James Desjardins
Associate | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9708

James' practice focuses on banking and commercial lending transactions, including debt financing, securitizations, project finance, asset-based lending, acquisition finance and transactional debt. He acts regularly for lenders and borrowers on secured and unsecured transactions, syndicated loans, asset-based loans, reorganizations, acquisitions and private placements. James also has experience in bankruptcy and insolvency law, including receiverships, liquidations and proceedings under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act and the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. James works primarily in energy, oil and gas, renewable power and related services industries. James also acts regularly as agent counsel to international law firms in providing Canadian advice on various financing transactions.

Prior to joining Blakes, James practised banking and insolvency law in the financial services group at a leading regional firm in Toronto.


Recent representative matters include advising:

  • Cenovus Energy Inc. in respect of credit facilities of C$10.4-billion in connection with its acquisition of ConocoPhillips' 50% interest in the FCCL Partnership

  • The lead arrangers and credit facility providers in respect of a US$1.06-billion issuance of notes, a C$352-million issuance of notes and certain working capital credit facilities in connection with the refinancing of the Southern Lights Pipeline from Edmonton to Illinois
  • The lenders in respect of credit facilities of C$160-million and US$10-million regarding an international landscape supplier and retailer

  • Prairiesky Royalty Ltd. regarding its syndicated and operating credit facilities in conjunction with its IPO, Canada's largest in 14 years
  • The agent and lenders in respect of a C$210-million asset-based credit facility in favour of a commercial equipment supplier

  • Jupiter Resources Ltd. in connection with its revolving borrowing base credit facilities in the amount of C$550-million and note deal in the amount of $1.1-billion provided in connection with the acquisition of the Big Horn package of assets from Encana
  • BluEarth Renewables Inc. and certain of its subsidiaries on various credit arrangements, including:
    • C$197-million project financing in respect of its Narrows Inlet hydro project, including its shared facilities arrangements with its Tyson Creek hydro facility;

    • C$71-million project financing in respect of its Bull Creek wind project;

    • C$72-million project and term financing arrangement in connection with the acquisition of its Solar Spirit solar project;

    • C$32-million project financing in connection with the acquisition of Tyson Creek hydro facility;

    • Debt-related work in respect of each of the foregoing credit facilities and certain corporate facilities in connection with the acquisition by Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan of the shareholdings in BluEarth previously held by ARC Financial Corp. and related reorganization

  • Canadian counsel to the lead arranger in respect of C$200-million of notes issued by Sunshine Oilsands Ltd.
  • Various Canadian and foreign lending institutions in connection with their syndicated and non-syndicated lending arrangements ranging in size from C$2-million to C$500-million