About Me

My Professional Profile

I went to McGill Law School (class of 1991) – directly from CEGEP – and then I took a year off to travel in the Greek islands before starting my career as a lawyer on Bay Street

I was called to the Ontario bar (called the Law Society of Upper Canada) in 1994 and have been a Toronto-based business lawyer for over two decades.

I have worked for major law firms in Canada (on Bay Street) and I have also worked for a big firm in the U.S. (Shaw Pittman, as it then was known).  I also worked for a Fortune 500 multinational outsourcing service provider, as its head-lawyer. 

In the last 12+ years, I built and operated a solo, boutique practice focused mostly on doing outsourcing and technology law deals (e.g. ITO, BPO, systems integration, hardware procurement, software licensing) for major outsourcing service providers ranging from $500M and smaller, in Canada, the U.S. and Europe.

Along the way, I have also developed specialized knowledge in other practice areas.

You can read about my various practice areas by clicking through the applicable links on my site but, if you want specifics on my work experience, educational background, leadership and deal experience, please Contact Me.

What You Can Expect as a Client

My clients come from word-of-mouth referrals and most of my business is repeat retainers. 

I am very selective about the clients I take on and I never spread myself too thin – because I believe in quality legal service, a few clients at a time. 

This is what you can expect from me when you are a client:

If the above list seems expected, why don't you think back to your previous communications and interactions with your current lawyer and ask yourself if all of these things were actually met

If you're not getting all of the above, then, you might want to Contact Me to talk.

My Communication Style: Direct

Another thing that you should know about me is that I am very direct in my communications – in person or via e-mail – because I don't believe in wasting my clients' time or money (or mine).

Please don't misunderstand. Being direct does not mean being impolite or undiplomatic in business situations; it just means that I will not hesitate to be direct when the situation calls for it.  As a lawyer, I do not shy away from the latter responsibility – which is what separates a true advocate from a mealy-mouthed pretender.    

Now, this doesn't mean that I cannot work with people that I would not socialize with outside of my work.  On the contrary, as a lawyer, I am often called upon to work with all types of personalities – and often on troubled deals with difficult personalities at the table – because of my fair and balanced approach.  In fact, some of the best deals I have negotiated and closed for my clients have been opposite lawyers (and business people) that I did not particularly like but, nevertheless, respected for their knowledge, advocacy and professionalism. 

I am Not Scared to be an Advocate – even in the Internet Shaming Age

Finally, you should also know that I am not scared to speak out about things that are wrong – in my view – even if it makes me unpopular with the masses.  Now, I will always consider my words and actions carefully, but, I will not be dissuaded from being an advocate for an unpopular cause – just because that might offend someone's delicate sensibilities.

In the age of Internet shaming, however, this requires a very strong character and confidence in one's actions – because you will be attacked if you dare to speak out about certain things or happen to take on a cause that's not socially popular.   

Unfortunately, the nameless, faceless cowards on the Internet can and will say anything they want about you and it could take years to correct the record.  Obviously, the masses out there will always believe what they read on Internet regardless of the source – but this only matters if you care and are affected by what the masses think.

Therefore, if you've read the Internet shaming articles and blogs written about me regarding my defence of 15 kids on a minor (GTHL) hockey team – without having read my side of the story (on my GJA Blog) – and you have already formed an opinion about me, then, don't bother contacting me because you are not the type of person with whom I am interested in doing business. 

On the other hand, if you would like my counsel but, you have questions about that situation or my approach to representing you, then, by all means, contact me and ask me whatever concerns you about either.

And, if we speak or meet in person and you decide that you don't like me or want to do business with me, based on what you heard from me or saw in me, then – absolutely no worries – I can live with that.  

George J. Atis
Lawyer - Counsellor - Advocate