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About Chris

Chris's practice focuses on corporate restructuring, insolvency litigation and debt enforcement, including domestic and cross-border debt financing, distressed mergers and acquisitions, financial restructurings, and debtor-in-possession (DIP) financings. Chris's practice also involves advising lenders, contractors, property owners and other industry participants in connection with construction disputes, and Chris has extensive experience with registering, enforcing and discharging construction liens.

Chris regularly acts for secured creditors, court-appointed officers, debtor companies and other stakeholders in multi-party insolvency matters. He has significant experience as counsel to lenders and other creditors in complex debt restructurings. He also advises insolvency professionals such as trustees, receivers and monitors in formal court proceedings.

Chris took time away from Blakes in 2012 and 2013 to work as general counsel at a venture capital company, where he worked on the business side of the relationship with external counsel and developed an acute understanding of what clients need, day to day and on the ground. Chris advised on the structuring of start-up acquisitions, bridge financing and regulatory matters, as well as marketing, publishing and privacy issues.

Select Experience

Some of the cases on the public record in which Chris has been involved include acting for:

  • The secured creditor NYDIG ABL LLC in the Iris Energy (IE CA 3 Holdings and IE CA 4 Holdings) British Columbia receivership proceedings (cryptocurrency)

  • The liquidator in the Silicon Valley Bank winding up proceedings (financial services)

  • The secured creditor PNC Bank in enforcement proceedings against private aircraft (aerospace)

  • The primary creditor and plan sponsor easyfinance in the Canada Drives British Columbia CCAA proceedings (e-commerce)

  • The board of directors in the Aleafia Health CCAA proceedings (cannabis)

  • The purchaser of substantially all of the assets of FIGR Brands in FIGR’s CCAA proceedings (cannabis)

  • The receiver, interim receiver, proposal trustee and trustee in bankruptcy in the Allied Track Services insolvency proceedings (construction)

  • The receiver and trustee in bankruptcy in the Mahal Venture Capital & Golden Miles Food insolvency proceedings (food and beverage)

  • The receiver in the Southmount et. al and Victoria et. al receivership proceedings (commercial real estate)

  • Several creditors in the Just Energy CCAA proceedings (energy)

  • The applicant company in the Division I proposal of foodora Inc. (e-commerce/hospitality)

  • The largest secured creditor in the CCAA proceedings of Schurman Fine Papers (retail)

  • Links of London Canada in its out-of-court wind-up (retail)

  • The applicant companies in the CCAA proceedings of Carillion Canada (construction)

  • The receiver and construction lien trustee in the Urbancorp receivership proceedings (construction)

  • The monitor of the multi-use condominium/retail development of Mady Collier Centre Ltd. (construction)

  • The DIP lender in Toys-R-Us cross-border CCAA proceedings (retail)

  • The secured creditor in its successful credit bid for the Trump International Hotel and Tower (hospitality)

  • American Apparel Canada in connection with its cross-border marketing process and subsequent liquidation (retail)

  • The applicant company in the cross-border CCAA proceedings of Caesars Entertainment Windsor (gaming)

  • The monitor of Co-op Atlantic in connection with the marketing and sale of its business and successful restructuring plan (retail)

  • A significant stakeholder in Maple Bank GmbH's liquidation (foreign banking)

  • The monitor in the CCAA proceedings of Universal Settlements International Inc. (life settlements)

  • The monitor and subsequent receiver of First Leaside Group (securities)

  • The receiver of Buckingham Securities (securities)

  • An aircraft lessor and tour operator in the receivership of Skyservice Airlines Inc. (aerospace)

Awards & Recognition

Chris was named a 2022 Lexpert Rising Star: Leading Lawyers Under 40 and has been recognized as a leading lawyer in the following publications:

  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2024 (Restructuring/Insolvency)

  • The Legal 500 Canada 2024 (Next Generation Partner – Restructuring & Insolvency)

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada 2024 (Construction Law, Insolvency and Financial Restructuring Law)

  • Who's Who Legal: Global 2024 (Restructuring & Insolvency)

  • Who's Who Legal: Canada – 2022–2023 (Restructuring & Insolvency)

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory – 2020–2023 (Insolvency Litigation, Financial Restructuring) 

  • Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys – 2021–2023 (Future Star)

  • IFLR1000: The Guide to the World's Leading Financial and Corporate Law Firms (2022–2023: Notable Practitioner – Restructuring; 2019–2020: Rising Star – Restructuring)

Professional Activities

Chris is a member of the Insolvency Institute of Canada, a limited-number, invitation-only association of Canada's most accomplished senior insolvency professionals. In addition, he regularly guest-lectures at University of Toronto Faculty of Law regarding enforcement of personal property security, regularly guest-lectures on insolvency at the University of Western Ontario Faculty of Law and the University of Windsor Faculty of Law, and was adjunct faculty at Osgoode Hall Law School from 2010–2014, where he taught a seminar on remedies for breach of contract.

