April 21, 2023
Speaking with Evan McCann, host of The Hard Part podcast, Chad Bayne tells the story of his path to law from studying computer engineering at the University of Waterloo, to his time working in tech in Ottawa and to practicing IP and M&A law and finally building Osler’s Emerging and High Growth Companies Group. Chad looked forward, speaking about the potential impact of the next wave of autonomous and AI-focused technologies on everyday life and the legal profession.
Focusing on Chad’s journey as a lawyer, the turning point came in December 2009 with the completion of a financing round for Hootsuite. He saw the potential in working for emerging companies and thought, “Why can’t we do more of this?”
Chad describes creating a business plan for the new practice area and bringing it to his late Osler partner and long-term mentor, Geoff Taber. It was about “attacking the market at this really early stage and making this long-term investment – very much like the valley did,” says Chad.
By “keeping their heads down”, he recalled that he and the team at Osler worked on the nationally significant $165 million financing round with Hootsuite, and incorporations for now some of Canada’s most notable tech companies, Wealthsimple, Rubikloud and Sensibill in 2013. The next few years were a time of incredible expansion of the practice.
At the foundation of the practice was “networking, going to events, being present in the community. It’s paying it forward, making an investment and not expecting something in return. The investment was always in the ecosystem,” Chad said.
Touching on Osler’s strategy of investing in incubators, programs, accelerators and our clients, Chad said, it is about “recognizing that you need to make that investment and build something over the long term.” At Osler, “we are investing in our clients. We’re building a partnership. If our clients have success, we have success,” he states.
He explains how Osler’s Emerging and High Growth Companies Group has expanded nationally including the founding of Osler’s Vancouver office lead by Mark Longo, and the nurturing of the rapidly growing practice in Calgary and the Prairies with Michael Grantmyre, and growing presence in Montréal with the recent addition of Christian Jacques and Jean-Nicolas Delage.
Chad reflects on how AI has already impacted the practice and business of law including streamlining transaction data gathering with software like Kira used by Osler Works. He looks to the future both personally and professionally. “Tech just becomes more and more pervasive. There will continue to be more and more companies that are going to be built. We are well placed for that next wave,” speaking to how well Canada is placed for the transformative power of AI and how it will continue to change lives.
Listen to the entire podcast with Evan McCann on your favourite streaming service.