firm is also recommended for her “encyclopaedic knowledge.” Who’s Who Legal: Canada
  • Technical tax head Barbara Worndl is “one of the best.” The Legal 500 Canada
  • Practice group leader Barbara Worndl chiefly works on the tax elements of corporate transactions, but also has notable experience in dispute resolution and transfer pricing. Chambers Global 2015
  • Barbara Worndl is a “well regarded” tax practitioner with an emphasis on corporate and partnership taxation. Who’s Who Legal: Canada
  • Barbara Worndl specializes in income tax, particularly corporate and partnership taxation. “She’s just great — a very capable lawyer” comment sources. Chambers Global
  • Barbara Worndl receives real praise from her clients for her “technical proficiency, good judgment and responsiveness” and they value her “creative, clear and concise answers.” Chambers Global
  • Competitors rate Barbara Worndl as “smart, pleasant and proactive.” Chambers Global
  • Barbara Worndl at Aird & Berlis [is] highly recommended by competitors. International Tax Review — World Tax
  • Barbara Worndl is practice group leader of the tax group and an absolute whizz at anything related to income tax. Who’s Who Legal: Canada
  • Barbara Worndl has impressed for her work in structuring cross-border acquisitions, reorganisations and franchising structures. Who’s Who Legal: Canada
  • Barbara Worndl is noted for being “superb” and “an absolute pleasure to work with.” Who’s Who Legal: The International Who’s Who of Corporate Tax Lawyers

Energy

Aird & Berlis
  • Skilled Ontario team, providing regulatory advice to public and private sector clients, including utilities, developers, distributors, financial institutions and governments. Advises on traditional and alternative energy production, including wind, ethanol and biogas. Offers additional expertise in energy commercial and capital market matters, as well as domestic and international power projects and M&A. Reinforced by complementary practice areas within the firm, including corporate and real estate teams. Chambers Canada 2019
  • Solid regulatory practice advising a wide variety of private and public sector clients in the traditional and alternative energy industries. Well known to the provincial and federal regulatory tribunals, appearing on a range of matters including rates, facilities and project development and expansion. Aird & Berlis is another top-notch firm in the area of utility regulatory and rate applications, enthuse sources. Chambers Canada 2019
  • Toronto firm Aird & Berlis LLP has a broad power practice that regularly handles corporate work, project development, regulatory matters and litigation. Fred Cass and Dennis O’Leary co-chair a department that also includes highly regarded transactional specialist Ron Clark. The Legal 500 Canada
  • Power is a mainstay at Toronto-based Aird & Berlis LLP and the firm has a strong practice that spans M&A, infrastructure, real estate and regulatory matters. The Legal 500 Canada
  • “The lawyers are responsive, have a depth of knowledge and a willingness to take an out-of-the-box approach.” Chambers Canada
  • From its Toronto headquarters, Aird & Berlis LLP acts on a healthy balance of regulatory and transactional power work. The Legal 500 Canada
  • Aird & Berlis LLP's practice marries strong regulatory experience with solid project and infrastructure capability. The Legal 500 Canada
  • Highly regarded for its expertise across a range of power matters, including infrastructure, transmission, cogeneration and geothermal electricity. Assists power distribution clients and provides both regulatory and transactional advice. Regularly appears before the Ontario Energy Board and is involved in international regulatory work. Chambers Global
  • Significant player in power regulatory matters in Ontario. Notable work for the Ontario Power Authority as well as a number of other electric and gas utilities across the province. Chambers Global
  • “They are very responsive to client needs.” Chambers Global
  • (Aird & Berlis LLPs) Toronto-based team is highly rated for its energy regulatory and local distribution practice in Ontario. It acts for a large market share of the province’s utilities. Chambers Global
  • “They are considered one of the top shops in the province.” Chambers Global
Fred Cass
  • Fred Cass is acclaimed as “very senior and experienced” by interviewees. He has a long-standing history of appearing in hearings before provincial and national regulatory authorities in an array of proceedings including rate and facilities cases. Chambers Canada 2019
  • Fred Cass has a well-established regulatory practice in the power space. He enjoys a good reputation in Ontario for his role in regulatory proceedings and provision of strategic advice. Chambers Canada 2019
  • Fred Cass is highly regarded for energy regulation. The Legal 500 Canada
  • Fred Cass co-chairs the firm’s energy group. An accomplished litigator who has appeared at all levels of court, he is recognised by the market for his long-standing dedication to energy regulatory law. Sources applaud his “gravitas,” saying: “He stays extremely composed and keeps the energy in the room neutral.” He has, sources add, an “amazing ability to control the whole tone in a hearing room.” Chambers Canada
  • Fred Cass regularly acts before the Ontario Energy Board and National Energy Board. Sources note that he “is very well known and highly respected” and comment on his experience of both electricity and gas regulation matters. Chambers Canada
  • Fred Cass is the main contact on the regulatory side and represented Toronto Hydro Electric System in its application for the approval of major capital expenditures. The Legal 500 Canada
  • Head of department Fred Cass is recognized for his regulatory practice and recently represented Toronto Hydro before the Ontario Energy Board in the second phase of a rate case. Chambers Global
  • Department head Fred Cass is an “excellent advocate and a persuasive litigator” who has a long history in energy law in Canada. Sources say: “He’s extremely bright, has really good judgement, is very wise and has dealt with a lot of really tough issues.” Chambers Global
Ron Clark
  • Ron Clark is identified for his commercial experience on transactions within the power industry. He assists a variety of stakeholders, both private and public, on mandates such as M&A and financing arrangements. Chambers Canada 2019
  • Ron Clark has an eminent reputation for power transactions. The Legal 500 Canada
  • Ron Clark acts for energy generators, distributors and retailers on an array of corporate and commercial matters, including M&A, financings and power procurement arrangements. He is well regarded for his domestic practice, as well as his wide-ranging international expertise. Chambers Canada
  • [Ron] Clark knows his way around power sector procurement contracts. Who’s Who Legal: Canada
  • Ron Clark is described by sources as a “good, strong guy who is certainly knowledgeable in the field.” He advises power generators, distributors and retailers on project development, procurement and restructuring. Chambers Canada
  • Ron Clark advises energy clients on procurement, project development and contractual matters. Interviewees say: “He provides excellent service, and is prompt, timely and correct.” Chambers Canada
  • On the transactional side, Ron Clark is highly recommended. The Legal 500 Canada
  • Corporate and commercial partner Ron Clark is a “truly responsive and knowledgeable lawyer” and advised the Ontario Power Authority on its drafting of version 2.1 of the Ontario feed-in tariff program, including the revised rules and standard definitions. The Legal 500 Canada
  • Ron Clark enjoys a strong reputation for his focus on power transactions. Chambers Global
  • Ron Clark has established a prominent reputation in Ontario. Chambers Global
  • Ron Clark is well known for his work on behalf of the Ontario Power Authority. “He is immersed in this business,” sources say. Chambers Global

