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Michael  Watts

Michael Watts

Partner, Health

Key Contact: eHealth

Key Contact: Health

Key Contact: Cannabis

Contact Information

tel: 416.862.6605



Bar Admission

Ontario, 1991

  • Rotman School of Management, ICD.D.
  • Harvard University, ADR
  • University of British Columbia, Juris Doctor
  • Bishops University, B.B.A.

Michael is Chair of Osler’s Health Industry Group. He is general counsel to many of the firm’s public and private health industry clients in respect of a wide spectrum of matters, including governance and regulatory advice, e-health agreements, outsourcing, healthcare restructuring, and purchase and sale of regulated healthcare businesses, programs and assets. Michael also has extensive experience in providing complex regulatory opinions that ensure statutory compliance with federal and provincial health statutes.

    • Retained by numerous clients in respect of corporate transactions relating to regulated health businesses including hospitals, long-term care facilities, licensed independent healthcare facilities, laboratories, pharmacies and private clinics.
    • Retained by numerous hospitals to facilitate and develop the governance structures of various shared services corporations.
    • Retained by nine different provincially appointed Supervisors to assist them in addressing legal and governance issues relating to their mandates.
    • Provided complex regulatory opinions relating to the Canada Health Act, health insurance acts, and providers’ ability to offer health insurance and/or charge for enhanced non-insured medically required physician services.
    • Advised hospital boards, administrative and physician leaders in respect of hospital privileges matters.
    • Retained by numerous healthcare organizations to develop governance policies to assist boards in discharging their governance oversight and in particular the implementation of enterprise risk management systems to oversee fiscal, patient, resident and workplace safety.
    • Retained by international healthcare organizations to provide regulatory advice in respect of planned Canadian health industry acquisitions and operations.
    • Provided advice to healthcare and drug manufacturers regarding emergency preparedness.
    • Provided advice to clients in respect of complying with best practices with respect to procurement policies.
    • Facilitated and implemented public healthcare restructurings, including hospital amalgamations and many program transfers.
    • Conducted governance reviews of healthcare organizations.


  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2016-2019: Healthcare.

Best Lawyers

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada, 2008-2019: Healthcare.

  • Driving Digital Innovation in the Ontario Health Care System Conference, The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC)

    Panelist, Health Data and Privacy, September 19, 2017

  • HealthTech: The Future of Healthcare Technology

    Speaker, The Future of Healthcare Technology, Toronto, February 7, 2017

  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Ontario Bar Association

  • Speaker, "Agents of Change for Renewed Canadian Healthcare:The Role of Business in The Canadian System," Queen's Health Policy Change, Toronto, May 2015.
  • Debunking the Myths: A Broader Perspective of the Canada Health Act, Macdonald-Laurier Institute, September 2013.
  • Bill 168 Requires Hospital Workplace Violence and Harassment Policies, Osler Update, April 22, 2009.
  • Mounting Health Care Costs Drive Outsourcing Initiatives, Osler Outlook, Fall 2008.
  • Hospital Service Accountability Agreements: Recommendations for the Negotiating Process, Osler Update, March 24, 2008.
  • The DuPont Inquest: Hospital Obligations to Protect Patient and Workplace Safety, Osler Update, February 5, 2008.
  • $3 Million Damages Awarded to Physician in Privileges Dispute, Osler Update, September 2007.