2016 Rising Stars Award Winners


Larry Ellis, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

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Larry Ellis practises insolvency and restructuring law. He has acted for numerous secured creditors in high-profile recovery efforts, including Warner Bros., Fox and Sony in the Blockbuster receivership. He regularly acts for major banks in CCAA and receivership proceedings and for court officers in CCAA, BIA and receivership proceedings. This includes acting for Grant Thornton in the receivership and wind-up of Triwest Construction and for Richter in its capacity as court-appointed monitor for restructuring Bowring and Bombay. He acts in international fraud cases, including for Isle of Man Joint Liquidators and local receivers in recovering Banners Broker assets for more than 100,000 creditors across some 100 countries. Larry was also part of a KPMG team for the Portus Group receivership, involving $800 million of investor funds at risk in Canada’s largest hedge fund scandal.

Laura L. Emmett, Lerners LLP

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Laura Emmett is an outstanding insurance defence litigator. In Montepeque v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance, she was co-counsel representing the defendant, State Farm, in a five-week trial in which the jury found there was no liability and no damages were awarded. Other notable actions include obtaining a court order under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act barring a respondent’s civil claim against an applicant; obtaining summary judgment that the limitation period for claiming non-earner benefits had expired; blocking a motion for summary judgment against a statutory third-party client; on appeal, upholding an arbiter’s ruling requiring production of medical records from a tort action and ordering the neuro-psychological assessment of an insured party. Laura is President of the Red Shoe Society, which has raised more than $300,000 for Ronald McDonald House.

Nils F. Engelstad, Alamos Gold Inc.

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Nils Engelstad is Vice President and General Counsel of Alamos Gold Inc. He has had legal oversight and responsibility for entering into a $150-million credit facility with a syndicate of banks, amending Alamos’s previous credit facility; acquiring Carlisle Goldfields by way of a court-approved plan of arrangement valued at approximately $30 million; combining with AuRico Gold in a merger valued at approximately US$1.5 billion; managing and settling a bet-the-project mining dispute valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars; completing a $60-million US and Canadian concurrent rights offering for McEwen Mining; and creating McEwen Mining from the US$1.4-billion merger of US Gold Corp. and Minera Andes. Nils serves as a director of both the international aid group War Child Canada and the Rumie Initiative, providing affordable education around the world via tablet computers.

Alexander K. Fane, Bull Housser & Tupper LLP

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Alexander Fane is a partner in Bull Housser’s real estate group, focusing on large, complex and publicly important development projects. He has acted as lead counsel to Century Group Lands Corp. on the redevelopment of a shopping centre in Tsawwassen, BC, into a mixed-use residential and commercial community; to Aspac Developments Ltd. for a multi-billion- dollar residential-commercial development project in Richmond, BC; and BC Pavilion Corp. (PavCo) in the rezoning, development and operation of a $450-million casino/hotel complex next to BC Place. The rezoning approval process was highly contentious, requiring agreements on land exchanges, parks, streets and other public infrastructure. Alexander is a co-organizer of the annual Battle of the Bar Bands, raising $500,000 for the BC Chapter of the Canadian Bar Association Benevolent Society and a board member of Three Links Care Society, supporting Vancouver seniors’ housing.

Brenda Gosselin, Goodmans LLP

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Brenda Gosselin is a corporate and securities lawyer, focusing on corporate finance, restructuring, M&A and corporate governance. She advises companies on corporate governance and continuous disclosure obligations and has acted for RioCan REIT in its $250-million debenture offering, $230-million equity offering and issuance of $126 million in preferred trust units, a first for a Canadian REIT; for Milestone Apartments REIT in its $228.5-million IPO; for backstop financiers in a US$50-million liquidity backstop facility for Mood Media via non-brokered private placement; for Sherritt International on its extension of the maturity dates on $720 million worth of outstanding notes; and for Masonite International in the financial restructuring of US$2.2 billion of debt and its emergence from CCAA protection. Brenda is a former chair of the United Way committee who earned the firm its first Spirit Award nomination.