Environment

Aird & Berlis
  • Climate change, contaminated sites and compliance matters are among Aird & Berlis LLP’s key areas of work. The Legal 500 Canada

Estates & Trusts

Aird & Berlis
  • Aird & Berlis is a “strong competitor” in the market with a “good Toronto presence,” market insiders say, noting the firm’s strong history of trusts and estates work. This broad-based team boasts expertise in both litigious and non-contentious private wealth matters. Sources praise the firm for having “top-notch lawyers who are good with clients - we trust the advice they give.” The team’s high net worth clients include those with significant business interests, whom it advises on succession planning and wealth structuring. Chambers HNW 2018
  • Aird & Berlis is a full-service firm with a “well-rounded group” of respected trusts and estates practitioners. “The lawyers we deal with there have always been very thorough, respectful, quick to respond, and executed a number of planning strategies timely and effectively,” explains a source. The team advises wealthy clients and their advisers on the full range of domestic and multi-jurisdictional tax, estate and succession planning matters. The firm also handles contentious trust and estate matters. Sources praise in particular the advice provided by the Aird & Berlis team. “We came to them with specific estate or structuring issues and they’ve had very creative solutions,” explains one interviewee, while another adds: “We’ve valued getting what I’d describe as candid, unvarnished advice on what can happen if things go wrong, which you often don’t want to hear but need to know.” Chambers HNW 2017
Jack Bernstein
  • Jack Bernstein chairs Aird & Berlis international tax practice. Bernstein advises clients on all aspects of tax, including personal tax matters and international tax planning for private and public enterprises. “He is very well known among the high net worth community in Toronto for his long experience and expertise,” says one commentator. “He’s very good to work with,” says another interviewee; “he’s very attentive, replies to enquiries at any time of day or night, and is probably one of the most innovative tax experts on not just Canadian tax law, but also international tax.” Chambers HNW 2017
Rachel Blumenfeld
  • Rachel Blumenfeld is praised for her broad practice, with one market insider commenting: “She does a lot of cross-border work, she is strong on the tax side and is certainly highly, highly regarded on estate and trust planning.” She handles tax and charitable planning for individuals, often those with cross-border wealth, and has a “very solid reputation as an accomplished practitioner in the area.” A fellow practitioner says: “I have a lot of respect for Rachel and would refer conflicts to her. She is professional, friendly, and reliable.” Chambers HNW 2018
  • Rachel Blumenfeld “is really an excellent lawyer” who “has very good estate planning knowledge,” according to sources. She helps wealthy clients with personal tax planning, estate planning and administration, business succession strategies and insurance planning. Blumenfeld also handles charitable and non-profit matters. “I think she’s great,” enthuses one source, while another commentator describes Blumenfeld as “smart, nice, energetic, generous and strong.” Chambers HNW 2017
Melanie Yach
  • Melanie Yach is described by peers as “highly competent and an excellent practitioner.” One comments: “She is a strong lawyer, she knows her stuff; she is a formidable litigator.” Her largely contentious practice focuses on trusts and estates disputes, including guardianship matters. Multiple sources appreciate Yachts handling of “hard cases with dignity and firmness,” with one noting her “ability to deal with complex cases and to really get into the details, the nitty-gritty.” Chambers HNW 2018
  • Melanie Yach specialises in contentious trusts and estate matters, while she also assists high net worth clients with estate planning and administration. “Melanie’s terrific,” enthuses one peer, while another says that she “is very professional, very knowledgeable, pays good attention to detail and is calm under pressure.” Yach chairs the Canadian Bar Association’s wills, trusts and estates fundamentals programme. Chambers HNW 2017

