Education

Queen’s University

J.D., 1985
  • David Sabbath Prize for the Taxation of Trusts and Estates

Called to the Bar of Ontario

1987

Brenda C. Swick

Partner

Overview

Ms. Swick's practice focuses on government contracting, anti-trust, regulatory compliance, anti-corruption, export controls and economic sanctions, trade remedies, customs and judicial review of government decisions. She also has a practice in international trade and investment law (including WTO/NAFTA dispute settlement).

The Government of Canada has appointed Ms. Swick as an expert arbitrator under Chapter 19 of the NAFTA. She has also received her Certificate in Public Procurement Law and Practice from Osgoode Hall Law School. Early on in her career, she was legal counsel with the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT), Canada's bid review mechanism and the Department of Justice.

Ms. Swick is one of Canada’s leading experts on the law of competitive contracting and on trade agreements relating to government procurement. She has represented clients in numerous government contracting disputes, including before the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, the Federal Court of Canada and provincial tribunals. Ms. Swick advises clients on all aspects of federal, provincial and municipal government contracting in Canada, including bid preparation, contract negotiation, assignment and change of control provisions, regulatory compliance, anti-corruption compliance, suspension and debarment, bid challenges and litigation. She also advises clients on the design and conduct of private procurement.

Having practiced in Ottawa, for two decades, Ms. Swick is well-known in government circles, and brings to clients years of experience in dealing effectively with governments and administrative agencies, in request to a host of regulatory compliance issues.

Ms. Swick has extensive expertise in representing clients in anti dumping and countervailing duty investigations before the Canada Border Services Agency, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal and the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal. Her expertise and reported cases can be found here. Trade Remedy Expertise

As part of her regulatory practice she advises on Canada’s export controls and economic sanctions regime and all requirements under the Controlled Goods Program and Defence Production Act. 

As part of her anti-corruption compliance practice, she has counseled and has written corporate compliance programs and conducted anti-corruption training, audits and investigations for Fortune 500 companies.

As part of her WTO and NAFTA practice, for over 20 years, Ms. Swick has successfully litigated numerous high-profile cases. She advised governments and private sector clients in more than 15 WTO dispute resolution proceedings. Ms. Swick currently represents a provincial government in the WTO Feed-In-Tariff case and for many years represented the Quebec Softwood Lumber industry in the anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases against imports of softwood lumber from Canada, the most commercially significant trade case ever filed under the US trade laws.

In regard to her customs practice, Ms. Swick was formerly counsel to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal which hears appeals of decisions of the Canadian customs authorities on customs matters. She has counselled on customs matters and appeared before the CBSA, CITT and Federal Court. Early in her career Ms. Swick was in-house counsel to a major freight forwarder and distribution company where she had the opportunity to work on a variety of customs-related matters.

Prominent Assignments

This list does not include representation of clients in export control, economic sanctions, anti-trust matters due to the confidential nature of these mandates.

  • Counsel to Raytheon in a bid disputes regarding the acquisition of The Integrated Soldier System.
  • Counsel to Food and Consumer Products Association in regard to the WTO Dispute by Canada regarding Country of Origin Labelling.
  • Counsel to Oracle Canada ULC. in two bid disputes before the CITT regarding the procurement of common and shared management software solutions by PWGSC.
  • Counsel to the Government of Ontario before the WTO in the challenge by EU/Japan of Ontario's procurement of energy under its Feed-In-Tariff (2011-2015).
  • Counsel to CGI Group Inc. in bid protest by TPG Technology Consulting Group regarding procurement of engineering and technical support services in support of enterprise Server Domain before CITT and Federal Court.
  • Counsel to Raytheon Canada ULC. in bid dispute before CITT regarding procurement of Integrated Soldier System Project (ISSP) by PND/PWGSC. 
  • Counsel to Ingredion to the design and conduct of private competitive solicitations.
  • Counsel to Quebec Forest Industry Council in WTO/NAFTA disputes regarding the importation of Canadian softwood lumbar into the US (1996-2006).
  • Counsel to Nestle Canada Inc. before the CFIA and Federal Court regarding the restrictions on importation of baby food into Canada. 
  • Counsel to the Canadian Commissioner of Competition before NAFTA Panels regarding a complaint by Heinz Canada regarding infant formula sales in Canada.
  • Counsel to Abbott Nutrition before CBSA and Federal Court of Appeal regarding importation, sale and distribution of nutritionals in Canada. 
  • Counsel to Ford Canada in WTO dispute regarding the Canada-US Auto Pact filed by Japan and EU.
  • Counsel to Mark Anthony Fine Wines before the government of British Columbia regarding the procurement and sale of alcoholic beverages.
  • Counsel to Food and Consumer Products Association regarding the Canada-US dispute on Country-Of-Origin labeling (ongoing).

