Sam Gabor Partner

Speaks:  English

Year of Call: 2019 - Alberta

Year of Call: 2019 - Saskatchewan

Year of Call: 2012 - Manitoba

Primary office:  Calgary

Sam Gabor

Dedicated to his clients and focused on practical solutions, Sam is a highly effective barrister and solicitor in Gowling WLG's Calgary office. Sam has defined himself as a pragmatic, hard working, results-based legal practitioner that is fully committed to his clients' goals.

Sam has a longstanding litigation and solicitor practice focused on debtor-creditor, restructuring, insolvency and bankruptcy law. Sam is called to the bar in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and practises across the Canadian prairie provinces. Sam has built a strong reputation for working collaboratively with others, while also ardently advocating on behalf of his clients.

Sam has acted on behalf of numerous stakeholders in lending scenarios, including secured lenders, court-appointed officers (such as receivers, trustees, proposal trustees and monitors), borrowers, and other interested parties. He provides advice in court-appointed receivership and interim receivership proceedings, CCAA restructurings, out of court restructurings, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act proposals, personal property security matters, debt enforcement proceedings, liquidations, distressed purchases, debtor-in-possession financings, and other lending scenarios.

Sam has acted on matters across various industries, including real estate, construction, transportation, technology, agriculture, retail, oil & gas, and medical & dental. Sam has acted as counsel in several prominent cross-border insolvency matters, including as counsel to the Receiver of the Strategic Group of Companies wherein Sam led a group of more than 25 lawyers, paralegals and others parties advising the Receiver, including with respect to a CDN$540,000,000 sales transaction during the first lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sam acted as Canadian debtor counsel in the CCAA recognition proceedings of Cyxtera Technologies' wherein Cyxtera received approval to sell its global assets for USD$775,000,000.

Sam also applies his skills and expertise to blockchain technologies and platforms, which includes cryptocurrency and other digital assets, the metaverse, and decentralized autonomous organizations. Sam has consulted with and presented before provincial personal property security regulators recommending amending provincial Personal Property Security Act legislation across Canada to incorporate new regulations for digital assets. Sam has provided several presentations on blockchain technology to his clients, and has attended and spoken at numerous conferences on blockchain technology, including the Canadian Blockchain Summit, the Blockchain Futurist Conference, Bitcoin Miami, and the Alberta Technology Symposium. Sam is a volunteer member of the Canadian Blockchain Consortium's Legal Committee, which is a not-for-profit organization focused on blockchain-based businesses.

Prior to joining Gowling WLG, Sam practised at a large global law firm and a regional Manitoba law firm. Sam previously played football in Winnipeg for 10 years and coached high level football for 17 years. Sam is an incredibly approachable person, with an optimistic view on life, and a persevering spirit.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2022

    • Community
      June 2022
      Canadian Blockchain Consortium, Legal Committee Member
  • 2021

    • Community
      Alberta Bar Association – Insolvency South Section, Treasurer (2021 to Present)
  • 2019

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      Year of Call, Alberta
    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      Year of Call, Saskatchewan
  • 2016

    • Community
      Manitoba Bar Association – Insolvency Section, Co-Chair (2016-2018; 2021 to Present)
  • 2012

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      Year of Call, Manitoba
  • 2011

    • Education
      University of Manitoba, JD


  • College of Patents and Trademark Agents (Canada)
  • "Getting DAO to Business: Decentralized Autonomous Organizations under Canadian Insolvency Law," 2023 Annual Review of Insolvency Law.
  • "The Metaverse: Personal property security in digital assets," Lexology, June 2022.
  • "The Alberta Energy Regulator requests information regarding cryptocurrency mining operations in Alberta," Dentons Insights, May 31, 2022.
  • "Structuring a loan in the metaverse: What you need to know," Tech Law Talks, April 22, 2022.
  • "Manitoba's Upcoming New Limitation of Actions Framework – What Secured Lenders Need to Know," Dentons client alert, Feb. 1, 2022.
  • "Canadian Prairies Insolvency Update," Dentons client alert, Nov. 30, 2021.

Sam has also provided various presentations throughout his career in the insolvency space:

  • Individual insolvency presentations: (1) Security Reviews, (2) Enforcement of Loans, (3) Forbearance Agreements, (4) Personal Property Security, (5) Receiverships, (6) Guarantees, (7) Debtor Restructuring, (8) Bankruptcy (9) Foreclosure, Various clients, 2022.
  • "Personal Property Security in Digital Assets", Canadian Conference on Personal Property Security Law, June 14, 2022.
  • "Legal issues in the metaverse," Dentons Canada IP Podcast Series, podcast, April 21, 2022.
  • "The New Limitation of Actions Act (Manitoba)", Manitoba Bar Association, Manitoba Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals and various client, Dec. 2, 2021 and 2022.
  • "Salt Bush Energy: Daylight CCAA and Reverse Vesting Orders", Canadian Bar Association, Alberta South Section, September 2021.
  • "Security, Enforcement and Insolvency Processes 101 (including Agricultural Enforcement)," Various clients, 2020, 2021.
  • "The Impact of insolvency on IP Rights," Dentons Canada IP Podcast Series, podcast, Oct. 2, 2020.
  • "Insolvency: Managing personal information in an insolvency proceeding," 2nd annual Dentons Data Summit: Navigating data.
  • "CRA Claims and Best Strategies for Dealing with Them" (Presented on statutory deemed trusts vs. super-priority priming charges), CBA National Insolvency Law Conference, Nov. 8, 2019.
  • "Farm Enforcement Across the Prairies," Various clients, August 2019 to present.
  • "Case Law Update," Manitoba Bar Association, Insolvency Section, Dec. 11, 2018.
  • "Technical Case Law Update," Manitoba Bar Association, Insolvency Section, May 2017.
  • "Director's Liability," Manitoba Bar Association Mid-Winter Conference, January 2018.
  • "CCAA: Cross Border Insolvency and Re IMRIS," Manitoba Bar Association, Insolvency Section, Dec. 5, 2015.