Gaming & Licensing

Peter Czegledy
  • Peter Czegledy is recommended for his "good solid knowledge of gaming law" by an observer who noted: "If you had Peter acting for you this was a positive from the beginning." He has a broad practice in this area including regulatory, technical and transaction matters in both online and land-based gaming matters. Chambers Canada 2019

Infrastructure & Projects

Aird & Berlis

  • Aird & Berlis LLP “punches above its weight in infrastructure matters”, according to sources. The diversity of its practice impresses, and it routinely acts for public and private sector participants on project development and secondary market transactions. The Legal 500 Canada
  • Toronto firm with a track record advising on PPP work in Ontario. Acts for a range of industry participants in both the public and private sectors on transportation, social infrastructure and energy projects, among others. Chambers Canada
  • Aird & Berlis LLP has a “strong project finance team” that provides “very good value for money”. The Legal 500 Canada
  • “They have experience with different PPP models and have provided excellent legal counsel to us.” Chambers Canada
  • The “communicative and responsive” team at Toronto-based Aird & Berlis LLP is valued by clients for its “accurate and thorough advice”. The Legal 500 Canada
  • Lawyers at Aird & Berlis LLP are “extremely knowledgeable,” “proactive at identifying potential issues” and provide “consistently insightful advice.” The Legal 500 Canada
  • “They understand all the different perspectives and markets in the PPP space.” Chambers Global
  • “The team was knowledgeable about the field. They were well prepared and applied a practical and reasonable approach to the different challenges, which allowed us to move forward at a rapid pace. They showed a clear understanding and appreciation of our objectives.” Chambers Global
  • (The Aird & Berlis LLP National Infrastructure) Toronto team has strong credentials, and is highly recommended for its practical approach to projects work. It advises a range of industry participants, and is attracting increasing attention for its advisory work outside of Canada. Chambers Global
  • “They provide top-quality legal work.” Chambers Global
  • “The team is comprised of knowledgeable people who always deliver.” Chambers Global
Heidi Visser
  • Heidi Visser advises on a range of project development matters for key participants, such as lenders and sponsors. Her PPP expertise encompasses a range of commercial considerations as well as contractual drafting and diligence. Chambers Canada 2019
  • Heidi Visser of Aird & Berlis LLP is highlighted for her PPP and project finance expertise. She has advised on a number of road, hospital and higher education projects, among others. Chambers Canada
  • The “smart and experienced” Heidi Visser is also recommended. The Legal 500 Canada
  • Heidi Visser is commended for her extensive knowledge of the sector. One source commented: “Technically she’s really sound and she’s got a good approach.” She advises on infrastructure projects relating to transport, education and healthcare. Chambers Canada
  • Heidi Visser is highlighted for “engaging with clients to a high level.” The Legal 500 Canada
  • Heidi Visser has an active practice which includes experience acting across a wide range of asset classes. Interviewees say that “she has no preconceptions and looks at things with a fresh eye every time.” Chambers Global
  • Heidi Visser is viewed as “thorough, insightful, professional and someone who always delivers timely services.” She is praised for her wide-ranging legal expertise and has extensive experience in advising on all aspects of PPP transactions. Chambers Global
  • Heidi Visser and Douglas Younger work closely together, and clients report they are “in tune with the requirements of financially closing PPPs and are very strong technically.” Chambers Global
  • “The way (Heidi Visser) manages the legal language is very good – she’s on top of things.” Chambers Global
Douglas Younger
  • Douglas Younger is the chair of the infrastructure group. He is described as a “very, very knowledgeable lawyer” who is noted for his extensive experience in public-private partnership developments. Chambers Canada 2019
  • Douglas Younger of Aird & Berlis LLP enjoys a well-established reputation for his strength in financing and infrastructure transactions. He represents clients in an array of projects straddling various sectors, including healthcare, transportation and education. Chambers Canada
  • Aird & Berlis LLP's “smart and client-focused” group is led by Douglas Younger, who has a strong track record in advising private and public sector participants in PPP projects. The Legal 500 Canada
  • Group head Douglas Younger is well placed to advise on project finance and infrastructure transactions. He assists key stakeholders with all manner of PPP projects. Chambers Global/Canada
  • Douglas Younger “has a sound knowledge of PPP across different jurisdictions. He understands the evolution of PPP in North America and in Europe.” His expertise includes representing all the key players in projects across a broad spectrum of industries. Chambers Global/Chambers Canada
  • Infrastructure head Douglas Younger is singled out for his “precision in drafting.” The Legal 500 Canada
  • Infrastructure chair Douglas Younger is highlighted as “best in class” and impresses for his “tremendous experience in the project finance field.” The Legal 500 Canada
  • Department head Douglas Younger has an impressive track record in the PPP market. Sources say: “He has broad experience across Canada, and is very good in terms of his client-facing behaviour and time management.” Chambers Global
  • Douglas Younger is described by one client as “extremely experienced in the PPP market and extremely familiar with the PPP procurement process in Ontario and British Columbia.” Another added: “He has both the technical excellence I require and an enormously practical perspective.” Chambers Global
  • Douglas Younger and Heidi Visser work closely together, and clients report they are “in tune with the requirements of financially closing PPPs and are very strong technically.” Chambers Global

