François Duchesneau

Senior Partner
Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

François Duchesneau

François Duchesneau



François Duchesneau’s practice focuses on business law, including mergers and acquisitions, and equity and debt financings. He also has extensive experience representing clients in the life sciences and technology sectors, including rapidly growing businesses and start-ups for whom he acts in obtaining financing and in drafting and negotiating technology transfer, joint development, distribution and research agreements. Mr. Duchesneau has acted in cross-border financing and acquisition transactions involving US interests and has represented clients in several public offerings. 

Prior to joining us in 2009, Mr. Duchesneau was a partner of another major national law firm for 11 years. He previously acted as in-house counsel of Æterna Zentaris Inc. (formerly Æterna Laboratories Inc.), a Canadian biotechnology corporation, whose legal department he set up.

Professional experience

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LL.M, International Law, George Washington University, 1994
LL.B., Dalhousie University, 1989
LL.B., Université Laval, 1988

  • Quebec 1990


Mr. Duchesneau has acted for:

  • Coveo Solutions Inc. in connection with a $100 million financing led by Evergreen Coast Capital (April 2018); a $35 million financing led by Investissement Québec (November 2015) and an $18 million financing led by Tandem Expansion Fund I, L.P. (December 2012)
  • OxyNov in the context of the sale of 20% of its stake to Vygon (April 2018)
  • Poka, a social industrial platform developer, in a financing of $10 million led by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Bosch (February 2018); a financing by Inovia Capital and other private investors (May 2016); and a financing of a $2.5 million by Inovia Capital (December 2014)
  • Optosecurity Inc. in the context of the sale of all its shares to Vanderlande Industries Holding B.V. (June 2017)
  • Lucas Meyer Cosmetics, a company of International Flavors & Fragrances (NYSE: IFF) (Euronext Paris: IFF) in a strategic investment in Bio ForeXtra Laboratories Inc. (July 2016)
  • Shareholders of Nutra Canada in the sale of Nutra Canada to Diana Food (May 2016)
  • Unipex Group in its sale of all of the shares of Unipex Solutions Canada to KODA Distribution Group (April 2015)
  • GenePoc, in its financing by DebioPharm Diagnostic S.A. and Emerillon Capital (December 2014)
  • Unipex Solutions Canada, in its acquisition of Ferguson Chemical Innovation (July 2014)
  • Certain minority shareholders of Creaform in the sale of Creaform to Ametek, a leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices, for approximately $120 million (October 2013)


  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, 2019: Corporate Mid-Market; Technology Transactions
  • “Enjeux de financement des entreprises en biotechnologie, L’importance du Term sheet,” presentation as part of healthcare innovation week, Québec International, December 1, 2014.
  • “Du contrat de recherche à la licence d’exploitation,” CRIBIQ, Montreal, February 17, 2010, and Quebec City, February 23, 2010.


  • Canadian Bar Association