After more than a decade advising media companies, Patrick Buchholz is back at Lavery de Billy S.E.N.C.R.L., having been appointed partner in its corporate law group.
Buchholz spent the last 11-and-a-half years at La Presse, serving as vice president legal affairs and company secretary, as well as secretary to the board of directors since 2015. The core of his practice will be mergers and acquisitions, competition law and intellectual property.
During his 18-year tenure at Lavery, Buchholz began his career in commercial litigation before moving into mergers and acquisitions work.
When he joined La Presse, it was part of Square Victoria Communications group, which held and acquired interests in several digital and communications companies.
“My work continued to be M&A but focused on the new economy because La Presse had sister companies that were investing heavily in digital companies,” he says.
During his time at La Presse, Buchholz was also vice president legal affairs and company secretary at Square Victoria Communications Group Inc., Square Victoria Digital Properties and Gesca Limitée, where he worked on acquisitions and investitures of equity in companies such as Workopolis, La Presse tele, DuProprio and Gesca Regional Newspapers. He was also a member of the board of directors at Workopolis and the Canadian Press.
“That's what I'm bringing back with the additional advantage now of having been in-house and having to deal with being cost conscious, being efficiency conscious,” he says.
Buchholz says he was drawn to La Presse because of the importance of media. La Presse has restructured over the last few years, slimming down to its news business, book publishing company and its one-third stake in the Canadian Press.
“It became natural for me once La Presse had completed that restructuring last year, which was a lot of fun to work on, for me to come back to private practice and continue more of my M&A practice,” he says.
Before he left the firm, Buchholz spent 18 years at Lavery, becoming partner in 2000.
Buchholz says legal services need to adapt to the digital economy through corralling the power of social media, artificial intelligence and the startup economy.
“It's great to return to this wonderful legal family,” Buchholz says. “It's a super team of lawyers and, much like me, they're very client and solution oriented. So it's going to be great.”