Brenda C. Swick


 | Toronto

Brenda Swick is a partner in the International Trade Group at Cassels. One of Canada’s leading practitioners in international trade and investment law, Brenda also offers extensive experience in government contracting, and anti-corruption enforcement & compliance, and government relations.

Brenda’s International trade practice focuses on economic sanctions, export, import and technology transfer controls, defence trade controls, blocking measures (Cuba), national security measures, trade remedies (anti-dumping, countervailing and safeguard investigations) Canadian customs law and compliance with forced labour laws.

She also has an active international trade and investment protection practice. She assists clients in understanding how to use international trade agreements to protect and promote their businesses and investments at home and abroad under Canada’s myriad of international trade and investment agreements, including: the NAFTA, CPTPP, CETA and the WTO.

Brenda offers extensive expertise in representing clients in anti­dumping, safeguards and countervailing duty investigations before the Canada Border Services Agency, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT), and the Federal Court.

For over 20 years, Brenda has successfully participated in high-profile cases and has advised governments and private sector clients in a host of WTO and NAFTA dispute settlement proceedings. The Government of Canada appointed Brenda as an expert arbitrator under the dispute settlement provisions of the of the Canada US Mexico Trade Agreement.

Former counsel with the CITT and the Department of Justice, Brenda has represented clients in some of Canada’s highest-profile trade disputes in softwood lumber, automotives, steel, dairy products, alcoholic beverages, baby food, natural resources, and energy.

She has also represented clients in numerous government contracting disputes and advises clients on all aspects of federal, defence, provincial and municipal government contracting in Canada.

Having practiced in Ottawa for two decades, Brenda is well-known in government circles and brings several years of experience in dealing effectively with governments and administrative agencies regarding a host international trade and regulatory issues. Brenda has written extensively and is the co-author of Customs and Excise chapter in Halsbury’s Laws of Canada, published by LexisNexis.

  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (International Trade Regulation)
  • Chambers Canada (Public Procurement, International Trade/WTO)
  • Chambers Global (International Trade/WTO)
  • Expert Guides (Women in Business Law)
  • Legal500 Canada (International Trade) (Leading Individual)
  • Who’s Who Legal: Canada (Trade & Customs, Government Contracts)
  • Who’s Who Legal: Government Contracts
  • Who’s Who Legal: Trade & Customs
  • “Brenda is quick to engage, delightful to work with and always able to provide practical insights and actionable advice.” – Chambers Canada (Public Procurement)
  • “She has deep knowledge of international trade agreements and a network of contacts that are helpful in supporting our interests.” – Chambers Canada (Public Procurement)
  • “Her overpowering strength is a thorough understanding of treaties and legislation.” – Chambers Canada (International Trade/WTO)
  • “Service-oriented and good technical lawyer.” – Chambers Global (International Trade/WTO)
  • “Extraordinary diligence … very assiduous in going after her clients’ interests.” – Chambers Global (International Trade/WTO)
  • “Astute capability about the various treaties and their impact on Canadian procurement issues.” – Chambers Canada (Public Procurement)
  • J.D., Queen’s University
  • B.A. (Economics), University of Ottawa
  • Ontario, 1987
  • American Bar Association, Co-Chair, International Procurement Committee, Aerospace-Defence Committee
  • Canadian Bar Association, International Law, Public Procurement, and Anti-Corruption Committees
  • Global Offset and Countertrade Association