Toronto’s top infrastructure lawyers in 2021

Lexpert presents Toronto’s top infrastructure lawyers based on the results of our most recent extensive yearly peer review
Toronto’s top infrastructure lawyers in 2021

These were Toronto’s top infrastructure lawyers based on the results of our 2021 peer review. The current list of Ontario’s most recommended lawyers and law firms in this field can be viewed on our list of the best infrastructure lawyers in Ontario here.

Infrastructure law encompasses providing advice and counsel on infrastructure development and various areas of regulatory law impacting development projects, including municipal law and land use planning. Clients often require advice in the areas of procurement, alternative financing, corporate, construction, commercial and litigation considerations.

Most frequently recommended infrastructure lawyers

Mark W.S. Bain

Law firm: Torys LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1989

Mark W.S. Bain is a partner at Torys LLP, where he heads the public-private partnership practice and co-heads the infrastructure and energy practices. He represents sponsors, equity investors, lenders, arrangers and underwriters, contractors, service providers and public authorities. Bain has acted more than 80 major PPP and AFP transactions in the sectors of healthcare, power, telecom, education, justice, gaming, water and wastewater, pipelines, public records and urban redevelopment. His recent mandates include Barrie Transit, Billy Bishop Airport Terminal, Downtown Toronto Bus Terminal, Eglinton Crosstown LRT, Indianapolis Consolidated Courts, Mackenzie Valley Fibre Link, Ottawa LRT, Regina Bypass, Regina Stadium, Regina Wastewater Treatment Plant, Saint John Drinking Water, Stanton Territorial Hospital, Vancouver SRO social housing, Waterloo LRT, Windsor Essex Parkway and Women’s College Hospital projects. Bain also serves as chair for the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships and Canadian chair for the International Project Finance Association.

Read more about Torys LLP on restructuring in a challenging economy

Robert T. Bauer

Law firm: Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1976

Robert T. Bauer heads the commercial real estate and infrastructure practices at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, where he is also a senior partner. He boasts more than 40 years of experience on high-profile and business-critical commercial real estate development and infrastructure projects, public-private partnerships, project financings and joint ventures in Canada, the US, Europe and Asia. Bauer advises clients on transformative and landmark projects, including hospitals, casinos, cross-border rail tunnels, toll roads and airport developments.

Read more about Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP on when a purchaser reneges on a deal

Chris Bennett

Law firm: Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Year called to the Bar: 2001

Chris Bennett is Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP’s national chair of its financial services group and head of finance team in Toronto. He is also a partner at the firm. 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. He has developed two courses on PPPs at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, where he has been an adjunct faculty member since 2007.

Read more about Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP on managing ESG issues in corporate Canada

William Buchner

Law firm: Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP

Year called to the Bar: 2009

William Buchner is a partner at the infrastructure, energy, finance and corporate practices at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP. He advises Canadian and US developers, investors, lenders and borrowers on large infrastructure and power project development and financing, with a particular emphasis on public-private partnership procurement. Buchner also boasts extensive knowledge on hydroelectric, wind and solar financing. He frequently advises 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.

Read more about Davies Ward Phillips & Vineburg LLP on renewable energy sources

Catherine Doyle

Law firm: Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Year called to the Bar: 2006

Catherine Doyle serves as a partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. She devotes her practice to 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 healthcare sectors. She has represented several financial institutions, including bond underwriters, institutional investors and Canadian and international banks, in the financing of infrastructure assets. Doyle boasts extensive experience in operating and term credit facilities, asset-based financings, lease financings and structured financial products. She is also an expert in structuring, negotiating and documenting domestic and cross-border financing transactions in the bank, private placement and bond markets. Among the projects that she has closed are the MacDonald Block reconstruction, Royal Inland Hospital, New Toronto Courthouse, Enterprise Data Centre Borden expansion, Stanton Territorial Hospital, Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford, Saskatchewan joint-use schools, Haile Gold Mine, John Hart Generating Station replacement, Fort St. James green energy project, Bow Lake Wind Farm, Northeast Anthony Henday Drive, Union Pearson Express and New Oakville Hospital.