Insolvency & Restructuring

Aird & Berlis

  • A distinguished player in mid-market restructuring and insolvency, with substantial experience of lending matters. Regularly acts for secured lenders and other financial institutions, as well as representing bondholders in cross-border transactions. Based in Toronto, the firm also has extensive experience advising on matters involving distressed real estate assets and acting for clients in the retail sector. A client appreciates their expertise in financing, stating: “They make sure everybody stays on track when you’re trying to close the deal and drive the closing agenda.” Chambers Canada 2019
  • “They are certainly experts in restructuring and insolvency. They are always very approachable and quick to respond.” “They are very responsive and understand our industry. They provide great counsel.” Chambers Canada
  • “Accessible, thorough, great to deal with”, the team at Aird & Berlis LLP represents “excellent value for money”, according to clients. The Legal 500 Canada
  • Aird & Berlis LLP “outstanding” team is commended for its “very high level of client service”.
  • Aird & Berlis LLP is lauded as a “significant participant in the insolvency community in Ontario” and lawyers receive effusive praise for their “understanding of the urgency of a file” and for being “good insolvency partners and competent litigators.” The Legal 500 Canada
  • “They are entrepreneurial, creative and flexible on fees.” Chambers Global
  • “They are very responsive, very practical and solution-oriented. They are problem solvers and know what’s important to us as a company.” Chambers Global
  • “They have an excellent reputation in the Toronto marketplace.” Chambers Global
  • “The broadest coverage of the banks – one of the best firms in town for the upper mid-market.” Chambers Global

Robb English

  • “Very fine lawyer” Robb English is praised for his work representing banks and secured creditors in insolvencies. Commentators describe him as “very responsive, nimble and practical” and a “very effective professional.” Chambers Canada 2019
  • At Aird & Berlis LLP, key contact Robb English has a strong track record representing financial institutions in domestic and cross-border insolvency proceedings. The Legal 500 Canada
  • Robb English is recognised for his representation of financial services sector clients in insolvency situations. His experience encompasses CCAA and BIA filings and distressed commercial loans. Chambers Canada
  • Robb English is held in high esteem by market commentators for his representation of secured lenders. “One of the things I really like about him is his ability to find a common ground to secure agreements, even under difficult circumstances,” one client said. Chambers Canada
  • Financial services head Robb English is a “responsive and highly commercial lawyer.” The Legal 500 Canada
  • Robb English is “a very good lawyer, who is very experienced and very practical, and works very well with opposing legal counsel in terms of getting a consensus.” Chambers Global
  • Robb English “has a very good understanding of risks, brings a very practical approach to files, and helps solve problems.” Chambers Global
  • Robb English is “extremely professional and practical” and has “excellent business judgment, which makes him very good value for money.” Chambers Global
  • Robb English is largely known for his work representing banks and financial institutions. “He reacts quickly and without delay to get a solution in a reasonable and practical way.” Chambers Global
  • Robb English is “able to quickly come up with innovative ideas,” commented impressed clients. Chambers Global

