Alex MacFarlane  

Partner

Executive Summary

Alex MacFarlane is a partner in BLG's Toronto office and is the National Co-Chair of BLG’s Insolvency & Restructuring Group. He is also a member of our Banking and Financial Services and Bankruptcy groups. He acts for debtor corporations, financial institutions, receivers, court appointed monitors, creditors' committees, and trustees in bankruptcy.

Alex has extensive experience in respect of insolvency and restructuring proceedings under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act, the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Winding-Up and Restructuring Act.

Alex has frequently appeared in cases heard on the Commercial List of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in connection with restructuring proceedings, proposals and receiverships on behalf of debtors, creditors and court appointed monitors and receivers.

Representative Work

  • Maple Bank GmbH – Lead counsel to KPMG Inc. in its capacity as court-appointed liquidator of the business in Canada of Maple Bank and its assets.  On application by the Attorney General of Canada acting on behalf of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions,  the Toronto Branch of Maple Bank was ordered to be wound up under the provisions of the Winding-Up and Restructuring Act  and KPMG Inc. was appointed by the Court as liquidator. Prior to KPMG's appointment, the regulator for banks  in Germany, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority ("BaFin") issued a moratorium on Maple  Bank's business activities, commenced insolvency proceedings against Maple Bank in Germany and obtained an order from the German Court for the appointment of an insolvency administrator over Maple Bank's operations
  • Wasaya Airways Limited Partnershp, Wasaya General Partner Limited and Wasaya Airways Leasing Ltd. – Lead counsel to Wasaya, a First Nations Airline, in regard to its restructuring under the Proposal provisions of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act
  • Sherson Group – Co-counsel to BMO as operating lender during the Sherson Group's proposal proceedings and sale of its retail and wholesale operations to Nine West Canada LP
  • Laricina Energy Ltd. – Co-counsel to one of the largest institutional shareholders of Laricina during Laricina's restructuring proceedings commenced under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act
  • Represented an Alberta-based oilfield service company during its successful restructuring under the Proposal provisions of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and its concurrent reorganization under the Alberta Business Corporations Act
  • Bombay and Bowring – Co-counsel to CIBC as DIP Lender to Bombay and Bowring in their proceedings commenced under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act
  • Comstock Canada Ltd. – Acted as lead counsel in the restructuring of Comstock Canada Ltd. under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act. Comstock was one of the largest electrical contractors in Canada with operations in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia, and has significant expertise in the oil and gas and nuclear energy sectors
  • Great Basin Gold Ltd. – Co-counsel to KPMG Inc. in its capacity as court-appointed Monitor of Great Basin Gold Ltd. and its reorganization proceedings under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act
  • Nortel Networks — Canadian Counsel for the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Nortel Networks Inc. and certain of its direct and indirect subsidiaries in the cross-border CCAA/Chapter 11 proceedings
  • Canadian counsel to TerreStar Networks Inc. in connection with its CCAA recognition proceedings of TerreStar's Chapter 11 cases
  • Cooper-Standard Canada - Canadian counsel to an informal note holder group and the backstop parties in connection with the Cooper-Standard cross-border CCAA/Chapter 11 restructuring proceedings
  • Grant Forest Products Inc. - Counsel to Grant Forest Products Inc. and its subsidiaries in their proceedings under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act and Chapter 15 of the US Bankruptcy Code
  • Pope & Talbot Ltd. — Acted for the Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of British Columbia in successfully having the CCAA proceedings transferred from the Courts of Ontario to the Courts of British Columbia on the basis of forum conveniens
  • Acted as counsel for RSM Richter Inc. in its capacity as monitor in respect of the restructuring of a large scale bread and bakery business
  • Acted as counsel for RSM Richter Inc. in its capacity as receiver and manager and monitor of The Ravelston Corporation Limited and for certain affiliated companies with respect to cross-border insolvency and criminal proceedings
  • Acted as independent counsel for Ernst & Young in its capacity as interim receiver and trustee in bankruptcy of The Royal Crest Life Care Group Inc. and its affiliates in its CCAA and bankruptcy proceedings
  • Acted as counsel to PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc. in its capacity as interim receiver and trustee in bankruptcy of 1231640 Ontario Inc. (formerly known as The State Group Limited) (an electrical manufacturer)

