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03 February 2021

Dentons secures five-partner insurance team from Cassels in Canada

Insurance flagged as a 'huge priority' as nine-strong team joins Toronto and Calgary offices

By John Malpas

A photograph of Toronto

Toronto Shutterstock

Dentons’ Canada arm has boosted its insurance capability with the hire of a nine-strong team including five partners from Cassels Brock & Blackwell.

The move deepens the global giant’s capability across corporate, regulatory and disputes with the firm identifying the sector as a ‘huge priority’ in 2021. The team, which will be spread across Dentons’ Toronto and Calgary offices, is led by rated regulatory specialist Laurie LaPalme, a longstanding Cassels partner, having joined the firm from Torys in 2003.

The corporate and regulatory specialists will all be based in Toronto and also include partners Derek Levinsky and Marisa Coggin and associates Taschina Ashmeade and Katie-May O’Donnell, as well as a law clerk. Also moving across is a three-lawyer disputes team: Toronto-based partner Arthur Hamilton and, in Calgary, partner Laurie Livingstone and associate Tara McCarthy.

Martin Mankabady, global chair of Dentons’ Insurance group, said: “Bolstering our insurance sector capabilities across the world is a huge priority for Dentons. Our scale is unmatched by any other law firm and our aim is to continue to be a market-leader and the go-to adviser for both large conglomerates with global reach and local businesses with highly specialised needs.”

Blair McCreadie, managing partner of Dentons’ Toronto office, added that the team’s experience advising international property and casualty, life insurance and reinsurance companies would strengthen the firm’s offering both in the Toronto market and nationally.

Cassels, meanwhile, last month celebrated the arrival of three partners at the firm. In Calgary, commercial litigator Tamara Prince joined from Canadian Natural Resources, where she was a legal counsel, along with real estate specialist Derek Elliott, formerly a partner at Bishop & McKenzie. Toronto's business law group welcomed Ryan Hornby, from Bitfarms, where he was general counsel.

Dentons was the first international firm to secure a presence in Canada, back in 2013, when it combined with top 10 practice Fraser Milner Casgrain. Last year, it maintained its position as the tenth-most recognised legal brand among clients, according to the Acritas Canadian Law Firm Brand Index.

In March, international rival DLA Piper completed the hire of a six-lawyer Vancouver team specialising in emerging companies and technology from McMillan. 

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