James Pasieka, Age: 60
Influential because: He closes deals, wherever he works
A few years ago, James Pasieka was being groomed for big things at Heenan Blaikie, the law firm that started in Montreal but eventually spread across Canada before imploding, spectacularly, this February. Like a star athlete, Pasieka was drafted back in 2006 to help build Heenan Blaikie’s reputation in the lucrative oil and gas industry in Calgary. He also had ties in the electricity sector.
But last year, as Heenan Blaikie began to falter, Pasieka joined Calgary’s McCarthy Tétrault. In his new digs, Pasieka has, as is his way, been part of big and interesting energy deals – indeed, over his career he’s closed them on six continents. Back when Heenan Blaikie grabbed him, Pasieka had recently helped StarPoint Energy Trust merge with Acclaim Energy Trust, for $4.5 billion; it was, at the time, the largest income trust merger in Canada. These days, Pasieka has played a role in lucrative energy deals, including the $1.6-billion sale of Petrominerales, last November, to Pacific Rubiales. McCarthy Tétrault represented Petrominerales, and its team was led by Pasieka.