Revealed: Canadian Law Awards winners 2021

See who won out in our second annual law awards

Revealed: Canadian Law Awards winners 2021

The second annual Canadian Law Awards brought together hundreds of the legal profession’s most talented members, to celebrate their outstanding achievements while having laboured for over a year in unprecedented conditions.

After COVID forced the inaugural award show to adapt to social distancing requirements, the pandemic has stuck around. The 2021 awards, once again, took place virtually.

The festivities were hosted by CBC news anchor Suhana Meharchand, and honoured the nation’s leading law firms, in-house legal teams, individuals, and the deals and cases that have stood out over the last year.

The event included live panels, which featured lively discussions and expert insight, as well as online networking facilitating peer-to-peer connection.

The panels topics included the future of the IP boutique and leadership in a time of uncertainty.

Panel moderator Jennie Chan, national leader of the forensic services practice at PwC, moderated a conversation about the leadership qualities that have brought success while teams have been forced to work from home.

“Showing care and compassion, obviously, that has always been an important aspect of leadership. But I think it is even more so now,” she says. “Everybody is likely dealing with some kind of consequence of the pandemic. The consequences or the challenges that people are dealing with, I think are all different, but it's there for everyone.”

Chris Day, director of payments and partnerships at Western Union Business Solutions led the discussion on the future of IP and innovation. As the need to secure IP rights grows beyond national borders, finding a payment system to deal with the foreign associates IP lawyers will have to work will become more important, Day says.

Legal professionals took part in the 2021 Canadian Law Awards from across the country.

The 2021 Canadian Law Awards Winners and Excellence Awardees are as follows:


Capital Markets Deal of the Year
Creation of Brookfield Infrastructure Corporation and Brookfield Renewable Corporation
Firms: Appleby, McMillan LLP, Torys LLP
Accountants: Deloitte, EY, PWC, KPMG
Banks: RBC Capital Markets

Infrastructure & Projects Deal of the Year
Financing of Coastal Gaslink Pipeline
Firms: Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, Stikeman Elliot LLP, Torys LLP
Organizations: AIMCo, KKR
Banks: RBC Capital Markets

Insolvency & Restructuring Deal of the Year
CCAA Restructuring of Cirque du Soleil
Firms: Bennett Jones LLP, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, Goodmans LLP, Lavery Lawyers, McCarthy Tétrault LLP, McMillan LLP, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, Stikeman Elliott LLP, Torys LLP, Woods LLP
Accountants: Ernst & Young

Mid-Market Deal of the Year
GMP Capital acquisition of Richardson GMP
Firms: Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG), Goodmans LLP, Lenczner Slaght, Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, Stikeman Elliot LLP, Voorheis & Co. LLP
Organizations: Cormark Securities Inc., Gryphon Advisors Inc., Kingsdale Shareholder Services Inc.,Longview Communications & Public Affairs
Banks: RBC Capital Markets

M&A Deal of the Year
KingSett Capital and Starlight Investments acquisition of Northview Apartment REIT
Firms: Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP, Bloom Lanys PC, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG), Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, Goodmans LLP, McCarthy Tétrault LLP, Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, Stikeman Elliott LLP


Class Action Team of the Year
Bennett Jones LLP - Winder v. Marriott International Inc.

Commercial Litigation Team of the Year
Arvay Finlay LLP, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG), Caza Saikaley S.R.L./LLP, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, Gall Legge Grant Zwack LLP, Grant Kovacs Norell, JFK Law Corporation, Lawson Lundell LLP, MacKenzie Fujisawa LLP, McCarthy Tétrault LLP, NG Ariss Fong, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, Ratcliff and Company LLP, White Raven Law Corporation - Attorney General of British Columbia v. Attorney General of Canada (B.C.)


The Western Union Business Solutions Award for IP Boutique Law Firm of the Year
Smart & Biggar

Atlantic Canada Law Firm of the Year
Stewart McKelvey LLP

Ontario Law Firm of the Year
Lerners LLP

Prairies Law Firm of the Year
Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP

Quebec Law Firm of the Year
Lavery Lawyers

Western Canada Law Firm of the Year
Farris LLP

Litigation & Dispute Resolution Boutique Law Firm of the Year
Lenczner Slaght

Best Use of Technology in a Law Firm
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG)

Litigator of the Year
Sylvie Rodrigue - Torys LLP

Managing Partner of the Year
Dave Leonard - McCarthy Tétrault LLP


Banking & Financial Institutions Law Department of the Year
TD Bank

Construction, Infrastructure & Transportation Law Department of the Year
IBI Group

Energy & Resources Law Department of the Year
Ontario Power Generation

Canadian Law Department of the Year
TD Bank

Law Department Leader of the Year
Graeme McPhail - Rogers Communications Inc.

Law Department Innovation Award
Teck Resources Ltd.'s business transformation program - RACE21TM


The Bereskin & Parr Award for Diversity Initiative of the Year
McCarthy Tétrault LLP - McCarthy Tétrault’s Anti-Racism Strategy

Female Trailblazer

Academia / General Counsel
Donna E. Young - Ryerson University Faculty of Law

Private Practice
Krista Hill - Torys LLP

Pro Bono Initiative of the Year
Dentons Canada LLP - Dentons helps employers put domestic abuse on the agenda

Recent articles & video

Roundup of law firm hires, promotions, departures: July 15, 2024 update

SCC reinforces Crown's narrow scope to appeal acquittal

Final changes to competition laws will require more sophisticated merger analysis: Blakes lawyers

Ontario Court of Appeal upholds paramedics' convictions over death of shooting victim

BC Court of Appeal upholds class action certification in Capital One data breach case

BC Supreme Court awards damages for chronic pain and mental health issues from car accident

Most Read Articles

BC Supreme Court dismisses applications seeking personal liability of estate executor

BC Supreme Court upholds trust company's estate administration amid beneficiary dispute

Alberta Court of Appeal reinstates sanctions on naturopathic doctor for unprofessional conduct

Government of Canada publishes a report to tackle anti-black racism in the justice system