Canadian Lawyer

October 2020

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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32 www.canadianlawyermag.com FEATURE TOP 10 CORPORATE BOUTIQUES Sangra Moller LLP Vancouver sangramoller.com Gary Gill, a partner at Sangra Moller, says one would think that, with a pandemic raging around the world, transactions in the world of financings and M&A would be tepid at best. "In fact, all of a sudden, things have been on fire," he says. "I don't recall this amount of activity, especially during what is considered a recession." Gill says the firm, which specializes in M&A, debt and equity finance, securities and corporate and commercial law, was experi- encing steady growth before COVID-19 hit, but in some areas of activity, especially in the area of mining, work has picked up more than he would have expected. "If you had asked me in January if I would have predicted this kind of interest in mining, I would say there's no chance of that," he says. "But here we are, with many of our mining clients attracting more interest and more able to raise money to do what they need to do." If anything, COVID-19 has helped mining companies in a couple of ways, Gill says. Gold prices have skyrocketed since mid-March, when the pandemic lockdowns began, to about US$2,000 an ounce from the US$1,400 range. Gold has always been a haven in tough economic times, Gill says, so projects that were not profitable when gold prices were lower "now start to look very attractive." Secondly, Gill says many investors are thinking mid to long term when it comes to what sort of economic stimulus will be needed when the pandemic is over. "Many are betting on infrastructure spending, and that requires materials like copper." The result is that Gill says there is more money being put into junior mining — stocks that were literally trading in pennies are now going up tenfold in the last few months. As well, these juniors are looking for financing to take their projects to the next level, such as drill work and feasibility studies. "So, we've been working on a bunch of deals right now, mostly in the $10 million to $20 million range," Gill says. Additionally, Gill says "almost every single one of our junior clients is at least in discus- sions with one of the big miners," whether that is for a joint venture agreement, a royalty deal or to be acquired. "It may be at a very early stage, but the interest is there." Sangra Moller may be a boutique firm, but Gill says it regularly leads significant domestic, cross-border and international transactions similar or greater in value and complexity than many of the national firms. The firm regularly advises clients on the TSX, NYSE, NASDAQ, TSXV and other major international markets. Part of the attraction to clients in using the firm, Gill says, is that while it "doesn't compete on price," it does present clients with the value proposition of being more efficient.

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