Widely considered the leader in Canada’s securitization and derivative products market, Stikeman Elliott has assisted Canadian and international clients in developing, structuring and implementing a wide variety of investment vehicles, structured finance transactions and financial products for nearly 20 years.


Stikeman Elliott is at the forefront of the Canadian market in securitizations. The firm has represented banks, investment dealers, other financial institutions, major corporations, pension funds, special purpose entities and other market participants in their various capacities as purchasers, underwriters, sponsors, administrators, issuers, investors, credit enhancers, liquidity providers, trustees, originators and sellers as well as rating agencies in rating selected transactions. Stikeman Elliott lawyers have structured securitization transactions involving every significant asset class, including credit card receivables, lease receivables and residuals, commercial and residential real estate loans, trade receivables, installment receivables such as automobile, agricultural and construction equipment receivables, commodities such as base metals and timber, retail receivables, wholesale receivables, commercial loans, bonds, mutual fund management fees and administration fees, insurance premium finance receivables and government receivables.

The firm has been at the forefront in developing and improving securitization technology and applying that technology to accomplish, for the first time, the securitization of many financial assets or the securitization in more efficient forms of previously securitized assets. For example, Stikeman Elliott lawyers were instrumental in developing the legal technology to securitize leases and lease residuals, instalment receivables, commodities, commercial real estate loans, mutual fund management fees and administration fees and excess spread amounts on underlying mortgage portfolios.

Structured Finance

The firm is also a leader in other forms of structured finance. The firm regularly advises on domestic and cross-border structured finance transactions, many having particular funding, tax, capital, accounting or rating objectives and often involving the use of innovative derivatives or repackaging and credit enhancement techniques. Typical transactions include equity and commodity monetizations, covered bond transactions, credit default swap transactions, repackagings and other synthetic securitizations, CLOs, CDOs and CBOs, clone fund structures, liquidity facilities, securities lending and repo transactions, structured note offerings and linked deposit products, synthetic leases, credit-linked trust unit offerings and similar structures employing credit derivatives.

Derivatives and Financial Products

Stikeman Elliott is Canadian counsel to the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. (ISDA), a mandate that reflects the firm’s international reputation in financial products. The firm advises on a broad range of over-the counter (OTC) and publicly offered derivative products, including all forms of swap transactions, OTC options, warrant products, forwards and futures involving interest rates, currencies, equity interests, commodities, energy commodities, credit exposures and other novel interests, and on prepaid and conventional equity forwards, repos and securities lending transactions, prime brokerage arrangements, clearing and settlement services and, in a variety of contexts, public offerings, repackagings and other capital markets transactions involving equity, debt and asset-backed securities, structured notes and hybrid securities with embedded derivatives. The firm is also very active in the emerging area of carbon emissions trading. Stikeman Elliott is counsel to leading Canadian and international financial institutions and dealers and frequently advises major corporations, mutual funds, rating agencies, governments and government agencies, pension funds, hedge funds and various industry organizations. The authoritative textbook on derivatives law in Canada, The Law of Financial Derivatives in Canada (Carswell), was written by Stikeman Elliott partners Margaret Grottenthaler and Philip Henderson.

Our Approach

Stikeman Elliott’s expertise in this area of practice is unsurpassed in both the scope and complexity of the mandates that we have completed. Equally important, however, is the firm’s approach in working with clients and other parties to develop structures to achieve particular funding, tax, capital, accounting and ratings objectives in a practical and efficient manner. The group has the expertise, resources and experience to advise on the most complex transactions and comprises practitioners with specialist skills and technical excellence in the key areas of securities, banking, insolvency and taxation law, all of which are recognized areas of expertise in the broader business law practice of Stikeman Elliott. We understand the importance of receiving clear and timely advice on characterization, insolvency stay and claw back risks, collateralization, registration and other legal issues central to transaction structuring and implementation. We routinely advise Canadian and international financial institutions on their compliance with provincial and federal regulatory regimes.