Patrick Maguire, partner and co-head of the corporate department in Calgary at Bennett Jones LLP. (Supplied by Wil Andruschak, Postmedia Content Works)

Shannon Sutherland-Smith
Postmedia Content Works

These may be turbulent times for the Alberta economy, but leaders at Bennett Jones are seeing visionary business leaders in Calgary seizing opportunities.

A prime example of this is the recent deal that Patrick Maguire helped negotiate between Cenovus Energy and ConocoPhillips.

Cenovus’ $17.7-billion acquisition of ConocoPhillips’ deep basin conventional assets in Alberta and British Columbia and a 50 per cent interest in the FCCL Partnership oilsands venture helped Cenovus strategically position itself for future endeavours in the oilsands while ConocoPhillips was able to release itself from an area that was no longer a focus.

“Someone’s non-core area is almost always someone else’s core area. The abundance of inventory allows energy companies to focus on their most profitable areas of business, and there are great deal opportunities that are mutually beneficial for buyers and sellers,” says Maguire, a partner and co-head of the corporate department in Calgary at Bennett Jones LLP.

Bennett Jones was founded in Calgary in 1922 and provides a full range of corporate, litigation, regulatory/environmental and tax services to clients, but its expertise in oil is undeniable. Bennett Jones lawyers drafted the first oilfield contracts following the discovery of oil in Leduc in 1947.

Since then, Bennett Jones lawyers have been instrumental in some of the biggest oil and gas transactions in Canadian history.

Maguire worked on the deal that saw Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. purchase a 70 per cent working interest in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project and other oilsands assets for $12.74-billion.

He was also involved in Devon Energy Corp.’s sale of its 50 per cent ownership interest in Access Pipeline to Wolf Midstream Inc. for $1.4 billion.

“We have the opportunity to participate in these types of deals because we have the experience and bench strength that comes from working in this industry for decades and being founded in Calgary,” says Maguire.

There is no denying, however, that clients big and small are looking for value and innovation to make their hard-earned dollars go further, and Bennett Jones is accommodating.

“We are meeting this challenge using technologies such as artificial intelligence during due diligence and creating new efficiencies during routine work to make sure our services are not only excellent, but also cost-effective,” says Maguire.

“We continue to stay focused on meeting our clients’ needs.”

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