Toronto is hosting a high-profile technology conference this week, and several lawyers say they'll be on site to help clients meet with investors and structure deals around licensing, acquisitions or funding rounds.
Myron Mallia-Dare, an associate at Torkin Manes LLP in Toronto, says he and several other lawyers he knows are attending Collision, which could draw more than 25,000 attendees.
"I have clients going who are looking to meet up with investors," says Mallia-Dare. "I'll be supporting my clients in that way, and hopefully you see these deals start coming through. I always tell my clients we have to make sure it's the right deal — make sure from a legal perspective that you're not giving away too much, whether that is in equity, board seats or control."
The conference features heavyweights from across the tech industry, including C-suite executives from Microsoft, Snapchat, Cisco Systems, Etsy, Wells Fargo, Volvo, Hilton and other international companies, not to mention appearances by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Toronto Mayor John Tory, Chief Trade Commissioner Ailish Campbell and leaders of Toronto smart-city project Sidewalk Labs. (Entertainers Seth Rogan and Steve Aoki likely won't hurt attendance, either).
One less-publicized aspect of the conference is the opportunity for startups to pitch a variety of well-known investors.
"I think the way I work is acting as a conduit for relationships, working with investors I know and connecting them to the right people and being there in support when the connections are made," says Mallia-Dare. "I typically will be available throughout the conference if a client needs to come along or bounce ideas. I always make myself available during these events."
For lawyers, that can mean the real work is going on behind the scenes.