Start-up serving law firm practice group brings Silicon Valley to Bay Street – Canadian Lawyer

Chad Bayne

May 19, 2020

Osler’s Emerging and High Growth Companies Group (EHG Group) brings the “Silicon Valley mindset to Bay Street,” partner Chad Bayne tells Canadian Lawyer. Chad was featured in an article by author Aidan Macnab, which detailed everything from Chad’s career path to the origins of the EHG Group and how it developed into a preeminent practice. Chad co-founded the practice with the late Geoff Taber, whom he considers to be his mentor.

“He’s the one that hired me into the office in Toronto,” Chad tells Canadian Lawyer. “We, ultimately, built this practice together. And I consider him a business partner, best friend, but also my mentor.”

The article discusses how Osler’s EHG Group helps develop and grow young ventures from the incubation stage, advising clients in a wide range of sectors including IT, CleanTech, Biotechnology and much more, as well as the venture capital funds, growth equity and private equity funds that finance them. The EHG Group also provides legal advice on the wide range of issues and legal requirements that emerging and high growth ventures face, from corporate and tax structuring and fundraising and shareholder agreements to intellectual property strategies and employment- and compensation-related matters.

Like the EHG Group, Chad’s own career path has been a hybrid of technology and corporate law, according to Canadian Lawyer. The article traces Chad’s academic and professional background in computer science – as an undergrad, he studied computer engineering at the University of Waterloo before working at a software design and consultancy business – to his decision to pursue law and then joining Osler as an articling student in the early 2000’s.

Having started his practice in intellectual property (IP), Chad says he “thought I was going to be an IP lawyer and then quickly switched what I was doing over time, essentially once I moved to Toronto.”

Once Chad’s practice shifted to the “corporate side” over time, he began to build the base of the EHG Group, advising startups and other companies on everything from corporate reorganization to M&A.

The Canadian Lawyer article also discusses how working on the buy side for several high-profile transactions was “formative to his development in the early years,” and this experience helped provide a game plan and basis for the EHG Group.

“That really provided a bedrock, ultimately, for this practice in terms of getting the reps doing buy-side work,” Chad tells Canadian Lawyer. “And understanding what buyers are looking for really helped formulate what we want to do.”

Chad also explains that advising companies in the early stages and betting on and assisting them in their growth and future success was the right decision in the long run.

“It helps us provide a better advisory package for these companies at the early stage [and] ensure that they're always ready for a transaction, always ready to do a financing or ready for a sale, whenever that could come,” Chad tells Canadian Lawyer.

In 2019, Osler advised on $3.7 billion in venture capital financings, an increase of more than 90% from the firm’s total deal value in 2018.

Read author Aidan Macnab’s feature article on Chad Bayne and Osler’s EHG Group, “Start-up serving law firm practice group brings Silicon Valley to Bay Street,” on May 19, 2020.