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Alison R. Manzer Picture

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t: 416 869 5469
f: 416 350 6938
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Suite 2100, Scotia Plaza
40 King Street West
Toronto, ON  M5H 3C2

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Year of Call

Ontario, 1979


LL.M., Osgoode Hall Law School, 1996

MBA, University of Toronto, 1984

B.Sc. (Hons), Dalhousie University, 1977

LL.B., Dalhousie University, 1977

B.Sc., Dalhousie University, 1974

Current Post Graduate Student - MSc/ Doctorate in Business Administration, Henley Business School

Alison R. Manzer

"Unfailingly responsive, pragmatic and solutions-focused."
Client Testimonial, Chambers Global

Alison Manzer is a partner in the Financial Services Group at Cassels Brock. Alison's practice encompasses a broad range of commercial practice in the financial services sector, including financial institution regulation, corporate and commercial lending, asset-based financing, securitization and structured finance, private equity, project finance, asset finance and leasing, business reorganization, syndicated lending and related areas. A significant part of her practice involves multi-jurisdiction transactions where she has expertise in the structuring requirements of financing, investment and securitization transactions to solve taxation, conflicts of laws, document structure, currency and rate issues, among others.

Alison is president of the Association of Commercial Finance Attorneys, a continuing legal education organization based in New York, and is one of a few Canadians elected to The American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers, having been a regent of the College. In July 2010, she was elected as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Those involvements reflect the multinational nature of her practice. Alison has been active with the Canadian Bar Association, has been chair of the national committee on financial institutions, a member of the national liaison committee with the accounting profession, chair of continuing legal education and a member of the finance committee. Alison has also chaired several other national and provincial committees for the Canadian Bar Association. She is active with several committees of the American Bar Association, Business Law Section and is currently Chair of the Project Finance and Development Committee and of the Programs Committee.

She has lectured and written extensively on legal matters, particularly dealing with financial institution issues. Alison has authored the full text books Canada - U.S. Commercial Law Guide; A Guide to Canadian Money Laundering Legislation; The Bank Act Annotated; A Practical Guide to Canadian Partnership Law; the banking chapters of the CCH Canadian Commercial Law Guide; a book on Banking and Credit Relationships, several chapters for Falconbridge on Mortgages, Asset-Based Lending in Canada, Law in International Finance, Halsburys Laws of Canada: Banking and Finance 2012, Project Finance in Canada and Practice Advisor (Banking and Lending), all published by national legal text publishers. She has been an editor of the CCH Canadian Commercial Law Guide, and the Federated Press Corporate Financing Journal. Her list of published articles includes over 200 titles written for a wide range of publishers in areas including financial institution regulation, commercial finance, asset-based lending, international and cross-border finance and specialty finance products, among others.

Alison has been a director of several financial institutions, including a Schedule II bank, insurance companies, leasing finance companies, securitization trusts and other financial services industry corporations. She was awarded the inaugural Zenith award from Lexpert in 2009, honouring senior women lawyers who have made outstanding contributions to the practice and business of law. Alison has been recognized in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory each year starting with its first publication in areas including Structured Finance, Asset/Equipment Finance & Leasing and Banking & Financial Institutions. She is also recognized as a leading lawyer by Chambers Global and Chambers Canada for Banking & Finance, Best Lawyers for Equipment Finance Law, the Guide to the World's Leading Banking Lawyers, and the Guide to the World's Leading Women in Business Law (Banking & Finance); in addition, Alison holds a BV Distinguished™ ranking from Martindale-Hubbell

Alison has an LL.B. (Law), a B.Sc. Hon. (Biochemistry), an M.B.A., an LL.M. in banking and financial services and an M.Sc. (Business Research). She is currently undertaking an M.Sc. (Research)/Doctorate in Business Administration. She has also completed the Canadian Securities Course and the advanced securities programs, Canadian Investment Finance I and II with the Canadian Securities Institute. Alison is an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School teaching the Masters of Law program in international finance. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 1979.

Client Commentary

  • "Alison's ability to get to the heart of a matter and quickly turn it around is invaluable. I consider Alison a 'go-to' resource." – Best Lawyers (Financial Services)
  • “Very impressive and brings great leadership to the work - she is very effective in negotiations and innovative in finding solutions." – Chambers Canada (Financial Services)
  • “Unfailingly responsive, pragmatic and solutions-focused. She has a deep understanding of our practices, our culture and our people that allows her to add good value to us as a client.” – Chambers Global (Financial Services)
  • "Tenacious, strong and very experienced." – Chambers Canada (Financial Services)

  • The Legal 500 Canada (Banking & Finance)
  • Chambers Canada 2016-2017 (Banking & Finance)
  • Chambers Global 2009–2015 (Banking & Finance)
  • Martindale-Hubbell, BV Distinguished™ rating
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2003–2017 (Asset Equipment Finance/Leasing; Banking & Financial Institutions)
  • Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Corporate Lawyers in Canada 2017 (Banking)
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada 2006–2018 (Equipment Finance Law) 
  • Who's Who Legal 2016 (Government Contracts)
  • Expert Guide to the World's Leading Banking Lawyers (multiple)
  • Expert Guide to the World’s Leading Women in Business Law: Banking & Finance (multiple)
  • IFLR 1000 (Banking, Financial Services)
  • Examiner, Toronto Board, Oral Exam for bankruptcy trustee licensing; Canada Federal Superintendant of Bankruptcy
  • 2009 Lexpert Zenith Award Winner
  • Practical Law Canada, Thomson Reuters, Advisory Board


  • American Bar Association, Business Law Section (Project Finance and Development Committee, Chair; Programs Committee, Chair)
  • American Bar Foundation 
  • Association of Commercial Finance Attorneys (President)
  • American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Ontario Bar Association
Publications, Newsletters and Articles Publications, Newsletters and Articles

The Consumer Finance Law Review

Project Finance (Thomson Reuters)

Practical Law Canada (Thomson Reuters), Advisory Board, 2014

Banking and Lending (LexisNexis), Practice Advisor, 2014

"Banking and Finance", Halsbury's Laws of Canada - First Edition (LexisNexis), 2012 (Second Edition, 2016)

Law in International Finance (Thomson Carswell), 2009 (with annual updates)

Asset Based Lending in Canada (LexisNexis), 2008 (rewritten and issued in 2015)

Canada-US Commercial Law Guide (Thomson Carswell), 2005 (with annual updates)

A Guide to Canadian Money Laundering (Canada Law Book), 2002 (and updated versions)

Falconbridge on Mortgages (Canada Law Book), 2000 (updates to several chapters)

The Corporate Counsel Guide to Banking & Credit Relationships (Canada Law Book), 1999 (rewritten and issued 2015)

"Negotiable Instruments and Banking", Canadian Commercial Law Guide (CCH), 1996

Canadian Treasury Management Handbook, 1995 (legal chapters)

Canadian Partnership Law (Canada Law Book), 1994 (with annual updates)

Annotated Bank Act (Butterworths), 1993

CCH Canadian Commercial Law Guide (Federated Press) (Contributing Editor)

Corporate Financing Journal (Contributing Editor)

  • 2016 Honourary Patron, Black Watch Association (Supporting a Reserve Regiment, Canadian Army)
  • 2015 Director of the Guild of The Royal Canadian Dragoons (Regiment, Canadian Army)