Here are Toronto’s leading infrastructure lawyers based on Lexpert’s extensive yearly peer survey. The full roster of Ontario’s most recommended lawyers and law firms in the field can be viewed on our practice area rankings list.
In the survey, infrastructure law encompasses the provision of advice and counsel on infrastructure development projects. These include the areas of regulatory law, procurement, alternative financing, construction, corporate and commercial matters and litigation.
Most frequently recommended infrastructure lawyers
Mark W.S. Bain is a partner at Torys LLP, where he heads the public-private partnerships (PPP) practice and co-heads the infrastructure and energy practices. He has acted on more than 80 major PPP and alternative financing and procurement (AFP) transactions and other infrastructure transactions in the healthcare, power, telecom, education, justice, gaming, water and wastewater, pipelines, public records and urban redevelopment fields. Bain has represented sponsors, equity investors, lenders, arrangers and underwriters, contractors, service providers and public authorities. His recent mandates include the Barrie Transit, Billy Bishop Airport Terminal, Downtown Toronto Bus Terminal, Eglinton Crosstown LRT and Indianapolis Consolidated Courts. Bain serves as chair of Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships and Canadian chair of International Project Finance Association.
Robert T. Bauer serves as a senior partner at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP. He also heads the firm’s commercial real estate and infrastructure practices. Bauer brings more than 40 years of expertise and industry knowledge to high-profile and business-critical commercial real estate development projects, infrastructure projects, PPPs, project financing and joint venture work in Canada, the US, Europe and Asia. He advises clients on transformative and landmark projects. Bauer is instrumental in the successful development of large projects in diverse sectors, ranging from hospitals to commercial casino projects to cross-border rail tunnels, toll roads and airport developments.
Chris Bennett is a partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. He is also the national chair of the firm’s financial services group and leads its project finance team in Toronto. Bennett has extensive experience in acting for domestic and international lenders, developers and other participants on complex project financings in many Canadian jurisdictions. He has led major transactions in several industries, including social infrastructure, transportation and renewable energy. Bennett has spoken and written extensively on matters relating to project finance and public-private partnerships, including developing two courses on PPPs at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, where he has been an adjunct faculty member since 2007.
Law firm: Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP
Year called to the bar: 2009
William Buchner is a partner at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP’s infrastructure, energy, finance and corporate practices. He advises developers, investors, lenders and borrowers in Canada and the US on large infrastructure and power project development and financing, with a particular emphasis on public-private partnership procurement. Clients in the renewable energy sector value Buchner’s extensive knowledge of the complexities of hydroelectric, wind and solar financing. He frequently advises clients on the sale and purchase of renewable energy and infrastructure projects across Canada. Buchner also has extensive experience in negotiating a wide variety of related development contracts.
Catherine Doyle is a partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. She practises in the areas of project finance, infrastructure, public-private partnerships and structured finance law. Doyle regularly advises on infrastructure projects, including in the transportation, social infrastructure, alternative energy, power and health-care sectors. She has represented financial institutions in the financing of infrastructure assets, including bond underwriters, institutional investors, and Canadian and international banks. Doyle has extensive experience in operating and term credit facilities, asset-based financings, lease financings and structured financial products and in structuring, negotiating and documenting domestic and cross-border financing transactions in the bank, private placement and bond markets. Her closed projects include MacDonald Block Reconstruction Project, Royal Inland Hospital Project, New Toronto Courthouse Project, Enterprise Data Centre Borden Expansion Project and Stanton Territorial Hospital.
Law firm: Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Year called to the bar: 2008 (ON); 1994 (England & Wales)
Tobor Emakpor is a partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP’s construction and infrastructure specialty group. He boasts several years of experience in advising and leading on PPP and AFP projects in Canada, the UK and West Africa, with an emphasis on the health care, education and transportation sectors. Emakpor also has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions, and joint-venture and partnering arrangements. He has led teams advising on a variety of PPP and AFP projects. Emakpor is currently advising shortlisted proponents and lenders on several projects in Ontario. He has also advised shortlisted bidders on the Prince George Cancer Centre in British Columbia, the Surrey Memorial Hospital Critical Care Tower Project in British Columbia, St. Catharines Hospital in Ontario and Women’s College Hospital in Ontario.
Brian C. Kelsall is a partner at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP. He devotes his practice to project finance and infrastructure development, banking and corporate finance and public-private partnerships in Canada, the US and emerging markets. He regularly advises lenders, developers, contractors and procuring authorities. Kelsall has acted for clients across the infrastructure, telecom, energy, oil and gas and mining sectors. He has advised the winning consortium on numerous PPP projects, including the US 36 Express Lanes-Bus Rapid Transit Project, Pennsylvania Bridges Project, State Street Redevelopment Project in Indiana and Merced Campus (UC) Project in California. Kelsall also advised the federal government and procuring authorities on the Gordie Howe International Crossing linking Canada and the US and on its Communications Security Establishment Canada Long Term Accommodation Project (CSEC). He regularly assists with international project finance transactions. Kelsall has acted for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and other international financial institutions on the project financing for Mobifon S.A. in Romania. He has also advised on multiple telecom projects across Eastern and Central Europe.
