As an international business lawyer with twenty five years of experience, Martin Aquilina brings a high degree of energy and passion to advising clients on a wide range of industries, including financial services, manufacturing, mining, engineering and design, education, technology and fine arts. Owing to the many roles he has assumed throughout his career, Martin has strong technical skills in virtually all areas of the law that are likely to be encountered by a foreign enterprise seeking to do business in or with Canada: corporate set-up, privacy, regulatory, employment matters, intellectual property, capital markets, licensing and joint venture agreements, secured lending, M&A and resolution of disputes. Martin’s pragmatism and wide knowledge make him well suited to be general counsel for your Canadian operations.
Martin regularly advises Canadians doing business overseas. Given his broad knowledge of foreign legal systems, he is called upon to assist in sorting out a wide panoply of situations with an extra-territorial element, such as foreign estate matters, claims by or against foreign parties or arbitral proceedings. He has authored articles for various publications, notably the ASIL Journal and the ABA Year-in-Review, and he speaks publicly on a wide variety of subjects. Notably, Martin presented in Düsseldorf on the impact of the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement on M&A transactions.
Martin is a former equity partner of Gowlings WLG, one of Canada’s largest law firms with offices abroad. Prior to entering private practice, Martin also held positions at the Supreme Court of Canada, the Correctional Service of Canada and as head of the legal department of MD Management, the financial services division of the Canadian Medical Association, recently sold to Scotia Bank for CAD $2.4B (Martin was retained to advise on and close the sale of certain Québec-based assets as part of the transaction). Most recently before joining HazloLaw – Business Lawyers, Martin was based in Geneva, Switzerland, serving as legal adviser to the Global Fund, an international financing organization that has approved funding of over $23 billion to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in 151 countries. Martin’s unique combination of skills and experience is particularly well-suited to resolving complex real-life situations that call for a principled approach.
Martin’s broad professional experience with international clients includes negotiating tax exemptions with the Ministry of Finance of an African country for domestic recipients of international funding and successfully enforcing foreign judgments against Canadian assets. Examples of successful mandates include structuring and taking public the first publicly-traded mortgage investment corporation in Canada, obtaining a ground-breaking ruling in the infamous Bre-X Minerals case and advising a foreign factoring company on establishing its Canadian operations.
Martin holds a Bachelor of Commerce, degrees in common law and civil law and a Master of Private International Law from a Dutch University. He is fluent or conversant in several languages.