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Stephen Wortley is a leading capital markets and mergers and acquisitions lawyer. He is highly regarded for his deep knowledge of the Chinese, Hong Kong and East Asian markets. With extensive expertise in domestic and international securities and corporate matters, Stephen advises state-owned enterprises and a variety of small and medium-sized businesses.

Assisting startups and established companies in the energy and mining industries, Stephen provides counsel on local, national and international prospectus offerings, as well as numerous listings on the TSX, TSX Venture Exchange and the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. He also advises on Chinese outbound M&A transactions into Canada.

Stephen has been recognized for his work in M&A by Chambers Global and The Legal Media Group – Guide to Leading Practitioners: China. He speaks frequently on the topic of Hong Kong Stock Exchange listings by Canadian companies, and on alternative investment structures in the Canadian mining industry.

An executive partner at the firm, Stephen leads McMillan’s Hong Kong office and is a leader of the firm’s public mergers and acquisitions practice. Previously, he served as chairperson of the National Committee for four years, and as chairperson, co-chair and managing partner of the Western Division for a period of over 10 years. Prior to joining McMillan, Stephen clerked for The Honourable Mr. Justice Lambert of the British Columbia Court of Appeal.



Representative Matters

  • Financing of, and restructuring for, Greenlane Renewables, a company in the RNG business.
  • Securities and M&A advice for West Fraser in connection with a shareholder rights plan (poison pill) and acquisition of Norbord. (2020)
  • Acted for Jiangxi Copper in an acquisition of a minority interest in First Quantum valued at $2 billion. (2019)
  • Acted for Creation Capital Corp. in the acquisition of Greenlane, a renewable natural gas company from a London AIM listed company and subsequent listing and financing in Canada. (2019)
  • Acted for Jiangxi Copper in connection with its bid for Nevsun Resources. (2018)
  • Counsel for Aurora Cannabis Inc. in connection with acquiring rival producer MedReleaf Corp. in a transaction valued at more than $2.5 billion. (2018)
  • Acted for Great Panther Silver Limited in connection with acquisition of Australia miner, Beadell Resources. (2018)
  • Acted for Loop Energy, a hydrogen fuel company, in establishing a joint venture and non-exclusive license agreement with IN-Power, a leading power electronics supplier to the transport sector in China. (2018)
  • Acted as lead counsel for Chongqing Zongshen Tianchen General Aviation Investment and Development Co., Ltd. in its acquisition of a 49% equity interest in Harbour Air, of Vancouver, BC (2018)
  • Acted for Tour East on becoming the first Canadian travel company to be listed on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. (2017)
  • Acted for Novoheart, a Hong Kong stem cell company, in securing a TSXV listing (2016)
  • Acted for Beijing Properties, a HK Stock Exchange company, in connection with a listing of a subsidiary on the TSXV and a US$700 million property development deal in Cuba. (2016)
  • Acted for Zongshen, a Chinese conglomerate based in Chongqing, China, in acquiring economic and voting interests of Harbour Air Seaplanes in compliance with Canadian ownership and control requirements. (2015)
  • Acted for the derivatives of Sino-Forest, one of the leading commercial forest plantation operators in China, on a corporate fraud case involving proceedings in front of the Ontario Securities Commission. (2015)
  • Acted for West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. in its private offering of US$300 million Senior Notes (2014)
  • Acted as lead counsel for Sunwah International Limited in an insider takeover bid of Sunwah International Limited by Perfect Dream Holdings Limited (2014)
  • Acted for Red Rock Capital Corp. in its $32.5 million private placement, $74 million financing and acquisition of Century Holdings involving WISCO and Minmet. (2011)
  • In November 2010, acted as lead counsel, as to Canadian legal matters, for Citigroup Global Markets Asia Limited and BOC International, joint bookrunners and joint lead managers, in the US$309 million global offering of China Gold International Resources Corp. Ltd., currently listed on the TSX. The transaction involved a dual primary listing on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong and the completion of a concurrent US$742.3 million acquisition of Skyland Mining Limited (“Skyland”) whose chief asset is a copper polymetallic metal mining property located in Metrorkongka County, Tibet.
  • Act as lead counsel for Primero Mining Corp., a TSX listed, and Canadian-based, precious metals producer with operations in Mexico. In August 2010, assisted Primero in the acquisition of the San Dimas gold-silver mine and associated assets, which are located in Mexico’s San Dimas district. The acquisition was valued at US$510 million.
  • Act as lead counsel for China Health Labs & Diagnostics Ltd., a TSX-V issuer. Assisted in the Qualifying Transaction involving Beijing Biochem Hengye Science & Technology Co. Ltd. in October 2010, the resulting issuer being China Health Labs & Diagnostics Ltd.
  • Act as lead counsel for Liuyang Fireworks Limited, which is the resulting issuer in the Qualifying Transaction involving New Legend Group Limited and Strive Best Holdings Limited in June 2009. Liuyang, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in the business of the manufacture and sale of fireworks.
  • Acted as counsel to the agent, Research Capital Corp, in two going public transactions involving Asia Bio-Chem Group Corp. (TSX), a Chinese cornstarch producer and Changfeng Energy Inc. (TSX-V), a Chinese natural gas service provider. (2008)
  • Act as lead securities counsel for West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd., a major British Columbia forestry company. In 2004 completed a $275 million subscription receipt offering and a $150 million senior unsecured debentures offering. (2004)
  • Acted as lead Canadian counsel for IsoTis S.A., a public company incorporated under the laws of Switzerland with shares listed on the Main Board of The SWX Swiss Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange. In 2003, acted for IsoTis pursuant to its plan of arrangement with GenSci Regeneration Sciences Inc. (a British Columbia company) in completing its acquisition of GenSci OrthoBiologics Inc., a Washington corporation, which was renamed IsoTis OrthoBiologics Inc.
  • In August 2000, acted as lead Canadian counsel for Sunwah International Limited (formerly known as Kingsway International Holdings Limited) in connection with a reorganization and ultimate listing of a Kingsway subsidiary on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. In connection with the transaction, $60 million was raised. Headquartered in Hong Kong and listed on the TSX, the Sunwah Group is involved in a wide variety of financial advisory and related services, including corporate finance, stock broking, financing and fund management.

