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Lawyer

Michael Smith

“As a corporate transactional attorney, I leverage my pre-law experience as an entrepreneur, businessman and marketer to better understand your reality. I negotiate agreements by first asking myself: what I would do if this was my company?”

Year admitted to the Bar

2009
Barreau du Québec
2009
Ontario Bar

Lawyer entrepreneur at Delegatus since

2020

Languages

French, English

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Education
  • Accepted candidate, Joint ASC/C. Dir. Program, Université Laval, Collège des administrateurs de société | Commencing Nov 2020
  • Bachelor of Civil Law (B.C.L.) and Bachelor of Laws (L.L.B.) degrees, McGill University | 2007
  • Semester exchange, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore | 2006
  • Bachelor of Commerce, Concordia University | 2000
  • Semester exchange, C.E.R.A.M., Sofia Antipolis, France | 1999

Biography

From marketer to tech entrepreneur, to lawyer and private investor, Michael has built his practice primarily in corporate commercial law. Leveraging his varied experience across several industries, his strong business acumen and his customer service orientation, he has been called to strategically advise on a variety of mandates, from the C-suite down.

Having worked both in-house and in private practice, Mike’s strength lies in the drafting and negotiation of corporate commercial contracts. Past mandates have included contracts and projects related to software, hardware, consulting, general procurement of goods and services, capital and financial markets, manufacturing, aerospace, corporate and debt finance. He has advised on data and privacy issues related to CASL, PIPEDA, the Privacy Act (Canada) and GDPR as it applies to Canada.

He is trusted to negotiate large files independently and excels at translating complicated deal requirements into practical and clear contractual terms. While at BNPP, he acted on a general mandate for Canada, advising on syndicated and bilateral loans with some of the world’s largest multinationals, banking regulations, international payments, guarantees and in support the procurement function. At National Bank of Canada, he primarily supported the Calgary oil and gas trading desk and NBIN’s prime brokerage business.

Mike has also worked directly on the buy and sales side of contractual negotiations at companies such as National Bank of Canada and Bombardier Aerospace. He has also been an integral part of the deal team for two multi-million-dollar acquisitions, recently assisted a client in obtaining an ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification, and negotiated a platform development agreement with a Fintech.

Mike has international legal work experience in Singapore and additional volunteer and educational experiences in France and Mexico. Before he became a lawyer, he worked in public relations and marketing for 8 years, primarily in the manufacturing and software industries. During that time, he also co-founded two start-ups. He currently acts as an advisor for three cash flow positive technology start-ups.


In-house experience

Michael worked in-house in senior legal roles for prominent financial institutions: at BNP Paribas (Canada) as vice-president, legal, and at the National Bank of Canada. In the later, he acted both as a senior attorney, in NBC’s legal documentation, financial markets department and as a strategic sourcing advisor. Earlier in his career, he worked for Bombardier Aerospace as contract administrator, and for Just for Laughs as contract negotiator. In the past two years, Mike worked as a consultant for an equity fund and a big 6 bank.

In a non-attorney capacity, Mike has 8 years of experience in public relations and marketing for various multinationals, such as Hasbro Toys Canada, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Industry Canada, Silanis Technologies (now part of DocuSign) and X20 Media (now a Barco company).


Experience in private practice

Before joining Delegatus Michael had been solo practicing since mid-2019, handling a variety of corporate and commercial mandates. He began his career as a lawyer at Feldman Rolland where he represented clients in commercial matters. He worked on major deals, including negotiation of commercial leases, licensing (music, clothing, and technology), represented the master franchisees for Canada of a well-known American doughnut chain, and negotiated a variety of financing and construction agreements. Mike also interned at two Singaporean firms, primarily in corporate/commercial work and arbitration proceedings. During law school, he participated in a clerkship program for justices of the Superior Court of Quebec.


Important mandates
  • Negotiated a long-term development and integration agreement between a big 6 bank and a well-known Bay Street fintech | 2020
  • Helped obtain an ISO 200701 security certification for an international SAAS provider | 2019
  • Represented financial institutions in various syndicated loan negotiations with large Canadian corporate clients and institutional pension fund clients.
  • Lead counsel negotiating hundreds of hedging negotiations and prime agreements.
  • Part of the core team to negotiate, acquire and integrate NBC’s purchase of Wellington West Financial | 2011-2012
  • Part of the team to negotiate the master franchise agreement between the local master franchisees and a well-known American quick-serve doughnut chain | 2009
  • Co-founded two technology companies, with one closing an A-series financing round | 2001

Certifications
  • Certified Information Privacy Professional/Canada (CIPP/C) | 2020
  • Member of the Barreau du Quebec | 2009
  • Member of the Law Society of Upper Canada | 2009
  • Canadian Practices Handbook | 2005
  • Canadian Securities Course | 2003

Professional affiliations and community involvement
  • Mentor, Real Ventures | 2020
  • Coach, John Molson School of Business undergraduate finance case competition teams | 2016-2018
  • Mentor, Futurpreneur/Canadian Youth Business Foundation | 2009-2013