Yan Besner

Yan A. Besner

Partner, Real Estate

Contact Information


tel: 514.904.5790



Bar Admission

Quebec, 2003


  • Université de Montréal, 2015, Juris Doctor
  • Université de Montréal, 2003, D.E.S.S, Common Law
  • Université de Montréal, 2001, LL.B.


English, French

Yan is a Partner in the Real Estate Group of our Montréal office. He advises on acquisitions, dispositions, financing and leasing transactions to real estate companies and clients with core real estate assets critical to their businesses. His clients include property owners, developers, lenders and other commercial clients. He is known for his extensive experience in advising national and international retailers, including businesses involved in franchising on their commercial real estate needs in Québec. Yan provides ongoing, day-to-day counsel to numerous major national and international retail clients on their commercial leasing needs across Canada. He also provides real estate counsel to institutional property owners and managers, REITS, family offices and governmental authorities. 

Yan created and spearheaded the development of Estoppel Express, an estoppel certificate production service developed through the Osler Works platform.

An entrepreneurial, talented and energetic lawyer, Yan is recognized as a rising star in the commercial real estate sector in Quebec. He is a trusted and commercially savvy advisor to his clients, many of whom have worked with him for several years on multiple projects, as well as a key real estate resource within the firm, on both provincial and national levels.

Yan is regularly called upon to speak at the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) of America, of which he is an active member. He is also the 2020 Program Planning Committee Chair of the ICSC Canadian Shopping Centre Law Conference. Yan has also been a contributor to chapter on the Landlord’s Rights and Remedies in Quebec in the book Landlords Rights and Remedies in a Commercial Lease: A Practical Guide, Second Edition and taught International Finance at the Masters Level at the Faculty of Law of Université de Montréal.

Yan is repeatedly recognized as a leading lawyer by the following legal directories:

  • Best Lawyers (Commercial Leasing and Real Estate Law)
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (Property Leasing)
  • Lexpert US/Canada Cross-Border Guide, 2015: listed as a Corporate Lawyer to Watch.
  • Lexpert Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40, 2014: Finalist.
  • SK On

    SK On in connection with an $1.2 billion investment with Ford and EcoPro BM in the Province of Québec

  • Nichi-Iko Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd

    Nichi-Iko Pharmaceutical Co. in its US$ 100 million sale to Ellimist Singapore Pte. Ltd.

  • Koch Real Estate Investments

    Koch Real Estate Investments in connection with its preferred equity financing of the Canderel-led $5.7 billion acquisition of Cominar REIT

  • National Tire Distributors Inc.

    National Tire Distributors Inc. in its acquisition of Pneus Supérieurs Inc.

  • Corbeil Électrique Inc.

    Corbeil Électrique Inc., in connection with the sale of substantially all of its business and assets to AM-CAM Électroménagers Inc.

    • Bayer: Advising as Canadian counsel in connection with its US$14.2 billion acquisition of the over-the-counter and consumer personal care business of Merck & Co., Inc.
    • Stonebridge Infrastructure Debt Fund I Limited Partnership and Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc.: Advising in connection with the CA$60 million credit facility to finance the construction of a 10 MW hydroelectric project to be located on the French River in the district of Parry Sound, Ontario. The project is situated on federal Crown lands subject to the Dominion Water Power Act, reserve lands subject to the Indian Act and provincial Crown lands subject to the Public Lands Act and the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act
    • Confidential client: Advising in connection with real estate acquisition, disposition, financing and leasing matters, including real estate transactions with franchisees
    • Confidential client: Advising in connection with retail leasing matters
    • Confidential client: Representing in the context of an Assumption of Loan in the amount of CA$36 million by 9198 9541 Québec Inc., as purchaser, PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc. acting as receiver of 9145 8794 Québec Inc., as vendor, Société Immobilière SYM Inc. and Quebec Apartment Properties Inc., as guarantors, regarding the sale of, inter alia, an immovable held in co ownership being Phase I of seniors apartment complex known as “Domaine des Forges” and bearing civic number 269 boulevard Sainte Rose in the City of Laval, Province of Québec
    • Broccolini Construction Group: Advising in its ultimate successful award of two procurement tenders valued in excess of CA$250 million by Public Works and Government Services Canada for the development and construction of two "design build" office towers with an aggregate square footage of 900,000 in the City of Gatineau, including representation at the Canadian International Trade Tribunal and the Federal Courts in relation to various challenges which arose throughout the procurement process
    • 555 Carrière Holdings Inc.: Advising as special counsel on its CA$50 million acquisition through insolvency proceedings of a single Federal Crown tenant office tower (known as the “St. Laurent Building” and located at 555 de la Carrière, Gatineau, QC), including the financing facility extended by OMERS
    • Confidential client: Advising on numerous commercial real estate portfolio acquisitions (CA$50 to CA$85 million)
    • Confidential client: Representing in construction loans for the development of residential buildings
    • Confidential client: Representing in the financing of retail shopping centres (CA$75 million)
    • Confidential client: Representing in tax-structured acquisitions of commercial real estate portfolios and residences for the elderly (CA$10 to CA$40 million)
    • Confidential client: Advising on multiple acquisitions, dispositions, and financings of vacant land, office buildings and retail centres
    • Confidential client: Representing in the negotiations of retail and industrial leases
    • Confidential client: Representing with respect to financing of operations of entertainment industry businesses
    • Confidential client: Representing in the development and sale of residential communities
  • Find More

  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business: Recognized in Real Estate (Quebec)
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory: Recognized in Property Leasing
  • Lexpert US/Canada Cross-Border Guide: Recognized as a Corporate Lawyer to Watch
  • Lexpert: Leading Lawyers Under 40: Recognized as a Finalist
  • Best Lawyers in Canada: Recognized in Commercial Leasing Law; Real Estate Law
  • Euromoney LMG: Recognized in Americas Rising Star Awards: Best in Real Estate (Shortlisted)

  • Member, Development Advisory Council, Farm Aid

  • Member, International Council of Shopping Centers (since 2017)

  • Member, Board of Directors of the Selwyn House School Association

  • Chair of the 2020 Program Planning Committee of the ICSC Canadian Shopping Centre Law Conference

  • Member of the ICSC Canadian Shopping Centre Law Conference (since 2017)

  • Member, Québec Bar

  • Member, Canadian Bar Association