Bennett Jones LLP

Litigation: General Commercial Department

Current View:

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What the team is known for Represents a number of high-profile public and private clients from across a range of industries in corporate and commercial disputes. Clients frequently look to the firm for its multi-jurisdictional scope. Particular areas of strength include securities, breach of contract and shareholder disputes. The department also regularly assists with litigation relating to competition, insolvency and professional negligence, as well as fraud, oppression and post-M&A litigation. Continues to act for provincial public bodies across Canada on high-profile disputes with tobacco companies seeking healthcare cost recovery.

Strengths Interviewees note: "There is an emphasis on very high-quality work product, consistently delivered and sensitive to clients' needs. Timely responses to client inquiries are embedded features of the culture."

Sources further comment on the group's quality: "They are focused, well prepared and deliver excellent service to their clients."

Work highlights Acted for SFC Litigation Trust on a case against the former CEO of Sino-Forest alleging fraud and breach of fiduciary duty.

Notable practitioners

Alan Gardner is well regarded for his expert handling of securities investigations and class action disputes. Sources report that he is "comfortable in high-pressure environments" and is "at his best in dealing with complex circumstances, sceptical regulators and stressed directors."

Commentators describe Jeffrey Leon as a "strategic thinker with a very practical approach to litigation." He operates a broad contentious practice that sees him act for high net worth individuals on oppression claims, real estate companies in shareholder disputes and retired financial service providers concerning professional liability.

Ranjan Agarwal is a versatile practitioner with experience spanning litigation, arbitration and class action disputes. His caseload includes suits arising from construction projects, professional liability claims and shareholder disputes. Sources commend his "strong reputation" and handling of "significant cases."

Sources note that Richard Swan is "well known as one of the very smartest litigation lawyers on Bay Street," adding that "his approach to practising law is stellar" and he "is respected by opposing counsel," which helps with "deflecting the nonsense in a case and getting to a preferred resolution earlier and more efficiently." He co-heads the firm's dispute resolution practice and maintains a broad caseload.

Robert Staley is an esteemed commercial litigator with a diverse client roster featuring mining and energy companies, liquidators, and current and former corporate directors. He draws praise for his securities practice, handling class actions as well as wider mandates concerning negligence and duty of care, oppression and fraud.