Matthew Bernardo

Matthew Bernardo is a Toronto-based partner in Gowling WLG's Infrastructure and Construction Industry Group. Harnessing his broad experience advising on a range of complex infrastructure and construction projects in Canada and the United States, Matthew brings practical sector know-how and a strategic business perspective to all of his client engagements.

Matthew has represented a broad range of clients across the infrastructure and projects space – including procurement agencies, owners, equity developers, contractors and service providers/facility managers. He advises clients at all stages of the project lifecycle, under a variety of project delivery models, and across many infrastructure sub-sectors.

Prior to joining Gowling WLG, Matthew acted as North American counsel for a multi-national infrastructure and construction company headquartered in Spain. In this role, he advised the organization on legal, commercial and financing aspects of its major infrastructure project pursuits in both Canada and the United States under both traditional and alternative delivery models. This experience found Matthew regularly navigating the key risks and many strategic considerations encountered by private sector market participants involved in projects across North America.

Prior to his counsel role, Matthew was a partner in the Toronto corporate and infrastructure practice group of a large international law firm. There he advised clients on a broad range of infrastructure & construction projects, as well as corporate and M&A transactions.

Matthew holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, and routinely speaks and writes on topics related to construction law and infrastructure development in Canada.

Outside of his practice, Matthew volunteers as a coach for his local club's junior rugby program.

Associations professionnelles

  • Law Society of Ontario
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • CFA Institute

Mandats représentatifs

A selected description of Matthew's infrastructure experience while at Gowling WLG includes:

  • Counsel to a project consortium in respect of its pursuit of the Ontario Line North – Pape Tunnels and Underground Stations Project, delivered under the Progressive Design-Build model (Co-Lead)
  • Counsel to a project consortium in respect of its pursuit of the Ontario Line North – Elevated Guideway and Above Ground Stations Project, delivered under the Progressive Design-Build model (Co-Lead)
  • Advised a project company, contractor and O&M service provider in the successful negotiation of a design-build-own-operate-maintain (DBOOM) project agreement for a compressed air and chilled water supply facility to serve a major new industrial facility in Windsor, Ontario

Prior to joining Gowling WLG, Matthew's experience included:

  • Advising (as in-house counsel) Acciona Infrastructure Canada in its consortium pursuit of the Scarborough Subway Extension – Stations Rail and Systems project under the Progressive Design-Build model
  • Advising (as in-house counsel) Acciona Infrastructure Canada in its consortium pursuits of two Toronto based transit tunnel projects, each under the Design-Build Finance model
  • Advising Acciona North America (as in-house counsel) in respect of the company's pursuit of various major infrastructure projects in Georgia (highway), Louisiana (bridge), and California (high speed rail and associated infrastructure)
  • Advised to Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx in the multi-site Lakeshore West Infrastructure Improvements design-build-finance Project.
  • Advised a major UK based online grocery chain and technology company in the design and construction of its first North American automated order fulfilment warehouse for a major Canadian grocery chain (lead counsel).  
  • Counsel to the equity sponsors in a consortium bid for the Darlington Nuclear Water Treatment Plant design-build-finance-operate & maintain project (lead counsel).
  • Advised Metrolinx on the Early Stations Improvements design-build Project, a program consisting of key early-stage station and infrastructure improvements at approximately 30 GO Transit Stations throughout the greater Toronto Area.  Mandate included a complete overhaul and update of Metrolinx' design-build contract model and procurement documents, representing Metrolinx at commercially development meetings and brining the project to a successful close (lead counsel).
  • Advised Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx in the 401 highway rail-tunnel P3/AFP project, involving the design, construction and financing of a 170-meter-long rail tunnel under Canada's busiest highway, with a contract value of C$115 million, including working closely with the sponsors to develop the RFP and project agreement documents, representing the sponsors at commercially confidential meetings and coordinating closing of the transaction. 
  • Advised to Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx in the Finch West Light Rail Transit project, involving the design, construction, financing and maintenance concession for the new 11 km, 18 stop transit line in Toronto, with an anticipated value of C$2.5 billion.  
  • Advised The Regional Municipality of Waterloo regarding the request for proposals, and subsequent project agreement with a private sector consortium, to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the region's ION™ stage 1 light-rail transit system.
  • Counsel to a general contractor in a successfully resolved dispute with the owner in respect of the phased handback of completed segments of a major urban transportation station.
  • Counsel to a land development consultant in respect of the drafting of a proprietary in-house contract for land development engineering projects
  • Advised a contractor/construction manager in respect of the construction management delivery of a healthcare convalescent facility north of Toronto.
  • Counsel to a rooftop solar investor in respect of the negotiation and drafting of a master purchase agreement and EPC contracts for the construction and subsequent transfer, on a turnkey basis, of multiple FIT program compliant rooftop solar installations.