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 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 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 currently Chair of the Project Finance and Development Committee and of the Programs Committee.
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, 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 partnership 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.