Norman Findlay signs on to mining group at Bennett Jones

Norman Findlay, Bennett Jones LLP

After nearly 16 years with Cassels Brock, securities lawyer Norm Findlay started at Bennett Jones earlier this month, with an eye towards building up the firm’s mining group. Findlay, who has been repeatedly recommended for Mining Law in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, was settling into his new office at First Canadian Place when we reached him by phone to chat about his move.

Lexpert: Why did you decide to make this change?

NF: Cassels Brock was a great place, but they’re fairly active in the mining sector and we had so many great practitioners in that area, we were starting to trip over one another. I saw a good opportunity here and, at this stage in my career, with my three kids all moved away or in college, I thought I would take advantage of it.

Lexpert: What are you most looking forward to?

NF: I’m looking forward to the challenge. We had a pretty good mid-cap/senior-intermediate practice at Cassels Brock and I’d like to try and replicate some of that here.

I think that mining is going to pick up in the next year or two because commodity prices are increasing again, especially in the base metals area, and there are a lot of companies, especially in junior and mid-tier markets, who have hibernated projects or are curtailing expenses, and I think there’s going to be an opening up for them – there will be more capital markets and there will continue to be consolidation – so there will be M&A activity as well.

Lexpert: With the recent merger of Norton Rose OR and Macleod Dixon, globalization has been a big theme in the Canadian legal market. How do you think this will affect firms like Bennett Jones in terms of natural resources work?

NF: I think it goes back to Canada as a whole and how it’s really the mining finance capital of the world. Right now, mining is one of the true growth areas in capital markets and people are trying to determine how to take advantage of that. One of these ways is the global firms reaching out to Canada to try to get a piece of that growth. Bennett Jones is probably a good platform for that as well because we do have offices and connections in the Middle East as part of our natural resources practice, and also in China.

– Gena Smith

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