Stephen R. Ashbourne
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3086

Steve practises in the areas of securities and commercial law. He specializes in innovative transactions and novel offering structures, including for structured finance and derivatives transactions.

With over 20 years in practice, Steve combines extensive knowledge of securities and commercial law with a deep understanding of related tax, insolvency and regulatory law topics to provide clients with insightful, creative and practical advice. He has acted on many firsts relating to securitization, derivatives, structured products and electronic trading, and has extensive experience designing, "Canadianizing," and implementing financial products and strategies in both the domestic and cross-border contexts. He has pioneered transaction structures to securitize revolving portfolios of consumer loans and mortgages, repackage illiquid structured finance instruments, qualify shelf offerings of asset-backed securities, and create derivatives-based financial products.

Steve regularly advises on upcoming over-the-counter derivatives rules and has played leading roles in connection with the development of Canada's securities laws for asset-backed securities and retail derivatives, including serving on advisory committees formed by Canada's securities regulators.


Steve frequently represents leading clients on securitizations, derivatives-based transactions, establishing marketplace trading platforms, implementing monetization, repo/securities lending, hedging and arbitrage strategies, and incorporating over-the-counter derivatives into corporate finance and M&A strategies.

Recent matters have included:

  • Financing several large business acquisitions by way of securitization, amounting to over C$850-million of lease and loan portfolios

  • Establishing Canada's first rated aircraft securitization program

  • Advising leading clients on Canada's upcoming OTC derivatives rules

  • Structuring retail offerings of derivatives-backed securities

  • Establishing equity trading platforms

Steve also led the Firm's efforts on the structured finance aspects of several large restructurings and divestitures in the wake of the global financial crisis, including:

  • The sale of two credit card portfolios, amounting to over C$11-billion of receivables, including to permit the continuation of existing public securitization platforms

  • The successful restructuring of C$35-billion of frozen non-bank asset-backed commercial paper

  • Repackagings of otherwise illiquid securities

Steve has been recognized in the following publications and awards:

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada (Derivatives) 2016 and 2017
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory - Asset Securitization and Derivative Instruments (2008 - 2016)

  • Legal Media Group's Guide to the World's Leading Lawyers in Banking, Finance and Transactional Law - Structured Finance and Securitisation - Canada (2007, 2009, 2012 and 2013)

  • Lexology and International Law Office Client Choice Awards - Securitization & Structured Finance - Ontario (2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014) and Securitization & Structured Finance - Canada (2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014)
Show Past:
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Blakes Bulletin on Financial Services Regulatory, and Structures Finance & Derivatives, May 18, 2016.
Blakes Update on Capital Markets, August 2015.
Blakes Update on Capital Markets, April 2015.
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