Derek brings a unique business-minded perspective to his commercial real estate practice, having worked as in-house counsel for many years prior to returning to private practice. He understands the internal procedures and pressures that his clients face and is dedicated to helping them move real estate transactions through their internal approval processes efficiently and successfully. Derek’s passion for real estate and development has been built up through a combination of upbringing, education and experience.
Derek is a member of the Real Estate Group, as well as the Energy and Environmental Teams. His practice focuses on general commercial real estate, including property and land rights acquisitions, construction, leasing, financing transactions, mortgage enforcement and lease remedies. Derek helps clients identify opportunities, negotiate leases and developments and divest properties for profit and growth. He has been responsible for greenfield site selection, purchase and development for a number of complex transactions, including data centres and renewable energy projects.
Derek regularly works with other lawyers in the firm on the real estate aspects of various corporate transactions. With respect to energy, Derek advises on the negotiation of land rights acquisition for energy clients, including natural gas, electrical and renewable energy. He also provides strategic advice on environmental aspects of real estate transactions, including contaminated lands issues.
Prior to working at Aird & Berlis, Derek was in-house counsel at IBM Canada Ltd., responsible for all legal aspects of a substantial Canadian real estate portfolio, including office, retail, data centre and manufacturing assets. Duties included provision of legal advice for business critical matters such as leasing, acquisitions and dispositions, strategic outsourcing pursuits, general real estate, construction and procurement. In addition, Derek negotiated and managed contracts for outsourced real estate services, including contracts for facilities management, construction, engineering and building operations.