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

Chris Bennett is Chair of the National Banking and 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 public-private partnerships, project finance, infrastructure and structured finance. Chris has extensive experience acting for domestic and international lenders, developers, equity sponsors and other participants in connection with complex P3 and infrastructure transactions and project financings across Canada. He has led major transactions in a variety of industry sectors and asset classes, including social infrastructure, transportation, electricity and renewable energy. Chris has closed more than 50 P3 projects over his career, and his experience includes a number of innovative, first-of-type public private partnerships, 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 is the only Canadian lawyer to be named as “Star Individual” for Project: PPP and Infrastructure by Chambers Canada.

Chris has spoken and written extensively on matters relating to project finance and public-private partnerships. Chris has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law since 2007 where he teaches on the law and policy of public private partnerships and risk transference between the public and private sectors.

    • Counsel to the lenders in Ontario Power Generation’s US$750 million revolving credit facility
    • Counsel to the successful proponents, EllisDon Capital Inc. and Coco Paving Inc. in their bid on the $314 million QEW Credit River Bridge Project
    • A syndicate of international banks in the $2.8 billion Millennium Broadway Extension
    • 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 lenders in Arjun Infrastructure Partners’ acquisition of ONroute Service Centres
    • 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

  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business: Recognized in Project Finance (Band 1) and Projects: PPP & Infrastructure (Star Individual); Projects & Energy Lawyer of the Year 2021
  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business: Recognized in Project Finance (Band 1) and in Projects: PPP & Infrastructure (Band 1)
    • "[Chris is] one of the most talented lawyers in the market, if not the most talented project finance and infrastructure lawyer in Canada."
    • "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."
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory: Recognized in Project Finance; Infrastructure Law; Banking & Financial Institutions; Corporate Commercial Law
  • The Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Corporate Lawyers in Canada: Recognized in Banking; Project Finance
  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada: Recognized in Project Finance
  • Best Lawyers in Canada: Recognized in Banking and Finance Law; Construction Law; Project Finance Law; "Lawyer of the Year", Project Finance Law (2021)
  • The Legal 500: Recognized in Leading Lawyer in the area of Banking & Finance, Infrastructure & Projects
  • IFLR 1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms: Recognized in Project Finance (Highly Regarded)
  • Who’s Who Legal: Recognized in Canada - Government Contracts; Project Finance; International - Government Contracts; Project Finance 
  • Acritas Stars: Recognized as a Star Lawyer

  • 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.