Stuart Breen

Partner, Gowling Lafleur Henderson Age: 38

Stuart Breen is an expert in crafting complex investment and acquisition deals for mining companies.

While in law school, Breen at first thought he would become a litigator. But when he was exposed to corporate finance law while articling, he found the work to be intellectually challenging and always interesting.

“Mining transactions involve a lot of creativity,” he said. “They aren’t transactions that follow standard forms. Often the clients have unique projects and transactions that have never been done before.”

Recently, Breen led the commercial mining law portion of a complex and innovative $1 billion in financing provided by Franco Nevada to Inmet Mining. Last year, he advised Hathor Exploration in successfully resisting Cameco’s hostile takeover bid. He subsequently advised Hathor during its friendly takeover by Rio Tinto for $654 million, a complex and widely-publicized transaction that involved teams from the firm’s Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto offices.

His in-depth knowledge has helped to double Gowling Lafleur Henderson’s mining group revenues.

Breen is an enthusiastic mentor of articling students and to associates at his firm and commits to mentoring one UBC student each year. It’s time well-spent, he said.

“From my perspective, a law firm really is just people,” he said. “Investing in the people you work with is so critically important. You can build a firm by hiring and engaging and developing great associates and students.” •