Blakes’ India department was established in 2006 and today has 13 members from a variety of legal backgrounds. The team assists Indian companies doing work in Canada – particularly in the fields of M&A, IP, telecoms, financial services and natural resources – while its work for Canadian investors into India centres on education and infrastructure.
Montreal partner Sunny Handa is the co-head of the firm’s India desk and an “expert” in crossborder work between the two countries, having been invited to attend the Province of Quebec’s last five trade missions to India. Firmwide managing partner Robert Granatstein is the team’s second co-head and brings extensive financial services, corporate, M&A and procurement expertise to the role. Toronto’s Kam Rathee is the firm’s India special advisor, and a former president and executive director at the Canada-India Business Council.
In February last year, India-based company Xplore-Tech Services completed the acquisition of Montreal-based call service centre, Phocus Contact Solutions, which was represented by a team from Blakes. The firm also represented IFFCO Canada Enterprise, which received investments from La Coop fédérée, Investissement Québec and India’s Kisan International Trading in connection with the establishment of a C$1.2 billion nitrogen fertiliser plant in Bécancour, Québec. Further to these deals, Blakes is currently providing advice and legal project management to York University concerning opening a York University campus in Hyderabad.