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About Geoff

Geoff is Chair of Blakes and one of Canada's leading M&A and corporate finance lawyers. As Chair, he is responsible for the Firm's strategic vision, market strategies and significant client relationships.

In his practice, Geoff focuses on M&A, corporate finance and corporate governance. He advises Canadian, U.S. and international public and private companies, investment dealers, private equity, venture capital and alternative investment funds, and family offices with respect to Canadian law matters. Geoff frequently acts as special counsel to boards of directors and special committees in M&A, governance, shareholder activism and internal investigation matters. He advises clients operating in a range of industries, including financial services, mining, energy, life sciences, and technology.

When he is not practising law or leading the Firm, Geoff loves to three-putt, chase his son around the yard and smoke briskets.

Select Experience

The following is a list of certain matters in which Geoff has acted:

  • Lead Blakes counsel to IAA, Inc., an online and in-person vehicle auctioneer, in its US$7-billion sale to Richie Bros., one of the largest Canada-US cross-border transactions in 2023

  • Lead counsel to Penn National Gaming, Inc. in its US$2-billion acquisition of Score Media and Gaming, Inc., creating a leading North America digital sports content, gaming and technology company

  • Lead counsel to Galaxy Digital Holdings, a financial services and investment manager innovator in the digital assets, cryptocurrency and blockchain sector, in its proposed US$1.2-billion acquisition of BitGo and related reorganization, redomiciliation to the U.S. and related party transaction

  • Lead counsel to Dominion Diamond Mines in connection with its reorganization in CCAA, financing and emergence as Arctic Canadian Diamond Mines in 2021

  • Lead Blakes counsel to Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners in connection with its acquisition of Xplornet Communications Inc, Canada's largest rural-focused broadband service provider, which is the largest PE transaction in Canada in 2020

  • Lead counsel to The Stars Group Inc. in connection with its US$15-billion enterprise value merger of equals with Flutter Entertainment Inc., one of the largest transactions in Canada in 2020

  • Lead counsel to PlayAGS Inc., a NYSE public company controlled by Apollo Global Management, in connection with its acquisition of Integrity Gaming Corp.

  • Counsel to Cronos Group in connection with the C$2.4-billion strategic investment by Altria Group Inc., one of the largest transactions in Canada in 2018

  • Lead counsel to The Stars Group Inc. in connection with its C$6-billion acquisition of Sky Betting & Gaming from CVC Capital Partners and Sky plc and related C$8-billion in financings and refinancings, which created the world's largest publicly listed online gaming company, and was one of the largest transactions in Canada in 2018

  • Lead counsel to The Stars Group Inc. in connection with its concurrent acquisition of CrownBet Holdings Pty Limited and William Hill Australia Holdings Pty Ltd. for US$430-million, creating a leader in the regulated Australian online sports betting market

  • Represented David H. Batchelder of Relational Investors in connection with D.E. Shaw's activist campaign and appointment of him to the board of Lowe's Home Improvement

  • Lead counsel to Washington Companies in connection with its C$1.5-billion acquisition of Dominion Diamond Corporation and related debt financings, the largest mining transaction in the world in 2017

  • Lead Blakes counsel to KPS Capital Partners, LP in connection with its acquisition of TaylorMade, Adams Golf and Ashworth golf brands from Adidas AG

  • Lead counsel to Sojitz Corporation in connection with a debt financing of Quebec Iron Ore and related framework offtake agreement

  • Lead counsel to Just Eat PLC in connection with its acquisition of SkipTheDishes Inc., one of Canada's largest online food marketplaces

  • Lead Blakes counsel to Catalent Pharma Solutions on its acquisition of Accucaps Industries Limited

  • Lead counsel to the special committee of Amaya Inc. on its consideration of a C$8-billion enterprise value going-private transaction proposal received by its founder and certain other matters

