Rising Stars

Insurance in Canada

Lenczner Slaght

Toronto litigation powerhouse Lenczner Slaght is a popular choice for complex and strategic insurance disputes. The group is equipped to handle the full range of policy, coverage, and defence matters and routinely acts both for and against insurers and reinsurers. Department head Nina Bombier is recommended for her record in coverage disputes, including large environmental contamination cases. Mark Veneziano‘s litigation practice also has a significant insurance dimension. Glenn Smith retired from the firm in January 2022.

Responsables de la pratique:

Nina Bombier

Autres avocats clés:

Mark Veneziano

Principaux clients

EllisDon Group of Companies

ACE INA Insurance Company of Canada (CHUBB)

CannTrust Holdings Inc.

Insurance Bureau of Canada

Crosslinx Transit Solutions Constructors

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet

AIG Insurance Company of Canada

Principaux dossiers

  • Represented the intervenor, Insurance Bureau of Canada, in an appeal concerning an award of lost profits to the plaintiff MDS arising from the shut down of a nuclear reactor.
  • Acted for AIG in a complex duty to defend and coverage application related to opiate class proceedings across Canada against drug manufacturers and distributors.
  • Acted as coverage counsel to CannTrust Holdings seeking defence and indemnity from two insurance towers, and the primary insurers Allianz and Chubb, for multiple securities claims and class actions against the company and various directors and officers, in both Canada and the US.

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Widely recognized as a market leader for insurance work, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP stands out for its record in cutting-edge mandates. In a recent example, Toronto-based financial services lead Paul Belanger advised Definity Financial (formerly, Economical Mutual Insurance Company) on the first property and casualty demutualization in Canada, which involved the establishment of a new legal framework and a C$1.6bn IPO. Alongside its transactional and regulatory expertise, the group also houses strong contentious capability. Calgary-based litigator David Tupper frequently handles complex insurance litigation and is representing a nuclear power mutual insurance company on a C$50m reinsurance dispute. Up-and-coming Montreal-based litigator Matthew Liben also has an emphasis on insurance and reinsurance disputes. Other key contacts include Jake Gilbert and Bonny Murray, who are noted for transactional and regulatory insurance matters respectively, both are in Toronto.

Responsables de la pratique:

Paul Belanger; David Tupper

Autres avocats clés:

Jake Gilbert; Bonny Murray; Matthew Liben

Principaux clients

AXA XL

Blue Cross Life Insurance Company of Canada

Canada Life Assurance Company

Canada Protection Plan

Chubb, Temple Insurance Company

City of Edmonton

Ensign Energy Services

Definity Financial Corp, formerly Economical Mutual Insurance Company (“Economical”)

Hub International Inc.

Industrial Alliance Financial Services Inc.

Insurance Bureau of Canada

Intact Financial Corporation

Lloyd’s Underwriters and Lloyd’s Canada Inc.

Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada

Sagen MI (formerly Genworth MI Canada Inc.)

Standard Life plc

Zurich Insurance Company Ltd.

Principaux dossiers

  • Advised Definity Financial (formerly, Economical Mutual Insurance Company) on the first property and casualty demutualization in Canada.
  • Represented a nuclear power mutual insurance company on a C$50m reinsurance dispute.
  • Advised The Canada Life Assurance Company, a subsidiary of Great-West Lifeco, on its acquisition of ClaimSecure.

Stikeman Elliott LLP

On the non-contentious front, Stikeman Elliott LLP combines its thriving corporate practice with robust regulatory expertise to excel in representing major domestic and foreign insurers, reinsurers and brokers in M&A, capital markets, and regulatory and compliance matters. Toronto-based Stuart Carruthers is widely revered as a go-to specialist for transactional and regulatory insurance, and recently acted as Canadian counsel to RSA Insurance Group on its C$12.3bn acquisition by Intact Financial Corporation and Tryg. Up-and-coming partner Meaghan Obee Tower is also recommended for regulatory work in Toronto. Key figures on the insurance disputes side include transport-focused counsel Laurent Fortier and Éric Azran, who handles a mix of class actions and product liability, both are based in Montreal.