Tara A. Mackay
Law firm: Torys LLP
Year called to the bar: 2002
Tara A. Mackay is a partner at Torys LLP. She devotes her practice to corporate and commercial transactions, with an emphasis on major capital projects, including public-private partnerships and alternative financing and procurement projects. Mackay represents private developers, public authorities, lenders, construction contractors and service providers in all aspects of the implementation of large-scale infrastructure and similar projects. She has been a fellow of the American College of Investment Counsel since 2015.
Timothy J. Murphy is an executive partner at McMillan LLP. He is also a former chief of staff to Canada’s prime minister. Murphy assists consortia, lenders and governments in project financing major infrastructure assets across Canada. He has extensive experience in construction, energy and procurement. His recent transactions include the Finch LRT, Champlain Bridge, Highway 407 East Phase 2, the Alderville First Nation Solar Farm and the Hurontario LRT. Murphy has authored several leading text in public-private partnerships and construction law in Canada. He is also the managing director of McMillan Vantage Policy Group, a public policy advisory firm.
Rocco M. Sebastiano
Law firm: Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Year called to the bar: 1994
Rocco M. Sebastiano serves as a partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. He is also an experienced professional engineer. Sebastiano’s practice focuses on engineering, procurement and construction law and infrastructure matters. His clients include owners, government authorities, developers, contractors, operators, lenders, architects and engineers. Sebastiano boasts extensive experience in public-private partnerships, privatizations and outsourcing of government services, procurements, project finance, major building, civil and public works design, engineering, construction, operation and maintenance for energy and infrastructure projects. His recent projects include Highway 407ETR, Sheppard Subway, Spadina Subway Extension, UP Express, Toronto Pearson Airport, St. Michael’s Hospital, Maritime Link, Bruce Nuclear Refurbishment, Lower Mattagami, Goreway Station, Portlands Energy Centre, South Kent Wind and York Energy Centre. Sebastiano’s practice also includes contract negotiation, with an emphasis on preventative structuring aimed at minimizing project risks and disputes.
Gregory G. Southam
Law firm: Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP
Year called to the bar: 1998
Gregory G. Southam is a partner and the head of the North American infrastructure practice at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP. He is also a member of the firm’s management committee. Valued for his incisive legal advice, Southam has taken a lead role in some of the largest and most significant public-private partnership and infrastructure projects in Canada and the US over the last 20 years. These include those in the transportation and transit-oriented community, social and urban renewal, water and wastewater and alternative energy asset classes.
Gordon F. Willcocks is a counsel at McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s projects group in Toronto. His practice centres on infrastructure, project finance, procurement and project development, particularly in the areas of complex provincial and federal procurements for equipment, civil and building infrastructures. Willcocks’ recent engagements involve representing Infrastructure Ontario, Metrolinx, OLGC, universities and hospitals in a variety of alternative financing and public-private partnerships projects and on federal procurements for passenger trains and naval patrol and combatant vessels. He is advising the Ontario government on two new subway construction projects and on the achievement of Transit Oriented Development by the Government at several station locations on these two and on a third new subway construction project.
Nicholas C. Williams
Law firm: Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP
Year called to the bar: 1989
Nicholas C. Williams is a partner at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP. He devotes his practice to finance, private mergers and acquisitions and energy, with an emphasis on public-private partnerships, infrastructure and energy development and acquisitions and secured lending. Williams has participated in numerous project finance, PPP, infrastructure, private M&A and private equity transactions across multiple sectors, including energy, infrastructure and mining. He also has significant expertise in syndicated lending, having acted for lenders and borrowers on syndicated domestic and multijurisdictional financing transactions. Clients of various types, including banks, life insurance companies, infrastructure funds, investors, developers and government agencies, rely on Williams for his insightful advice.
Law firm: Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Year called to the bar: 1985
Judy Wilson is a partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. She boasts more than 30 years of experience in dealing with commercial and procurement issues. Wilson has advised clients across the globe on the full spectrum of infrastructure and public procurement issues. She has extensive experience in contracts to engage the private sector in the provision of traditional government services. Wilson has also led a wide range of transactions to engage the private sector, including design-build-finance-maintain, operations and maintenance, management of public-sector facilities and the provision of clinical services in the community-care sector. She is a leading practitioner in the field of alternative finance and procurement projects and infrastructure development projects in industries such as health care, transit and transportation, nuclear energy and information technology systems. Wilson has developed and implemented procurement and contract documentation to support a wide range of public-private partnerships and has provided advice and legal opinions relating to procurement processes and evaluation, project risk management and mitigation strategies, project structuring and agreements.