Professional Involvement

  • Member, European Club for Countertrade & Offset
  • Canadian Bar Association
    • International Law Section
    • Anti-Corruption Committee
  • American Bar Association
    • Co-Chair, International Procurement Committee
    • Aerospace - Defence Committee

Publications/Presentations

  • Author, "Anti-Corruption Compliance In Import/Export Transactions," 2017 ICPA Conference, Toronto, May 2017  
  • Author, "Review of the Significant Canadian Federal Government Contracting Cases in 2016," Dickinson Wright Client Alert, January 2017
  • Contributor, "Protectionism in Reverse: Treaties drafted to protect Canadian investors from erratic regimes are now backfiring, as investors abroad, like Wind Mobile's former Egyptian backer, take aim at Canada's 'cultural protectionism'," Lexpert Magazine, November/December 2016
  • Panelist, "A Toast to the Future – From the Auto Pact to What’s Next – Canada-U.S. Trade and Talent for the 21st Century," U.S.-Canada S.A.G.E. Summit, Columbus, Ohio, June 16, 2016
  • Co-Author, The 3917 Edition of "Halsbury's Laws of Canada - Customs and Excise," June 2016
  • Co-Author, "Canada Acts To Prevent Importation of Counterfeit Goods into Canada," Dickinson Wright Client Alert, June 2016
  • Speaker, “Recent Developments in Investor State Arbitration,” Canadian/US Law Institute, April 7, 2016
  • Speaker, “How to void Suspension and Debarment: A Potent Government Consumer Remedy and Serious Consequences for Corporations and Individuals,” ABA 2016 Spring Meeting, Columbus, Ohio
  • Speaker, “Gordie Howe: A Great Hockey Player and a Vital Link to Cross Border Trade Between the US and Canada,” ABA 2016 Spring Meeting, Columbus, Ohio
  • Co-Author, "Unpacking the U.S. Border," The Lawyers Weekly, Cross Border Law, March 2, 2016
  • Quoted in the Globe and Mail, "PM's Star Power Won't Settle Softwood Fight," March 12, 2016
  •  Author, "Softwood Lumber, Construction and Building Products Companies in Limbo as U.S. and Canada Attempt To Resolve New Softwood Lumber Dispute," Dickinson Wright Client Alert, March 11, 2016
  • Speaker, "International Procurement Developments in 2015; Canada," Thomson Reuters West Government Conducts Year In Review Conference, Washington D.C., February 16, 2016
  • Author, "Canada Relaxes Iran Sanctions, Making it Easier to Do Business With Iran," Dickinson Wright Client Alert, February 11, 2016
  • Speaker, "Canadian Custom Issues," Mexican/Canadian Customs and NAFTA Update, Cleveland, Ohio, November 12, 2015
  • Speaker, “Ensuring Openness, Fairness and Transparency in the Process,” Federated Press 6th Public Procurement Law, Toronto, September 10, 2015
  • Speaker, “Impact of Trade Agreements on Public Procurement and Canadian International Trade Tribunal Decisions,” Federated Press 6th Public Procurement Law Course, Toronto, September 10, 2015
  • Speaker, "Compliance Matters: How Anti-Corruption Anti-trust and Regulatory Enforcement Impacts Procurement," ABA SIL Fall Meeting 2015, Montreal, Canada (October 22, 2015)
  • Speaker, Anti-Corruption Compliance, the Canadian Institute Practical Guide, Toronto, June 23-24, 2015.
  • Speaker, Maintenance Contract Management Course, Federated Press, Toronto, February 19 & 20, 2015.
  • Speaker, "International Public Procurement Update," Government Contracts Year-in-Review Conference, Thomson Reuters, Washington, D.C., February 17, 2015.
  • Speaker, "The Internationalization of Government Procurement Regulation", Global Governance Program of the European University Institute (EUI), Florence, Italy, December 15 – 16, 2014.
  • Speaker, "Gifts, Hospitality, Entertainment, Travel, Accommodation Expenses & Facilitation Payments: What is Permissible?" Lexpert Conference: "Anti-Bribery and Corruption Compliance: Coping With the Onslaught", Calgary and Toronto, December 8 & 11, 2014.
  • Speaker, "Canada's New Offset Regime in Defence Procurement," The European Club for Countertrade & Offset Symposium, Vienna, Austria, November 20, 2014.
  • Speaker, "Damage Control: Recovering From Non-Compliance", 83rd Annual National Conference and Tradeshow, the Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters, Toronto, October 8, 2014.
