Desmond Lee

Desmond Lee

Partner, Corporate

Co-Chair: Capital Markets

Contact Information

dlee@osler.com

tel: 416.862.5945

Office

Toronto

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:

  • Bank of Montreal – counsel to the issuer in its $3.1 billion public offering of common shares to provide partial funding for its acquisition of San Francisco-based Bank of the West
  • 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
  • dentalcorp Holdings Ltd. – counsel to the underwriters on the issuer’s IPO and subsequent follow-on offering of common shares
  • Dream group of companies – counsel to various issuers on their IPOs and various follow-on offerings
  • DRI Healthcare Trust – counsel to the issuer on its IPO
  • Fusion Pharmaceuticals Inc. – Canadian counsel to the issuer on its IPO and ATM program
  • 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
  • MDA Ltd. – counsel to the underwriters on the issuer’s IPO (
  • Pet Valu Holdings Limited – counsel to the underwritrs on the issuer’s IPO and subsequent secondary offering
  • TELUS International (Cda) Inc. – counsel to the issuer on its IPO and subsequent secondary offering

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. – Canadian counsel to the underwriters
    • dentalcorp Holdings Ltd. – 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
    • DRI Healthcare Trust – counsel to the issuer
    • Farmers Edge Inc. – counsel to the underwriters
    • Fusion Pharmaceuticals Inc. – Canadian 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
    • MDA Ltd. – counsel to the underwriters
    • Pet Valu Holdings Limited – 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
    • TELUS International (Cda) Inc. – Canadian counsel to the issuer
    • The Second Cup Ltd. (formerly Second Cup Royalty Income Fund) – counsel to the issuer

     

    New Issues and Secondary Offerings

    • A leading Canadian coal company – counsel to the initial purchasers in its offering of senior secured notes
    • A leading consumer packaged goods company – counsel to the underwriters in its MJDS public offering of common shares
    • 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
    • Bank of Montreal – counsel to the issuer in its public offering of common shares
    • 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
    • Corus Entertainment Inc. – counsel to the issuer in its public offering of subscription receipts to partially fund the transformative acquisition of Shaw Media Inc.
    • dentalcorp Holdings Ltd. – counsel to the underwriters in its public offering of subordinate voting shares
    • Descartes Systems Group Inc. – counsel to the underwriters in its MJDS public offering of common shares
    • 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 Impact Trust (formerly Dream Hard Assets Alternatives Trust) – counsel to the issuer in its public offering of convertible debentures
    • Dream Industrial REIT – counsel to the issuer in its $850 million European logistics portfolio acquisition and associated financing
    • Dream Industrial REIT – counsel to the issuer in its $800 million debenture offering and inaugural green bond issuance
    • Dream Industrial REIT – counsel to the issuer in its $250 million private placement of senior unsecured debentures
    • 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
    • Great Canadian Gaming Corporation – counsel to the underwriters in its public offering of senior unsecured debentures
    • 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 Inc - 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
    • Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd. – counsel to the underwriters in its secondary MJDS public offering of common shares by its principal shareholder and concurrent share buyback by the company
    • Pet Valu Holdings Limited – counsel to the underwriters in its secondary public offering of common shares by the selling shareholder
    • Premier Gold Mines Limited – counsel to the underwriters in its public offering of common shares
    • Quarterhill Inc. – counsel to the underwriters in its public offering of convertible debentures
    • 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
    • The Stars Group Inc. (formerly Amaya Gaming Group Inc.) – counsel to the issuer in its privte placement of equity to fund the acquisition of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker
    • Stella-Jones Inc. – counsel to the underwriters in its secondary public offerings of common shares by a selling shareholder
    • Telesat Canada – counsel to the initial purchasers in various offerings of senior notes
    • TELUS International (Cda) Inc. – counsel to the issuer in its secondary public offering of subordinate voting shares by selling shareholders
    • TELUS International – counsel to the issuer in its US$563 million secondary offering
    • 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 Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business: Recognized in Capital Markets: Debt & Equity (Band 1) (Nationwide - Canada)
  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Business Lawyers: Recognized in Capital Markets: Debt & Equity (Band 1)
    • "Desmond Lee is commended by a client who says: "The combination of his technical knowledge and his sensitivity to the market was phenomenal. He perfectly balanced holding a hard line legally and understanding the market." He holds a distinguished reputation among his peers and is renowned for his work on the underwriter side of equity deals. He also has expertise in IPOs and other equity offerings."
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory: Recognized in Corporate Finance & Securities; Corporate Commercial Law
  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada: Recognized in Corporate Finance & Securities
  • Best Lawyers in Canada: Recognized in Securities Law
  • Legal 500: Recognized as a Leading Lawyer, Capital Markets
  • IFLR 1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms: Recognized in Capital Markets: Equity (Market Leader)
  • Who's Who Legal: Recognized in Capital Markets (Canada)
  • Thomson Reuters: "Stand-out Lawyer"

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 published Canadian Art magazine, formerly one of Canada’s leading visual arts publications. 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