Canada Law – Blakes Adds Strength To Montreal Office – Canada Legal Announcements

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In just over seven years, the Blakes Montréal office has grown from three lawyers to more than 60!

MONTRÉAL (February 27, 2009) – Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP (Blakes), one of Canada’s leading business law firms, today announced the addition of four new partners in Montréal: Yvon Martineau, Réal A. Forest, Peter Villani, and Claude Marseille.

“The decisions of these four partners to join Blakes represent a major step forward in the expansion of our Montréal office and will enhance our expertise in a number of key areas, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, and class actions,” said Brock Gibson, the Firm’s Chairman. “These moves also give us new capabilities in the area of administrative law,” he added. “The addition of these partners demonstrates our Firm’s ongoing ability to attract top legal talent, which in this case will help us better serve the legal needs of the Quebec business community.”

Yvon Martineau has extensive experience in business and securities law, and covers all aspects of mergers and acquisitions, as well as financings of public and private companies, take-over bids and equity participation. He has played a major role, both provincially and abroad, in the growth of several important Quebec businesses. He has been in charge of many major transactions that have had considerable impact on the development and restructuring of financial institutions in Quebec. In 2001, he was appointed by the Quebec government as chair of the task force on the regulation of the Quebec financial sector. In addition, Mr. Martineau was chairman of the board of Hydro-Québec and he continues to serve on several boards of public and/or private corporations.

Réal A. Forest is a senior litigation lawyer, who has developed a practice focused on complex litigation with an emphasis on business and securities, environmental, competition, as well as administrative and constitutional issues. Mr. Forest is a former professor at the Faculty of Law at the Université de Montréal. He regularly appears before all levels of courts in Quebec and Canada. He has also appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada on numerous occasions.

Peter Villani’s practice focuses on securities, mergers and acquisitions, and mining. He has led complex transactions with major Canadian players in the retail, technology and telecommunications sectors. Mr. Villani’s practice is international in scope with dealings in the United States, South Africa, India, Romania, Russia, France and Chile.

Claude Marseille specializes in corporate and commercial litigation, most notably in matters of class actions, shareholder remedies and construction law. He has represented manufacturers, transportation companies, financial institutions and public corporations. Mr. Marseille has pleaded before the courts of all jurisdictions, including the Supreme Court of Canada and arbitration tribunals. He is author or co-author of five books on class actions, evidence and e-commerce. He also taught law of evidence at the Université de Montréal.

Blakes has more than 550 lawyers and offices in Canada, the United States, Europe and China. Blakes was named “Canadian Law Firm of the Year” for 2007/08 by Chambers and Partners, one of the world’s leading publishers of legal directories and trade periodicals. In October 2008, and for the sixth consecutive year, Blakes was named one of “Canada’s Top 100 Employers” in Maclean’s newsmagazine. Blakes is the only law firm in Canada to receive such a recognition six years in a row. More information on Blakes is available by visiting the Firm’s website at www.blakes.com.
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