  • Speaker, "A New Era In University Procurement, Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)", Canadian Association of University Solicitors (CAUS) Conference, Niagara-on-the Lake, Ontario, September 19, 2014.
  • "Public procurement in Canada: Overview", Practical Law Multi-Jurisdictional Guide 2014/15 Public Procurement, Thomson Reuters, London, June 1, 2014.
  • Co-Chair, Business and Operations Guide To Public Procurement - Industry Lessons, Practical Business Operations Techniques and Proven Compliance Strategies, The Canadian Institute, Toronto and Edmonton April 24 and May 1, 2014.
  • Speaker, "Preparing for the Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA)", Business and Operations Guide To Public Procurement - Industry Lessons, Practical Business Operations Techniques and Proven Compliance Strategies, The Canadian Institute, Toronto and Edmonton, April 24 & May 1, 2014.
  • Speaker, The 2014 CCCA National Conference, Canadian Corporate Counsel Association-Canada Bar Association, Calgary, April 6 – 8, 2014.
  • Speaker, "Offsets in CANADA - Industrial and Technological (ITB) Policy", Defense & Civil Offsets: Ethical International Business, Section of International Law International Procurement Committee and Aerospace & Defense Industries Committee, Washington, D.C., American Bar Association, March 18, 2014.
  • Panelist, "The New European Procurement Directives: A Critical Perspective", West Government Contracts Year in Review Conference - covering 2013, Thomson Reuters, Washington, D.C., February 18 - 21, 2014.
  • Speaker, "Implications of the Canada EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement on Public Procurement", pre-forum Webshop of Business and Operations Guide to Public Procurement - Industry Lessons, Practical Business Operations Techniques and Proven Compliance Strategies, The Canadian Institute, February 14, 2014.
  • Speaker, "Understanding the Canada EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA): Remaining Questions and Next Steps", Webinar, Canadian Corporate Counsel Association-Canada Bar Association, December 17, 2013.
  • Speaker, "Gifts, Hospitality, Entertainment, Travel, Accommodation Expenses & Facilitation Payments: What is Permissible?" Lexpert Conference: "Anti-Bribery and Corruption Compliance: Coping With the Onslaught", Calgary and Toronto, December 9 & 12, 2013.
  • Author, Chapter 8 - Canada, in The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Public Procurement 2014, A practical cross-border insight into public procurement, Global Legal Group, November 2013.
  • Speaker, "Compliance Surrounding Gifts, Entertainment and Hospitality", Toronto, Canadian Centre for Ethics & Corporate Policy, October 23, 2013.
  • Speaker, "Intellectual Property Ownership in Federal Government Contracts", International Series 2013 Toronto, Trade, Intellectual Property and Recovering Economies: A Search for Best Practices, a Program of the Federal Circuit Bar Association, Toronto, Ontario, September 17, 2013.
  • Speaker, "Canada’s Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act", the 2013 Toronto CIM Convention, Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum, Toronto, May 8, 2013.
  • Program Chair and Moderator, "Debarment Proceedings in the United States and a Comparative Analysis with the World Bank, Canadian and European Union Debarment Regimes", American Bar Association, Section of International Law 2013 Spring Meeting, Washington, DC, April 24, 2013.
  • Speaker, "Canadian Federal Government 'Debarment' Regime" (PDF), American Bar Association, Section of International Law 2013 Spring Meeting, Washington, DC, April 24, 2013.
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Acknowledgements

  • Ranked in Chambers Global - International Trade/WTO 2008 - 2017
  • Ranked in Chambers Canada - Public Procurement; International Trade/WTO 2014 - 2017
  • Ranked in Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2015, 2016 - International Trade Regulation 
  • Ranked in Who’s Who Legal: Trade & Customs 2014 - 2015
  • Ranked in Who’s Who Legal: Canada 2015
  • Ranked as a leading practitioner in Euromoney Legal Media Group's 2013 Guide to the World's Leading Lawyers in China, Guide to the World's Leading Lawyers in International Trade and Guide to the World's Leading Women in Business Law