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Osler is beefing up its presence the P3 area – public-private partnerships involved in major infrastructure projects, including hospitals, schools and roads.Larry MacDougal/The Globe and Mail

McMillan LLP has lost a lawyer from a prominent practice group that concentrates on infrastructure financing and public-private partnerships – a growth area in recent years as governments grow increasingly comfortable with so-called P3s to build megaprojects.

The firm's Chris Bennett has left for Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, where he will head his new firm's project finance group in Toronto. Osler announced the move on Tuesday. Mr. Bennett has acted for clients involved involved in the financing for many major infrastructure projects, including hospitals, schools and roads.

McMillan, which trumpets its involvement in the majority of P3 projects across Canada in recent years on its website, still retains a long list of prominent lawyers who specialize in this area, including Tim Murphy, who was chief of staff to former prime minister Paul Martin.

In a statement, Stephen Clark, who heads Osler's financial services practice, said the acquisition or Mr. Bennett comes as the P3 market in Canada continues to expand.

"Canada has become a leading jurisdiction in terms of both deal flow and successful implementation of these models, and we are very pleased he is contributing his expertise to clients of our top‐ranked teams in infrastructure, energy and financial services," Mr. Clark said.

While P3s have become increasingly common, they still have both loud boosters, who point to cost savings, and loud critics, who point to various boondoggles. But there's no disputing they are good for lawyers. These deals, which are supposed to see the private sector take on more of the risk involved in building infrastructure, are increasingly complex. And as a result, all sides involved – lenders, governments, private businesses – need lots of legal work done.