Speaking Engagements

CLUC Education Day Webinar

June 2021

Understanding Securities Law Impacts on Emerging Market Issuer Directors and Officers Webinar

June 2020

Investing in Canada - Diversification of Investment Canada China Business Council's 36th AGM and Policy Conference, Beijing, China

October 2015

Joint CanCham HK-HKCBA Conference: The Inaugural TransPacific Entrepreneurial Conference The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, Hong Kong

December 1, 2014

Global Mining Investments "Chinese Perspectives" PDAC, Toronto, Ontario

March 2014

Alternative Mining Investment Structures and Listing on the HKEx for Canadian Companies 2012 Global Resource Investment Conference , Shenzhen, China

December 2012

Canada's role in mining financing and capital markets 2012 China Mining Conference and Exhibition, Tianjin, China

November 2012

The TSX and Your 'Go-Out' Strategy: Preparing for Listing TSX China Roadshow

June 2007

Teaching Engagements

  • Lectured at Securities Law seminar for The Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia

News


Media Mentions

  • Building Bridges between Canada and Asia“, InvestHK: Canada Reaching Your Goal in Hong Kong, May 2015
  • «Le Canada tire profit de l’ouverture des marchés des capitaux chinois» by Suzanne Dansereau, Les Affaires, November 20, 2014
  • Canadian exports of LNG to Asia seen as enormous opportunity” by Toh Han Shih, South China Morning Post, January 23, 2014
  • Stephen was mentioned in an editorial of the Chambers and Partners, in early 2013, regarding the 2012 activities by major Canadian law firms in the Corporate/M&A sector
  • Stephen was quoted by Bloomberg in December 2012 regarding his views on Canada’s approval of the Cnooc-Petronas deal
  • In June 2011, the Financial Post published an article in its Legal Post in which Stephen was quoted in connection with the firm being one of the first Canadian law firms to expand into Asia
  • In May 2009, Stephen was quoted by Bloomberg in its report on the opening of the firm’s Hong Kong office to enhance services to the Chinese client base

