Stephen J. Kelly

Partner, Canadian National Chair, Business Law
Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

Stephen J. Kelly

Stephen J. Kelly


Related services and key industries


Stephen Kelly is the Canadian national chair of our business law group. He practises corporate and securities law, with particular emphasis on corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions. He regularly acts for large public companies, underwriters and investors in public offerings, including initial public offerings, bought-deal transactions and cross-border offerings as well as private placement transactions.

Mr. Kelly frequently advises on public and private mergers and acquisitions both nationally and internationally and has advised numerous boards of directors and independent committees in the context of M&A, compliance, corporate investigations and governance matters generally. He also advises clients on corporate reorganizations, continuous disclosure obligations, corporate governance matters, preparing shareholders’ meetings and other ongoing securities law questions.

Mr. Kelly also sits on our national management committee.

Professional experience

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LL.B./B.C.L., McGill University, 1998
B.A., Carleton University, 1994
  • Quebec 1999


Mr. Kelly has acted recently in the following matters:

Corporate Finance

  • SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., Rona Inc. and many other public companies in numerous public offerings and private placements
  • Power Corporation and Power Financial Corporation, Boralex Inc. Dollarama Inc., Fiera Capital and many other public companies, for the underwriting group, in numerous public offerings and private placements

Mergers & Acquisitions

  • SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. in separate acquisitions of Kentz Corporation and Atkins, each publicly listed corporations in the UK, its sale of a 10.01% stake in 407 ETR to CPPIB for approximately $3.25 billion, its sale of Altalink to Berkshire Hathaway for approximately $3.1 billion and numerous other transactions
  • Aimia Inc. in its sale of its Aeroplan business to Air Canada
  • CAE Inc. in numerous M&A transactions in Canada and internationally
  • Domtar Inc. with its cross-border combination with Weyerhaeuser's fine paper business, creating the largest fine paper company in North America   
  • Garda Inc. for the special committee of the board of directors in the sale of Garda to Stephan Cretier and Apax Capital Partners for $1.1 billion
  • Fiera Capital Inc. for the special committee of the board of directors in the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Natcan Investment Management from the National Bank of Canada for $310 million
  • Numerous other board, special committee and independent committee engagements for public companies in the context of friendly and hostile M&A activity, related party transactions and complex corporate investigations.



  • Best Lawyers in Canada: Securities Law, 2023-2024; Corporate Law, 2024
  • Chambers Canada, Quebec: Corporate/Commercial, Chambers and Partners, 2016-2024 
  • Lexpert Special Edition: Finance and M&A, 2023: Leading Lawyer in Finance and M&A
  • International Financial Law Review 1000, Canada: Capital Markets: equity; Mergers and acquisitions (Highly Regarded), 2016-2023 
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, 2012-2023: recommended in Corporate Commercial Law; Corporate Finance & Securities; 2023: recommended in Mergers & Acquisitions 
  • Thomson Reuters Stand-out Lawyers, 2022-2023
  • Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada, 2021-2022: most frequently recommended in the area of Corporate Commercial Law; Corporate Finance & Securities
  • Acritas Stars 2019-2021 – Designated as an "Independently rated lawyer"
  • The Legal 500 Canada, 2016: Corporate/Commercial (Quebec)
  • Lexpert, 2007: ranked as one of the “Top 40 Lawyers Under 40 in Canada” and “20 Canadian Corporate Lawyers to Watch”
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Director, St. Mary's Hospital Foundation and Fundraising Chair of the St. Mary's Ball for 2019 and 2020
  • Starlight Foundation, Annual Wine Auction, Fundraising Committee
  • McGill University Faculty of Law, Alumni Fundraising Committee Member
  • United Way of Montreal, Major Donors Cabinet




Global M&A trends and risks

Publication | May 31, 2023

M&A hub: Developments driving and shaping M&A

Publication | January 22, 2023

M&A Outlook 2023

Publication | January 12, 2023