Publications & Presentations

Publications

  • Co-Author, "Restructuring and Insolvency in Canada: Overview," Practical Law, October 2015
  • Co-Author, "Foreign Non-Main Proceedings and the Public Policy Exception — A Comparison of Canadian and American Insolvency Regimes,", Annual Review of Insolvency Law, 2015
  • Co-Author, "Lien on Me: The Comstock Story - Creative Approaches to Restructurings in the Construction Sector," Annual Review of Insolvency Law, 2014
  • Co-Author, "A Dynamic Duo: Monitors and Chief Restructuring Officers Working Together in CCAA Proceedings," National Insolvency Review, December 2012
  • Co-Author, "Creeping Roll-Up DIP," Journal of the Insolvency Institute of Canada, October 2012
  • Author, "Forbearance Agreements: The Benefits Are In The Challenges To Drafting," 2012
  • Author, "Directors' and Officers' Liability in the Shadow of Insolvency," 2011
  • Co-Author, "Navigating Through Pension Obligations of Professionals in an Insolvency: Concerns for Monitors, Receivers, Trustees in Bankruptcy, Officers and Directors," OBA Annual Institute, Pensions Law Section, January 2011
  • Author, "Directors' and Officers' Liability in the Shadow of Insolvency," 2011
  • Co-Author,"Advising Directors of Companies that are Insolvent or in the Zone of Insolvency," National Insolvency Reporter, August 2010
  • Co-Author, "Show me the Money! Stalking Horse Auctions in Cross-Border Insolvencies: Value Maximization and an Increase in Transparency", LEXPERT, July 2010 (with Alexandra North)
  • Co-Author, "Key Amendments to the BIA and CCAA — How Will They Change Restructuring Practice in Canada?," National Creditor Debtor Review, December 2009 (with Kate Stigler)
  • Co-Author, "Changing Landscape: Pending Amendment to the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act — An Examination of the Disclaimer and Assignment of Agreements," paper written for OBA Professional Development Conference, December 2008 (with Kori Williams, Jasmine Aujla and Jarvis Hétu)
  • Co-Author, "Key Amendments to the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act — How Will These Amendments Change Restructuring Practice in Canada?," paper written for Osgoode Professional Development Centre, December 2008 (with Kate Stigler, Craig Hill and Sam Rappos)
  • Co-Author, "Advising Directors of Companies which are Insolvent or in the Zone of Insolvency", paper written for The Six-Minute Business Lawyer Conference 2010 (with Alexandra North)
  • Co-Author, "Advising Directors of Companies which are Insolvent or in the Zone of Insolvency," paper written for Six-Minute Business Lawyer 2008,June 2008 (with Michele Oliel)
  • Co-Author, "Cross-Border Income Trusts: Restructuring Issues," paper written for Insight 4th Annual Advanced Asset-Based Lending Conference, October 2006 (with John Sandrelli and Tushara Weerasooriya)
  • Author, "U.S. Canada Cross-Border Restructurings: Recent Developments," Article: PLC Cross-Border Restructuring and Insolvency Handbook, 2005/06, December 2005
  • Author, "Harmonizing Cross-Border Restructuring," Article: The 2005 Lexpert Guide to the Leading 100 Canada/U.S. Cross-Border Corporate Lawyers in Canada, April 2005
  • Author, "Use Of Interim Receivers," paper Written For The Ontario Bar Association Conference Scope Of Orders In An Insolvency Proceeding, June 2004
  • Author, "U.S.-Canada Cross Border Insolvencies," Article: Restructuring and Insolvency Handbook 2004-2005, May 2004
  • Author, "Who Is In Control? A Commentary On Canadian Dip Lending Practices," Paper written for the Annual Insolvency and Restructuring Forum of the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals, co-authored with Adam Maerov and Andrew Kent, May 2004
  • Author, "Drafting For The Worst-Insolvency Provisions And Their Importance In Intercreditor Agreements," paper written for Insight, co-authored with Christopher Bennett and Denis Fleming, February 2003

