Despite the economic slowdown in 2009, certain sectors were active, says Kevin Morris in Financial Post

Law Firms are Riding a Financing Wave

January 27, 2010

A year ago, the markets were tanking, U.S. investment banks were struggling and deals had come to a standstill due to the lack of available financing.

Law firms have since been busy, however, due to the large equity financings undertaken by financial institutions and the capital raisings by industries such as mining and REITs.

When it came to representing equity issuers, Torys was Canada's top legal adviser, having advised on with 36 deals valued at C$15 billion in total.

Kevin Morris says Torys benefited from deals such as Manulife's C$2.5 billion share issue and Fairfax Financial Holdings' C$1 billion offering -- two of the top 10 financing deals in 2009.

"It was the right time for Fairfax to access the capital markets," says Kevin, adding that Torys also represented the Bank of Montreal in issuing a number of structured products. Although the beginning of the year was "murky and unpredictable" for issuers, says Kevin, "the resources were hot" and a number of companies were able to take advantage of windows to raise capital, including Northgate Minerals, which had never gone to the public markets before, but managed to raise C$100 million.

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