Laurie J. Sanderson

Laurie Sanderson is a partner in the Ottawa office of Gowling WLG. With more than 25 years of experience, Laurie is a recognized expert in the area of commercial leasing. She represents a wide variety of both private and public sector landlords and tenants.

Laurie has extensive experience in both P3 and the design build process, in addition to the unique requirements of Crown corporations. She is also well positioned to give strategic advice in insolvency proceedings.

Laurie takes a practical, results-oriented approach to all matters. Her clients can count on a level of service that is matched only by her expertise. She is passionate about her work and committed to delivering strategic results. She is a trusted adviser to her clients on issues unique to commercial leasing, including:

  • Cost recovery and realty tax allocations and reporting obligations.
  • The appropriate selection and application of measurement standards to achieve financial objectives.
  • Best practices for securing covenants given the unique treatment of commercial leases in bankruptcy.
  • Risk allocation and insurance matters.
  • Repair and restoration obligations.
  • Environmental due diligence both before and at the conclusion of the term of the lease.
  • Operating covenants and radius restrictions.

Laurie is consistently recognized for her real estate expertise in Chambers Global, The Best Lawyers in Canada and Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory.


  • Active member of ICSC
  • Member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of BOMA Ottawa

Representative Work

  • Laurie represented the Bank of Canada to secure a five-year lease for 300,000 square feet to accommodate the temporary relocation of its headquarters in Ottawa while the Bank of Canada building is being retrofit.
  • Laurie represented Canada Council for the Arts in its search to secure a new lease for its national headquarters in Ottawa. Canada Council will be relocating to Performance Court being built by Morguard Developments at 150 Elgin Street.
  • Laurie represented the Global Centre for Pluralism in the negotiation of a 99-year ground lease of the site of the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa from the National Capital Commission for the establishment of their new international and educational research centre, a particularly challenging negotiation given the heritage nature of the property and its location on Confederation Boulevard.
  • Laurie represented the Anglican Diocese with respect to its proposed ground leasing of two sites surrounding the Christ Church Cathedral to Windmill Developments for the construction of a residential condominium and office tower development.
  • Laurie represented Infrastructure Ontario with respect to its lease for lab space forming part of the MaRS Discovery District, Phase II in downtown Toronto.
  • Laurie represented Export Development Canada with respect to its request for proposals for its new national headquarters, resulting in a long term lease from Broccolini Construction (Ontario) Inc. and Canderel Management Inc., as co-developers, for the construction of an 18-storey LEED Gold building with a rentable area of 520,000 square feet, the largest new office construction project in downtown Ottawa in the past 25 years.
  • Laurie represented the Federal Crown with respect to Her Majesty's lease from Minto Developments of 3000 Merivale Road, Ottawa, the prior headquarters of JDS Uniphase. This will become the new National Headquarters for the RCMP. The Ottawa Business Journal identified this as Ottawa's largest lease transaction for 2006. The transaction involved a 25 year securitized lease to the Crown. The leased property is a 50 acre site on which JDSU had built a massive 910,000 square feet campus. It is expected that the Crown will build a further 350,000 of office space on this property. The lease includes a bargain transfer of ownership of the lands to the Crown at the end of the 25 year term. The transaction also included a construction management contract under which Minto will undertake what is anticipated to be a two year renovation of the property to ready the site for the RCMP, and a 25 year property management contract between the Crown and Minto.
  • Gowlings was retained by Nav Canada to represent Nav Canada in its acquisition Canada's air navigation system from Transport Canada - a One Billion Dollar transaction. Laurie was the legal counsel responsible for all leasing matters, including the leasing by Nav Canada of several thousand navigational aids and for all of the air traffic control towers and Nav Canada's office and warehouse space requirements.