Autres avocats clés:

Meaghan Obee Tower; Laurent Fortier

Torys

Noted for its 'diverse experience and knowledge of the industry', Torys' regulatory and transactional insurance practice is regularly called upon by insurance companies, public authorities and industry associations. The group also frequently links up with the firm's premier dispute resolution practice to provide advice on insurance litigation. Prominent financial services specialist Blair Keefe co-heads the corporate insurance and reinsurance department; he recently acted as insurance regulatory counsel to Intact Financial on its £7.2bn acquisition, alongside Tryg, of RSA Insurance Group. Jill McCutcheon is an 'expert in the field' and co-heads a sizeable team that also includes senior counsel Kelly Morris and 'great up-and-coming' associate Melissa Prado.

Responsables de la pratique:

Blair Keefe; Jill McCutcheon

Autres avocats clés:

Kelly Morris; Melissa Prado

Les références

‘For the area of insurance, the subject matter expertise is top-notch! The team provides practical advice and solutions both from a legal and business perspective. The diverse experience and knowledge of the industry is extremely helpful.’

‘Deep expertise in all facets of a highly specialized field. The team is highly responsive and well informed. Brings a practical, business-minded approach and is solutions-oriented.’

‘Jill McCutcheon is an absolute expert in the field and provides sound advice, guidance and solutions that are relevant and practical. Makes complex issues easy to understand. An excellent communicator.’

‘We deal mainly with the insurance group. Jill McCutcheon and Melissa Prado are the key people that we work with. They provide an excellent service on a timely basis. They are great problem solvers and are very well versed in their industry.’

‘Jill McCutcheon and Melisa Pardo provide great service to my clients and are very well versed in the industry that they serve. Over the years they have assisted my clients with great solutions to problems that have arisen.’

‘Jill McCutcheon’s subject-matter expertise is fantastic. She provides practical and thoughtful advice and solutions. She is a go-to external counsel on a variety of issues relating to the insurance act and insurance companies act. She gets to the point in her advice.’

Melissa Prado is a great up-and-coming lawyer who has great knowledge of the industry and regulations. Her drafting is effective and knowledge is helpful.

Melissa Prado is highly responsive and great to deal with. Provides solid and practical solutions and advice.’

Principaux clients

AIG Canada

Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and Brookfield Asset Management Reinsurance Partners Ltd.

Great-West Lifeco Inc. and The Canada Life Assurance Company

The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company and Manulife Financial Corporation

RBC Dominion Securities Inc.

Sun Life Financial Inc.

Tokio Marine Canada Limited

Bank of Nova Scotia

Intact Financial Corporation

Boiler and Inspection Insurance Company

Ivari

Tarion Warranty Corporation

Mutual Fire Insurance Company of British Columbia

Principaux dossiers

  • Provided insurance regulatory advice to AIG Canada in connection with numerous advisory matters, from product design to digital sales.
  • Acted as counsel to Brookfield Asset Management on the spinoff of its reinsurance-related operations to create Brookfield Asset Management Reinsurance Partners.
  • Advised Great-West Lifeco, as insurance regulatory counsel, on its strategic relationship with Sagard Holdings, including on the sale of its US subsidiaries EverWest Real Estate Investors LLC and EverWest Advisors LLC to Sagard, among other matters.

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP‘s insurance offering is weighted towards contentious work and houses one of the largest national insurance defence claims practices in Canada. The firm is also well-versed in regulatory and transactional matters. Larry Elliot, regional managing partner for the Ottawa office, is a key partner and has an emphasis on personal injury, product liability and stockbroker negligence. Other recommended names include Toronto-based Kevin McGivney, who covers insurance and municipal law, and Calgary-based Patrick Heisen, who has a focus on defending professionals. Insurance and tort liability specialist Rebecca Bush co-heads the group from Toronto alongside corporate insurance partner Donna Spagnolo, and specialized disputes lead Graham Walker who works from Vancouver.

