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About Michael

Michael's practice focuses on transactional matters in the securitization and asset-based lending/leasing areas. He also advises on the development and modernization of wholesale and retail (consumer) lending/leasing programs for vehicle and equipment lessors, financiers and suppliers, as well as complex opinion issues arising in connection with all types of secured transactions and structured finance transactions.

In the securitization area, Michael advises sellers, purchasers, liquidity lenders, credit enhancers (including foreign insurance companies), trustees and rating agencies on domestic and cross-border securitization transactions. He also acts for a number of Canadian banks, trust companies and insurance companies in purchasing or selling lease and loan portfolios and in establishing domestic and cross-border private securitization programs and bulk purchase programs.

In the asset-based lending/leasing areas, Michael works with borrowers/lessees and lenders/lessors in a variety of domestic and cross-border loan transactions (e.g., ABL, term, equipment financing, acquisition financing, and warehouse credit facilities, project finance, and private placement of bonds and notes) and lease transactions.

Awards & Recognition

For over a decade, Michael has consistently been recognized by his peers and clients as one of Canada's top lawyers in the areas of securitization, equipment leasing and finance, and secured transactions.

Awards that he has received include:

  • Rated as a leading lawyer by senior in-house counsel in Thomson Reuters Stand-out Lawyers – Independently Rated Lawyers – 20162023

  • Named twice the Equipment Finance Law "Lawyer of the Year" in Toronto by Best Lawyers (2020 and 2015)

  • Inducted as a fellow of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers (ACCFL) for his substantial contributions to the promotion of learning, scholarship and legislative reform in commercial finance law (2016)

  • Selected as a "Member of the Year" by the Canadian Finance & Leasing Association (CFLA) for his extensive work in developing the Leasing Law and Leasing Documentation chapters for CFLA's Certified Education Program (2010)

Some of the notable Canadian and international publications in which Michael has been ranked as a leading lawyer in his areas of specialization are listed below.

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada 2024 (Asset-Based Lending Practice)

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada – 2008–2024 (Equipment Finance Law, Structured Finance Law)

  • Who's Who Legal: Global – 2019–2023 (Capital Markets – Structured Finance)

  • Who's Who Legal: Canada – 2019–2023 (Banking, Capital Markets)

  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business – 2016–2024 (Securitization)

  • Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business – 2008–2024 (Capital Markets: Securitization – Canada)

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory – 2006–2023 (Asset Equipment Finance/Leasing, Asset Securitization, Banking & Financial Institutions)

  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada – 2017–2021 (Asset Securitization)

Professional Activities

Since 2018, Michael has been an adjunct professor at University of Toronto's Faculty of Law, where he co-teaches the secured transactions course. He also co-teaches an advanced secured transactions seminar at the Faculty of Law. Michael regularly writes and speaks at conferences and seminars on securitizations, equipment and consumer leasing, and secured transactions.

Portions of Michael's article (listed under Publications and published in the Canadian Business Law Journal) that deals with the characterization of leases for PPSA and insolvency purposes have been quoted at length in a number of Canadian court cases. In addition, that article (which also deals with the Ontario PPSA’s override of anti-assignment clauses in accounts and chattel paper) and his article on fixture financing (listed under Publications) have been mentioned in the leading Canadian textbooks on secured transactions.

Over the years, Michael has been actively involved in a number of industry associations and legal professional organizations in Canada and the U.S. He is the longest-serving chair or co-chair of the Personal Property Security Law Committee of the Ontario Bar Association (PPSL Committee) and has been a member of this committee since 1997. (The PPSL Committee's submissions and discussion papers have been responsible for virtually all major amendments that have been made to Ontario's Personal Property Security Act over the last two decades.) Michael is a member of the CFLA's Legal Committee and a member of U.S. Equipment Leasing and Finance Association's (ELFA) International Subcommittee and other ELFA subcommittees dealing with motor vehicles, rolling stock, marine equipment and electronic chattel paper.  On behalf of CFLA, Michael has had extensive dealings with governmental officials on a variety of issues relevant to CFLA members.

Michael was also a member of the board of directors of the CFLA (1997–2007; 2015–2021), the board of directors of the Canadian Lenders Association (from formation to 2023) and the board of regents of the ACCFL (2018–2022). He was a member of ELFA's Legal Committee from 2011 to 2013, the first time that a Canadian lawyer was a member of that committee.

  • Co-author : Ben Geva and Ontario PPSA Reform
    Banking and Finance Law Review, Vol. 38, pp. 179-201, 2022.
  • Co-author : Secured Transactions in Personal Property: Cases, Text, and Materials
    8th Edition, Edmond Publishing, 2022.
  • Author : Fixture Financing under the PPSA: The Ongoing Conflict between Realty and Fixture-Secured Interests
    Osgoode Hall Law Journal, Vol. 24, No. 3, Art. 3, pp. 547-604, Fall 1986. (Recommended in Personal Property Security Law, 3rd ed., p. 668; The Ontario Personal Property Security Act: Commentary and Analysis, 2nd ed., p. 291 and 3rd ed., p. 314.)
  • Author : Ontario Personal Property Security Act Reform: Significant Policy Changes
    Canadian Business Law Journal, Vol. 48, No. 2, pp. 289-311, December 2009. (“True leases” and “security leases” portions quoted in Re 843504 Alberta Ltd.; Royal Bank of Canada v. Cow Harbor Construction Ltd. et al.; and Connacher Oil and Gas Limited (Re). Recommended in Personal Property Security Law, 3rd ed., p. 189.)

Admitted to the Ontario Bar – 1988
MBA, Schulich School of Business – 1986
LLB, Osgoode Hall Law School – 1986
BA, York University – 1982

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