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Robert Piasentin delivers practical legal advice that drives the success of his clients’ leadership, governance and strategic negotiation initiatives. He has contributed to the growth of a wide range of businesses in Canada, the United States and England. His strong commercial practice encompasses technology outsourcing transactions, software development and licensing solutions, strategic IP and technology commercialization arrangements, and privacy and cybersecurity issues. Assisting startups and established companies, Robert works with clients in a range of industries including technology, sports, and media, communications and entertainment.

Earlier in this career, Robert served as the general counsel, corporate secretary and privacy officer for a leading North American information technology and management consulting firm for more than 13 years. This extensive in-house experience gives him a unique, practical and deep understanding of the business and legal challenges facing today’s technology companies. Clients place immense value and confidence in Robert’s insights when developing, operating and marketing global technology solutions; implementing strategic growth initiatives; and addressing day-to-day operating challenges.

Board chair of the Alzheimer Society of B.C., Robert also sits on the board of the Alzheimer’s Research Foundation of British Columbia and the Alzheimer Society of Canada. He is a founding member of both the Association of Corporate Counsel – BC Chapter (where he was the first chair) and the St. Thomas More Catholic Lawyers Guild of British Columbia. He also serves as the secretary of the Red Resort Association.

A former member of the hiring, award and board selection committees of the BC Technology Association, Robert also co-chaired one of its CEO roundtables. He is a frequent contributor to conferences as well as local and national media.

Robert was named one of Business in Vancouver’s Top Forty Under 40 in 2013, and in the year following he was recognized as one of the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Top 30-Somethings. In 2017, Robert was shortlisted as one of the top six global lawyers in the General Commercial category by the Global Counsel Awards.



Representative Matters

Operations:

  • Leading and managing multiple technology outsourcing projects across various industries
  • Responsible for managing all legal aspects of $1B IT services outsourcing project
  • Lead negotiator and legal advisor on $50M global IT services pursuit
  • Strategic leadership on all business planning, operations and development activities
  • Advise and draft all customer, supplier, commercialization, professional services and leasing agreements and related business communications

Licensing and Sponsorship:

  • Responsible for licensing global sports, athletic and leisure brands globally
  • Identifying, negotiating with and securing global manufacturers, suppliers and distributors
  • Negotiating and closing material sponsorship agreements for major sporting personalities and events globally including the Championships at Wimbledon (tennis), the French Open (tennis), Professional Golfers Association, English Football Association, World Boxing Association, and the English and Wales Cricket Board

Compliance:

  • Responsible for company compliance with all legislative changes and requirements
  • Implement and lead global protection and commercialization program for IP portfolio
  • Privacy Officer ensuring compliance with Privacy and related legislation
  • Develop and implement internal compliance training programs around privacy and security risk mitigation strategies, employee tax risk, governance and related company strategic initiatives
  • Lead internal insurance compliance strategy

Corporate and Commercial:

  • Lead negotiator on multiple technical and complicated transactions with numerous public and private sector entities
  • Lead or key advisor on domestic and international M&A
  • Canadian legal advisor on acquisition of Sierra Systems by NTT DATA
  • Advise on, negotiate and finalize contracts across all aspects of a business including IT outsourcing, M&A, licensing, IP commercialization, strategic partnerships, supply chain, manufacturing, distribution, subcontracting and financings in multiple industries such as IT, retail, natural resources, financial services, insurance and health
  • Advise and provide leadership to all company units, including finance, marketing/communications, HR, IT and operations on all relevant matters including enterprise wide initiatives

Retail:

  • Key legal advisor on securing supply for international retain chain
  • Coordinating prosecution against individuals and businesses selling counterfeit and grey goods
  • Representing retail clients in government investigations including consumer complaints and anti-competitive practices

Dispute Resolution:

  • Lead crisis response and coordinate with affected business units (communications, finance, HR, operations) to develop appropriate and timely strategic responses
  • Led winning breach of contract claim for $7M
  • Led successful dispute over the commercialization of technology resulting in $2M win
  • Led negotiations in defense of and settled a US$13M claim for US$1.5M
  • Settled a dispute with seller in an M&A transaction for CDN$117K

Speaking Engagements

IP/Tech 101: Protect, Commercialize, Monetize Vancouver Startup Week 2020

September 28, 2020

IP/Tech 101: Protect, Commercialize, Monetize Emerging Companies Webinar

September 10, 2020

Teaching Engagements

  • Speaker: “Legal Issues in Privacy & Cyber Security Compliance and Best Practices” (Late Spring 2020 temporarily postponed due to COVID-19) (Infonex)
    • Panel: Are You Meeting Legal Obligations to Safeguard and Protect Client/Customer Information?
    • Panel: How Will You Be Judged in the Aftermath of an Attack? Best Practices in Responding to Data Breaches.
  • Speaker: “The Future of Law Firms”, BC Legal Innovation Forum (2018) (ADB Insights)
  • Speaker: “Negotiation Technology Consulting Contracts”, 18th & 20th Annual Negotiating and Drafting Major Business Agreements (2014-2015) (Federated Press)
  • Speaker: “Corporate Counsel’s Role in Business Operations, 14th Mini MBA for Lawyers (2014) (Federated Press)

