Karl E. Gustafson, QC* 

Co-Chair, B.C., Energy and Power, Government Relations, Co-Chair, Technology

Karl E. Gustafson, QC*

Vancouver
Royal Centre, Suite 1500
1055 West Georgia Street, PO Box 11117
Vancouver, British Columbia V6E 4N7

t: 604.691.7427
e: karl.gustafson@mcmillan.ca

overview

  • Registered Trade-Mark Agent in Canada and the United States

Karl Gustafson is a partner in the firm's Vancouver office. He is the National Chair, Technology Intellectual Property & Privacy Group. Karl is a member of the firm's national Business Law Group.

Karl's practice focuses on both domestic and international corporate and commercial transactions. He also has substantial experience in corporate mergers and acquisitions, particularly in the technology sector. Karl regularly advises clients on intellectual property law, information systems integration and outsourcing, licensing agreements, technology procurement, development, security and transfer. He has acted as lead counsel in a variety of large public and private projects, advising on all facets from preparing and responding to RFP's, procurement, joint ventures and partnerships, contracting, service and supply agreements and financing. Recently, he has acted for a Chinese company in transactions for the acquisition of renewable energy generation projects in Canada and Europe and for Canadian companies in relation to partnership agreements, service and construction agreements and financing agreements related to infrastructure and hospital public private partnership projects.

Historically, Karl has acted as counsel for clients in the natural resource sector (mining, forestry, oil and gas), advising on corporate governance, procurement, environmental issues, energy purchase and supply, and a range of commercial agreements. He has acted as counsel for the proponents of a billion dollar joint venture project for the construction of a Greenfield pulp mill and as environmental counsel for lenders and for developers in large industrial and commercial property development projects. Karl also has extensive experience in dealing with government authorities in various areas including the regulation of public utilities and insurance companies. He has considerable administrative law experience appearing as counsel before various federal and provincial regulatory tribunals.

Representative Matters

  • Acted for Green Force Energy Corporation in the formation of a joint venture for the purchase of renewable "green" energy generation projects.
  • Acted for Ledcor Environmental Group Ltd. in its purchase of Carbon Credit Corporation.
  • Acted for Cengea Solutions Inc. in its acquisition by Trimble Navigation Inc.
  • Acted for Ledcor Developments Ltd. as a joint venture participant in the South Fraser perimeter road P3 project.
  • Acted for mining company in its acquisition of gold and silver mine in Mexico.
  • Acted for CML HealthCare Inc. in its acquisition of Associated Diagnostic Radiologists (with three medical imaging clinics in the Greater Vancouver Area), and its acquisition of the business and assets of five medical imaging clinics in the Greater Vancouver Area from General Medical Imaging Services Inc.
  • Acted for Angus Consulting Management Limited as hard facilities management service provider in a P3 hospital projects in Victoria and Fort St. John, British Columbia. Including acting for Angus Consulting Management Limited and its wholly owned subsidiary in the Fort St. John Hospital project financial close agreement in July 2009. The facilities are scheduled to open in spring 2012, and are expected to cost $297.9 million.
  • Acted for service providers in bid responses and contract negotiation related to procurement processes for governments and government agencies.
  • Acted for Sierra Systems Group Inc. in its acquisition by Golden Gate Capital.
  • Represented Sierra Systems Group Inc. in its acquisition of Alberta-based Turn Key Management Consulting Partnership.
  • Advised municipal governments in relation to information systems management procurement processes.
  • Acted in several of the largest information systems management outsourcing transactions in Canada.
  • Acted on behalf of IBM Canada Ltd. in its acquisition of PureEdge Solutions Inc.
  • Counsel for vendor in sale of majority share interest in Con-Force Structures Ltd. to TriWest Capital Management Corp.
  • Counsel for individual shareholders in sale of Con-Force Structure Ltd. to Armtec Infrastructure Income Fund.

