Aird & Berlis LLP

Aird & Berlis LLP

Infobox Company
company_type = Limited Liability Partnership
foundation = Toronto, 1919
location_city = Toronto, Ontario
location_country = Canada
industry = Law
services = Legal advice and Advocacy
area_served = Canada, United States, International
slogan = Partnership. Results. Success.
homepage = []

Aird & Berlis LLP — A&B for short, is a mid-size, full-service Canadian law firm. It is located in the heart of the Bay Street financial district of Toronto. It employs over 120 lawyers.

A&B has been rated one of the 30 largest law firms in Canada and one of Toronto's 20 largest law firms by "The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory" in their feature on [ The Largest Firms in Canada 2007] .

Areas of Expertise

The firm provides a wide range of legal services with descriptions available [ on the A&B website] .

* Practice Groups include Corporate Finance, Corporate/Commercial, Financial Services (including Insolvency and Restructuring), Intellectual Property, Litigation, Municipal and Land Use Planning, Real Estate and Tax.

* Industry Teams include Energy, Entertainment (including Media, Sports and Communications), Environmental, Gaming, Infrastructure, Natural Resources, Technology and Transportation.

* Services provided include Banking, Commercial Paper Liquidity, Estates and Trusts Litigation, First Nations, Insolvency and Restructuring, Intellectual Property, International Practice, International Tax, Investment Management and Registration, Labour and Employment, Licensing, Mergers and Acquisitions, Private Business Services, Renewable Fuel, Tax Litigation, Venture Capital and Wealth Management and Succession Planning.


The history of Aird & Berlis LLP dates back to 1919 when its predecessor opened its doors for business. In 1974, the firms of Zimmerman, Grant, Hugo, Paddon, Worley & Bennett merged with Edison, Aird & Berlis to form Aird, Zimmerman & Berlis. The name was changed to Aird & Berlis circa 1978, and the LLP suffix was added later.

John Aird was appointed to the Senate of Canada in the 1960s and served as Ontario's 23rd lieutenant governor from 1980 to 1985. Doug Berlis was the gold medallist in his graduating year at law school. Together, they built a firm of people-focused, bright, technical lawyers and created an atmosphere of entrepreneurship and teamwork. This atmosphere continues to drive the firm's success today and into tomorrow.

Notable Members and Alumni

* John Black Aird, Co-founder
** Ontario's 23rd Lieutenant Governor [cite web|url= |title="AIRD, The Hon. John Black, C.C., O.Ont., Q.C., LL.B., LL.D.," Parliament of Canada]

* The Honourable Barbara McDougall, P.C., O.C., CFA, LL.D.
** [ Legal Advisor, Aird & Berlis LLP]
** Former Minister, Canadian Parliament [cite web|url= |title="MCDOUGALL, The Hon. Barbara Jean, P.C., O.C., B.A., LL.D., C.F.A.," Parliament of Canada]

* David Miller (Canadian politician), Alumnus
** Current Mayor of Toronto

* Peter Sutherland
** [ Senior Business Advisor, Asia, Aird & Berlis LLP]
** Former Canadian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and the Philippines [Ambassadors from Canada] and former High Commissioner to India


The firm has various lawyers represented in:

"Best Lawyers in Canada 2008"

Inclusion in [ "Best Lawyers"] is regarded – by both the legal profession and the public – as the highest form of professional accolade. The publication recognized eleven A&B lawyers as leaders in the following areas of practice:

*Jack Bernstein - Tax Law and Trusts and Estates
*Frederick D. Cass - Energy Regulatory Law
*Joanne C. Coldwell - Transportation Law
*Robert G. Doumani - Real Estate Law
*Harry M. Fogul - Insolvency and Financial Restructuring
*Donald B. Johnston (*) - Technology Law

*Leo F. Longo - Real Estate Law
*Bernie McGarva (*) - Construction Law
*N. Jane Pepino - Real Estate Law
*Joel M. Rose (*) - Gaming Law
*Steven A. Zakem - Real Estate Law
(*) Lawyers who are listed for the first time in "Best Lawyers".

"Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business"

In the 2008 edition of [ "Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business"] A&B is once again recognized as one of the leading firms in Canada for Tax (Band 5). Two of its lawyers have also been recognized by the publication:

* Jack Bernstein (Band 4)
* Barbara Worndl (Band 5)
"International Tax Review"

Year-after-Year, A&B has been recognized as one of the leading Canadian firms in for international tax law by the ITR's [ "World Tax"] directory.

