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Desmond Lee

Desmond Lee

Partner, Corporate

Co-Chair: Capital Markets


Contact Information

dlee@osler.com

tel: 416.862.5945

Office

Toronto

Areas of Expertise
Bar Admission

Ontario, 1998

Education
  • McGill University, LL.B.
  • Queen’s University, B.Sc. (Hons.)
Language(s)
English

Desmond is one of Canada’s most well-regarded lawyers for capital markets work, with a particular focus on IPOs and other equity financing transactions. He co-leads the Firm’s capital markets practice with Michael Innes. Desmond is responsible for the origination and execution of equity and debt financing transactions, and has led numerous initial public offerings, new issues, secondary offerings and private placements for issuers primarily in the diversified, financial services, healthcare, mining, power and utilities and real estate industries. He has extensive experience as an advisor to investment banks on trading questions and regulatory matters, and has also served as the corporate secretary of a TSX-listed issuer. Desmond earned a B.Sc (Hons.) in geological sciences from Queen’s University in 1993 and an LL.B. from McGill University in 1996. He was named as a partner of Osler in 2005.

According to Chambers Canada, Desmond holds a distinguished reputation among his peers and is “a very talented lawyer who gets to the point quickly”. He is ranked as a leading lawyer for capital markets or securities work by Best Lawyers, Chambers Canada, IFLR1000, The Legal 500, Lexpert and Who’s Who Legal.

Selected transactions include:

  • Canada Goose Holdings Inc. – counsel to the underwriters on the issuer’s cross-border (TSX/NYSE) IPO and subsequent secondary offerings by its selling shareholders
  • Ceridian HCM Holding Inc. – Canadian counsel to the underwriters on the issuer’s cross-border (TSX/NYSE) IPO. Ceridian at the time was the largest tech company by market capitalization to ever IPO in Canada
  • Dream Global REIT and Dream Industrial REIT – counsel to the issuers on their IPOs and various follow-on equity financings
  • Hydro One Limited – counsel to the issuer on its IPO, which was at the time the largest IPO in Canada in the last 15 years and the largest Canadian privatization in the last 20 years
  • Jamieson Wellness Inc. – counsel to the underwriters on the issuer’s IPO and subsequent secondary offering by its selling shareholder
  • MAV Beauty Brands Inc. – counsel to the underwriters on the issuer’s IPO (the issuer’s brands include Marc Anthony True Professional, Renpure and Cake Beauty)
  • Roots Corporation – counsel to the underwriters on the issuer’s IPO, which was the public markets debut of an iconic Canadian retail brand

Desmond regularly acts for the underwriters on securities offerings led by major investment banks such as BMO Capital Markets, CIBC Capital Markets, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, RBC Capital Markets, Scotiabank and TD Securities.

    IPOs

    • Canada Goose Holdings Inc. – counsel to the underwriters.
    • CanWest MediaWorks Income Fund – counsel to the issuer.
    • Capital Power Corporation – counsel to the underwriters.
    • Ceridian HCM Holding Inc. – counsel to the underwriters.
    • Dream Global REIT (formerly Dundee International REIT) – counsel to the issuer.
    • Dream Industrial REIT (formerly Dundee Industrial REIT) – counsel to the issuer.
    • Hydro One Limited – counsel to the issuer.
    • IMRIS Inc. – counsel to the underwriters.
    • InnVest REIT – counsel to the underwriters.
    • Jamieson Wellness Inc. – counsel to the underwriters.
    • Kinder Morgan Canada Limited – counsel to the underwriters.
    • MAV Beauty Brands Inc. – counsel to the underwriters.
    • Pizza Pizza Royalty Corp. (formerly Pizza Pizza Royalty Income Fund) – counsel to the underwriters.
    • Recipe Unlimited Corporation (formerly Cara Operations Limited) – counsel to the underwriters.
    • Roots Corporation – counsel to the underwriters.
    • The Second Cup Ltd. (formerly Second Cup Royalty Income Fund) – counsel to the issuer

     

