Paul H. Harricks

Paul Harricks is the leader of Gowling WLG Canada's Energy Sector Group and has a primarily transactions-based practice in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, energy and infrastructure, project development and finance. He acts for a wide range of Canadian and foreign corporations, governments, investment dealers, banks and other financial institutions.

In the power sector Paul has worked for clients involved in generation (hydro, solar, wind, nuclear, biomass and gas-fired), distribution and transmission, as well as for lenders, retailers and regulators.

Paul also acts for several major infrastructure-focused investment funds including JPMorgan and Fengate and has represented them in connection with both the formation and governance of their funds as well as more than 30 new-build and secondary market investments - hospitals, toll roads, airports, ports, detention centres and sports facilities - in Canada and elsewhere.

He is a director of the Association of Power Producers of Ontario and chair of the Energy Committee of the Toronto Region Board of Trade.

Paul is also the chief editor of The Electricity Industry in Canada, the definitive legal text on the subject, published by Thomson Reuters. He is recognized by Lexpert and The Best Lawyers in Canada for his expertise in the energy sector.

Paul joined Smith Lyons, one of Gowling WLG's predecessor firms, in 1978 as an articling student and has practised with the firm ever since. He became a partner in 1986.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:


  • American Bar Association
  • Energy Bar Association
  • International Bar Association
  • Ontario Bar Association, Corporate Law Subcommittee

Paul has appeared on panels and lectured at a wide variety of seminars and conferences in Canada and abroad, including conferences sponsored by The Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association, the International Bar Association, the United Nations Development Program, the Vietnam Ministry of Justice, the Government of Ukraine, the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce, Insight, Federated Press, The Canadian Institute, The Institute for International Research, the Conference Board of Canada and The Financial Services Law Institute (Chicago).

Paul is a senior editor of The Electricity Industry in Canada, a comprehensive two-volume legal review written by Gowlings and published by Carswell in May 2009.

He is a contributing editor of the Canadian Business Financing Handbook, published by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. His articles have been published in a variety of journals, including Corporate Structure, Finance and Operations and the National Insolvency Review.

Paul is a member of Gowlings' Precedents Committee, which is responsible for preparing and maintaining the firm's national database of business law precedents and model documents. He has spoken and written widely on the subjects of legal writing and commercial drafting.

Paul's recent experience in mergers and acquisitions includes:

  • Acting for Wittington Investments in connection with its public takeover of Selfridges plc, the U.K. luxury goods retailer;
  • Acting as Canadian counsel to Macquarie Group in connection with its acquisition of Dyno-Nobel;
  • Acting for IntraPac Group in its acquisition of the specialty packaging division of CCL Industries and its subsequent acquisitions of Plastic Packaging & Components Ltd. and Corona Packaging;
  • Representing Deutsche Bank in connection with the financing of the proposed acquisition of BCE Inc. by a consortium led by Ontario Teachers Pension Plan;
  • Representing Gay Lea Foods Co-operative in its acquisition of Ivanhoe Cheese;
  • Acting for Weston Foods (Canada) Inc. in the sale of its Neilson Dairy business to Saputo;
  • Acting for ICON Capital, the fifth largest equipment leasing company in the United States, in connection with its acquisition of the leasing business of Clearlink Capital (formerly MFP Financial), a TSX-listed company.

In the finance area, Paul's recent experience includes:

  • Acting for George Weston Limited in connection with the preparation and filing of its shelf prospectus and prospectus supplements and the public offerings of $500 million of its preferred shares;
  • Acting for CIBC World Markets and the investors in a $153.5 million cross-border private placement of Senior Secured Notes of Noranda Operating Trust;
  • Acting for underwriting syndicates led by CIBC World Markets and Scotia Capital, respectively, in connection with concurrent public offerings of debentures and common shares by Fortis Inc., a Newfoundland-based holding company with major electricity transmission, distribution and generation assets;
  • Acting for Wells Fargo Financial Canada in establishing its $1.5 billion medium-term note program and issuing securities under it;
  • Acting for the underwriters of Firm Capital Mortgage Investment Trust in its IPO, and five subsequent public offerings of trust units and debentures.

In the energy and infrastructure sector, Paul has worked on the following major transactions:

  • Representing Greta Energy Inc. in the development and financing of two 40 MW wind power projects in Estonia and the acquisition and financing of several wind projects under development in Ontario;
  • Representing JPMorgan in connection with the Canadian aspects of the establishment of its global infrastructure fund;
  • Representing sponsors in structuring LPF Infrastructure Fund, a private equity fund focussed on the infrastructure sector;
  • Representing LPF Infrastructure Fund in numerous downstream investments including hospitals, detention centres, power projects and other essential infrastructure;
  • Representing Great Lakes Hydro Income Fund in its acquisition of Carmichael Falls Limited Partnership and its subsequent financing of its 20 MW hydro electric facility;
  • Representing Macquarie Infrastructure Group in connection with the acquisition of its interest in the 407 Express Toll Route;
  • Representing Macquarie Essential Assets Partnership in its acquisition of Michigan Electric Transmission Company;
  • Representing British Energy plc in the establishment of Bruce Power LP., which leases the Bruce Nuclear Plant from Ontario Power Generation, and in its subsequent disposition of its interest in Bruce Power;
  • Representing several Ontario municipalities in responding to the new Ontario electricity regulatory regime, including:
    • The City of Toronto in establishing new business corporations to conduct electricity distribution and retail businesses;
    • The City of Belleville in the merger of its electricity distribution business with Veridian Corporation; and
    • The Town of Caledon in the sale of its distribution company to Hydro One;
  • Representing CIBC World Markets and the investors in connection with a $77 million cross-border secured bond issue by Lake Superior Power LP;
  • Representing CIBC World Markets and the other agents or underwriters in connection with the issuance of bonds by Enersource Corporation, Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc. and Horizon Holdings Inc.;
  • Representing Fortis Inc. in its acquisition of Cornwall Electric from Enbridge;
  • Representing the lenders in connection with the financing of a 50 MW hydro-electric project in British Columbia.

Paul's experience in the consumer finance and cards area includes:

  • Acting for Wells Fargo in connection with its acquisition of the credit card portfolio of the T. Eaton Company Limited and the subsequent operation of the Eaton Credit Card Trust, at the time Canada's only publicly traded credit card conduit;
  • Acting for Eaton Credit Card Trust in all of its capital markets work and its eventual winding up;
  • Acting for Citi Cards Canada in connection with the establishment of a co-branded and private label credit card program for Business Depot/Staples and a private label credit card program for Sobeys;
  • Acting for Tim-Br-Marts Canada in connection with the establishment of its private label credit card and loyalty card program;
  • Providing a major Canadian retailer with anti-money laundering advice within the framework of co-branding agreements with a major credit card company.