Director of Legal Affairs
Give us a brief overview of your role.
My primary focus at GSI is providing the organization with legal expertise and support throughout multiple complex phases of the business. GSI’s legal team negotiates a variety of agreements for an array of industry and project specific requirements. It also deals with construction and warranty-related legal matters.
What is the most memorable moment you have had working for GSI?
I started with the company three weeks before the pandemic and sat beside one of our project developers that worked heavily on the site selection process. This helped provide me with a wealth of knowledge on the industry and the organization in a very truncated timeframe, and helped to set me up for what has unfolded over the past 3 plus years. The primer that I received on site selection is something that I think will be permanently etched in my brain until I’m on my deathbed.
What led you to a career in asset management, and more specifically in the renewables sector?
My legal path is a bit odd; I got my law degree in 1992 however I didn’t get called to the bar until 2015, which is about 22 years later than most people would have done it. I was doing other work when I was approached by a lawyer I knew, who offered to take me on as a “mature” articling student. So I had planned to be a lawyer, changed my mind, and then was persuaded back because of an invitation from a lawyer I knew.
For renewable energy, my past life was in large scale public infrastructure, working with highways, airports, and courthouses. Big government capital projects are commercially and legally structured similarly to renewable energy projects, so I had a transferable skill set. Additionally, for half a decade I was the developer of a green energy project on the Toronto waterfront, which worked to use conventional energy sources more efficiently.
Tell us one interesting fact about yourself that your colleagues might not know.
When I was in Toronto, I was doing a lot of courses in acting, film production, and screen writing, so I know some people in the industry. I was acquainted with a former police officer suffering with PTSD, and a documentary director. I managed to bring the two together so that they could address this important issue through a documentary on PTSD. As a result, I actually have one credit in the film industry which is special to me.
How do you relax outside of work?
My primary focus outside of work is spending time with my wife, Natalia, and my daughter, Jessica, who’s 7 years old. A lot of people from the company know Jessica well as she was a frequent special guest during virtual meetings throughout the pandemic.
What is one thing you’d like to cross off your bucket list?
I would like to visit Dubai someday.
What is a personal accomplishment that you are proud of?
Most of my career occurred in downtown Toronto, so it was a leap of faith when I left the city without a job. However, I ended up obtaining two jobs in the legal industry in Kitchener-Waterloo. I consider it a great personal accomplishment that I was able to take a risk and have since advanced my career in a smaller center, as I wasn’t sure of the type of legal work that would be available to me outside of Toronto.
Rapid Fire Favourites
- Movie: Pulp Fiction.
- Musician: Led Zeppelin.
- Restaurant: Daily Grill (Waterloo)
- Food: Diner food
- City: Paris, France