Speaking Engagements

  • "Don't get stopped at the border: Lessons on cross border restructurings," Risk Management Association (Toronto Chapter), Breakfast seminar, February 11, 2015
  • "Lien on me: The comstock story — creative approaches to restructurings in the construction sector," Annual Review of Insolvency Law's 12th conference, February 6, 2015
  • "Lien on Me: The Comstock Story" and "A Whole Lot of Nothing in Canada — Great Basin Gold," Gowlings' Senior Insolvency Seminar, April 4, 2014
  • "Restructuring a Canadian Construction Company (Some Assembly Required) Comstock Canada Ltd. Tries to Rebuild Itself," Ontario Bar Association — Insolvency Law Section, December 4, 2013
  • "Overcoming the Lack of Uniformity in Multi-jurisdictional CCAA Filings," Canadian Institute's 12th Annual Forum on Insolvency & Restructuring Law (panellist), October 2, 2012
  • "Forbearance Agreements: The Benefits Are In The Challenges To Drafting," CAIRP Conference, Toronto, 2012
  • Risk Management Association Breakfast Seminar — Forbearance Agreements: From Essentials to Innovative Approaches, 2012
  • "Raccoon- and Squirrel-sized CCAAs — Not the Big Elephants!" panellist, Annual Review of Insolvency Law, Vancouver, 2012
  • "Recognizing the Signs of Insolvency — The Danger Signals (co-presenter)," Continuing Professional Development Bootcamp, Toronto, November 30, 2011
  • "Canadian and Cross-Border Insolvencies — An Overview" (co-presenter), Continuing Professional Development Bootcamps, Toronto, November 30, 2011
  • "Cross-Border Insolvency — Acting for Unsecured Creditors' Committee," CBA 7 th Annual Pan Canadian Insolvency and Restructuring Law Conference, September 23, 2011
  • "Part IV of the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act : A Uniquely Canadian Approach to Foreign Recognition Proceedings" (panellist), 2011 American Bar Association Annual Meeting: Stop! Border Crossing Ahead: Navigating Cross-Border DIP Loans and Restructuring, August 2011
  • "Assignment and Disclaimer of Agreements," Presentation and paper for OBA Professional Development Conference, December 2008
  • "Key Amendments to the BIA and the CCAA – How will they change Restructuring Practice?" Presentation and paper with co-presenter, Craig J. Hill, for Osgoode Professional Development Centre, December 2008
  • "Advising Directors of Companies which are Insolvent or in the Zone of Insolvency," Presentation and paper for "Six-Minute Business Lawyer 2008, June 2008
  • "Who's on First? What's on Second? How Did I End Up on Third? Analyzing the Priorities Game Following an Insolvency," Presentation for 6th Annual Advanced Asset-Based Lending Conference, May 2008
  • "Valuation, Liquidation and Exit Strategies: ABL in the Context of Bankruptcy and Insolvency,” Presentation for Insight 5th Annual Advanced Asset-Based Lending Conference, May 2007
  • "Distressed Income Trusts and Cross-Border Issues," Presentation and paper for INSOL International, Toronto Seminar, October 2006
  • "The Vultures Come to Feast: A Look at the Role of Investment Banks, Claims Traders, and Hedge Funds in the Insolvency Process," Presentation for the Ontario Bar Association Conference Annual Pan-Canadian Insolvency and Restructuring Conference, September 2006
  • "Bankruptcy Law Reform in Canada and the U.S.: Impact on Asset-Based Lending of Bill C-55 and the U.S. Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act 2005," Presentation and paper for Insight 4th Annual Advanced Asset-Based Lending Conference, May 2006
  • "Developments in U.S.-Canada Cross-Border Insolvencies," Presentation and paper for Northeastern Meeting of the State Capital Group, September 2005
  • "Developments in U.S.-Canada Cross-Border Insolvencies," Six-Minute Insolvency and Restructuring Lawyer; Presentation and paper to Law Society of Upper Canada
  • "Who is in Control? A Commentary on Canadian DIP Lending Practices," Presentation and paper for the Annual Insolvency and Restructuring Forum of the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals, May 2004
  • "Drafting for the Worst-Insolvency Provisions and Their Importance in InterCreditor Agreements," Presentation and paper for Insight Conference, February 2003

Rankings & Recognitions

  • Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2018 and 2017 editions of The Best Lawyers in Canada® (Insolvency and Financial Restructuring Law).
  • Recognized as a recommended lawyer in the 2017 edition of the Legal 500 Canada (Restructuring and Insolvency).
  • Recognized in the 2016 edition of Who's Who Legal: Canada (Insolvency and Restructuring).
  • Recognized in the 2017 edition of Chambers Canada — Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business (Restructuring/Insolvency).
  • Recognized in the 2017 edition of Chambers Global — The World's Leading Lawyers for Business (Restructuring/Insolvency — Canada).
  • Recognized in the 2016 edition of the Lexpert® Leading Canadian Lawyers in Global Mining.
  • Recognized in the 2016 edition of The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory (Insolvency & Financial Restructuring).
  • Recognized in the 2017 and 2016 editions of the Lexpert®/Report on Business Corporate Special Edition