Publications

McMillan Cybersecurity Article Series
Final Report: Canada Transportation Act Review
McMillan Privacy Basics Bulletin Series
The Internet Never Forgets: Google Inc.'s "right to be forgotten" EU ruling and its implications in Canada
Partners Podium
Is your labour day picnic a looming company liability?
Risky business: doing business in near-failed and failed states
Competition Bureau Appeals Tribunal Decision Allowing Labatt/Lakeport Beer Merger
Social Media – The New Reality
Corruption of Government Officials: Gifts That Keep on Giving
Betting Your Soul on a Standard-form Agreement
Danger in Hyperbole When Bidding
Immortal Souls and Standard Form Agreements: Reminder after April Fool's Day Prank
A wake-up call from the English High Court
Search Engines: Competitive Keyword Advertising
Business Records: Destroy or Retain
2010 Winter Olympics Trademarks: Stepping Through the Hoops
When Good Parties Go Bad: Liability For Employers
Not-for-profits – not for play: Bill C-4 tightens rules governing not-for-profit corporations
Lessons for Directors Following the BCE Inc. Decision
Restrictive Covenants in Employment Contracts
New Laws Enhanced to Regulate Lobbying
Recent Aquilini Canucks Acquisition Decision: Partnership on Thin Ice
Co-owning Intellectual Property Creates Unexpected Pitfalls
Whistleblower Protection and a Comprehensive Policy
Alphabet Soup - Why It's Important to Get Your Trade Acronyms Right
Innocent Purchaser Liable for Environmental Cleanup Costs
Social Host Liability: A Dose of Common Sense
Proposed Federal Law Aims at Regulating Olympic Trade Mark Law
NDA's: The Realities in Today's Information Age
Remediation of Contaminated Sites – New Responsibilities
Directors' and Officers' Liability

Education

  • University of British Columbia, LLB - 1975
  • University of British Columbia, BA - 1972

Year Of Call

  • Called to the British Columbia bar - 1976

Practices

outsourcing
business law
mergers and acquisitions
negotiated transactions
intellectual property
environmental regulation
administrative law
government and public policy
cybersecurity

Industries

energy
mining
forest products
private equity - buyouts & venture capital investment
manufacturing, distribution and retail

Directorships and Professional Associations

  • Director, McElhanney Services Ltd., (company engaged in engineering, surveying and mapping with operations in British Columbia, Alberta and Indonesia)
  • American Bar Association, Business Law Section
  • Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch - Environment, Energy & Resource Law Sections
  • Vancouver Bar Association
  • Canadian IT Law Association
  • Intellectual Property Institute of Canada
  • Independent Power Association of British Columbia
  • British Columbia Chamber of Commerce
    • Fellow and Governor
    • Chairman of Offshore Oil & Gas Task Force
    • Former Director and Legal Counsel

Community Involvement

Actively involved for many years in the British Columbia Chamber of Commerce in various capacities including Director, Legal Counsel, Policy Committee, Chair of Forestry Committee and Chair of Offshore Oil and Gas Task Force. Karl's contributions to the Chamber were recognized in 2004 when he was appointed as a Fellow of the Chamber and a lifetime Governor.

Awards & Rankings

  • Recognized by Corporate LiveWire Global Awards 2016 in the category of outsourcing
  • Recognized by the 2016 International Law Office Client Choice Awards as the exclusive winner in the General Corporate category for  British Columbia 
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in Canada, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 editions, in the field of Energy Regulatory Law
  • Received a "BV" Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell
  • Queen's Counsel, December 2002
  • Fellow and lifetime Governor of the BC Chamber of Commerce 2004

Media Mentions

  • "A World of IP Challenges",  India Business Law Journal, April 2013, Vol 6, Issue 9
vcard
* Law Corporation
  • Registered Trade-Mark Agent in Canada and the United States

Karl Gustafson is a partner in the firm's Vancouver office. He is the National Chair, Technology Intellectual Property & Privacy Group. Karl is a member of the firm's national Business Law Group.

Karl's practice focuses on both domestic and international corporate and commercial transactions. He also has substantial experience in corporate mergers and acquisitions, particularly in the technology sector. Karl regularly advises clients on intellectual property law, information systems integration and outsourcing, licensing agreements, technology procurement, development, security and transfer. He has acted as lead counsel in a variety of large public and private projects, advising on all facets from preparing and responding to RFP's, procurement, joint ventures and partnerships, contracting, service and supply agreements and financing. Recently, he has acted for a Chinese company in transactions for the acquisition of renewable energy generation projects in Canada and Europe and for Canadian companies in relation to partnership agreements, service and construction agreements and financing agreements related to infrastructure and hospital public private partnership projects.

Historically, Karl has acted as counsel for clients in the natural resource sector (mining, forestry, oil and gas), advising on corporate governance, procurement, environmental issues, energy purchase and supply, and a range of commercial agreements. He has acted as counsel for the proponents of a billion dollar joint venture project for the construction of a Greenfield pulp mill and as environmental counsel for lenders and for developers in large industrial and commercial property development projects. Karl also has extensive experience in dealing with government authorities in various areas including the regulation of public utilities and insurance companies. He has considerable administrative law experience appearing as counsel before various federal and provincial regulatory tribunals.

