Bennett Jones marks a century of excellence in business law

Bennett Jones marks a century of excellence in business law

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Pat Maguire grew up in the small town of Millett, then moved to Edmonton to attend University of Alberta and graduated with a law degree. Beginning the job search he knocked on the doors of a number of law firms in Calgary, and says several boasted as being “almost as good as Bennett Jones.”

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So, he hurried over to its office, got an interview, was accepted as an articling student in 1991 and has been there ever since.

At that time, he decided to make the oil and gas industry his specialty and became a highly regarded energy lawyer, acting for energy companies on a broad range of commercial transactions, both in Canada and internationally,

Since 2018, Maguire has been vice-chair and Calgary managing partner, and is extremely proud and humbled to serve in the position at one of Canada’s premiere business law firms as it celebrates its centennial year.

Many firms celebrate anniversaries marking several successful years in business, but few can boast of being in growth mode for 100 years.

Bennett Jones was born in 1922 in what was then the small prairie town of Calgary, when Canada was just 55 years old and had a population of nine million people. It was founded by R.B. Bennett, who had moved to Calgary from New Brunswick in 1897, building up his legal practice here before he was elected Canada’s 11th prime minister in 1930.

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In 1939, Bennet hired Mac Jones, who became the country’s leading oil and gas lawyer and whose name was added to the firm’s title in 1980.

The company has been blessed with some of the best legal minds in Canada and grew with the Western economy, opening an office in Edmonton in 1982. Expansion to the east came in 1989 in both Toronto and Ottawa, and in 2014 a Vancouver office was opened.

“Bennett Jones enjoys a unique culture,” says chair and CEO Hugh MacKinnon, “Our Western roots incubated an egalitarian character, a fiercely independent spirit and an unrelenting work ethic. With our expansion beyond Alberta, we incorporated the best practices of other jurisdictions into our own storied traditions to create something truly special.”

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Guided by leading legal practitioners from across Canada, Bennett Jones offers a full range of corporate, litigation, regulatory/environmental and tax services to clients.

Since the discovery of oil and gas in 1947 by Imperial Oil, which sought the advice of Bennet Jones, the firm has led the foundation of energy law in Canada.

Much of late can be attributed to Maguire’s experience and excellent knowledge of the technical aspects of commercial deals.

His Calgary office has been involved in many major oil and gas industry transactions, including the $3.8-billion sale of substantially all of the assets of Devon Canada Corp. and Devon Canada Crude Marketing Corp. to Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.

Over the past 100 years Bennett Jones has travelled a remarkable journey of growth in becoming a national force in Canadian law and business.

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Today it boasts a total of 500 lawyers and advisers across its six offices, built upon a reputation earned in courtrooms, hearing rooms, town halls and boardrooms by people dedicated to client service and to each other.

Their exciting story of people, events and resolve is being written in a commemorative book, Firm First: 100 Years of Service and Trust, that will be published later this year.


The YMCA Eau Claire site has been sold. Listed through JLL, it has been purchased by Calgary developer Telsec Properties Corp. The 113,000-square-foot building sits on a key piece of downtown land adjacent to the Eau Claire Market and by the Bow River Pathway. Telsec has no immediate plans for how it will redevelop the site but it has a fine record of quality developments in the city over the past 46 years. It recently purchased the former Jack Carter site at Glenmore Trail and Macleod Trail and, in partnership with Trico Homes, its Shawnessy Station three-building mixed-use development is well under construction.

David Parker appears regularly in the Herald. Read his columns online at He can be reached at 403-830-4622 or by email at [email protected].

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