Best Lawyers for Project Finance Law in Canada

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Practice Area Definition

Project Finance Law Definition

Project finance is a commonly used funding solution for large-scale, long-term, capital-intensive projects. The assets financed are often used in industries such as energy (including power generation and transmission and oil and gas processing and transportation), mining, telecommunications, transportation, heavy industry, and social infrastructure. 

Financing for these projects comes from both equity investors (sponsors) and debt financiers, who lend principally against the cash flows projected to be generated by the project. Lenders focus on the structuring and merits of the project rather than the assets or credit standing of the sponsors. Although the loans will be non-recourse or limited-recourse to sponsors, sponsors are usually required to provide some support for the project by way of limited guarantees and other commercial commitments. 

Project finance lawyers can be engaged at various stages of a project’s development – from structuring, contracting and financing through to construction and operation – and therefore must provide legal services from a wide range of practices, including corporate, securities, commercial contracts, financial services, tax, real estate, construction, aboriginal, environmental, and regulatory compliance. 

International project finance also requires cooperation and partnership with both industry and government in the host country of the project. Experience with cross-border issues (in both the private and public spheres) and knowledge of the legal systems and business practices of the project’s host country will be useful to counsel to both sponsors and lenders.

Because project finance focuses heavily on the risk profile of the project, project finance lawyers also should have a good understanding of the relevant industry, construction, operation, commercial, legal, geographic, political, and regulatory risks of the project. Familiarity with project finance structures and processes, credit and security documentation, due diligence, and an understanding of how project risks are customarily allocated and mitigated all contribute to the effectiveness of project finance counsel.

Ron Stuber, Partner, National Co-Lead of the Renewable Energy Group
Dentons Canada LLP

Dentons Canada LLP logo

Project finance is a commonly used funding solution for large-scale, long-term, capital-intensive projects. The assets financed are often used in industries such as energy (including power generation and transmission and oil and gas processing and transportation), mining, telecommunications, transportation, heavy industry, and social infrastructure. 

Financing for these projects comes from both equity investors (sponsors) and debt financiers, who lend principally against the cash flows projected to be generated by the project. Lenders focus on the structuring and merits of the project rather than the assets or credit standing of the sponsors. Although the loans will be non-recourse or limited-recourse to sponsors, sponsors are usually required to provide some support for the project by way of limited guarantees and other commercial commitments. 

Project finance lawyers can be engaged at various stages of a project’s development – from structuring, contracting and financing through to construction and operation – and therefore must provide legal services from a wide range of practices, including corporate, securities, commercial contracts, financial services, tax, real estate, construction, aboriginal, environmental, and regulatory compliance. 

International project finance also requires cooperation and partnership with both industry and government in the host country of the project. Experience with cross-border issues (in both the private and public spheres) and knowledge of the legal systems and business practices of the project’s host country will be useful to counsel to both sponsors and lenders.

Because project finance focuses heavily on the risk profile of the project, project finance lawyers also should have a good understanding of the relevant industry, construction, operation, commercial, legal, geographic, political, and regulatory risks of the project. Familiarity with project finance structures and processes, credit and security documentation, due diligence, and an understanding of how project risks are customarily allocated and mitigated all contribute to the effectiveness of project finance counsel.