"Law Society of Upper Canada"

Seven A&B Lawyers have been named [ Certified Specialists] by the Law Society of Upper Canada

* Lloyd F. Cornett - Real Estate Law
* Lawrence J. Crozier - Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law
* Leo F. Longo - Local Government and Land Use Planning and Development
* John Mascarin - Local Government and Land Use Planning and Development

* Paul V. McCallen - Civil Litigation
* Bernard McGarva - Construction Law
* Howard W. Winkler - Civil Litigation

"The Lexpert American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada"

The [ "2008 Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada"] recognizes the following A&B lawyers as leaders in their respective practice areas:

* Leo F. Longo – Property Development
* N. Jane Pepino - Property Development
"The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory"

A&B has long held a prominent place in [ "The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory"] , a comprehensive guide to the leading law firms and practitioners across Canada. A&B is "consistently recommended" as one of the leading firms in all aspects of property development and is "most frequently recommended" as one of the leading firms in land use planning / municipal law.

In 2008, eleven lawyers were named to the directory in their respective areas of practice:

*Louis Amato-Gauci - Transportation (Road & Rail), Repeatedly recommended
*Jack Bernstein - Estate & Personal Tax Planning, Consistently recommended
*Frederick D. Cass - Energy (Electricity and Oil & Gas), Repeatedly recommended (E) and Consistently recommended (O & G)
*Joanne C. Coldwell - Transportation (Road & Rail), Consistently recommended
*Robert G. Doumani - Property Development, Repeatedly recommended
*Donald B. Johnston - Computer & I.T. Law, Repeatedly recommended
*Martin E. Kovnats - Corporate Mid-Market, Repeatedly recommended
*Leo F. Longo - Property Development, Most frequently recommended
*N. Jane Pepino - Property Development, Most frequently recommended
*Joel M. Rose - Transportation (Road & Rail), Repeatedly recommended
*Steven A. Zakem - Property Development, Repeatedly recommended
"PLC Which lawyer? Yearbook"

The [ "2008 Yearbook"] recommends the following A&B lawyers:
*Harry M. Fogul - Recognised restructuring and insolvency lawyer. A broad practice covering bankruptcies, restructurings, receiverships and workouts, among other areas. Advises mainly debtors.
*Donald B. Johnston - Recommended IT and e-commerce lawyer. Toronto-based commercial lawyer with a particular focus on IT issues.

Aird & Berlis LLP is also recommended by the yearbook in the following practice areas:
*Recognized Canadian law firm in private equity/venture capital, restructuring and insovlency, as well as telecoms and IT
*Recognized Ontario law firm in tax
"Who’s Who Legal: The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers"

The [ "International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers"] polls general counsel and practitioners in various practice areas worldwide each year. A&B lawyer Jack Bernstein is repeatedly listed as a leading lawyer in Corporate Tax.

"Women in the Lead / Femmes de Tête"

[ "Women in the Lead"] is a national directory of more than 550 women whose professional expertise and experience recommend them as candidates for corporate board appointment. The directory recommends the following A&B lawyers:

*Margaret T. Nelligan
*N. Jane Pepino

*Louise R. Summerhill
*Barbara Worndl


Aird & Berlis LLP is the Toronto law firm representative of Interlaw, an international association of independent law firms. Interlaw’s members work together on a worldwide basis to provide quality, cost effective, value-added legal and business solutions.

Community Service and Sponsorships

"Sponsorship of Canadian Athletes"
* A&B was the first law firm to sponsor an Olympic athlete. A&B sponsored speed skater and Olympic gold medallist Clara Hughes during the 2005–2006 competitive season.
* Currently sponsoring heptathlete Jessica Zelinka in her run up to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. More news and updates about Jessica Zelinka's progress can be found on Aird & Berlis LLP's [ Quest for Gold mini-site] .
"Community Service"
Besides sitting on boards of a variety of charitable organizations, here are a few volunteer activities A&B lawyers also participate in:
* Sam Babe participated in the 2006 Tour for Kids, a four-day, 800 kilometre charitable bike ride that raises funds for camps for children with cancer. [ [ A&B is More Than Just a Pretty Face] , May 18, 2007] In 2007, Sam participated in the [ Race Across America] , helping to raise money and awareness the Sick Kids Hospital Foundation.
* Nick Torchetti awarded the [ Villa Charities "Heart and Hand" award] in 2006 for embodying the true spirit of volunteerism.
* Bill VanderBurgh was granted the [ Arbor Award] for his voluntary service to the University of Toronto.
* Jane Pepino received the [ Order of Canada] for "lending her voice to those less fortunate or marginalized by society."

External links

* [ Aird & Berlis LLP]
* [ Interlaw Website]
* [ Team S.K.R.A.A.M]


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