Responsables de la pratique:

Rebecca Bush; Donna Spagnolo; Graham Walker

Autres avocats clés:

Larry Elliot; Kevin McGivney; Patrick Heisen

 

Principaux clients

Lloyds, including but not limited to the following syndicates: Aegis, Argo, Amlin, AXA XL, C.V. Starr, Beazley, Kiln, Brit Syndicate, QBE, Atrium, Pembrooke, Creechurch, Markel International, Ironshore, Appollo, Tokio Marine,

Chubb / ACE

Travelers

Hospital Insurance Reciprocal of Canada (HIROC)

Desjardins (State Farm, the Personal, Certas)

Cigna

Encon

AXA XL

The Cooperators

ICBC

Sun Life

Trisura

Guarantee Company of North America

Economical Insurance

Principaux dossiers

  • Defended high-profile, multimillion-dollar class actions relating to insurance coverage for Covid-19-related business losses.
  • Successfully represented Groupe Promutuel, as the principal defendant insurer, in attempts by dentists in Quebec to file for authorization to institute a class action connected to Covid-19 losses.
  • Acted for a Canadian subsidiary of Securian Financial Group on the acquisition, directly and indirectly, of all of the issued and outstanding shares of several companies.

Clyde & Co LLP

Global insurance heavyweight Clyde & Co LLP continues to grow apace in Canada; it recently added six new partners in Vancouver following the absorption of local firm SHK Law Corporation in July 2021. Focusing exclusively on contentious insurance matters, in line with its firm-wide strength, the group is equipped to advise on insurance defence and coverage, risk assessment, product liability, cyber and alternative dispute resolution, among other matters. Toronto-based John Nicholl is highly regarded for liability defence and coverage advice and litigation and steers a national team that includes Montreal-based specialists Robert Emblem and Carolena Gordon.

Responsables de la pratique:

John Nicholl

Autres avocats clés:

Robert Emblem; Carolena Gordon

Fasken

Fasken‘s insurance practice specializes in transactional and regulatory matters, including M&A, policy work, and distribution and product issues. The national team acts for an array of domestic and multinational insurers, reinsurers and brokers and counts leading names such as Aviva and Co-operators among its key clients. Financial services specialist Koker Christensen spearheads the team; he recently acted alongside the corporate group to advise Allianz Global Risks on negotiating an agreement for the outsourcing by RBC Insurance of its travel insurance business. Regulatory and transactional insurance specialist Kathleen Butterfield and newly promoted partner Craig Bellefontaine are also noted in Toronto. Sylvie Bourdeau is a key contact in Montreal.

Responsables de la pratique:

Koker Christensen

Principaux clients

Co-operators

Aviva

Green Shield Canada

Equisoft Group

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Principaux dossiers

  • Acted for Allianz Global Risks in negotiating a significant agreement for the outsourcing by RBC Insurance of its travel insurance business.
  • Advised Green Shield Holdings on multiple major acquisitions, including on its acquisition of Tranquility Online, a mental health platform based in Halifax, Canada.

McCarthy Tétrault

McCarthy Tétrault scores highly with clients for its ‘thorough knowledge of the insurance licensing process and regulatory requirements‘. In Toronto, high-profile department co-head Nancy Carroll attracts rave reviews from sources for her ‘keen understanding of both the regulatory landscape and marketplace‘; she recently teamed up with the firm’s private equity practice to advise True Wind Capital on its investment in Sterling Capital Brokers. Fellow group co-head Hartley Lefton, also in Toronto, is an impressive up-and-coming name within corporate insurance. The group’s robust regulatory and transactional offering is supplemented by a solid contentious capability, which draws on Toronto-based insurance litigation head William Scott and the ‘highly knowledgeable and practicalAidan Cameron in Vancouver.

