Maxine Ethier, Partner

Greg McNab, Partner

Baker McKenzie’s Energy, Mining & Infrastructure Group continues to establish itself across multiple regions world-wide, and there will now be an increased Canadian voice guiding the way as two partners from our Toronto office have been named to leadership roles within the group.

In September, Greg McNab was named the Firm’s Global Head of Mining while Maxine Ethier was named Global Head of Infrastructure.

Since joining the Firm in 2014, Maxine has dedicated much of her time to building client relationships and growing our infrastructure practice both in Canada and across other large markets such as the US. She’s excited to take the next step and lead the group in a coordinated global effort, taking advantage of the Firm’s expertise across multiple regions.

“Our unparalleled globally integrated reach is one of Baker McKenzie’s competitive advantages. We are one team, working everywhere our clients do business,” Maxine said.

“Clients are looking at new opportunities for infrastructure investments, whether they are considering new and different asset classes such as water; waste management; or fiber optics, or whether they are looking to step in to new markets. We have deep knowledge of the assets, issues and jurisdictions in which our clients operate.”

In recent years, Canada has become a respected global leader in infrastructure and Maxine says we’re in an ideal position as a firm to be leaders along with it.

“We’ve developed a really strong public private partnerships program in Canada. In addition, Canadian pension funds are some of the most important investors around the world,” she said. “Our government is focused on the development and improvement of its infrastructure and our companies are leaders in exporting that knowledge globally. So that provides the opportunity here for us to build upon the knowledge people have gained from working on domestic files and then bring that to the international market.”

In the mining sector, Greg echoes Maxine’s vision of continuing to grow their respective groups into global, cohesive units and sees his new title as a continuance of the developmental goals he’s been focused on over the past few years while working closely with the former head of the Firm’s mining practice in Australia.

“With Australia and Canada dominating the resource finance space, having our offices in the two countries working closely together makes perfect sense. Part of the reason for taking on this role is that our Toronto office already has a role in a lot of the work that’s important to the group,” Greg said. “We contribute to many of the Firm’s business development efforts in the space including our Global Mining Guide and we’re probably the office with the most mining work that originates out of it because of where the capital markets are. As an office, we are also very active within the region in terms of promoting resource sector initiatives.”

The Firm’s mining practice in Canada has grown by leaps and bounds since Greg, a mechanical engineer,  joined Baker McKenzie 10 years ago. And in 2014, the group received a serious injection of knowledge and expertise when a team led by Sonia Yung and Kevin Rooney came on board. With the city of Toronto being the world capital of mining finance — both in terms of stock markets and investment banking and home to major industry events such as the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada’s annual convention — we’re ideally situated for future growth.

“Having PDAC here in Toronto certainly played a part in our growth. It’s one of the biggest events for our mining group, so as a result of organizing that you also get involved in many other areas of the group,” Greg said. “One of our key value adds for our clients is the close working and personal relationships we have with our colleagues in the other mining jurisdictions. We know them well and trust them to give the same level of advice that we do. We can pick up the phone and immediately get a coordinated solution to a client problem.”

Greg says that clients often comment on the closeness of our groups and how well we work together as a team on major cross-border projects. It’s this foundation that he and Maxine plan to continue to build upon as our mining and infrastructure practices grow and adapt towards an increasingly global outlook.