The legalization of cannabis in Canada may have diminished the need for criminal lawyers, but it’s created a booming business for the country’s most prestigious corporate law firms.
The cannabis sector has seen 27 major deals worth $10.6 billion announced this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Add in 127 stock sales worth $2.65 billion, and advice to clients on how to navigate a complex new regulatory environment, and it’s been a boon for Toronto’s biggest law firms, many of whom had regarded it with trepidation for years.
“I’ve never seen an industry start to dominate our practice in the way that this one has,” said Patricia Olasker, partner at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP. “It’s unprecedented in the lifetime of most practicing lawyers.”
Davies ranks first among its peers for working on $5.8 billion worth of cannabis M&A this year, including advising Canopy Growth Corp. on Constellation Brands Inc.’s C$5 billion ($3.76 billion) investment in the Smiths Falls, Ontario-based pot producer.
Like many of Canada’s corporate law firms, Davies entered the sector because its traditional clients needed to understand the implications of recreational legalization on Oct. 17. [Read More @ Bloomberg]