Harry Fogul

  • The well-liked Harry Fogul can draw on three decades of experience in insolvency to offer his clients a “great deal of common sense.” Chambers Global
  • Harry Fogul is “an awesome negotiator,” advising small and medium-sized businesses and high net worth individuals on cross-border CCAA matters. Chambers Global

Steven Graff

  • Steven Graff is highlighted for his experience acting for financial institutions in the distressed space, drawing on notable litigation expertise. Interviewees appreciate the attention he gives: “He’s a very busy guy but I always feel like the only client whenever I call him on any matter.” Chambers Canada 2019
  • Steven Graff operates a varied practice with experience acting for various Schedule I banks, as well as private debt and equity investors and professional advisory firms. He has a strong reputation in court. Chambers Canada
  • Steven Graff advises a wide range of clients including court-appointed monitors, debtors as well as institutional lenders and bondholder groups. Sources say: “He is very responsive and very conscious of bringing value for his clients.” Chambers Canada
  • Steven Graff is recommended for his “strong courtroom skills.” The Legal 500 Canada
  • Steven Graff “impresses with his ability to win respect from judges in the court room.” The Legal 500 Canada
  • Steven Graff is praised by clients for his litigation abilities. One source said: “He keeps things very practical, gives good advice, does not complicate the issues and his work is done in a timely and complete manner.” Chambers Global
  • Steven Graff “knows what the client wants done but doesn’t just tell you what you think you want to hear.” Chambers Global
  • Steven Graff is “an impressive lawyer and he’s very effective, personable and bright.” Chambers Global
  • Steven Graff has developed strong ties to numerous financial institutions, and sources note that his practice and good name continue to expand. Chambers Global
  • Steven Graff has developed a strong reputation as an insolvency practitioner with an impressive knowledge of asset-based lending. Chambers Global

Intellectual Property

Aird & Berlis and Aird & McBurney

  • The seamless cooperation between Aird & Berlis and Aird & McBurney puts patrons on a sure footing from the get-go; applications are drafted deftly, licensing contracts inked favourably and enforcement campaigns waged with appropriate muscle. IAM Patent 1000 2018 - The World’s Leading Patent Professionals 
  • The two-headed firm (Aird & Berlis/Aird & McBurney) offers both contentious and non-contentious services, but is most highly esteemed for its “fantastic” prosecution; clients are blown away by the team’s scientific sophistication and “helpful, thoughtful and responsive approach.” IAM Patent 1000 2017 - The World’s Leading Patent Professionals 

Lola Bartoszewicz

  • The “seriously effective and wonderful to work with” Lola Bartoszewicz excels on the prosecution side. Bartoszewicz provides “superb assistance” with regard to national stage applications. IAM Patent 1000 2018 - The World’s Leading Patent Professionals 
  • Lola Bartoszewicz, a doctor of clinical biochemistry and prime pick for biotechnology and medical device players, exemplifies the qualities of scientific sophistication and a helpful, responsive approach. The forward-looking adviser thinks deeply about how to achieve clients’ business objectives. IAM Patent 1000 2017 - The World’s Leading Patent Professionals 

Grant Cansfield

  • Grant Cansfield “provides excellent counsel and advice on a range of trademark issues.” Who’s Who Legal: Canada 2016

Ken Clark

  • Ken Clark is a leading trademark agent and lawyer with “a command of the practice of trademark law.” Who’s Who Legal: Canada
  • Aird & Berlis co-leader of the IP group Ken Clark is “an excellent trademark attorney, who shows a great amount of technical knowledge and commercial consideration.” Who’s Who Legal: Trademarks 2016

Trent Horne

  • Since joining the team in September 2017 Trent Horne has electrified the contentious practice. He is an “extremely competent litigator” who has led cases at the highest levels. IAM Patent 1000 2018 - The World’s Leading Patent Professionals 
  • Trent Horne is “a great up-and-comer with an encyclopedic knowledge of jurisprudence in Canada. The nimble, creative and lateral thinker is also a clear communicator, able to explain the most complex of issues effortlessly. Horne takes the time to understand a business and goes beyond formal legal opinion; he is a thoughtful and penetrating adviser.” IAM Patent 1000 2017 - The World’s Leading Patent Professionals 