  • Acted for Green Force Energy Corporation in the formation of a joint venture for the purchase of renewable "green" energy generation projects.
  • Acted for Ledcor Environmental Group Ltd. in its purchase of Carbon Credit Corporation.
  • Acted for Cengea Solutions Inc. in its acquisition by Trimble Navigation Inc.
  • Acted for Ledcor Developments Ltd. as a joint venture participant in the South Fraser perimeter road P3 project.
  • Acted for mining company in its acquisition of gold and silver mine in Mexico.
  • Acted for CML HealthCare Inc. in its acquisition of Associated Diagnostic Radiologists (with three medical imaging clinics in the Greater Vancouver Area), and its acquisition of the business and assets of five medical imaging clinics in the Greater Vancouver Area from General Medical Imaging Services Inc.
  • Acted for Angus Consulting Management Limited as hard facilities management service provider in a P3 hospital projects in Victoria and Fort St. John, British Columbia. Including acting for Angus Consulting Management Limited and its wholly owned subsidiary in the Fort St. John Hospital project financial close agreement in July 2009. The facilities are scheduled to open in spring 2012, and are expected to cost $297.9 million.
  • Acted for service providers in bid responses and contract negotiation related to procurement processes for governments and government agencies.
  • Acted for Sierra Systems Group Inc. in its acquisition by Golden Gate Capital.
  • Represented Sierra Systems Group Inc. in its acquisition of Alberta-based Turn Key Management Consulting Partnership.
  • Advised municipal governments in relation to information systems management procurement processes.
  • Acted in several of the largest information systems management outsourcing transactions in Canada.
  • Acted on behalf of IBM Canada Ltd. in its acquisition of PureEdge Solutions Inc.
  • Counsel for vendor in sale of majority share interest in Con-Force Structures Ltd. to TriWest Capital Management Corp.
  • Counsel for individual shareholders in sale of Con-Force Structure Ltd. to Armtec Infrastructure Income Fund.

publications
March 2016
Final Report: Canada Transportation Act Review
Transportation Bulletin
February 2012
Partners Podium
Business in Vancouver
September 2011
Is your labour day picnic a looming company liability?
Litigation Bulletin
February 2011
Competition Bureau Appeals Tribunal Decision Allowing Labatt/Lakeport Beer Merger
Co-author, with Steve Szentesi, June 2007
October 2010
Social Media – The New Reality
Business in Vancouver
June 2010
Betting Your Soul on a Standard-form Agreement
Business in Vancouver, contributions from Ryan Black, June 2010
June 2010
Danger in Hyperbole When Bidding
Lang Michener InBrief Summer 2010
June 2010
Immortal Souls and Standard Form Agreements: Reminder after April Fool's Day Prank
Lang Michener InBrief Summer 2010, Lexology, May 2010 and The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc - Electronic Commerce & Law Report, May 2010
April 2, 2010
A wake-up call from the English High Court
Business in Vancouver
February 2010
Search Engines: Competitive Keyword Advertising
Business In Vancouver
January 2010
Business Records: Destroy or Retain
Lang Michener InBrief, Winter 2010, also Lexology, January 6, 2010 and Corporate Governance Quarterly published by the ICSA Chartered Secretaries Canada, April 2010. This article also appeared in Business in Vancouver, August 4-10, 2009 under the title "Retention or Destruction of Business Records - Pick your Poison."
January 2010
2010 Winter Olympics Trademarks: Stepping Through the Hoops
Co-Authored: Karl Gustafson, QC and Erica Weiss
Business in Vancouver
December 2009
When Good Parties Go Bad: Liability For Employers
Co-Author, Lang Michener Alert and Lexology
November 2009
Lessons for Directors Following the BCE Inc. Decision
Business in Vancouver and Lexology
September 2009
Restrictive Covenants in Employment Contracts
Business in Vancouver and Lexology
June 2009
New Laws Enhanced to Regulate Lobbying
Business in Vancouver
March 2008
Whistleblower Protection and a Comprehensive Policy
Lang Michener Employment & Labour Brief, Winter 2007/2008
December 2007
Innocent Purchaser Liable for Environmental Cleanup Costs
This article appeared in Business in Vancouver entitled, "Court rules on cleanup costs"
September 2007
Social Host Liability: A Dose of Common Sense
Business in Vancouver
August 2007
Proposed Federal Law Aims at Regulating Olympic Trade Mark Law
This article was published as "New Teeth for Trademark Rules," in Business in Vancouver
June 2007
NDA's: The Realities in Today's Information Age
Lang Michener InBrief, Summer 2007 and published as "Retracing the paper trail," in Business in Vancouver
April 2002
Remediation of Contaminated Sites – New Responsibilities
Lang Michener (Vancouver) Brief, April 2002.
2000
Directors' and Officers' Liability
Year 2000 Issues, The Continuing Legal Education Society of B.C.