  • Lead counsel to Sojitz Corporation in connection with its acquisition of an interest in Cad Railway Industries Limited in 2015 and subsequent acquisition of 100% in 2020

  • Lead Blakes counsel to BBA Aviation Plc in connection with its US$2-billion acquisition of Landmark Aviation

  • Lead Blakes counsel to UnitedHealth Group in connection with its US$15-billion acquisition of Catamaran Corporation, the largest transaction in Canada in 2015

  • Lead counsel to Quadra FNX Mining Ltd. in connection with over C$10-billion in transactions, including its C$3.5-billion sale to KGHM Polska Miedz S.A., its C$1.5-billion acquisition of FNX Mining Company and its C$3-billion joint venture with Sumitomo Metal Mining/Sumitomo Corp. for the Sierra Gorda project in Chile and numerous equity and debt capital markets transactions

  • Lead Blakes counsel to HUB International Inc. on over C$7-billion in transactions, including its going-private sale to Apax Partners and others for C$2.1-billion and its subsequent sale to Hellman & Friedman for C$5.2-billion, which was the largest ever acquisition in the insurance brokerage industry

  • Lead counsel to the financial advisers in connection with Mosaid Technologies Inc.'s successful defence to a C$600-million hostile take-over bid made by WiLAN

  • Lead counsel to U.S., Canadian and international financial advisers in connection with numerous M&A advisory mandates (merger, related party, takeover defence and proxy fights), including Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation's successful defence to numerous attempts by Carl Icahn to acquire control, including proxy fights

  • Lead counsel to JDS Energy and Mining Group in connection with a number of equity and debt investments by U.S. private equity firms for a variety of projects

  • Lead counsel to a number of private equity firms in undisclosed matters

  • Counsel to Suncor Energy Inc. on its C$43-billion strategic merger with Petro-Canada

  • Lead counsel to Stornoway Diamonds Corporation on its C$110-million successful unsolicited take-over bid for Ashton Mining

  • Lead counsel to Kinross Gold Corporation on its C$2-billion three-way merger with Echo Bay Mines and TVX Gold Inc.

Awards & Recognition

Geoff has been ranked as one of the leading lawyers in Canada by a number of publications:

  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada 2024 (Private Equity)

  • Lexpert Special Edition: Mining 2023

  • Who's Who Legal: Capital Markets 2023 (Debt & Equity)

  • Who's Who Legal: Global (2023: Capital Markets – Debt & Equity; 2020–2023: M&A; 2020: Mining)

  • Who's Who Legal: M&A and Corporate Governance – 2020–2023 (M&A)

  • The Legal 500 Canada – 2019–2023 (International Expertise)

  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada – 2021–2022 (Private Equity)

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory – 2015–2022 (Private Equity and Mining)

  • Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business – 2012–2022 (Corporate/M&A)

  • Who's Who Legal: Thought Leaders 2019 (M&A)

  • The Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Corporate Lawyers in Canada – 2016–2018 (Mining)

  • The 2007 Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada ("40 Corporate Lawyers to Watch")

  • Lexpert magazine – 2004 and 2006 ("Rising Stars: Top 40 Lawyers Under 40")

Professional Activities

Geoff was an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia Law School, where he taught advanced mergers and acquisitions for 10 years, and was an instructor at Osgoode Hall Law School, where he taught mergers and acquisitions in the LLM program.

He has been very active in alumni affairs for Osgoode Hall Law School and, in 2018, was awarded the Alumni Gold Key Award for Service to the Law School. Among other things, he has served on the board of directors of the Osgoode Hall Law School Alumni Association.

Geoff was editor of the Lexis/Nexis British Columbia Business Corporations Act and Commentary and the British Columbia portion of the Bowne Appeal International Securities Laws Handbook. He is a frequent speaker in the area of mergers and acquisitions.


Admitted to the British Columbia Bar – 1992
LLB, Osgoode Hall Law School – 1991
BA, Simon Fraser University – 1988

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