    New Issues and Secondary Offerings

    • Acasti Pharma Inc. – counsel to the sponsor in connection with the listing of Acasti as a separately-traded company.
    • ACE Aviation Holdings Inc. – counsel to the underwriters in its offerings of shares and convertible senior notes.
    • Algoma Central Corporation – counsel to the underwriters in its offering of convertible debentures.
    • Barrick Gold Corporation – counsel to the underwriters in its MJDS public offering of common shares.
    • Bausch Health Companies Inc. (formerly Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc.) – counsel to the issuer in various offerings of common shares.
    • Belo Sun Mining Corp. – counsel to the underwriters in its public offering of common shares.
    • Cameco Corporation – counsel to the issuer in its MJDS public offering of common shares.
    • Canada Goose Holdings Inc. – counsel to the underwriters in its secondary public offerings of common shares by selling shareholders.
    • Capital Power Corporation – counsel to the underwriters in various public offerings of equity in the form of common shares, subscription receipts and preferred shares.
    • Celestica Inc. – counsel to the underwriters in various public offerings of equity.
    • Chorus Aviation Inc. (formerly Jazz Air Income Fund) – counsel to the issuer in its public offering of convertible debentures.
    • A leading Canadian coal company – counsel to the initial purchasers in its offering of senior secured notes.
    • Corus Entertainment Inc. – counsel to the issuer in its public offering of subscription receipts to partially fund the transformative acquisition of Shaw Media Inc.
    • Dream Global REIT (formerly Dundee International REIT) – counsel to the issuer in its public offering of equity to partially fund the transformative acquisition of its Netherlands real estate platform and various other public offerings of equity.
    • Dream Industrial REIT (formerly Dundee Industrial REIT) – counsel to the issuer in various public offerings of equity.
    • Dream Office REIT (formerly Dundee REIT) – counsel to the issuer in its formation as a REIT and various public offerings of equity and investment grade debt, including its inaugural investment grade debt offering.
    • Dream Unlimited Corp. – counsel to the issuer in its public offering of equity.
    • ECN Capital Corp. – counsel to the underwriters in various public offerings of preferred shares.
    • Element Fleet Management Corp. (formerly Element Financial Corporation) – counsel to the underwriters in various public offerings of equity and other securities.
    • Extract Resources Ltd. – counsel to the underwriters in its special warrant offering and subsequent prospectus qualification of ordinary shares.
    • Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited – counsel to the underwriters in various public offerings of equity and debt.
    • First Quantum Minerals Ltd.  – counsel to the underwriters in its public offering of common shares.
    • Granite REIT Holdings Limited Partnership – counsel to the agents in various investment grade debt offerings, including its inaugural investment grade debt offering.
    • Immunovaccine Inc. – counsel to the agents in its public offering of equity.
    • IMRIS Inc. – counsel to the underwriters in its public offering of common shares.
    • InnVest REIT – counsel to the underwriters in various public offerings of equity.
    • Jamieson Wellness - counsel to the underwriters in its secondary public offering of common shares by selling shareholders.
    • Lake Shore Gold Corp. – counsel to the underwriters in various public offerings of common shares.
    • Oncolytics Biotech Inc. – counsel to the underwriters in various public offerings of common shares.
    • Orezone Gold Corporation – counsel to the underwriters in its public offering of equity.
    • Recipe Unlimited Corporation (formerly Cara Operations Limited) – counsel to the underwriters in its secondary public offering of subordinate voting shares by a selling shareholder and private placement of subscription receipts to partially fund the acquisition of St-Hubert.
    • Telesat Canada – counsel to the initial purchasers in various offerings of senior notes.
    • TransAlta Corporation – counsel to the underwriters in various public offerings of equity and debt.
    • TransAlta Renewables Inc. – counsel to the underwriters in various public offerings of equity in the form of subscription receipts and common shares.
    • Xplornet Communications Inc. (formerly Barrett Xplore Inc.) – counsel to the initial purchasers in its offering of senior notes and warrants.

Chambers

  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2017-2019: Band 1, Capital Markets: Debt & Equity (Nationwide - Canada).
  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Business Lawyers, 2018: Band 1, Capital Markets: Debt & Equity.

Lexpert

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, 2017-2018: Most Frequently Recommended, Corporate Finance & Securities.
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, 2018: Repeatedly Recommended, Corporate Commercial Law.
  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada, 2014-2018: Most Frequently Recommended, Corporate Finance & Securities.
  • The Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Corporate Lawyers in Canada, 2017: Corporate Finance & Securities.
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, 2014-2016: Repeatedly Recommended, Corporate Finance & Securities.
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, 2015-2016: Repeatedly Recommended, Corporate Commercial Law.
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, 2016: Consistently Recommended, Corporate Finance & Securities.
  • Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Corporate Lawyers in Canada, 2014-2015.
  • Lexpert Special Edition: Canada’s Leading Corporate Lawyers, 2014.
  • Named as Leading Lawyer Under 40 by Lexpert.

Legal 500

  • The Legal 500, 2019:  Leading Lawyer, Capital Markets.

IFLR

  • IFLR 1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms, 2018-2019: Highly regarded, Capital Markets, Structured Finance and Securitisation.
  • IFLR 1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms, 2010-2011 and 2017: Capital Markets.

Best Lawyers

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada, 2014-2019: Securities Law.

Who's Who Legal

  • Who's Who Legal Canada - Capital Markets, 2018.

Desmond has been a board member of a number of charitable arts organizations, including The Canadian Art Foundation, the Images Festival and Visual Arts Ontario. He was formerly the co-chair of the board of The Canadian Art Foundation, which publishes Canadian Art magazine, Canada’s leading visual arts publication. In that capacity, he helped lead the foundation through several leadership changes and a strategic re-focus of its vision and mandate.

  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Law Society of Ontario