Professional Appearances
  • Panellist : Back to the Future – A Retrospective on the 2009 Amendments to the BIA and CCAA, and a Look Forward
    CAIRP 21st Annual Review of Insolvency Law Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia, February 2, 2024.
  • Speaker : Cracks in the Foundation: When Insolvency and Construction Law Collide
    OBA Insolvency Law/Construction and Infrastructure Law Program, Ontario Bar Association, Virtual, January 29, 2024.
  • Speaker : Priorities, Subordination Agreements and Intercreditor Agreements
    The Intensive Short Course in Secured Lending and Debt Finance, Osgoode Professional Development, Toronto, Ontario, November 23, 2023.
  • Speaker : Insolvency & Restructuring: Top 5 Things You Need to Know
    Osgoode Certificate in Construction Law, Toronto, Ontario, November 3, 2023.
  • Speaker : Insolvency & Restructuring: Top 5 Things You Need to Know
    Osgoode Certificate in Construction Law, Toronto, Ontario, February 24, 2023.
  • Speaker : Priorities, Subordination Agreements and Intercreditor Agreements
    The Intensive Short Course in Secured Lending and Debt Finance, Osgoode Professional Development, Toronto, Ontario, November 23, 2022.
  • Speaker : Insolvency & Restructuring: Top 5 Things You Need to Know
    Osgoode Certificate in Construction Law, Toronto, Ontario, October 21, 2022.
  • Co-chair : Critical Insights on Construction Liens/Trusts in Insolvencies
    Ontario Bar Association Insolvency Law & Construction Law Program, Webinar, June 16, 2022.
  • Speaker : Navigating Insolvency and Bankruptcy Priorities and Key Legal Risks
    3rd Annual Managing Construction Liens in Ontario Conference (virtual), Osgoode Professional Development, April 1, 2022.
  • Speaker : Avoiding Insolvency and Practical Tools to Protect Your Project Outcome
    Managing Risk in Construction Contracts & Projects- Eastern Canada Edition, The Canadian Institute, Virtual Conference, February 25, 2022.
  • Speaker : Insolvency & Restructuring – Top 5 Things You Need to Know
    The Osgoode Certificate in Construction Law – National Edition, Osgoode Professional Development, Virtual Conference, February 22, 2022.
  • Speaker : Insolvency & Restructuring: Top 5 Things You Need to Know
    Osgoode Certificate in Construction Law, Toronto, Ontario, October 22, 2021.
  • Speaker : What Corporate Commercial Lawyers Need to Know About Enforcing Security: A Litigator’s Perspective
    The Intensive Short Course in Secured Lending and Debt Finance, Osgoode Professional Development, Toronto, Ontario, October 14, 2021.
  • Speaker : Priorities, Subordination Agreements and Intercreditor Agreements
    The Intensive Short Course in Secured Lending and Debt Finance, Osgoode Professional Development, Toronto, Ontario, October 13, 2021.
  • Panellist : Corporate Restructuring: Roundtable on Redwater
    100 Years of Bankruptcy and Insolvency Law, 1920-2020: Reflections on the Past and Challenges for the Future, The University of Western Ontario, Virtual Conference, May 14-15, 2021.
  • Speaker : Surety Bonds: What You Need to Know to Avoid Insolvency Issues and Practical Tools for Your Project
    13th Annual National Symposium on Managing Risk in Construction Contracts & Projects, The Canadian Institute, Virtual Conference, February 25, 2021.
  • Speaker : Navigating Insolvency & Bankruptcy Priorities and Key Legal Risks
    Managing Construction Liens in Ontario, Osgoode Professional Development, Toronto, Ontario, February 22, 2021.
Education

Admitted to the Ontario Bar – 2008
JD, University of Toronto – 2007
BA (Gold Medal), University of Western Ontario – 2004

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