Steve Michoulas is an experienced business lawyer with proven expertise in commercial real estate law and an impressive record of success acting for clients in the aviation industry.

Steve works with international and regional airports on real estate developments, non-aeronautical revenue projects and procurement in addition to terminal concessions, into-plane fueling and tank farm management, and airside operations. He also provides counsel on Competition Act matters, flight path protection, corporate governance, and best practices in connection with jurisdictional / constitutional matters. Steve is also experienced advising on debenture financings, innovation and its commercialization in both domestic and foreign jurisdictions, and the licensing of third-party operators.

Acting for land owners, investment firms and developers, Steven provides guidance on a variety of high-stakes transactions relating to the acquisition, development, sale, financing and leasing of commercial real estate in British Columbia.

A member of the legal steering committee of Airports Council International – North America, ACI (NA), the largest airport trade association on the continent, Steve is a frequent speaker at international airport events, including those hosted by the Worldwide Airport Lawyers Association, ACI (NA), and the Colombian Chamber of Infrastructure.

Steve served as director, legal services at the Vancouver Airport Authority for more than eight years before joining McMillan in 2018.

Representative Matters

  • Advising land owners and developers on a wide range of legal issues related to the acquisition, development, sale, financing and leasing of commercial real estate in British Columbia, such transactions totalling well over one billion dollars between February 2018 and October 2019.
  • Advising international and regional airports on a variety of matters, including:
    • land leasing and development,
    • retail, food and beverage leasing,
    • into-plane jet fuel licensing and tank farm management,
    • procurement, including an RFP for an into-plane fueling and tank farm management,
    • competition law advice and successful guidance related to potential abuse of dominant position,
    • airport innovation and the commercialization of same,
    • corporate governance and best practices regarding same for airports,
    • jurisdictional matters (i.e. federal vs. provincial/municipal authority), and
    • real estate issues related to glide path protection.
  • While Director, Legal Services at the Vancouver Airport Authority at YVR:
    • Managing high profile, abuse of dominant position litigation between the Competition Bureau and the Vancouver Airport Authority (VAA)
    • Advising on the search for a partner and the subsequent corporate structuring, financing and development of McArthurGlen Designer Outlet at YVRand the Vancouver Airport Authority’s participation as a 50% partner
    • Advising on a $200m debenture refinancing for the Vancouver Airport Authority,
    • Advising the Vancouver Airport Authority on its growing innovation and technology business, which includes the development and sale of “BORDERXPRESS” automated passport control kiosks to airports across North America and around the world
    • Advising on the sale of the Vancouver Airport Authority’s stake in Vantage Airport Group (a former wholly owned subsidiary of the VAA which is now a world class international airport operator) and the negotiation of a long term strategic partnership agreement between the VAA and Vantage
    • Successfully negotiating a lease for Canada Post’s new 700,000 square foot processing plant at YVR
    • Advising on regulatory and jurisdictional matters for the Vancouver Airport Authority
    • Leading a cross departmental team of airport professionals to create and negotiate a new  Airport Use Licence for air carriers and a new form of Ground Handling Licence at YVR
    • Advising on a de-icing cost allocation issue at YVR
    • Advising on virtually all other legal issues affecting the Vancouver Airport Authority, including but not limited to retail, car rental, car sharing, service contracts, fuel, construction and project security, procurement, utilities, airport operations, municipal affairs, constitutional law, metro/rail access issues, labour law, aboriginal issues, community affairs and environmental issues
  • Advising the purchaser in the buyout of shares of a local air passenger carrier
  • Advising the developer of wind farm projects in British Columbia with respect to securing land through options to lease and long term land leases
  • Advising an international agriculture company with respect to the purchase and development of a processing plant on industrial land
  • Advising a major landowner with respect to the development and financing of a $100+ million dollar mixed use retail/residential building in Vancouver
  • Advising the purchaser of large-scale greenhouse operation
  • Advising the developer in connection with a 41 parcel land assembly

Rankings & Recognition

  • Chosen as a Finalist for the 2013 Western Canada General Counsel Awards in the “Tomorrow’s Leader” category.

Community Involvement

  • Co-Founder, UBC Law Rugby Scholarship
  • Coach, Dunbar Little League
  • Volunteer, Our Lady of Perpetual Help School

Directorships & Affiliations

  • Member, Legal Steering Committee, Airports Council International – North America, ACI (NA)
  • Former Member, Canadian Airports Legal Group
  • Chair, Real Property Section (Vancouver), Canadian Bar Association, 2008-2009
  • Committee Member, Developing Leaders Committee for the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), 2008-2010
  • Committee Member, LTSA Stakeholder Advisory Committee, 2009-2010
  • Contributing Editor, CLE British Columbia Real Estate Practice Manual, 2006-2009

Education & Admissions

Called to the British Columbia bar
LLBUniversity of British Columbia
Canadian Securities CourseCanadian Securities Institute
BA, Political ScienceUniversity of British Columbia