Sam Billard

Partner Admitted to the Ontario Bar: 1985

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  • Bio
  • Awards & Recognition
  • Professional Involvement
  • Representative Matters
  • Selected Speaking Engagements
  • Selected Publications
  • Insights
  • Education

Sam is a problem solver. Drawing on his years of experience and pragmatic nature, he addresses clients’ financing and lending issues both in Canada and abroad. He has a reputation for finding practical solutions to difficult problems and is always striving to make deals work for all parties involved. He is an expert in Caribbean banking and, with great local connections, is a go-to advisor for many of North America’s largest financial institutions active in the region.

Sam is a member of the firm's Financial Services Group and has extensive experience in project finance, syndicated lending, asset-based lending, cannabis lending, precious metals lending, restructuring, leasing, derivatives, asset-backed commercial paper, structured finance, and public and private bond financing. Focusing on unusual, often multi-jurisdictional, secured lending transactions, he provides corporate, regulatory and transactional advice to some of the largest financial institutions in North America. Sam has extensive experience in drafting and commenting on over-the-counter swap documentation and other bespoke derivative transactions.

He began his career with the law department of one of Canada's leading commercial banks and later transitioned into the banking, restructuring and structured finance areas of private practice. He has a strong understanding of business as well as the accounting, tax and regulatory environments in which his clients work.

Sam’s broad experience and practical approach allow him to provide proactive and effective advice to clients in all areas of financial services. He has developed an expertise in assisting financial institutions restructure exposures to struggling resorts, hotels and other hospitality-related businesses in the Caribbean.

Awards & Recognition

  • Recognized in The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a leading lawyer in the area of Banking & Financial Institutions
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada in Banking & Finance Law 

Professional Involvement


  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Canadian Bond Investors' Association

Representative Matters

Acted for Linamar Corporation in the completion of a $550 million private placement of senior unsecured notes.

Assisted KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., with its US$285 million cross-border financing for HR Ottawa, L.P., in connection with the redevelopment of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

Acts for Bank of Montreal as Agent on a secured syndicated financing for Altus Group Limited, a Canadian public company with a global real estate advisory business. That loan is currently in the upper nine figures.

Acts for a global gold refiner on several projects where it prepurchases gold from mines around the world to assist in mine development. Sam has also acted in a realization process for one such prepurchase.

Acts for a Canadian Schedule 1 bank on a number of loans in the Cannabis sector and on the restructuring of many of them.

Acted for an English global conglomerate on Canadian aspects of its global refinancing, which involved a US$150 million secured syndicated revolving credit facility and over US$1 billion in notes in several tranches which participated in the security to some extent. The transaction included the issuance of a “fair summary” opinion with reference to certain Canadian aspects of the disclosure materials relating to the notes.

Advised a European biotech firm in the food sector in the financing of its business in Ontario.

Advised a Canadian farm cooperative in financing a major expansion of its processing operations, the debt portion of which amounted to approximately $85 million from a club of lenders, all with intersecting security.

Acted for an Ontario hospital in negotiating and documenting a $190 million loan to fund its local share of a PPP financing which funded the design and building of a state of the art hospital.

Led restructuring of project financing in excess of $100 million for a major Caribbean resort for a syndicate of lenders as well as acting on the ultimate realization of the security.

Led restructuring for several properties in Jamaica, Aruba, St. Maarten and Trinidad & Tobago.

Led $130 million syndicated acquisition financing for a successful Canadian entrepreneur facilitating expansion into Europe, the United States and China and the ultimate repayment of that financing.

Led bank financing and ultimate repayment of Ottawa Senators Hockey Club for a syndicate of domestic and international lenders.

Advised lenders and borrowers on a number of aircraft finance transactions.

Advised international clients in the restructuring of the non-bank asset-backed commercial paper market in Canada.

Selected Speaking Engagements

"Real Estate in Distress and a Taste of Current Issues," BMO Seminar, April 2024.

"Cross-Border and Other Issues in Canada’s Cannabis Sector," CIBC Presentation, July 2019.

"Cross Border Issues, Lending and Insolvency in Canada’s Cannabis Sector," RBC Presentation, June 2019.

"Trump, Tomahawks and Trade," The Risk Management Association’s Annual Meeting of the Senior Workout Officers in Canada, June 2017.

"Unique Challenges Faced by Creditors and Other Stakeholders Involved in Resort Insolvencies in the Caribbean Region," ABI Cross-Border Insolvency Program, November 2016.

Selected Publications

Sam has written several articles related to the asset-backed commercial paper market, the credit crisis of 2007 as well as a series of articles on carbon trading. His paper titled "Credit Crisis and Commercial Lending" prepared for the Canadian Institute and another paper titled "The CDS Contagion," published in The National Banking Law Review, June 2009 edition explored the roots of the credit crisis of 2007. He has also written extensively on the challenges faced by international lenders when realizing on security in the Caribbean region and on emerging issues faced by accounting firms in public company mandates. Sam has spoken on the Trump Presidency and Trade to the Restructuring Management Association. In 2024, he authored a Lexpert article on distress in the Canadian real estate development industry.



  • LLB and MBA, Dalhousie University, 1983
  • BA (Hons), Dalhousie University, 1978