OsgoodePD expands construction, infrastructure offerings with two new programs

A modern bridge lit up at night with a cityscape behind it

In response to a growing demand for construction-related legal education, Osgoode Professional Development (OsgoodePD) is launching a new Certificate in Public-Private Partnership (P3) Law and Practice in Canada next month, with a new Professional LLM program in Construction Law set to launch in September 2024.

For more than a decade, OsgoodePD’s popular Certificate in Construction Law has offered professionals in the industry intensive, practical education on the legal issues impacting construction. Meanwhile, elective courses in construction law have been available to Professional LLM students in Osgoode’s Energy & Infrastructure Law and Business Law programs. Andrea Lee, a co-founding program director of the new Professional LLM in Construction Law alongside Osgoode Professor and Chartered Arbitrator Janet Walker, has witnessed an increased demand for legal expertise in her construction niche, in both her private practice and her role as an OsgoodePD instructor. She says the new LLM program will help relieve some of that pressure.

“There is certainly an appetite for more construction law courses, so it’s great that Osgoode is taking things to the next level,” Lee says. While lawyers who deal regularly with construction law issues or advise industry professionals are obvious candidates for the new program, Lee says it is also likely to appeal to lawyers looking to gain insight into construction law to complement their existing practice, or even transition into this area on a full-time basis.

Chris Bennett, one of three Chairs of OsgoodePD’s new Certificate in Public-Private Partnership (P3) Law and Practice in Canada, shares a similar sentiment regarding the new certificate program. The coming-of-age process for P3 projects has proven turbulent, he says, with many private-sector players struggling to get projects done within the rigid structure and risk-transfer profile of a traditional P3 model.

While traditional P3s continue to be used, the risk is too much for many, says Bennett, leaving public owners with a dwindling number of private-sector partners willing to bid on them. As a result, he says the public sector is increasingly open to new methods for delivering large and complex infrastructure projects, with innovative models emerging to reflect the changing market conditions.

“We’re entering a very evolutionary phase of P3, where different types of partnership are available, so we’re reassessing what risk allocation looks like, and testing new models,” Bennett says, adding that this makes the timing perfect for the launch of Osgoode’s new certificate.

“It’s all about keeping Canada on the leading edge of infrastructure globally,” says Bennett.

OsgoodePD’s Certificate in Public-Private Partnership (P3) Law and Practice in Canada is an open-enrolment course, accepting registrations now. Applications for Osgoode’s LLM in Construction Law open Oct. 1. Fill out this form to receive program updates.

To view additional construction and infrastructure offerings, visit the OsgoodePD website.