‘Up-and-Coming’ Montreal Tax Lawyer Jumps to Stikeman Elliott; Cozen O’Connor Expands in Canada—Once more

Law firms in Canada have been busy hiring veteran partners, with Stikeman Elliott taking on a longtime Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg tax partner in Toronto and U.S.-based Cozen O’Connor further expanding its office in Toronto.

John Lennard spent more than a decade at Davies, where he worked out of the Canadian firm’s Montreal office.

Lennard works closely with private and public companies, as well as pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, private equity firms and government-owned corporations on corporate reorganizations, mergers and acquisitions, investment fund formation, and corporate finance matters, Stikeman said. He also frequently consults on U.S.-Canada cross-border transactions, structuring non-resident investment into Canada and outbound investment by Canadian multinationals, and acts as counsel in tax litigation matters before the courts.

His clients include Airbus SE, Nutrien Ltd. and its subsidiary, Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. as well as companies in the real estate, entertainment, machinery, technology, mining sectors and an Abu Dhabi-based sovereign wealth fund and other financial services firms, according to his firm bio.

John Lorito, head of Stikeman’s Toronto tax group, said he’s “thrilled” that Lennard, an “up-and-coming practitioner with deep knowledge of tax laws,” is joining their team.

Lennard said in a statement that he is “excited” to join Stikeman, which he described as having “a sterling reputation in tax—both in Canada and around the world.”

In addition to his expertise in tax law, Lennard is well known for his advocacy of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession and is a member of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, the Canadian Bar Association’s sexual orientation and gender identity committee, and L’Association des juristes d’expression française de l’Ontario. He’s also co-chair of the World Law Group’s international tax and private wealth group.

A Davies spokesperson said the firm thanks Lennard for his many contributions and years of service and wishes him well in his new endeavor.

Stikeman Elliott has more than 500 lawyers in offices located in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver, New York, London and Sydney.

Meanwhile, in another Toronto move, Cozen O’Connor welcomed veteran restructuring and insolvency litigator Steven Weisz to its North American bankruptcy, insolvency, and restructuring group.

Weisz, who joins the firm’s Toronto office as a shareholder, “will play a key role in further expanding Cozen O’Connor’s restructuring and insolvency practice to serve both domestic and international clients with business operations in Canada and the United States,” the firm said in a statement.

Prior to joining Cozen O’Connor he was a partner at an insolvency law boutique and, before that, a partner at Blake Cassels & Graydon for more than 21 years.

Cozen O’Connor has been boldly building up its Canadian presence over the past year with multiple hires in TorontoVancouver and Montreal. It has 775 lawyers in 32 locations, including 25 in three Canadian offices.