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Douglas Bryce admits he was surprised last October when Toronto-based gold giant Barrick Gold Corp. launched a hostile bid for his client, Placer Dome Inc. Not that Barrick’s interest in rival gold mining company Placer Dome was any secret. Placer Dome’s management had rebuffed friendly overtures from Barrick several times over the years. But Placer Dome — and Bryce — weren’t expecting Barrick to go hostile. “I think it’s fair to say that Barrick successfully managed the process in such a way that it did come as a genuine surprise, the timing of it, to Placer,” says Bryce, a partner in the Toronto office of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt.

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