Rankings & Recognition

  • Recognized in the 2021 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a Repeatedly Recommended Lawyer in the areas of Corporate Finance & Securities and Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Recognized by the Best Lawyers in Canada (2021) as a leading lawyer in the areas of Mergers & Acquisitions Law and Mining Law
  • Listed in Who’s Who Legal: Canada 2020 as a leader in Mining
  • Recognized in the 2020 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a Repeatedly Recommended lawyer in the area of Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Listed in the Legal500 Canada 2020 as a “Leading Lawyer” – International Expertise
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada (2020) as a leading lawyer in the areas of  Mergers & Acquisitions Law and Mining Law
  • Listed in Who’s Who Legal: Canada 2019 as a leader in Mining
  • Recognized by Chambers Global (2019) as a Foreign Expert (China) in the area of Corporate / M&A
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in Canada 2019 (Mergers & Acquisitions Law and Mining Law)
  • Recognized in the 2018 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a Repeatedly Recommended lawyer in the area of Corporate Finance & Securities
  • Listed in Who’s Who Legal Canada: 2018 as a leader in Mining
  • Listed in Chambers Global 2018 (Corporate/M&A – International Firm) (Expert Based Abroad) (China)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in Canada 2018 (Mergers & Acquisitions Law and Mining Law)
  • Listed in Who’s Who Legal: Canada 2017 (Mining)
  • Listed in Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2017 as repeatedly recommended in the area of Corporate Finance & Securities
  • Listed in Chambers Global 2017 (Corporate/M&A – International Firm) (Expert Based Abroad) (China)
  • Listed in Lexpert’s Special Edition on Leading Canadian Lawyers in Global Mining 2016/17
  • Listed in Who’s Who Legal: Canada 2016 (Mining)
  • Listed in Chambers Global 2016 (Corporate/M&A – International Firm) (Expert Based Abroad) (China)
  • Listed in Chambers Canada 2016 (Corporate/Commercial – British Columbia)
  • Listed in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2016 (Corporate Finance & Securities)
  • Listed in Lexpert’s Special Edition on Canada’s Leading Infrastructure Lawyers 2016
  • Listed in Chambers and Partners: Chambers Global – The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2015 Clients Guide (Corporate/M&A Expert Based Abroad, Corporate/M&A Foreign Expert for China)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in Canada 2014 (Mergers & Acquisitions Law)
  • Listed in Chambers and Partners Chambers Global – The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2013 Clients Guide (Corporate/M&A, Corporate/M&A Foreign Experts and Corporate M&A Experts Based Abroad)
  • Listed in The Legal Media Group – chambers
  •  Guide to Leading Practitioners: China – Mergers & Acquisitions 2011
  • Listed in Who’s Who Legal: Canada 2010 Report on Canada’s Leading Business Lawyers (Corporate Governance)
  • Registered Foreign Lawyer, Law Society of Hong Kong

Directorships & Affiliations

  • Vancouver Bar Association
  • International Bar Association
  • Inter-Pacific Bar Association
  • Hong Kong-Canada Business Association
  • The Management and Economics Society of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (MES-CIM), Hong Kong Chapter
  • Former member, Legal Advisory Committee to the Vancouver Stock Exchange

Education & Admissions

1985
Called to the British Columbia bar
1984
LLB University of British Columbia
Diploma of Technology, Administrative Management

Publications

 

 

Insights by Stephen D. Wortley (14 Posts)

Featured Insight

Taking Stock of Governance — Understanding Emerging ESG, Regulatory, and Market Trends

Taking Stock of Governance — Understanding Emerging ESG, Regulatory, and Market Trends

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May 26, 2021
Featured Insight

Taking Stock of Governance — Understanding Emerging ESG, Regulatory, and Market Trends (adapted to the Province of Québec)

Taking Stock of Governance — Understanding Emerging ESG, Regulatory, and Market Trends (adapted to the Province of Québec)

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May 26, 2021
Featured Insight

Primer on Canadian Federal and Provincial Cleantech Funding Programs

Across Canada, entrepreneurs are striving to develop technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve environmental sustainability, and provide other climate-related solutions to the domestic and international markets.

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May 25, 2021
Featured Insight

Opportunities for Canadian Biotech Companies on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange

Opportunities for Canadian Biotech Companies on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange

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May 18, 2021
Featured Insight

Canadian Government Expands National Security Guidance

On March 24, 2021, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry announced that the government updated its National Security Guidelines.

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Mar 25, 2021
Featured Insight

Canada Freezes Shandong out of the Arctic

Canada blocked Shandong Gold's acquisition of TMAC Resources following a national security review under the Investment Canada Act.

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Dec 22, 2020
Featured Insight

Understanding Securities Law Impacts on Emerging Market Issuer Directors and Officers

Any current or aspiring director or officer of a Canadian-listed company with operations in Asia, South America, Africa and Eastern Europe will find this presentation of eminent value.

Details
June 17, 2020 - 9:00 am to 10:00 am ET
Featured Insight

Canada’s Use of its National Security Power

The Government of Canada's decision to reject the proposed acquisition of Aecon, a major Canadian construction services firm, by China Communications

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Jun 1, 2018
Featured Insight

China’s Capital Controls – Implications for China Focused Companies

China's Capital Controls - Implications for China Focused Companies

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Jan 5, 2017
Featured Insight

Government of Canada Provides Valuable Guidance on National Security Review of Foreign Investment in Canada

Government of Canada Provides Valuable Guidance on National Security Review of Foreign Investment in Canada

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Jan 3, 2017
Featured Insight

Final Report: Canada Transportation Act Review

Final Report: Canada Transportation Act Review

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Mar 16, 2016
Featured Insight

Canada makes changes to Investment Canada regime

Canada makes changes to Investment Canada regime

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Dec 11, 2012
Featured Insight

Listings in Hong Kong by Canadian Companies: a Follow-Up

Listings in Hong Kong by Canadian Companies: a Follow-Up

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Oct 17, 2012
Featured Insight

Dual-Listing of Canadian Public Companies on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange

Dual-Listing of Canadian Public Companies on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange

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Jun 5, 2012