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Donald L. West

Partner Admitted to the Ontario Bar: 1976

Don’s technical corporate/commercial expertise, combined with his ability to understand his clients’ needs, helps him to identify solutions other practitioners may not see. With exceptional negotiating skills, Don delivers optimal results in complex situations. He knows his clients’ business, and has a keen eye to protecting value. His clients appreciate his hands-on approach, sound reasoning and creative thinking.

Don is a member of the firm’s Corporate/Commercial Group, the Mergers & Acquisitions/Private Equity Group, and the Technology, Licensing and Communications Teams. He is also Co-Chair of the Sports & Media Team.

Practising in the areas of business law, mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, and technology, he has had extensive experience acting on business purchases and sales, private equity and venture capital transactions, strategic alliances, technology transactions, corporate reorganizations, governance issues, international transactions and advising on various other commercial arrangements. He represents clients in industries such as information technology, financial services, business process outsourcing, manufacturing, insurance and insurance broking, among others.

While practicing law, Don was an officer of a mid-size Canadian information technology company for more than 20 years. He has also served on the boards of directors of several public and private corporations as well as corporate governance, compensation and audit committees. Don has also served as a member of the firm's Executive Committee.

Awards & Recognition

  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada in the field of Mergers & Acquisitions Law
  • Peer reviewed and BV rated in Martindale-Hubbell for legal ability as well as a very high adherence to the professional standards of conduct, ethics, reliability and diligence

Professional Involvement

Memberships

  • Canada's Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (CVCA)
  • MIT/York Enterprise Forum
  • Other professional organizations

Community Involvement

  • Don is President and Chairman of the Board of the Greater Toronto Hockey League, which is one of the largest sports leagues in the world.
  • He has also served on boards and committees of other sports and charitable organizations. 

Teaching Engagements

  • Don is a former instructor of Corporate Law at the Ontario Bar Admission Course.

Representative Matters

M&A transaction opposite a multinational pharma company

Acting for Canadian industrial equipment manufacturer sold to Swedish conglomerate

Acting for Canadian stainless steel company sold to French conglomerate

Acquisition of corporate owner of Four Seasons Hotel Toronto from Saudi holding company

Customer engagements and M&A with Japanese/American company for behaviour economics consulting firm

International M&A and licensing work for on-line gaming company

Acting for Canadian consumer finance company on investment by US PE fund

Acting for institutional investors on numerous equity investment transactions

Canadian software applications support company - sale transaction with U.S. private equity firm

Advising the Law Society of Upper Canada on claims relating to a complex financing arrangement

Divestiture of food wholesaler and its franchise operations

Systems  agreement with large U.S. processor of pharmacy benefit claims

Acting for Canadian auto parts company on M&A and transactions with OEMs

Merger of two large property management companies

Advising Canadian heavy equipment manufacturer on dispute re: Chinese joint venture

Payment settlement agreement with international airline association

Merger of Canadian professional valuation practice into international group

Representing a group of institutional investors in an ethanol production business

Start-up of company providing smart phone mobile applications

Advising large U.S. enterprise application software company on Cdn. licensing contracts

Acting for Regional Municipality on outsourced services

Acquisition of numerous insurance brokerage businesses throughout Canada

Acquisition of U.S. data centre businesses

M&A assignment for a large sporting goods retailer

Acquisition of healthcare IT company

Advising management defending disputed take-over of technology company

Start-up and acquisitions for company engaged in telecommunications business add-on services

Divestiture of large insurance company

Advising manufacturer on financial re-structuring

Advising management of IT company on business reorg and employee retention

Innovative financing through software sale and lease-back

M&A transaction for nursing and retirement home business

Stalking horse bid in chapter 11 sale of metal casting business

Selected Publications

Don is the primary author of a book entitled “Business Acquisition Agreements – an Annotated Guide," published by Thomson Reuters. This book includes commentary on the various factors to be taken into account in approaching a private M&A transaction, including business case and market factors, legal and regulatory hurdles, valuation matters, structuring, tax planning, the deal process, due diligence, non-disclosure agreements, letters of intent, and unique issues involving private equity or venture capital participants. The book also provides detailed comments as annotations to a share purchase agreement and an asset purchase agreement, including specific points for negotiation.

Education

  • Global Professional Masters of Law (GP LLM), University of Toronto Law School, 2012-13
  • Canadian Securities Course
  • LLB, Osgoode Hall Law School, 1974
  • BA, York University, 1971