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Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP Toronto, Ontario Office Profile


Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP 
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
(City of Toronto)

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About this office:

Gowlings is one of Canada's largest and most diversified business law firms, with offices in Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, Waterloo Region, Calgary, Vancouver and Moscow. For more than a century, Gowlings has provided a broad range of legal services to its national and international clients across a number of industries and practice areas.

Our Expertise - Your Peace of Mind

Today, Gowlings employs over 700 legal professionals, many of whom regularly appear before all levels of federal and provincial government and before the Supreme Court of Canada. Acknowledged leaders in their practice areas by a variety of national and international legal publications, a number of Gowlings professionals have contributed to the development of landmark Canadian legislation, such as the Protection of Personal Information and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

Gowlings lawyers are recognized as "most frequently recommended," "consistently recommended" and "repeatedly recommended" in the 2005 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory.

The Firm's professionals have also been acknowledged as "leading," "highly recommended" and "recommended" by Global Counsel 3000: Which Lawyer? (10th ed.), a leading international guide for in-house counsel, lawyers and law firms seeking information on legal markets across Europe, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and the Americas.

Choose a Leader - Get Results

Three areas of law form the foundation of Gowlings' practice: intellectual property, business law and advocacy. Professionals from each of the three areas form interdisciplinary teams that tailor strategic solutions to clients' needs.

Intellectual Property (IP)

Gowlings has been internationally recognized as a Canadian leader in IP law, ranking No. 1 for trade mark and copyright work, and in the top two for patent work for nine consecutive years, according to Managing Intellectual Property's World IP Surveys.

Global Counsel 3000: Which Lawyer? observes Gowlings as a "leader" in IP and IP-life sciences law. The publication also identifies Gowlings IP lawyers as "leading," "highly recommended" and "recommended" in IP law.

Business Law

Gowlings business law professionals possess extensive experience across a number of industry sectors: automotive, manufacturing, mining, high tech, oil and gas, finance and investment, venture capital, health care and advertising. They appear regularly on some of Canada's largest transactions, as seen in Lexpert magazine's "Big Deals," and are recognized as experts by such publications as Who's Who Legal: The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers, Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers, and Euromoney's Experts Guides.


Gowlings advocacy professionals possess expertise in civil and commercial disputes, insurance, employment and labour relations, administrative and regulatory matters, including competition law, professional and product liability claims and related matters. They provide superior advocacy services to private and public sector businesses, sharing their expertise with Gowlings professionals across all practice areas. They appear before all levels of federal and provincial courts, and participate in resolution proceedings such as mediations and arbitrations.

More Than Just Legal Advice

An advantage of dealing with Gowlings is having access to a full range of services—legal and non-legal. It is widely known that Gowlings has a broad array of legal offerings; however, we also provide a variety of consulting services.

Gowlings Consulting Inc.

Gowlings Consulting Inc. (GCI) was created as an affiliate of Gowlings. It is a vehicle through which Gowlings government services professionals—along with other practitioners recruited for specific tasks—provide a wide variety of non-legal professional services to Canadian federal, provincial and local governments, boards agencies, commissions and government-owned enterprises. GCI services include, but are not limited to: public-policy research, analysis and development; public consultations, facilitation and consensus building; dispute resolution; second opinions, assessments and evaluations; comprehensive strategic advice; training and professional development, design and delivery; overseas legal, judicial and policy reform. GCI provides a similar range of services to foreign governments, public sector organizations and multilateral financial institutions around the world.

Inkster Group

Named for Norman Inkster, former commissioner of the RCMP and president of Interpol, the Inkster Group is a division of GCI and was established to help organizations reduce the risk and/or impact of crimes such as fraud, insider trading and suspect accounting practices. The group specializes in innovative solutions that address not only investigations, but also employee security, protection against fraud, and the safeguarding of assets and intellectual property. It is the only Canadian company of its kind to tackle investigation and security concerns through the expertise of a team of professionals comprised of commercial crime investigators, security specialists, intelligence analysts and legal experts. For more information on the Inkster Group and the services it provides, visit inkstergroup.com.

