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With close to 10% of the world’s forested lands, Canada is a global forestry leader. From fires and floods, to foreign trade, technological change and shifting demand, Canada’s forestry sector faces a complex mix of modern challenges, yet remains one of the world’s most competitive. Our Forestry Group understands the opportunities and risks inherent in the sector and can help your business grow in a rapidly evolving landscape.

With an increasing focus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards, climate change, and industry consolidation, participants in Canada’s forestry sector need new tools to stay ahead. Consumers and policy makers are also changing. The pandemic has accelerated a shift in the demand for wood and wood products, and tariffs remain a powerful tool of governments to enact domestic policy, requiring industry players to see both the forest and the trees.

Whether you’re operating or investing in the forestry sector, you need a national team of multidisciplinary experts with the legal knowledge and business acumen to address these challenges and devise innovative approaches for finding opportunities and managing risk. Working with leading domestic and international forestry companies and investors across all industry subsectors, our Forestry Group has the expertise and insight to help you succeed. Our full-service approach means you will have access to our legal professionals working in M&A, tax, financial services, environment, Indigenous partnerships, and ESG, ensuring you receive the right guidance for your evolving needs.

Responsive and proactive advice that includes the big picture

The lifecycle of forestry and its products make it unique among Canada’s primary resources, requiring long lines of sight for development and growth. Our team works with all sector participants to help them stay focused on present matters and aware of future trends.   

We integrate with your legal teams and other decision makers to offer seamless service delivery and provide solutions that can help you succeed, now and in the future. We also maintain a suite of cutting-edge technology solutions and dynamic staffing models that can cut costs and meet or beat deadlines.

  • Cross-sector expertise: Our professionals not only work on mandates within the contours of the forestry sector, but ancillary ones too. We have extensive experience in agribusiness, consumer products, retail, renewable energy and labour and employment, giving you important insights into the business landscape.
  • Rewarding change: Canada’s forestry sector has an important role to play as a world leader in responsible forest stewardship and in Canada’s ambitions for a net-zero economy. We see ESG and sustainability as key strategic issues and partner with you to access new markets and green capital.
  • Industry focus: We understand your industry. With an eye on your organization’s future, we stay on top of emerging trends and issues that affect your business, so that you can act first and act fast with our counsel.

One firm – all your legal solutions

Whether you’re resolving complex legal problems or exploring new business opportunities, our Forestry Group’s expertise spans the full spectrum of McCarthy Tétrault’s legal services. You have the benefit of working with responsive and proactive teams that know your business inside out, and which are fully integrated across our practice groups and offices in Canada, the United States and the U.K.

Vertical integration amid industry consolidation: New big players are emerging in the forestry sector. Businesses are divesting or acquiring assets in line with a renewed focus on core competencies and streamlining operations, giving industry leaders the benefit of higher market share across sectors. Our team of M&A and private equity professionals know the themes and conditions emerging in the market and can advise on the legal and business implications of your strategic acquisitions or divestments so that you can stay mobile among giants.

ESG and sustainability: With investors increasingly focused on companies’ ESG credentials, businesses that develop strong ESG practices can expect to perform better than their peers that do not. With a dedicated ESG and Sustainability Group at McCarthy Tétrault, you can expect our team to know how to access green capital, respond to voluntary and mandatory reporting standards, and seize emerging opportunities that lead to long-term business, environmental, and social sustainability.

Financial services: Whether you’re looking to amend your operating line of credit, secure collateral for new capital, or interested in innovative lending structures to capitalize on sector momentum, our Banking & Financial Services Group has you covered. We know who you need to speak with and when to keep your cash flow positive.

Dispute resolution: With more stakeholders than ever before engaged with the forestry sector, disputes over territory, revenues, regulations, and contracts are not only bigger but also more varied. As legal disagreements arise, you need a team of dispute resolution professionals who get to the heart of the real business issues while minding your reputation and brand.

Supply chains and trade: International trade disputes have been an intrinsic part of Canada’s forestry sector for decades but the emergence of contemporary supply chain issues poses a new threat to the prevailing terms of global trade. This combination of old and new challenges requires seasoned expertise combined with innovative thinking, which McCarthy Tétrault’s International Trade and Investment Group is well known for.

Tax planning and disputes: Good tax planning is a strategic asset for any commercial organization, and the best plans incorporate innovative, out-of-the-box thinking. Our Tax Planning Group has the strategic skills, insight and practical experience to help you get ahead and achieve your specific goals. We also have an experienced team of tax disputes professionals, keeping all of your tax needs under the same roof for seamless tax law advice.

Environmental law: Sustainable management practices are a hallmark of Canadian forestry, driven in part by strict federal and provincial environmental laws. Our environmental lawyers know the intricate legislation and regulations affecting land use planning, wildlife habitat protection, harvesting, and regrowth, and can help you avoid regulatory pitfalls, meet your assessment obligations, and consider your options for the industry’s emerging role in Canada’s carbon trading system.

Engaging Indigenous peoples: More and more businesses and governments are engaging First Nations and Indigenous communities as partners in major projects. These arrangements are sophisticated and complex, incorporating Aboriginal law, Indigenous legal systems, constitutional rights, and provincial and federal legislation. Our nationwide team of Aboriginal law professionals includes highly qualified legal advisors, seasoned negotiators, and former public servants focused on win-win outcomes.