William E. J. Skelly  


Executive Summary

William E.J. Skelly is a Partner in our Banking and Financial Services Law group.  Mr. Skelly practises in the corporate and commercial field with a focus on insolvency law, corporate and commercial lending and real estate. He is widely recognized for his expertise in the restructuring of national and international companies. His clients include many of Canada’s largest financial institutions. His experience also encompasses railway law, especially with respect to short-line acquisitions and financing.

Mr. Skelly was a Provincial Council member of the Canadian Bar Association for a number of years and remains a member of the business law, banking law, real estate and insolvency subsections of the British Columbia branch of the Canadian Bar Association.

Mr. Skelly has been active with the Turnaround Management Association (TMA) for several years, having previously served in 2007 as the Association’s International President. In 2008, he was named its chairman, the first Canadian to hold the position in TMA’s 20-year history. Mr. Skelly currently serves as a Past Chairman of the TMA. As well, he is a member of the Insolvency Institute of Canada, the country’s premier private sector insolvency organization. Membership in the IIC is by invitation only and limited to 135 practitioners.

Furthermore, Mr. Skelly has been an active fundraiser for the Kidney Foundation of Canada, United Way, and Ducks Unlimited (Canada).

Mr. Skelly is peer-rated as repeatedly recommended in the annual Lexpert survey. He has been recognized in the 2015 (and since 2012) Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory in transportation: road and railroad.  He is also recognized as one of Canada’s leading lawyers in the area of Asset-Based Financing in the 2016 (and since 2014) editions of The Best Lawyers in Canada (Woodward/White).

Representative Work

In the past 12 months

  • Acted for Willmington Trust (C$400 million) in Catalyst Forest Products’ Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act filling.
  • Acted for an unsecured creditor of C$123 million in connection with Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc.’s Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act filling.
  • Acting for Royal Bank of Canada (C$35 million) in receivership of large commercial real estate development on Vancouver Island.
  • Acting for Ernst & Young in a receivership of a multi-unit residential development in British Columbia interior.
  • Acting for California receiver in Ponzi scheme (US$80 million) to locate fraudster and assets.
  • Acting for Alvarez & Marsal in respect of a receivership of a sawmill in Northern British

Publications & Presentations

  • Contributor to Lexis Practice Advisor on Insolvency and Restructuring regarding Forbearance Agreements.
  • Co-author, "To Forbear (or Not) - - The Inevitable Question", Annual Review of Insolvency Law 2012, February 2013.
  • Presenter, Real Estate Woes, Annual Review of Insolvency Law, February 8, 2013.
  • Presenter, Partnership Agreements, Insight Information - Major Business Agreements Conference, September 2011.
  • Author, "Traditional turnarounds severely hampered by credit clampdown", Financier Worldwide magazine, Issue 73, January 2009.
  • Co-Author, "Turnarounds - what's next?" Special Report, Turnaround & Corporate Renewal, Financial Worldwide magazine, September 2008.
  • Presenter, Perfection of Personal Property Security Interests from a Canadian Perspective and Cross-Border Insolvency Issues, The Continuing Legal Education Committee of the Washington State Bar Association, 2001.
  • Presenter, Rights and Remedies of the Debtor and Other Parties: A Comparison of Canadian PPSA Legislation, Canadian Bar Association, 1995.

Rankings & Recognitions

  • Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada® (Asset-Based Lending).
  • Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2015, 2016 and 2017 editions of the The Best Lawyers in Canada® (Asset-Based Lending).
  • Recognized in the 2017 and 2015 editions of Legal 500 Canada, (Restructuring & Insolvency).
  • Recognized in the 2013 edition of Lexpert Leading Canadian Lawyers in Global Mining.
  • Recognized in the 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2012 editions of Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory, (Transportation (Road & Rail)).
  • Recognized in the 2012 edition of Who’s Who Legal, (Insolvency & Restructuring).
  • Recognized in Turnaround Management Association, Honorary member of the Turnaround, Restructuring and Distressed Investing Industry Hall of Fame, 2013.