The Atlantics


Dispute resolution
McInnes Cooper

One of the “big three” legal institutions in Atlantic Canada, McInnes Cooper maintains an omnipresent status on cases. throughout the region With six offices in the region, spanning every Maritime province, “They are obviously a firm you are going to run into,” confirms a peer, “but I’m pleased to say that I haven’t noticed any variation in quality on their bench. All of the litigators I’ve encountered there are top-notch, which you can’t always say about bigger firms.”

Halifax’s Michelle Awad continues to be an active and visible presence, a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers with a docket that balances a wide range of commercial matters. Awad’s experience comes from years of working on files involving insurance, securities, product liability and even defamation. “Michelle is certainly among the best and brightest that Halifax has to offer, and she has a reputation outside Atlantic Canada as well.”

Stewart McKelvey

Another of the “big three” legal institutions in Atlantic Canada, Stewart McKelvey is lauded by firms even outside of the region, with several prominent practitioners in major Bay Street firms in Toronto recognizing the firm’s dominance in the region and collective depth and prowess of its team of litigators. The firm’s coverage of the region is also comprehensive, with offices in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island. “’Stew Mac’ are obviously the big kahunas in the region without question,” concedes one competitor, “and it doesn’t surprise me that others elsewhere in Canada have also recognized this.”

Halifax’s William “Mick” Ryan is a seasoned commercial litigator with a considerable reputation among peers. Ryan enjoys a broad practice that touches on elements of insurance, trust and estates, shareholder oppression claims, and even family law and labor and employment. Over the past year, Ryan has helmed at least five multimillion-dollar construction cases, several multimillion-dollar divorce cases (as well as one estimated to be closer to $1 billion), several complex commercial cases, and a multimillion-dollar share-and-fraud case. Colin Piercey, another Halifax partner, also attends to a diverse practice, which encompasses construction litigation and arbitration, commercial litigation and insurance. A peer refers to Piercey as “pound for pound, the best litigator in Nova Scotia today.”