Bernard Kwasniewski

Bernard Kwasniewski

Toronto: 416.865.7390
Fax 416.865.7380


LLB/MBA (Bronze Medalist), 1992
Osgoode Hall Law School and Schulich School of Business, York University
BA, 1986
York University

Bar Admissions

Ontario, 1994 New York, 1997 California, 2005


Bernard’s practice focuses on private equity fund formation and investment in private equity funds. He advises both sponsors and institutional investors in structuring, negotiating and investing in private equity, venture capital and infrastructure funds—including representing BDC Capital, HarbourVest Partners, Northleaf Capital Partners, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, Saskatchewan’s Public Employees Benefits Agency, among other clients, in numerous fund investments. He also advises fund sponsors in all aspects of planning, forming and negotiating their U.S. and Canadian private equity funds.

Bernard’s recent work includes advising HarbourVest Partners in the formation of its venture fund of funds under the Government of Canada’s Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (or “VCCI”) and advising Amplitude Ventures Inc. in the launch of its venture capital franchise and the formation of its life sciences fund. Bernard has also advised Northleaf Capital Partners, HarbourVest Partners, Teralys Capital, as well as several Québec-based institutional investors in several investments under the Government of Canada’s Venture Capital Action Plan and under the new VCCI plan.

Representative Work

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Chambers Canada—Leading lawyer in private equity: fund formation (2021)

Lexology—Client Choice Award: Private Funds (2020)

The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory—Leading lawyer in private equity (2019-2020)

Who’s Who Legal—Leading Canadian lawyer in private funds (2016, 2019-2020)

Which Lawyer?—Recommended Canadian lawyer in private equity: fund formation (2009-2012)


Professional Involvement

Bernard is involved in drafting revisions to the Limited Partnerships Act (Ontario), as part of a sub-committee of the Ontario Bar Association.

Bernard practised corporate law in the capital markets group of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in its New York and London offices. He represented fund sponsors and investors in the formation of private equity funds.

Memberships and Affiliations

Bernard is on the Corporation Law Sub-Committee of the Ontario Bar Association and he is a member of the Business Law Section within the Canadian Bar Association.