How Michael serves our clients
An innovative and entrepreneurial leader, Michael Henry thrives on working differently than most law firms to deliver a more client-focused experience. He helps Canadian and foreign business owners as well as C-suite executives of mid-market private companies to tackle complex legal challenges to grow and manage risk successfully over the long term through a uniquely collaborative approach. Michael simplifies sophisticated matters such as succession and estate planning, M&A deals, reorganizations, shareholders disputes and agreements, and corporate financing as well as commercial agreements and employment contracts. He offers the best of both worlds, acting with objectivity as outside general counsel, yet partnering with companies so closely that owners feel they have an in-house champion. Michael also advises trust companies and trustees on estate administration. Michael implemented a plain English discipline throughout the firm. He emphasizes the practice of a comprehensive and disciplined approach when communicating with clients. This approach is reflected in email and contract communications, as well as in person or phone meetings.
After completing a BA with Distinction at University of Toronto and law school at Queens University, Michael articled with a national firm and recognized his need to work in a more entrepreneurial environment. He joined his father, Robert Henry, a founding partner of Houser Henry, to build close relationships with entrepreneurs, learn from senior mentors and give back by developing younger lawyers. Michael was called to the Ontario Bar in 1996 and frequently appears as a speaker and panelist at industry events. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the American Bar Association (Business Law Section), the Canadian Association of Family Enterprise (CAFE), and a former Secretary and Legal Counsel for their Central Ontario Chapter. Michael is also White Belt Certified in Legal Lean Sigma© and Legal Project Management.
Michael’s mantras are simplifying complexity and keeping the client at the centre of our work so that our actions are relevant and clients remain in the loop. Whether by walking factory floors, dodging mud on a farm, or attending building inspections, Michael always invests his time to understand his clients’ businesses in depth. He listens attentively, customizes his actions to clients’ needs rather than following any formulas, and runs a non-hierarchical practice to remain nimble and responsive. He lives to anticipate needs, relieve people of legal concerns and build pivotal trust and rapport that forges lasting and mutually-rewarding relationships.
A personal perspective
Michael enjoys the great outdoors with his wife and three school-aged children, skiing in winter and camping in summer. Ask him about his memorable encounters with bears.
Areas of practice
- Mergers and Acquisitions
- General Business Law
- Private Wealth / Estate Planning & Administration
- Business Succession Planning
- Commercial Real Estate & Development
- Employment Law
- Investing in Canada
- Living and Breathing Client Service
- New Ontario Registry
Presentations & Publications
- Speaker, “Business Succession” at “The Six Minute Business Lawyer 2017” June 13, 2017 (Law Society of Upper Canada)
- “Doing nothing can be a costly choice” – Landscape Trade, January, 2016
- Quoted, “How to Keep the ‘Family’ in the Family Business” – Financial Post, February, 2014
- Speaker, Getting the Most Out of Your M&A Lawyer, Toronto, February, 2014
- Panelist, How Great Private Companies are Transitioned, November 5, 2013
- Speaker, Exclusivity – Locking In and Out, Pre-Contract Agreements – Contract Law Commission Working Session, UIA Congress (Union Internationale des Avocats), Dresden, November 3, 2012
- Quoted, “Why You Should Read the Fine Print” – Financial Post, September, 2012
- Panelist, Buying or Selling a Private Company, February 2012
- Speaker, Contract Law Commission Working Group, UIA Congress (Union Internationale des Avocats), Miami, Oct 31–Nov 4, 2011
- Speaker Seminar – Creating a Sellable Service Business, Toronto, Oct 2–3, 2011