Representative Work

Mantle Materials Group Ltd.: Acted as counsel for the debtor owner of several aggregate (gravel) pits in Alberta located on public and private lands in the debtor’s BIA Division I Proposal and CCAA Proceedings.

Candesto Enterprises Corp. et al.: Acted as counsel for Alvarez & Marsal Canada Inc. as the court appointed Monitor in the CCAA proceedings of three debtor companies which install traffic control, roadside safety and barrier systems.

Razar Contracting Services Ltd.: Acted as counsel for Ernst & Young Inc. as the Receiver and Manager of a general construction contractor carrying on business in Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario.

Cyxtera Canada: Acted as counsel to Cyxtera Technologies, Inc. as the foreign representative of its affiliates Cyxtera Canada, LLC, Cyxtera Communications Canada, ULC and Cyxtera Canada TRS, ULC in Canadian CCAA recognition proceedings of Cyxtera's United States Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

Polar Window of Canada Group of Companies: Acted as counsel for the senior secured lender and debtor-in-possession interim lender of a group of debtor entities in the window, door, and glass fabrication and sales industry with operations in Alberta, Manitoba and New Brunswick.

Plaza 1000: Acted as counsel to the senior secured lender appointing MNP Ltd. as receiver over a commercial property in downtown Calgary.

Merit Functional Foods Corporation: Acted as counsel to two senior secured lenders appointing PricewaterhouseCoopers as receiver over a sophisticated pea processing plant in Manitoba.

Private Dental Clinic: Acted as counsel to the senior secured lender appointing MNP Ltd. as receiver over a dental clinic.

Private Medical Clinic: Acted as counsel to the senior secured lender appointing BDO Canada Ltd. as trustee over a medical clinic.

Vertex Downhole Ltd.: Acted as counsel for MNP Ltd. as Proposal Trustee and Receiver an oil and gas equipment provider with operations in Calgary, Texas and the Middle East.

Curbie Cars Inc.: Acted as counsel for Grant Thornton Limited as Trustee of a bankrupt technology company with operations in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

F1rst Auto Rentals: Acted as counsel for Grant Thornton Limited as Trustee and Receiver of a rental car company in Saskatchewan.

Kings Cargo Express Ltd.: Acted for the senior secured lender appointing a receiver over two debtor companies in the trucking service industry.

Crowfoot Land & Livestock Corporation: Acted for the senior secured lender appointing a receiver over the debtor company and an individual in the agriculture sector.

Strategic Group of Companies: Acted for Alvarez and Marsal Canada Inc., LIT, as the Interim Receiver and subsequent Receiver in a receivership of numerous debtor entities known as the Strategic Group of Companies, whereby the Receiver took care and control of 58 commercial, retail and residential properties across British Columbia, Alberta, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and later sold 30 properties to special purpose subsidiaries of the TELUS Pensions Master Trust via four separate Approval and Vesting Orders for an approximate purchase price of $540,000,000. The Receiver also commenced a claims process for the purpose of distributing funds to unsecured and other priority creditors whose claims were vested out as part of the transaction, amongst other matters in the proceedings.

ACCEL Canada Holdings Limited and ACCEL Energy Canada Limited: Acted for a secured creditor in a CCAA restructuring of the debtor entities in the oil and gas industry.

Corner Equipment Ltd.: Acted for a secured equipment lender in a BIA Division 1 Proposal.

Litz & Sons Company Limited: Acted for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as the Court Appointed Interim Receiver and subsequent Proposal Trustee in a BIA Division 1 Proposal for a crane company. Presented written and oral argument to the Manitoba Court of Appeal in an appeal of the Court approval of the proposal.

390 Assiniboine Ave Inc.: Acted for the secured lender in successfully obtaining an Order appointing PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as Receiver over an unfinished 17 story condominium building.

Burnell Apartments: Acted for Grant Thornton Limited as the Receiver of an apartment building in downtown Winnipeg.

The Axe Houghton Group: Acted for the senior secured lender of a group of interrelated Canadian and U.S. companies selling heating units.

Don's Photo Shop Ltd.: Acted for the debtor owner of a chain of retail camera companies in obtaining an Approval Order for a BIA Division 1 Proposal.

McDiarmid Lumber: Acted for the senior secured lender in the CCAA of a retailer hardware store company.

The Puratone Corporation: Acted for the debtor company in a CCAA of Manitoba's previous largest hog producer.