Kimberly McManus

  • The “seriously effective and wonderful to work with” Kimberly McManus excels on the prosecution side. Clients effuse of McManus: “She’s really helpful and diligent, dealing with everything in a timely, economical manner. For example, when reporting office actions, she provides an additional, detailed letter, informing clients of the best possible way to overcome a rejection.”
  • Another technical whizz, organic chemistry PhD Kimberly McManus “knows her stuff inside out, is extremely hardworking and handles clients with finesse.” “Kimberly is absolutely great and certainly my first choice for referrals,” enthuses one peer. The two colleagues are “a pleasure to work with. They are professional and responsive to questions, supervise their team well and communicate clearly on ongoing projects.” IAM Patent 1000 2017 - The World’s Leading Patent Professionals 

Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Patrick Copeland

  • Best Lawyers in Canada recognizes Patrick Copeland (Corporate and Commercial Litigation).

Don Jack

  • Don Jack is Certified by the Law Society of Ontario as Specialists in Civil Litigation.
  • Best Lawyers in Canada recognizes Don Jack (Alternative Dispute Resolution, Corporate and Commercial Litigation, Director and Officer Liability Practice).

Timothy Lowman

  • Timothy Lowman is Certified by the Law Society of Ontario as Specialists in Civil Litigation.

Paul McCallen

  • Paul McCallen is Certified by the Law Society of Ontario as Specialists in Civil Litigation.

Bernie McGarva

  • Best Lawyers in Canada recognizes Bernie McGarva (Alternative Dispute Resolution).
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2017 recognizesBernie McGarva (Professional Liability).

Cynthia Sefton

  • Best Lawyers in Canada recognizes Cynthia Sefton (Product Liability).

Steve Tenai

  • Steve Tenai of Aird & Berlis LLP is considered to be a solid choice of representation in class proceedings. He is especially well known for his work in securities and consumer actions. Chambers Canada 2019
  • Steve Tenai is particularly prominent in consumer, securities and commercial class action litigation. Chambers Canada 2018
  • Best Lawyers in Canada recognizes Steve Tenai (Class Action Litigation, Corporate and Commercial Litigation, Securities Law).
  • The Lexpert Special Edition - Litigation profiles Steve Tenai.
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2017 recognizes Steve Tenai (Class Actions, Litigation – Directors” & Officers” Liability, Litigation – Corporate Commercial and Litigation – Securities).
  • Benchmark Litigation recognizes Steve Tenai (Class Action, General Commercial and Public Law).
  • Described by market sources as “a very bright lawyer,” Steve Tenai represents clients in securities class actions. He has additional expertise in corporate/commercial and oppression litigation, as well as cross-border investigations. Chambers Global 2017

Labour & Employment

Aird & Berlis

  • Aird & Berlis LLP assists management clients with employment issues relating to transactions, as well as handling compliance and regulatory matters … Other clients include Fleetwood Metal Industries. The Legal 500 Canada
  • The firm has strong experience in contentious matters, including wrongful dismissal, human rights issues and grievance arbitration. The Legal 500 Canada

Lorenzo Lisi

  • Lorenzo Lisi of Aird & Berlis LLP is praised by peers for his work in employment law, with one source describing him as “tenacious, smart, practical” and “great with clients.” Other sources describe him as “a tremendous guy, a great speaker and a very, very good lawyer.” He has a range of experience in workplace law, including grievance and labour board litigation, and leads the firm’s workplace law group. Chambers Global 2019
  •  Lorenzo Lisi leads the national labour and employment group at Aird & Berlis LLP, and is praised by commentators as “extremely capable; he speaks very eloquently and knowledgeably about all aspects of employment and labour law.” Further sources describe him as “talented and well respected.” He has a broad practice with a noted strength in occupational health and safety issues. Chambers Canada

