Caroline Desbiens

Of Counsel
Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

Caroline Desbiens

Caroline Desbiens



Caroline Desbiens practises commercial and corporate law. She has extensive experience in conducting various commercial transactions, primarily in the aviation, real estate, shipping, oil and gas, life sciences and technology industries.

Ms. Desbiens is involved in negotiating and drafting all types of commercial contracts, including financing and mergers and acquisitions of private companies, strategic alliances and joint business ventures, service, franchise and distribution agreements, setting up and financing of real estate projects, and licensing and technology transfer agreements.

Ms. Desbiens has acted as part-time Member with the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada since July 1994. She also deals with all regulatory matters related to aviation, including obtaining different types of licences. She counsels businesses and professionals involved in the aeronautic industry such as carriers, maintenance organizations, flight training units, aviation services and/or product suppliers, Canadian Aviation Document holders, or lenders. She negotiates and drafts all types of contracts related to the aviation industry such as transportation or charter agreements, sale or lease of aircraft, and aircraft co-ownership and management agreements. She represents the creditors and borrowers in connection with aircraft financing, including international interest on aircraft objects under the Cape Town Convention.

Her background also includes experience in shipping, including transactional matters such as the sale and purchase of vessels, charters and charter-parties.

In the oil and gas industry, Ms. Desbiens has acquired solid experience counselling oil corporations with respect to all their operations, including real estate, retail site development, operation of marine terminals and storage sites, site remediation, sales and marketing of petroleum products, and regulatory matters, including environmental law.

Before joining our firm, Ms. Desbiens practised for 22 years with a prominent law firm in Quebec City and previously with a law firm specializing in aviation law and maritime law.

Professional experience

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LL.M. (Air and Space Law), McGill University, 1992
International Private and Comparative Law Diploma, University of San Diego, 1988
LL.B., Laval University, 1987
  • Quebec 1988

Ms. Desbiens has acted on behalf of the following clients:

  • Various canadian and foreign banks, in connection with aircraft financing, including international interest under the Cape Town Convention
  • Makivik Corporation, in connection with the merger between Canadian North and First Air and as part of a loan to First Air secured by liens on various aircraft in the fleet
  • HCI Aircraft, in connection with financings totalling approximately $116,500,000 for two Boeing 777-233LR, granted by Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentale and leased to Air Canada
  • Investissement Québec, in connection with a €15,000,000 investment in Flying Whales and Les Dirigeables Flying Whales Québec inc.
  • Champlain Financial Corporation, in connection with the acquisition of Transdiff inc., Centre de Transmission J.D.H.Inc. and its affiliates for an approximate amount of $42,500,000
  • Opsens Inc., in connection with the drafting and negotiation of various licences related to its patents
  • OxyNov Inc., in connection with the financing rounds by its major shareholders with convertible debentures
  • Various owners of business jets, in relation to operations for their respective aircraft, including Lowe's Canada and Yamana Gold Inc.
  • BDC Capital, in connection with the financing of certain aircraft of Chrono Aviation Inc.
  • CRT Construction Inc., in connection with the acquisition of a tug in the Netherlands, and HSBC Bank, as part of the financing of this vessel secured by a ship mortgage
  • Best Lawyers in Canada: Aviation Law, 2023-2024; Mergers and Acquisitions Law, 2024
  • "Review and Appeal Mechanism, administrative penalty system of the transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada," presented to the Community of Federal Regulators (CFR), Ottawa, February 9, 2017.
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Quebec Bar
  • Part-time member, Transportation Appeal tribunal of Canada (since 1994)
  • McGill Institute of Air and Space law Alumni(ae)
  • Canadian Maritime Law Association
  • English
  • French