Our Service Areas

Aboriginal Law: The aboriginal law group provides superior legal and policy advice to Aboriginal communities, and government and industry groups. The group has played a key role in a number of historic achievements in aboriginal law over the last two decades. In 2004, Gowlings professionals facilitated a major resolution agreement between the James Bay Crees and Hydro Quebec, putting an end to nearly 20 years of litigation. Members of the group have also been involved in negotiating Aboriginal overlap agreements, notably in Labrador and Nunavut.

Banking Litigation: The Gowlings banking litigation group has been long-recognized as a leader in their field. The team's professionals comprise many experienced trial lawyers, appellate counsel, and lawyers well-versed in alternative forms of dispute resolution. The groups clients include banks, trust companies, investment dealers, lenders and financial services companies throughout Canada and internationally. Many of Gowlings' banking litigators write and speak regularly on topics of current interest at private presentations for clients and for various legal publications, conferences and institutes.

Business Law: Offering a broad range of services, the Gowlings business law group works with businesses of all sizes, helping them run smoothly, efficiently and profitably. The group prides itself on its ability to deliver responsive, timely recommendations on issues relating to everything from individual contracts to public offerings. If you are starting operations, being incorporated, going through a major reorganization, or need specific business advice on a single matter or on a broad range of issues, Gowlings' team of experts delivers essential advice at competitive prices.

Civil Fraud: In a first for Canadian law firms, the Gowlings civil fraud team combines the legal expertise of litigation specialists with the skills, abilities and reach of experienced fraud investigators. Co-leaders of the civil fraud team are Norman Inkster, a former commissioner of the RCMP and past president of Interpol; and Bruce Smith, a top litigation counsel in fraud and commercial disputes for more than 20 years.

Commercial Litigation: The commercial litigation group is a dedicated team of professionals. They act in connection with claims for breach of contract, negligence, misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty and all other types of disputes that arise out of commercial activity. They provide superior services on an efficient, cost-effective and timely basis to both individuals and companies across Canada and abroad.

Corporate Finance, Securities & Public M&A: The corporate finance, securities and public M&A professionals advise emerging and established businesses on financing—from startup to public offering and beyond. Gowlings practitioners are experts in all aspects of corporate finance and securities law. They have experience working with securities administrators and regulators throughout North America and internationally.

Employment & Labour: Employment and labour law issues impact all employers, from entrepreneurial ventures to national and multinational corporations. Gowlings professionals can help avoid costly and protracted litigation by developing proactive labour and employment solutions that contribute to, rather than undermine, the strength of the long-term relationship between employers and employees.

Energy: The Gowlings energy group is a recognized leader in the energy field. The group's professionals have successfully managed a host of significant and complex transactions, both domestic and international. Members of the energy team are regularly called upon as key advisers to government on energy policy, and play leadership roles in energy industry associations.

Environmental: Environmental issues continue to hold worldwide attention and are of significant concern for corporations, governments and individuals alike. The Gowlings environmental law group delivers immediate, comprehensive and practical advice to assist clients in addressing environmental challenges. Four partners of the Gowlings environmental law group are certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as specialists in environmental law. Surveys conducted by the U.K.-based Guide to the World's Leading Environmental Lawyers (Euromoney) rank three partners of this team among the world's leaders in environmental law.

Financial Regulatory Law: The Gowlings financial regulatory law group is experienced in dealing with the laws, policies and practices that affect the Canadian financial services industry. The professionals in this group are legal and strategic advisers to a wide range of industry participants, including financial institutions, government departments, regulators and industry associations, on key regulatory issues that have a critical impact on their businesses or mandates. The group members have participated extensively in the development and drafting of the federal financial services reform legislation and regulations that provide the regulatory framework for financial institutions.

