Canadian Lawyer

May 2020

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 11 of 59

10 FEATURES CROSS EXAMINED CHAD BAYNE founded Osler Hoskin & Ha r c o u r t L L P 's e m e r g i n g a n d high-growth-companies group with leading technology lawyer Geoff Taber back in 2010. "He's the one that hired me into the office in Toronto. We, ultimately, built this practice together. And I consider him a business part- ner, best friend, but also my mentor," says Bayne, the group's co-chairman. On Christmas Eve in 2016, the 56-year-old Taber died along with his wife and two teen- aged sons in a fire at their family cottage near Peterborough, Ont. In a memorial posted by the firm, Taber is described as having been "at the forefront of understanding the impor- tance of the technology sector" and as having had a magnetic, entrepreneurial spirit that marshalled investors, entrepreneurs and emerging and later-stage companies to the group he founded. The emerging and high-growth-compa- nies group Bayne and Taber created helps develop and grow young ventures from the incubation stage. The group brings the Silicon Valley mindset to Bay Street, says Bayne, advising clients in the IT, cleantech, biotechnology and industrial-technology sec- time — piqued his interest in the profession. It was the 1990s and the "heyday of tech" in Canada, he says. After an undergrad study- ing computer engineering at the University of Waterloo, he took a job at Newbridge Networks, a digital networking manufacturer, in Ottawa. At that stage, he weighed pursuing a computer science PhD with a law degree and ultimately decided on the shorter time commitment. It was then on to the University of Ottawa and Bayne joined the school just as Michael Geist arrived as a professor. Geist is now Canada Research Chair in internet and e-commerce law, has a regular technolo- gy-law column in the Globe and Mail and has edited several copyright law textbooks. Bayne TECH MIND, CORPORATE BODY Chad Bayne says Osler's emerging and high-growth-companies group brings Silicon Valley into a Bay Street shop tors as well as their investors and acquirors. They deal in corporate and tax structuring, accessing capital sources, strategic advice and, often, negotiating with regulators to fit the new cutting-edge piece into an existing regulatory puzzle. Like the aesthetic of the group, Bayne's own career is a hybrid of technology and corporate law, having come to the legal pro- fession from a background in computer sci- ence. His working life began with a software design and consultancy business, at which he helped automate and develop software for law offices, mostly those of sole practitioners. He says the experience — along with the TV show L. A. Law, which was popular at the "While I had an initial grounding in doing IP-related work and commercial work, over the years, my practice has become 100 per cent working with emerging and high- growth companies."

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