Rankings & Recognitions

  • Global Counsel Awards – General Commercial – top 6 lawyers globally (2017)
  • Association of Corporate Counsel “Top 30-Somethings” (2014)
  • Business in Vancouver “Top Forty Under 40” (2013)

Community Involvement

  • Alzheimer Society of B.C.:
    • Board Chair (2018 – current)
    • Director (2015 – current)
    • Past 1st Vice Chair of the Board (2016 – 2018)
    • Past Chair of the Governance Committee (2016 – 2018)
  • Alzheimer’s Research Foundation of British Columbia:  Director (2015 – current)
  • Alzheimer Society of Canada:  Director (2020 – current)
  • Association of Corporate Counsel:
    • BC Chapter, Founding Member (2011)
    • BC Chapter, Board Member (2011 – 2018)
    • BC Chapter, Board Chair (2011 – 2014)
    • BC Chapter, Past Board Chair (2014 – 2016)
    • BC Chapter, Co-Chair Sponsorship Committee (2011 – 2016)
    • Global Organization, Board of Directors’ Nominating Committee (2015)
    • Global Organization, Judge, “Top 30-Somethings” (Awards 2015 – current)
  • Innovatio Awards (Canadian Lawyer InHouse / Thomson Reuters):  Advisory Panel and Judge (2014 – 2019)
  • Canadian Law Awards (Key Media) (successor to Innovatio Awards):  Judge (2020 – current)
  • BC Technology Association, Web/IT Services CEO-Council Roundtable Co-Chair (2014 – 2019)
  • University of British Columbia Allard School of Law, Student Externship Program mentor (2018 – 2020)
  • St. Thomas More Catholic Lawyers Guild of BC, Founding Member and Board Member (2011 – current)
  • Red Resort Association, Director and Secretary (2017 – current)
  • Coquitlam Little League:
    • Director & Umpire-In-Chief (2018 – current)
    • Coach (2012 – 2019) – Canadian Little League Majors All Star Champions 2019
  • Coquitlam Moody Minor Baseball:  Coach (2020)
  • All Saints Parish:  Parish Council/Leadership Committee (2015 – 2019)
  • All Saints Parish:  Volunteer Teacher, Parish Religious Education Program (2011 – current)

Directorships & Affiliations

  • Board Chair, Alzheimer Society of B.C.
  • Board Member, Alzheimer Society of B.C.
  • Board Member, Alzheimer Society of Canada
  • Board Member, Alzheimer’s Research Foundation of British Columbia
  • Founding Member, Association of Corporate Counsel – BC Chapter
  • Founding Member, St. Thomas More Catholic Lawyers Guild of British Columbia
  • Board Member & Secretary, Red Resort Association
  • Past Co-Chair, BC Technology Association Web/IT Services
  • CEO-Council Roundtable

Education & Admissions

2000
Called to the British Columbia Bar
2004
Called to the England and Wales bar
2004
LLMQueen Mary, University of London, Center for Commercial Law Studies
1999
LLBUniversity of Toronto

Insights by Robert C. Piasentin (9 Posts)

Featured Insight

Big Brother’s Access Limited – Canadian Privacy Commissioners Rule Clearview AI’s Facial Recognition Tool in Breach of Canadian Privacy Laws

Privacy Commissioners find Clearview AI's use of facial recognition software on images it scraped from the Internet to be in breach of privacy laws.

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Feb 17, 2021
Featured Insight
h4>IP/Tech 101 for Emerging Companies

Join us for a discussion on how early stage companies can protect, commercialize, and monetize their intellectual property assets.

Sep 10, 2020
Featured Insight

Federal Court Defends CASL, Says Prohibition on Spam is Constitutional

he FCA ruled that CASL's provisions relating to the regulation of commercial electronic messages are constitutional, despite challenge from CompuFinder

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Jul 1, 2020
Featured Insight

Ontario Small Businesses Get a New Ride on the Digital Main Street

Review of the Ontario Digital Main Street initiative and new funding introduced by the government to assist businesses pivoting to an ecommerce business model.

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Jun 24, 2020
Featured Insight

Material Adverse Effect Clauses in a COVID-19 World

Review and analysis of recent developments where parties try to rely on MAE clauses as a mechanism to avoid closing a transaction.

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Jun 23, 2020
Featured Insight

Making B.C. an Emerging Economy Leader

Review of the BC Emerging Economy Task Force Report and how BC companies can position themselves to take advantage of the emerging economy of the future.

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Jun 23, 2020
Featured Insight

June 10, 2020 Update: Innovating During the COVID-19 Pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada continues to invest heavily into the research and development of innovative solutions to solve the challenges that we continue to face today.

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Jun 23, 2020
Featured Insight

June 10, 2020 Update: Innovating During the COVID-19 Pandemic

This bulletin provides a summary of funding opportunities available in Canada over the month of June and updates
from CIPO and the USPTO.

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Jun 10, 2020
Featured Insight

Making Innovation Work for British Columbia

Analysis and guidance on how BC companies can benefit from the BC Innovation Commissioner's recommendations and help make BC a technology powerhouse.

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Jun 3, 2020