Municipal

Aird & Berlis

  • Eminent municipal and land use planning group with impressive expertise in planning, zoning and land development. The team has an enviable client roster comprising municipalities, landowners and developers and is frequently asked to negotiate development agreements, subdivisions and easements. It offers extensive experience of Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearings and other administrative tribunals. Also well respected for its broad transactional practice, with its attention to detail attracting comment. Sources are quick to praise the team’s prowess in matters surrounding development and rezoning, saying: “It’s probably the best zoning and land use group,” and that “they’re rightly in the top tier.” Clients continue: “We’ve had great experiences with Aird & Berlis on the planning side.” Chambers Canada 2019
  • Sources rave about the firm’s municipal expertise, praising the department as “a very strong zoning and land use group” and saying it is “top tier, no question.” Clients add: “In terms of experience and quality of work, they are exceptional.” Chambers Canada 2018
  • Aird & Berlis LLP consistently ranks as one of the top firms in Novae Res Urbis’ (NRU) annual ranking of the most prominent planning and land development firms in both the City of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. NRU noted that “the Aird & Berlis team of lawyers has once again outdone the rest of the competition. The firm continues to represent more clients at the [Ontario Municipal Board] than any other, with a high rate of success.”
  • Aird & Berlis LLP was also recognized as a “Top Listed” firm in Canada in the area of Municipal Law by The Best Lawyers in Canada. “Top Listed” designations are awarded to firms with the most lawyers listed in a particular region and practice area.

Robert G. Doumani

  • Robert G. Doumani is recognized in the area of Municipal Law by The Best Lawyers in Canada.

Kim Kovar

  • Kim Kovar is well liked by developers and landowners for her expertise in zoning and land use. She is commended for her prominence in the Toronto market and is described as “very good, very responsive and very knowledgeable.” Peers further note her “very busy practice,” which includes zoning, development approvals and OMB work. Chambers Canada 2019

Leo F. Longo

  • Leo F. Longo is recognized in the area of Municipal Law by The Best Lawyers in Canada.
  • Leo Longo was awarded Municipal ”Lawyer of the Year” for Toronto in 2014 by The Best Lawyers in Canada. Only a single lawyer in each practice area in each community is honoured as a “Lawyer of the Year.”

John Mascarin

  • John Mascarin is recognized in the area of Municipal Law by The Best Lawyers in Canada.
  • John Mascarin was named Best Lawyers” Municipal “Lawyer of the Year” for Toronto in 2016 by The Best Lawyers in Canada. Only a single lawyer in each practice area in each community is honoured as a “Lawyer of the Year.”

Jane Pepino

  • Jane Pepino is a highly regarded practitioner with a long-standing reputation for her advice to developers on land use planning matters. She has significant experience appearing before administrative councils and the OMB and is considered “a great lawyer.” Chambers Canada 2019
  • Billed as a “leading individual,” Jane Pepino is a pre-eminent zoning and land use lawyer. Throughout her career she has advised clients on major planning and development matters and has frequently appeared before authorities such as the OMB. Sources confirm: “She’s one of the most well-known lawyers in the market.” Chambers Canada 2018

Steve Zakem

  • Managing partner Steve Zakem maintains a top-drawer reputation for his work in the land use planning space. He garners unanimous praise from peers, who recognise him as “formidable and a good adversary.” Others note that he is a pleasure to work with and “definitely a top-tier fellow.” Chambers Canada 2019
  • Firm managing partner Steve Zakem is considered a “leading light” in land use and planning matters. He is frequently mandated by private and public clients on residential and commercial projects and has considerable experience before decision-making bodies. Chambers Canada 2018

Real Estate

Aird & Berlis

  • Toronto-based Aird & Berlis LLP is particularly strong in property development and planning issues, and is also routinely involved in property sales and acquisitions, corporate finance matters and contentious construction issues. The Legal 500 Canada
  • Toronto firm Aird & Berlis LLP has a robust and broad real estate practice, with market-leading capability in municipal and planning issues as well as niche strength in condominium law. The Legal 500 Canada
  • Well respected for its experience of municipal property and condominium development in Toronto. Proficient across a range of transactions, with notable expertise in traditional acquisitions, financing and refinancing matters. “They are an excellent firm with great expertise.”  “An outstanding team.” Chambers Canada
  • Aird & Berlis Lips “excellent group” is praised for “supporting the client at every step.” The Legal 500 Canada
  • “The work they did was flawless and very detail-oriented.” Chambers Canada
  • Toronto-based Aird & Berlis LLP is appreciated by clients for its “very good team approach” and for its “strong combination of legal knowledge and solid business understanding”. The team includes the “technical and extraordinarily practical” Michael Smith and the “excellent” Norman Kahn.
  • Aird & Berlis LLP has a “much bigger real estate group and a wider range of experience than some of Canada’s largest corporate firms”. Clients particularly praise its “very fast response times”, “dedication to the sector”, “knowledgeable lawyers” and its “good team and backup”. Led by Michael Brooks in Toronto the group also includes the “proactive and client-focused” Andrew Webster. The Legal 500 Canada
  • “They provide a comprehensive service and are always mindful of the business side of things.” Chambers Global
  • (Aird & Berlis LLP) is considered a strong player in the mid-market, and is active in the planning, leasing, financing, development and construction of a range of properties. The group is also recognised for its representation of foreign investors entering the Canadian real estate market. Chambers Global
  • “They’re exceptionally skilled. For anything that we need there’s a specialist at the firm who can service our requirements. They are an extension of our business.” Chambers Global

