Baker McKenzie




The Toronto office of Baker McKenzie stands out as being one of the few entities in the city whose work is not specifically focused on servicing Bay Street-centric clients, which is not surprising given the firm’s stature as one of the largest and most globally entrenched legal shops in the world. “They specialize in cross-border disputes, class actions, and fraud/white-collar matters,” a peer testifies. “Most recently, Baker McKenzie is opposing counsel on a commercial arbitration. For many years prior to this, I worked as co-counsel with Baker McKenzie on a complex commercial fraud case that also included bankruptcy and insolvency issues and a class action. I worked the most with John Pirie and David Gadsden. John and David are both extraordinary lawyers and working with them has been an excellent experience. We collaborated on the factual and legal issues. Even after the decision in our matter was released, I continued to work with John and David on issues that affected their client. They are also extremely good at analyzing the legal issues.” Exemplifying both the firm’s internationally driven work and the individual and collective prowess of Pirie and Gadsden, a firm team involving this pair represents NHK, a Japanese manufacturer of suspension assemblies for hard disk drives in defending three class actions in Canada in connection with an alleged conspiracy to fix prices in Canada and throughout the world. The firm is also defending NHK in parallel US proceedings and is advising NHK in respect of pending regulatory investigations in Brazil, Taiwan and Singapore in respect of the alleged conspiracy. John Pirie, two of the firm’s litigation stars in Toronto. “John Pirie is the primary lawyer that I deal with on a regular basis,” confirms a client. “He has a sterling reputation in our legal community and is regarded as a powerful litigator in the Ontario courts, particularly when it comes to cross-border white-collar and fraud matters.  He takes a hands-on, in-depth approach to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the case, and formulates a strategy that the team will then implement with precision. He has even defended Ontario judges in sensitive civil actions on more than one occasion.” Matthew Latella also has a growing level of support among peers and clients. One client declares, “Matthew is adept at identifying and nailing the core issues to successful conclusion. I’ve seen him simply out-work and out-strategize opposing counsel.”