Responsables de la pratique:

Nancy Carroll; Hartley Lefton; William Scott

Les références

‘Nancy Carroll has a keen understanding of both the regulatory landscape and marketplace. She is reliable, very personable and goes out of her way to introduce people she believes will help our business.’

‘Demonstrates a thorough knowledge of the insurance licensing process and regulatory requirements at both federal and provincial levels of government.’

‘Expertise in reinsurance – thorough and practical advice that you can rely on. Always responsive and accountable – delivers on time.’

‘McCarthy Tetrault’s insurance practice is unique due to the depth of knowledge and high level of client service its members provide. They are adaptable (for example: they are able to work within an AFA framework) and quick to respond to inquiries re: new files/potential representation.’

‘Nancy Carroll is a great partner to work with. Her insurance knowledge and business acumen make her our first choice for many complicated insurance matters.’

‘Nancy Carroll is a stand-out expert in financial services legislation and regulation, and one of the best in this area in Canada.’

‘Hartley Lefton provides solutions-driven insurance legal expertise. Start-up friendly, flexible to find the right path.’

‘Aidan Cameron is highly knowledgeable and practical.’

Principaux clients

iA Financial Group

MKS Resources Inc.

Quinlan Brothers Limited

Siemens Canada

Sun Life Assurance Company/Sun Life Financial Inc.

Sunwing Travel Group

The Toronto-Dominion Bank

TRAK Construction Ltd.

True Wind Capital

Vale

Principaux dossiers

  • Advised TD Bank, as defendant, in connection with a claim arising from a Ponzi scheme orchestrated by a customer of TD.
  • Represented Vale in insurance coverage recovery claims against historic insurers arising from decades-long environmental pollution.
  • Acted for True Wind Capital on its investment in Sterling Capital Brokers, a technology-enabled Canadian insurance brokerage.

Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP has a focus on non-contentious insurance, with strong skill sets in incorporations, federal and provincial licensing, corporate transactions and policy drafting, among other corporate and regulatory matters. Gordon Goodman co-heads the Toronto-based team and acts for a mix of life and general insurance companies, insurance agents and brokers, and reinsurance companies. Fellow co-head Rick Da Costa brings to bear significant in-house expertise following a six-year stint at Zurich.

Responsables de la pratique:

Gordon Goodman; Rick Da Costa

Principaux clients

Zurich Insurance Company Ltd.

Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Company

Munich Re Digital Partners US Holdings Corporation

AXA XL

Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario

Amtrust Management Services Limited

MAX Insurance

Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company

CNA Canada

Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company

Canadian Premier General Insurance Company

Assumption Mutual Life Insurance Company

Homesteaders Life Company

Reassurity Inc.

Extend Inc.

Valeyo

Catlin Underwriting Agencies

Convex Re

Complex Risk and Insurance Associates

Dealer Loyalty Protection Inc.

Principaux dossiers

  • Retained by a warranty company to design and implement an alternative risk transfer solution.
  • Advised a Europe-based insurtech on its entry to Canada, including identifying suitable fronting partners.
  • Acted for an international insurance group on the sale of its Canadian insurance brokerage to a Canadian insurance brokerage group.

Dentons

Dentons continues to raise its profile in the insurance law sphere following the hire of a nine-lawyer team from Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP in February 2022. Laurie LaPalme, one of the five partners who made the switch to the new firm, spearheads the national corporate and regulatory insurance practice; she recently acted alongside Derek Levinsky to advise insurance broker and consultant NFP Canada Corp on its acquisition of Foster Park Brokers. Douglas Stewart co-heads the insurance practice and specializes in contentious work. Named lawyers are based in Toronto.

Responsables de la pratique:

Laurie LaPalme; Douglas Stewart

Principaux clients

Westland Insurance Group Ltd.