Financial Services: The Gowlings financial services group advises a wide variety of organizations across the financial services sector, including Schedule I and II banks, trust and insurance companies, credit unions, pension funds, off-balance sheet lenders and asset-based lenders. In other sectors, including consumer products, general industrial, media, telecommunications, high technology and the services industry, the financial services group advises both lenders and borrowers. Gowlings also brings notable expertise to the hospitality and film industries.

Franchise and Distribution: The franchise and distribution practice group brings extensive experience in developing franchises and distribution networks from the ground up and represent franchisors, master and unit franchisees, manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, importers, exporters and licensors in the development and expansion of their business. From start-up through to the mature system stage, Gowlings helps business and industry leaders achieve their short- and long-term objectives.

Government Relations & Regulatory Affairs: Gowlings has a long and distinguished history of involvement in Canadian public policy, having acted for decades on behalf of governments, private sector interests and public interest organizations on a wide variety of issues. Today, the Gowlings public-policy advocacy practice is among the largest in Canada, providing client services involving government relations, lobbying and regulatory affairs at the federal, provincial and local levels in Ontario, Québec, Alberta and British Columbia. As the largest and one of the longest-established law offices in Canada's capital, Gowlings Ottawa is a leading provider of legal and other advocacy services at the federal level.

Government Services: For decades, Gowlings has been an important provider of legal and non-legal strategic and policy advice to Canadian federal, provincial and local governments across a broad range of issue areas. More recently, Gowlings has provided strategic and policy advice to countries and governments around the world. Gowlings recognizes that, while many challenges facing governments are related to law, most public-policy questions require a broader perspective, as well as the application of expertise, experience and skills that one does not normally associate with a law firm.

Immigration: The Gowlings immigration group provides corporate immigration services, helping transfer executives, professionals and skilled people to their Canadian operations—and also to their operations in foreign countries. The members of this group have experience obtaining employment visas for professionals and their spouses, student visas for their children and permanent visas when required.

Infrastructure: For many years, Gowlings has worked with clients in the development and management of infrastructure projects. These initiatives have included work on power generation, transmission and distribution, toll highways, airports, residential, industrial and commercial real estate development, environmental cleanup and waste disposal projects, water and wastewater, large-scale advance technology systems, and the development of health-care facilities.

Insurance & Professional Liability: The insurance and professional liability group draws on the expertise of over 50 lawyers in Gowlings' offices across Canada, with diverse backgrounds and a solid understanding of the insurance industry, backed by the resources of a full-service firm. The group possesses in-depth knowledge of industry trends and a proven track record tackling the issues faced by industry stakeholders.

Intellectual Property Litigation: The intellectual property litigation group provides advice and representation on all matters relating to the enforcement of patents, trade marks, copyrights, industrial designs, trade secrets and other rights. Many professionals in the group are ranked as Canadian and world leaders, as published in surveys by Mondaq, Euromoney, and Lexpert, and several are recognized by the Law Society of Upper Canada as Certified Specialists in intellectual property and civil litigation.

International Trade: The International Trade Group has extensive experience litigating and providing strategic advice on a broad range of international trade and customs issues, including anti-dumping, subsidies and countervail, safeguards, import and export controls, customs classification and valuation, trade-related intellectual property, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, investment and services. The Group acts as counsel before the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, the Federal Court, NAFTA panels and the World Trade Organization panels and Appellate Body.

Life Sciences: Life sciences, pharma and biopharma businesses face unique legal and public policy issues. To address these issues, the life sciences industry group draws upon the legal expertise of top practitioners in various specialties across the firm. Gowlings' multidisciplinary approach to the provision of legal advice results in solutions that are uniquely tailored to the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries.

Manufacturing and Distribution: Gowlings' Manufacturing and Distribution Group has a proven track record representing manufacturers and distributors across a wide-range of industries including steel, pulp and paper, electrical and electronic products, automotive, chemical and more. The Group's strength lies in their cross-border expertise, engineering and production experience, a proactive approach to employment and labour law matters, and their understanding of the financial dimensions of manufacturing and distribution in Canada.