Michael Brooks

  • Michael Brooks particularly impresses for his ability to “take a detail-oriented approach without wasting time on unimportant matters.” The Legal 500 Canada

Hayden Solomons

  • Hayden Solomons is a well-regarded practitioner with a respected transactional practice. He is often mandated on purchases and sales and has notable experience in financing and joint ventures. Peers remark: “I really enjoy working with him. He helps make deals go simply and easily.” Chambers Canada 2019
  • Hayden Solomons is well regarded for his broad commercial real estate practice, which spans acquisitions, divestitures and construction financing. His clients include major REITs and private developers. Chambers Canada 2018
  • The “wonderful” Hayden Solomons is extremely well versed in real estate divestitures, acquisitions and leasing. Who’s Who Legal: Canada
  • Hayden Solomons of Aird & Berlis LLP is well regarded for his diverse real estate practice. He often advises on divestitures, leasing and financing mandates, as well as REITs transactions. Hayden Solomons is a “great technical lawyer” who is held in high regard for his work for REITs and developers. His experience includes a wide range of acquisitions, divestitures and financing mandates. Chambers Canada
  • Hayden Solomons of Aird & Berlis LLP advises on all aspects of real estate transactions throughout Ontario and further afield. Chambers Global
  • Hayden Solomons is an active player in Ontario’s real estate market, representing public and private REITs, developers and builders. He is well versed in real estate transactions and financings. Chambers Canada
  • Hayden Solomons is singled out as “an incredible lawyer,” who is “very knowledgeable.” He handles a wide range of commercial real estate issues including transactions, financings, development and leasing. Chambers Global
  • Hayden Solomons is described by clients as “incredibly intelligent and very entrepreneurial.” Chambers Global
  •  Hayden Solomons is recognised for his increasing presence in the market, with sources noting that “his name comes up time and time again as someone in the next wave of elite commercial real estate practitioners.” He is highly respected for his REIT work, advising a number of significant clients including Canadian Real Estate Investment Trust. Chambers Global

Technology, Telecoms, Media & Broadcasting

Aird & Berlis

  • Aird & Berlis LLP houses a robust telecoms practice. The Legal 500 Canada

Donald B. Johnston

  • Donald B. Johnston is recognized for his experience in all aspects of technology including transactions, procurement and data protection. He has “a depth of knowledge in the technology industry and commercial flair.” Who’s Who Legal: Canada
  • At Aird & Berlis LLP, Donald Johnston is a key contact for technology work. The Legal 500 Canada
  • At Aird & Berlis, Donald Johnston is co-head of the technology team and a “real force” in the Toronto market. He is especially commended for his procurement and licensing abilities. Who’s Who Legal: Canada
  • From Aird & Berlis LLP, Donald B. Johnston is renowned for his “unsurpassable appreciation” of legal and commercial nuance and his ability of “quickly reach solutions to complex problems.” Who’s Who Legal: Canada

Stephen Zolf

  • Stephen Zolf of Aird & Berlis has a strong media practice and is regularly engaged to advise on complex regulatory issues and foreign investment matters. Who's Who Legal: Sports & Entertainment 2018
  • Stephen Zolf of Aird & Berlis LLP attracts market recognition for his considerable regulation experience in the media and telecommunications arena. He is also noted for his work on copyright, IP and competition issues. Chambers Canada
  • Aird & Berlis LLP houses a robust telecoms practice, with Stephen Zolf highly regarded for regulatory work. The Legal 500 Canada
  • Stephen Zolf of Aird & Berlis LLP advises on a range of matters relating to telecommunications including copyright and regulatory issues. Sources draw attention to his extensive work in the broadcasting space. Chambers Canada
  • Regulatory expert Stephen Zolf is highly regarded for telecoms law. The Legal 500 Canada
  • Stephen Zolf of Aird & Berlis LLP “knows the field very well, is on top of developments at the CRTC and provides sound advice.” He draws upon his previous experience as a government adviser when representing clients before an array of industry regulators. Chambers Global/Chambers Canada
  • Stephen Zolf of Aird & Berlis LLP is highly regarded for his knowledge of broadcasting and copyright matters. One source said: “He’s very smart, creative and rigorous; it’s worth investing in a relationship with him.” Chambers Global