NFP Canada Corp.

CUNA Mutual Financial Group

Arch Insurance Canada Ltd.

Wawanesa Life Insurance Company

AXA XL Insurance

Fenchurch General Insurance Company

Lockton Re, LLC

AIG

PartnerRe Ltd

Principaux dossiers

  • Represented CUNA Mutual Financial Group on its acquisition of Assurant’s prearranged funeral insurance and final expense business.
  • Acted for NFP Canada Corp on the acquisition all of the issued and outstanding shares in the capital of Foster Park Brokers.
  • Represented Arch Insurance Company in several litigation cases arising from the cancellation of hundreds of educational tours due to Covid-19 and the subsequent closing of international borders.

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG maintains a broad insurance practice nationally, with its recent experience spanning a mix of litigation, M&A, regulatory law and insurtech-related matters. Toronto is the seat of department lead Belinda Bain, who specializes in contentious work with an emphasis on municipal liability, professional liability, product liability and class actions. Key names on the non-contentious side include Toronto-based Filomena Frisina, who is well versed in regulatory insurance issues and general business matters, and up-and-coming financial regulation specialist, Michael Garellek, in Montreal.

Responsables de la pratique:

Belinda Bain

Principaux clients

Sodexo Canada Ltd, HDI Global SE Canada Branch

Siemens Canada

A. H. Stucco Ltd., Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company

Keyera Corporation, QBE Services Inc.

Principaux dossiers

  • Representing Sodexo Canada in a claim against King Coating Roofing, and others, seeking damages in connection with a fire at an office tower where Sodexo’s Canadian head office is located.
  • Defending Siemens Canada before the Supreme Court of Canada in a C$50m claim brought against it, and others, by Canfor Pulp, concerning damages arising from a fire at the Canfor pulp and paper mill.
  • Representing the insurer of A H Stucco in relation to claims from the owners of 21 separate hotel properties in Alberta and Saskatchewan that they suffered property damage as a result of the allegedly defective work conducted by A H Stucco.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright‘s multi-disciplinary insurance department draws on the wider full-service firm to provide advice on both contentious and non-contentious insurance matters. That being said, insurance litigation provides the bulk of work, with its recent cases spanning a range of professional, D&O and general liability cases. Led from Ottawa by insurance litigator Jamie Macdonald, the group also includes ‘extremely professional‘ contentious insurance specialist André Legrand and insurance and class actions partner Paul Prosterman — both are in Montreal. Calgary-based Lara Mason is also an increasingly active litigator in this space.

Responsables de la pratique:

Jamie Macdonald

Les références

Deep knowledge of market practices, which leads to strong legal instincts to formulate the best strategies/solutions. Length of legal advice tends to be commensurate with the request. At times, it can be very detailed or not, depending on the need.’

‘Efforts are made to staff the files with lawyers who are at the appropriate stage of their careers. By comparison, many other firms only have senior partners as client facing, which means that one does not get the opportunity to build relationships with those who are up and coming.’

The qualities that make this team stand out are its eagerness and enthusiasm to assist, attention to detail, responsiveness and adaptability plus professional demeanour and timeliness.

‘Very diversified skills and a thorough, yet practical, approach to resolution.’

‘André Legrand is extremely professional, will provide assistance and put the right individuals on the files.’

Principaux clients

Chubb Insurance Company of Canada

Everest Insurance Company of Canada

La Mutuelle des municipalités du Québec

Victor Canada

Brit Global Specialty and Aviva Canada

Canadian Hockey League

Travelers Canada

Zurich Insurance Company of Canada

AIG Insurance Company of Canada

Principaux dossiers

  • Representing Everest Insurance Company of Canada in class actions against multiple insurers alleging they improperly denied claims for business interruption coverage for losses arising out of Covid-19 restrictions.
  • Representing the Canadian Hockey League in a class action before the Federal Court concerning the interpretation of the Competition Act.