2015 Rising Stars Award Winners


Gavin MacDonald, Cox & Palmer

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Gavin MacDonald plays a leading role in commercial and insolvency law in Atlantic Canada. In 2014, Gavin led a $110-million club financing and coordinated loan security in Canada and the United States. He was a key member of the legal team on the Province of Nova Scotia’s $305-million financing of Irving Shipbuilding Inc. in 2013. He has acted on the acquisition and sale of telecommunication companies, and as Nova Scotia lead counsel on Weston Group’s spinoff of Choice Properties REIT. He frequently advises on claims, dispositions of assets and other insolvency matters. He also took a lead role in the successful restructuring of NewPage Port Hawkesbury, saving a local paper mill. Gavin is active with the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, promoting the concerns of business on taxation, regulation and economic development.

Sunita Mahant, Ivanhoe Cambridge Inc.

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Sunita Mahant leads a large legal team at Ivanhoé Cambridge, one of the world’s largest real estate development companies, with more than $40 billion in assets. She acts on many large, high-profile, complex deals, including the Target bankruptcy; the acquisition, development, leasing and operations of Canada’s largest open-air outlet shopping centre, Outlet Collection at Niagara; the development and leasing of new retail outlet projects in Canada, including Tsawwassen Mills, the Outlet at Winnipeg, and the Outlet Collection at Edmonton International Airport; redevelopment and expansion of Bayshore Shopping Centre, Vaughan Mills and Oshawa Centre; the development and leasing of new office project Bay Park Centre, a world-class, downtown Toronto office tower; and the acquisition of greenfield development property. Sunita’s community service includes Covenant House, the Daily Bread Food Bank and Evergreen Downsview Park.

Timothy McCormick, Stikeman Elliott LLP

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Tim McCormick has been involved in many of the most complex recent transactions in Canadian capital markets. These include restructuring debt securities to facilitate an acquisition of media/newspaper assets; leading the Canadian legal team for Telesat in the recapitalization of the company with new credit facilities of US$2.55 billion, a consent-and-tender solicitation for high-yield notes of US$700 million, the redemption of its preferred shares and the distribution of approximately $700 million to the shareholders; and structuring the special redemption of a class of preferred shares for a schedule-one bank. He also advised in the Sobeys acquisition of Canada Safeway; D+H Corporation acquiring Harland; Anatolia Minerals merger of equals with Avoca Resources; and Fluid Music acquiring Mood Media. Tim is a board member of the Missing Children Society of Canada.

Laura J. McLaren, BMO Financial Group

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Laura McLaren’s work focuses on complex financial litigation and regulatory matters. She practised for nine years in New York City, specializing in class-action defence and regulatory investigations. She acted as defence counsel on many of the largest and most complicated securities class actions in US history, including the IPO Securities Litigation, which changed New York law on class certification, and the civil litigation arising from the Libor scandal. She has led large-scale international regulatory investigations on issues ranging from sanctions violations to alleged interest-rate manipulation. She joined BMO in 2012, managing capital markets litigation. Her portfolio included complex securities, bankruptcy, fraud recovery and employment matters. She is now the Director of Global Anti-Corruption for BMO. Laura participates as a mentor in the Law in Action Within Schools (LAWS) program.

Ian Mitchell, Weirfoulds LLP

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Ian Mitchell advises clients on complicated international transactions, most recently in Brazil, the US, the UK and Nigeria. He also advises companies in all aspects of going public. He has worked on a number of difficult governance issues as special counsel involving shareholder activism, related-party transactions and the succession of senior management. Ian has acted as lead counsel to Largo Resources Ltd. in a $450-million equity and debt financing; counsel to James Bay Resources in its ongoing acquisition and financing of a US$500-million oil and gas asset in Nigeria; and Canadian counsel to Canadian Solar in its concurrent offerings of common shares and convertible senior notes for US$250 million. Ian is a member of and recruiter for the Young Patrons Circle at the Royal Ontario Museum.