Gavin D.F. MacDonald


Gavin is a partner in the Halifax office.  He obtained his law degree from Western University.  His practice focuses on business law in the areas of organization and financing, business restructuring, insolvency, and banking.  Active in the local business community, Gavin is Past Chair of the Board of Directors for the Halifax Chamber of Commerce.


Commercial Transactions
Gavin regularly acts for clients in commercial transactions and advises on purchases and divestitures of businesses by way of share and asset purchases, partnerships and joint ventures.

Corporate Law
He regularly advises clients on corporate law matters, including matters related to corporate structures, governance and unlimited liability companies (ULCs).

Banking & Finance
Gavin has extensive experience in matters of corporate financing, acting for both domestic and international lenders and borrowers on both a secured and unsecured basis. He is co-Chair of Cox & Palmer’s Banking Group.  Experience has included:

  • Lead Canadian counsel to a European lender to Canadian businesses in the fishery and aquaculture.  Acted for the lender on various secured loans in the aggregate of hundreds of millions CAD (2016 – Present).
  • Lead counsel in Nova Scotia to a Canadian chartered bank on its largest commercial lending maters (2015 – Present).
  • In 2017, represented a US based lender on a 200 million CAD refinance of secured debt, which included mortgage security on approximately 250,000 acres of Ontario woodland.  Prepared and negotiated the credit agreement and lead a team of Halifax and Toronto lawyers to prepare all necessary documentation and manage the closing.
  • Acting on behalf of the Province of Nova Scotia on a complex forgivable loan arrangement to Irving Shipbuilding Inc as part of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy including negotiation of unique custom covenants to address community benefits contemplated by the Strategy.

Insolvency & Restructuring
He regularly advises financial institutions, insolvency professionals and companies involved in business restructuring, contested and uncontested insolvency proceedings before the trial and appeals courts of Nova Scotia.

Examples of Gavin’s insolvency and restructuring experience include:

  • Being selected by the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia as representative co-counsel for affected users of the Quadriga CX crypto-currency platform as part of its insolvency.
  • Acting for a foreign receiver of an insolvent tidal power development company in seeking to restructure and sell the entity including proceedings in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia and Federal Court of Canada.
  • Advising the Province of Nova Scotia on its acquisition of Bowater-Mersey Paper Company Limited from Resolute FP as part of its insolvency and the restructuring of the closed plant as an industrial incubator.

Bar Admission

  • Nova Scotia (2002)

Law School

  • University of Western Ontario


  • Mount Allison University (BA, Honours in Economics, 1998)
  • University of Western Ontario (LLB, 2001)

Professional Activities & Affiliations

  • Director, Atlantic Provinces Economic Council (APEC) (2022 – )
  • Member, Insolvency Institute of Canada (2010 – )
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Section National Executive (2014 – )
  • Chair, Canadian Bar Association – Nova Scotia, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Section (2012 – 2014)
  • Chair, Canadian Bar Association – Nova Scotia, Business Section (2011 – 2012)
  • Risk Management Association (Nova Scotia)
  • Canadian Insolvency Foundation

Community & Volunteer Activities

  • Past Chair of the Board of Directors, Halifax Chamber of Commerce (2021 – 2022)
  • Chair of the Board of Directors, Halifax Chamber of Commerce (2020 – 2021 )
  • Vice Chair of the Board of Directors, Halifax Chamber of Commerce (2019 – 2020)
  • Director, Halifax Chamber of Commerce (2016 -2019)
  • Member, Halifax Chamber of Commerce HR and Governance Committee (2018 – 2019)
  • Member, Halifax Chamber of Commerce Audit & Risk Committee (2016 – 2018)
  • Chair, Halifax Chamber of Commerce Provincial Affairs Committee (2006 – 2010)

Law Society Memberships

  • Nova Scotia Barristers' Society
  • Canadian Bar Association


  • English