Alison R. Manzer

Alison R. Manzer
Telephone: 416 869 5469
Fax: 416 350 6938

Suite 2100, Scotia Plaza
40 King Street West
Toronto, ON M5H 3C2

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"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, funds, fintech and block chain applications 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 also has well-recognized expertise in transaction structuring and the use of special purpose entities such as partnerships, limited partnerships and trusts.

Alison has been 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, and again, 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 also been active with the Canadian Bar Association. She is active with several committees of the American Bar Association, Business Law Section and is Past-Chair of the Project Finance and Development Committee and current Chair of the Programs Committee and several subcommittees.

She has lectured and written extensively on legal matters, particularly dealing with financial institution and partnership issues. Alison has authored several 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; Banking and Credit Relationships; Asset-Based Lending in Canada; Law in International Finance; Halsburys Laws of Canada: Banking and Finance; Project Finance in Canada; Real Estate Finance in Canada; The Consumer Finance Law Review; Banking, Finance and Transactional Law; Getting the Deal Through - Project Finance, all published by national legal text publishers. Her list of published articles includes over 300 titles written for a wide range of publishers in areas including partnership, 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 repeatedly recognized in peer rankings in several areas.

Alison has an LL.B. (Law), a B.Sc. Hon. (Biochemistry), M.B.A., LL.M. in banking and financial services and M.Sc. (Business Research). She is currently undertaking a Doctorate in Business Administration looking at professionalism and liability issues. 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

  • “Experienced, confident and puts you at ease about any questions you may have.” – Chambers Canada (Banking & Finance)
  • "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)
  • “An excellent advocate who delivers very sound legal advice.” – Chambers Canada (Financial Services)
  • “Applauded by clients and recognized by peers for her work within the financial services sector.” – Chambers Global (Banking & Finance)



Osgoode Hall Law School, LL.M., 1996

University of Toronto, MBA, 1984

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

Dalhousie University, LL.B., 1977

Dalhousie University, B.Sc., 1974

Recent Work

Publications, Newsletters and Articles

Project Finance in Canada (Thomson Reuters)

"Banking and Finance", Halsbury's Laws of Canada

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

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

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

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

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

Annotated Bank Act and Bank Act Legislation and Commentary (Butterworths/Lexis Nexis)

Call to the bar

Ontario, 1979


  • American Bar Association, Business Law Section (Project Finance and Development Committee, Chair; International Co-ordinating, Committee Chair; Programs Committee, Chair)
  • American Bar Foundation
  • Association of Commercial Finance Attorneys (Past President)
  • American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers (Regent)
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Ontario Bar Association


  • The Legal 500 Canada (Banking & Finance)
  • Chambers Canada 2016-2020 (Banking & Finance)
  • Chambers Global 2009–2015, 2019 (Banking & Financial Services)
  • Martindale-Hubbell, Distinguished™ rating
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2003–2019 (Asset Equipment Finance/Leasing; Banking & Financial Institutions; Asset-Based Lending)
  • Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Lawyers in Canada 
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada 2006–2020 (Equipment Finance)
  • 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)
  • IFLR1000 (Banking)
  • 2009 Lexpert Zenith Award Winner
  • Practical Law Canada, Thomson Reuters, Advisory Board


Pro Bono/Community Involvement

  • 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)


Energy: Oil & Gas and Utilities
Energy: Renewable & Clean Technology
Financial Institutions Regulation
Financial Services
Insurance & Reinsurance - Corporate & Regulatory
International Business
Lending & Finance
Private Equity
Project Finance
Restructuring & Insolvency
Securitization & Structured Finance
White Collar Crime & Regulatory Response