Tobor Emakpor

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 on public-private partnerships and alternative financing procurement projects in Canada, the UK and West Africa, with a focus on the healthcare, education and transportation sectors. Emakpor is well-versed 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, including the team advising the successful proponents in closing the $253-million Alberta Schools Alternative Procurement II Project in Alberta and the $433-million Kelowna-Vernon Hospital Project in British Columbia. Emakpor is currently advising shortlisted proponents and lenders on several projects in Ontario. He has also advised the shortlisted bidders on the Prince George Cancer Centre and Surrey Memorial Hospital Critical Care Tower Project in British Columbia and the St. Catharines Hospital and the Women’s College Hospital in Ontario.


Brian C. Kelsall

Law firm: Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1982 (ON); 1985 (AB); 2005 (England & Wales)

Brian C. Kelsall is a partner at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP. His practice is focused on project finance and infrastructure development, banking and corporate finance and public private partnerships in Canada, the US and emerging markets. Kelsall regularly advises lenders, developers, contractors and procuring authorities 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, the Pennsylvania Bridges project, the State Street Redevelopment project in Indiana and Merced Campus (UC) project in California. Kelsall has 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 (CSEC) long-term accommodation project. He also regularly assists with international project finance transactions, acting for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and other international financial institutions on the project financing for Mobifon S.A. in Romania. Kelsall has also advised on multiple telecom projects across Eastern and Central Europe.

Read more about Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP on the growth of capital markets amid the pandemic

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 a focus 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 is a fellow of the American College of Investment Counsel.

Read more about Torys LLP on Indigenous consultation standards

Timothy J. Murphy

Law firm: McMillan LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1989

Timothy J. Murphy is an executive partner at McMillan LLP. He assists consortia, lenders and governments in project financing major infrastructure assets across Canada. He has substantial 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 is the managing director at McMillan Vantage Policy Group, a public policy advisory firm. He has previously served as chief of staff to Canada’s prime minister and was a member of the provincial parliament in the Ontario legislature. Murphy also serves on the board of directors of Morguard Corporation and is chair of the board of the Toronto Community Housing Corporation. He has authored the leading text Public-Private Partnerships in Canada: Law, Policy and Value for Money and is the author and editor of the textbook Construction Law in Canada. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.

Read more about McMillan LLP on Canadian venture capital investments



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. 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 in the past 20 years. These projects include transportation and transit-oriented community, social and urban renewal, water and wastewater and alternative energy asset classes.

Read more about Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP on infrastructure investments during the pandemic

Gordon F. Willcocks

Law firm: McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1979

Gordon F. Willcocks serves as 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 currently advising the Ontario Government on two new subway construction projects and on the achievement of Transit Oriented Development by the government at several stations and on a third new subway construction project.

Read more about McCarthy Tétrault LLP on Legislative and policy shifts in climate change environmental regimes



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 project finance, 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 multi-jurisdictional financing transactions. His clients include banks, life insurance companies, infrastructure funds, investors, developers and government agencies.

Judy Wilson

Law firm: Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Year called to the Bar: 1985

Judy Wilson is a partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. She has more than three decades of experience dealing with commercial and procurement issues. Wilson advises domestic and international clients on a range of infrastructure and public procurement matters. She is well-versed in contracts to engage the private sector in the provision of traditional government services. Wilson has led several private sector transactions in the areas of design-build-finance-maintain, operations and maintenance and facilities management of public-sector facilities and the provision of clinical services in the community-care sector. She also practices in the field of alternative finance and procurement projects and infrastructure development projects in various industries, including healthcare, 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. She has also provided advice and legal opinions relating to procurement processes and evaluation, project risk management and mitigation strategies, project structuring and agreements. Wilson is a current member of the board of directors of Halton Healthcare Services in Ontario.

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