Patent Prosecution: Rapid advances in biotechnology, electronics, energy and other areas of science have created a public awareness of the value of technology, and the importance of protecting and exploiting technology. The patent prosecution group brings considerable legal and scientific skills and experience to Gowlings' clients to meet their patent-related needs. The majority of Gowlings' patent professionals have scientific, medical, or engineering backgrounds; a number have been recognized as world leaders in the patent field.

Real Estate & Urban Development: The Gowlings real estate group is the choice of clients throughout the real estate industry for expert advice, innovative solutions and responsive documentation of the most significant and complex real estate transactions. Members of the group have the capacity to successfully handle a wide variety of multi-faceted real estate-related matters, including acquisitions and divestitures of individual properties and portfolios, project and credit facility financings, bond financings, land and project developments, and leases. The Urban development group is experienced in all facets of municipal, planning and environmental law and represents one of the largest groups of environmental practitioners in Canada. The group also provides the specialized expertise of a fully-qualified urban planner and a geological engineer.

Restructuring and Insolvency: The Gowlings restructuring and insolvency group has developed a high level of expertise in multi-jurisdictional, cross-border insolvencies and restructurings. The group's experience spans the broadest cross-section of industries, notably: banking and finance, energy and infrastructure, automotive, aviation, retail, manufacturing, media, telecom, technology, real estate and natural resources.

Tax: The Gowlings tax law group provides Canadian and international clients with advice on the tax implications of mergers and acquisitions, the structuring of inbound and outbound cross-border transactions, corporate tax planning, financing structures, debt restructuring and employee benefits. The group advises clients in the e-commerce, financial services, transportation and natural resource industries. As a diverse team, Gowlings' professionals offer a high degree of experience in international corporate tax issues, as well as tax planning for families, emerging businesses and their owners. See also Transfer Pricing.

Technology: Gowlings professionals form one of the largest integrated technology industry groups in Canada. Gowlings legal experts are familiar with the tax, employment law, commercial litigation, securities, M&A, privacy and outsourcing needs of the Firm's technology-driven clients. Members of the group act on behalf of large clients, but they also take particular satisfaction in helping Gowlings' earlier stage technology-driven clients succeed.

Trade Marks: Gowlings is one of Canada's pre-eminent intellectual property law firms. With more than 75 professionals, Gowlings' trade mark group is one of the largest and most experienced in Canada, managing trade mark portfolios of consumer goods, pharmaceutical, technology, entertainment and communications industry clients. Each of the Gowlings seven Canadian offices offers substantial expertise in trade mark law, while the firm's Moscow office has a strong trade mark practice that serves Russia and countries of the former Soviet Union.

Transfer Pricing: When dealing with the Canadian Revenue Agency, who better to have in your corner than the government's former transfer pricing and competent authority senior analysts - now working exclusively for Gowlings. The Firm's Transfer Pricing and Competent Authority Group can help you develop a strategic approach to transfer pricing and solutions that will mitigate fiscal burdens such as double taxation and non-compliance penalties. See also Tax.

Transportation: The Gowlings transportation group provides advice in customs and trade matters, international transactions, purchase and sale of equipment, and environmental regulations. Professionals in the group have been involved in numerous high-profile cases in transportation and business law, working with large transportation firms, government agencies, financial institutions and corporations.


Statement of Practice Summary:
Administrative and Public Law, Banking Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Defamation and Media, Employment and Labour, Environmental Law, Family, Immigration, Insurance and Professional Liability, Medical Defence, Transportation, Charities and Not-for-Profit Law, Corporate Commercial, Corporate Finance, Securities and Public Mergers and Acquisitions, Estates and Trusts, Financial Regulatory Law, Financial Services, Natural Resources, Real Estate, Recovery Services, Restructuring and Insolvency, Tax, Advertising, Copyright, Entertainment, Intellectual Property Litigation, Patent Prosecution, Technology, Trade Marks, Franchise and Distribution, Manufacturing and Distribution, International Trade, Transfer Pricing.

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