By now you’ve heard that prestigious Montreal-based law firm Heenan Blaikie LLP is closing down after a partner vote yesterday. The focus for now seems to be on what could have precipitated the drop in profit — reportedly 10 to 15 per cent — that ultimately led to a partner exodus and the demise of this 40-year-old institution.
But there’s another question on the minds of general counsel today, particularly those with Heenan dealings in the air: What happened to my law firm and who’s going to be handling my matters?
A review of recent deal activity reveals some big Canadian clients that are being pulled into the Heenan Blaikie vortex — companies like TransForce Inc., Sprott Inc., Bank of Montreal, Capital Power Corp. and Catamaran Corp.
What follows is a list of some of the biggest deals Heenan has worked on over the past couple of years, and lawyers and clients of the firm who may be contemplating what to do now.
Sept. 18, 2013 – Philip Morris International Inc. and Tanabe Pharma Corp. privatize their affiliate, Medicago Inc. Philip Morris was represented by Heenan Blaikie with a team led by Bruno Caron and Frank Picciola.
July 24, 2013 – Sprott Inc. acquires Sprott Resource Lending Corp., resulting in SRLC becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary. Heenan Blaikie acted as Canadian legal counsel to Sprott with a team led by Sonia Yung.
July 3, 2013 – U.K.-based Tyman plc acquires Truth Hardware, a leading maker of door and window hardware in the United States and Canada. Tyman plc's Canadian counsel was Heenan Blaikie, with a team led by Andrew Cohen and Danny Kaufer.
June 27, 2013 – TransForce Inc., a North American leader in the transportation and logistics industry, completes an amendment and restatement of its existing credit facility with a banking syndicate of 14 lenders. The transaction was aided by Lise Morissette.
April 10, 2013 – Lassonde Industries Inc. acquires a $250-million syndicated credit facility for its Canadian operations. Bank of Montreal acted as administrative agent for the syndicate of lenders. Heenan acted for the syndicate of lenders with a team that included Joel Cabelli, Marie-Josée Couture and Joëlle Girard.
March 27, 2013 – Sichuan Bohong Industry Co., Ltd. completes its acquisition of Wescast Industries Inc. Heenan represented Bohong with a team that included David Carbonaro and William Jackman.
Feb. 28, 2013 – Capital Power Corp. completes purchase of an initial 25 per cent interest in a joint venture with ENMAX Corp. to build and operate the Shepard Energy Centre. Capital Power was represented by a Heenan Blaikie team led by Brian Bidyk.
Feb. 8, 2013 – Gilead Sciences, Inc. completes its acquisition of YM BioSciences Inc. Heenan Blaikie acted as co-counsel for YM. The Heenan Blaikie team was led by Sonia Yung.
Nov. 5, 2012 – Amaya Gaming Group Inc., an entertainment systems provider for the regulated gaming industry, completes the purchase of Cadillac Jack Inc. Heenan Blaikie served as Canadian counsel to Amaya in connection with the acquisition, with a team led by Eric Levy.
Sept. 4, 2012 – Intact Financial Corp. completes its acquisition of all of Jevco Insurance Co. from The Westaim Corp. Heenan Blaikie assisted Westaim on the transaction, with a team that included Kevin Rooney, Corey MacKinnon and Ora Wexler.
Aug. 22, 2012 – BCE Inc. and Rogers Communications Inc. complete their acquisition from Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan of a net 75 per cent ownership position in Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd., which owns the Toronto Maple Leafs NHL hockey franchise, Toronto Raptors NBA basketball franchise and Toronto FC MLS soccer franchise. BCE Master Trust Fund was represented by Heenan Blaikie with a team including Anthony Penhale, Terry Didus and Peter Clark.
July 2, 2012 – Catamaran Corp., a leading provider of pharmacy benefit management services and health-care IT solutions to the healthcare benefits management industry, completes its merger of Catalyst Health Solutions, Inc. with a wholly owned subsidiary of Catamaran. Catamaran was represented in Canada by Heenan Blaikie, with a team that included Kevin Rooney, Charlie MacCready, Stephanie Sykes and Ora Wexler.