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Chris Bennett

Chris Bennett

Partner, Chair of Financial Services Practice

Chair: Financial Services

Key Contact: Project Finance

Key Contact: Infrastructure

Key Contact: Public Private Partnerships (P3)


Contact Information

cbennett@osler.com

tel: 416.862.5992

Office

Toronto

Bar Admission

Ontario, 2001

Education
  • University of Toronto, LL.B.
  • Queen’s University, B.A. (Hons.)
Language(s)
English

Chris Bennett is Chair of the Financial Services practice group at Osler.  He also leads the firm’s Project Finance team in Toronto.

Chris’ practice focuses on financial services with an emphasis on project finance, public-private partnerships, infrastructure and structured finance. Chris has extensive experience acting for domestic and international lenders, developers, equity sponsors and other participants in connection with complex project financings in many Canadian jurisdictions. He has led major transactions in a variety of industry sectors and asset classes, including social infrastructure, transportation, electricity and renewable energy. Chris’ experience includes a number of innovative project financings, including the first major healthcare P3 transaction in Canada to reach financial close, the first Canadian domestic monoline wrapped bank financing and the first combined bank-bond transportation project. He has represented all major categories of project finance lenders in the Canadian market, including domestic and foreign banks, private placement investors and bond underwriters.

Chris has spoken and written extensively on matters relating to project finance and public-private partnerships, including co-developing two courses on the law and policy of private partnerships at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, of which he has been a member of the adjunct faculty since 2007. 

    • Counsel to the underwriters and bank lender in connection with a hybrid bank/bond financing of the John Hart Generating Station Replacement Project;
    • Counsel to the underwriters in connection with a bond issuance to finance the design, build and operation of the north east segment of the Anthony Henday Drive ring road in Edmonton, Alberta.
    • Counsel to the equity sponsors in connection with the design, build, finance and maintaining of a new hospital facility in Oakville, Ontario.
    • Counsel to the equity sponsors in connection with an approximately $328-million project involving a new consolidated courthouse facility in St. Thomas, Ontario.
    • Counsel to the equity sponsors in connection with a $830.5-million project to design, build, finance and maintain two new mental healthcare facilities in London and St. Thomas, Ontario.
    • Counsel to the equity sponsors in connection with a $474-million project to design, build, finance and maintain a new, state-of-the-art forensic mental health facility in Penetanguishene, Ontario.
    • Counsel to the lenders in connection with the second Alberta Schools Project to design, build, finance and maintain 10 new schools in the Edmonton and Calgary regions.
    • Counsel to the equity sponsors in connection with an approximately $379-million project involving a new consolidated courthouse facility in Kitchener, Ontario.
    • Counsel to the equity sponsors in connection with an approximately $593-million project involving Toronto South Detention Centre, a new detention centre facility in Toronto, Ontario.
    • Counsel to the equity sponsors in connection with a $685-million project involving a new hospital in Woodstock, Ontario.
    • $435-million project involving a new parkade and University of British Columbia facility, a new ambulatory and emergency facility in Kelowna and a new diagnostic and treatment building in Vernon.
    • Counsel to the bank lenders in connection with a $1.42-billion project involving the northwest leg of the Anthony Henday Drive ring road in Edmonton, Alberta.
    • Counsel to the lenders in connection with a $408-million project involving a new hospital in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
    • Counsel to the lenders in connection with a $650-million project involving the northeast leg of the Stoney Trail ring road in Calgary, Alberta.
    • Counsel to the equity sponsors in connection with a $259.2-million project involving redevelopment and new construction of the Henderson General Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario.
    • Counsel to the equity sponsors in connection with a $214-million expansion and redevelopment of The Bluewater Health facility, hospital in Sarnia, Ontario.
    • Counsel to the lenders in connection with a $93-million project involving the Greater Toronto Area Youth Centre, a medium security facility for young offenders in Brampton, Ontario.
    • Counsel to the lenders’ consortium in connection with its response to the Ontario government’s RFP for the building, financing and delivery of certain services at the new North Bay Regional Health Centre.
    • Counsel to lenders’ private sector consortium in connection with its response to the Ontario Infrastructure Projects Corporation request for proposals for the design, build, finance and operation of the Durham Consolidated Courthouse in Oshawa, Ontario.
    • Counsel to the arranger and lending syndicate in connection with the William Osler Health Centre, the first major healthcare P3 transaction in Canada to reach financial close. 

  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada, 2014-2017, Most Frequently Recommended in the area of Banking & Finance, Infrastructure & Projects.
  • The Legal 500, 2017, recognized as a Recommended Lawyer in the area of Banking & Finance, Infrastructure & Projects.
  • The Legal 500, 2017, recognized as a Leading Lawyer in the area of Banking & Finance, Infrastructure & Projects.
  • The Legal 500, 2015, recognized in the area of Infrastructure and Projects.
  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Business Lawyers, 2015-2017,  ranked in Band 1 and recognized in the area of Project Finance.
    • "He's among the best in the space in terms of finance. He's very articulate and knowledgeable about the documents. He's a very good advocate for his clients."
  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Business Lawyers, 2015-2017,  ranked in Band 1 and recognized in the area of Projects: PPP & Infrastructure.
  • IFLR 1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms, 2015-2017, recognized in the area of Project Finance.
  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2016-2017, Band 1, recognized in the area of Project Finance.
  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2016-2017, Band 1, recognized in the area of Projects: PPP & Infrastructure.
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada, 2014-2017, recognized in the area of Banking and Finance Law.
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada, 2015-2017, recognized in the area of Project Finance Law.
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, 2015-2016, Consistently Recommended in the area of Banking & Financial Institutions.
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, 2015-2016, Most Frequently Recommended in the area of Infrastructure Law.
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, 2014-2016, Most Frequently Recommended in the area of Project Finance.
  • Lexpert/Report on Business Special Edition - Canada’s Leading Infrastructure Lawyers, 2014-2016, recognized as a leading lawyer in Canada.
  • Lexpert Rising Star: Leading Lawyers Under 40, 2012, recognized as one of Canada's leading 40 lawyers under 40.

  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Ontario Bar Association 
  • Canadian Infrastructure Law Forum, 2016 Steering Committee

  • Member of the adjunct faculty at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law, co-teaching a course on the law and policy of public-private partnerships in Canada.
  • Construction Law in Canada, contributing author, LexisNexis, May 2010.