Jody is the Executive Chair of the firm. Prior to that, he led the firm’s commercial law practice for 18 years. He is recognized as one of Manitoba’s leading corporate lawyers. His practice is both regional and national in scope, focusing on mergers and acquisitions, asset transactions and corporate governance matters.
Jody’s clients include many of the region’s largest corporations, public institutions, lenders and investors. He has market-leading experience in the agribusiness, transportation, and financial services sectors. In addition, Jody has had significant roles advising Manitoba First Nations and Tribal Councils on business initiatives promoting economic development and is counsel to several major provincial pension funds.
Jody’s community commitments include Chair of the Board of Trustees of FortWhyte Alive, a Winnipeg not-for-profit focused on environmental education and conservation. He also sits on the Board of the Performing Arts Consortium of Winnipeg Inc., which owns The Pantages Theatre. The Consortium has plans to renovate and reopen Pantages Theatre to the public as a pre-eminent historic venue in Manitoba.
Jody served for three years as the co-chair of the professionals division of the United Way Winnipeg Campaign Cabinet, and he is active in the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, most recently as a member of its Transportation Leadership Council. He has taught advanced business law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Manitoba and is an Associate of the Asper School of Business.
Of Métis heritage and French speaking, Jody returned to Winnipeg after graduating with distinction from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and completing a term as head law clerk to the Chief Justice of the Federal Court, Appellate Division.
- Best Lawyers in Canada, Corporate Law; Mergers and Acquisitions Law; Real Estate Law
- Best Lawyers in Canada, 2018 Lawyer of the Year, Mergers and Acquisitions Law (Winnipeg)
- Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, 2022, Corporate Commercial Law; Corporate Mid-Market
- Chambers Canada, Corporate/Commercial (Manitoba) — Band 1
- IFRL1000, Highly Regarded Mergers & Acquisition Lawyer
Development and First Nations Matters
- Advisor to Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation regarding its negotiations of the Wuskwatim Power limited partnership, a CAD 1.5 billion initiative to develop a 223 megawatt generating station in northern Manitoba. This was the first partnership of Manitoba Hydro, the province’s publicly-owned electricity utility, with a First Nation to develop and operate a hydroelectric project
- Counsel to the eight First Nations comprising the Swampy Cree Tribal Council in respect of their development of the Aseneskak Casino, the first First Nations-owned casino in Manitoba
Acquisitions and Commercial Financings
- Lead counsel to James Richardson & Sons, Limited on the acquisition of the Bison Transport group of companies, headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Bison Transport group operates one of the largest transportation businesses in Canada, with over 3,700 employees and contractors operating a fleet of 2,100 tractors and 6,000 trailers, and services a wide variety of multinational, national and local customers
- Lead counsel to The Dufresne Spencer Group on its 11 acquisition transactions since 2012 in the United States of America to grow into a top 20 furniture retailer in the U.S., with over 125 Ashley HomeStores, 20 Distribution Centres and nearly 3,500 team members across 12 U.S. states
- Lead counsel to Richardson International Limited in its transformational asset acquisitions from Viterra following its acquisition by Glencore International, plc.
- Advisor to Richardson International Limited in respect of complex syndicated credit facilities in connection with the liberalization of the Canadian wheat and barley sales markets following the end of the Canadian Wheat Board’s legislated monopoly
- Advisor to Western Financial Group in its acquisition of Hayhurst Elias Dudek Inc.
- Advisor to Sunrise Poultry Processors in its acquisition of Dunn-Rite Food Products and its associated hatchery business
- Advisor to TIPI Insurance Partners in its acquisition of Legacy Bowes Group
Sales, Dispositions and Mergers
- Lead counsel for the vendor in the sale of the TransX Group of Companies, a major North American road haulage and logistics enterprise, to Canadian National Railway
- Advisor to the vendor in the acquisition by Amazon Web Services of Thinkbox Software Inc.
- Advisor to the vendor in the acquisition by Prime Focus, a Mumbai-based global cinema production and technology multinational, of the visual effects division of Frantic Films
- Advisor to the Merger Committee for the merger of the Canadian International Grain Commission and Cereals Canada Inc.
- Advisor to the Merger Committees in a series of mergers of regional credit unions to form Assiniboine Credit Union, one of Canada’s ten largest credit unions and a prominent regional lender
- Advisor to the Merger Committee with respect to the amalgamation of Manitoba’s four Caisses Populaires to form Caisse Group Financier, with 27 branches and over CAD 800 million in aggregate assets, and its subsequent merger with the La Salle Credit Union
Commercial and Industrial Real Estate
- Counsel to the Asper family in the sale of 201 Portage Avenue, a significant Winnipeg office tower, to Greystone Managed Investments and Harvard Developments
- Counsel to Western Financial Group in the sale and lease-back of 777 Portage Avenue, a major commercial office building in Winnipeg
- Counsel to the Dufresne Group in the sale and lease-back of its Panet Road Distribution Centre, in Winnipeg
- Presenter, “Good Faith and Fair Dealing in the Execution of Transport Contracts” (Canadian Transport Lawyers Association Annual Conference, 2011)
- Co-Presenter, The Evolution of Conduct and Management Authority in Gaming (Canadian Association of Gaming Regulators Conference, 2007)
- Co-Presenter, Privacy Law in the Purchase and Sale of a Business (Manitoba Bar Association Mid-Winter Meetings, 2004)
- University of Toronto, LLB (Honours), 1996
- University of Manitoba, BComm (Honours with distinction), 1992
- Manitoba, 1998
- Registered Trademark Agent, 2008
- Member, Canadian Bar Association, Manitoba Branch