A former banker, Scott Watson is a business lawyer with 25-plus years of experience helping Alberta businesses with sophisticated commercial financing, mergers and acquisitions, divestitures and secured transactions. Corporate and government clients across a wide spectrum of industries, including gas and energy, rely on Scott for counsel on a variety of business concerns, such as:
•Developing corporate strategy
•Commercial real estate, condominium developments and
•Projects on leasehold property and on Aboriginal lands
I zero in on what the client wants. My approach is to be a good listener, responsive, accessible and focused on solving problems. I want the client to sleep well at night.
Having lived in Edmonton all my life, I'm very familiar with the local market, the players and their expectations.
In addition, Scott has a special interest in the management of complex, high-stakes transactions and in advising corporate boards on strategies to reduce risk. Scott is called to the Alberta Bar and Northwest Territories Bar and extends his practice to northern clients. I like to help with complicated business problems, as Scott put it. I want businesses to think, 'I need Watson on this.'
Outside of Work
Scott enjoys the outdoors - hiking, biking and skiing. I also play trumpet in an amateur local orchestra.
Honours and Awards
Distinguished - Peer Rated for High Professional Achievement Martindale-Hubbell 2017
Best Lawyers - Lawyer of the Year - Securities Law Best Lawyers 2015, 2017
Lexpert - Repeatedly Recommended in Corporate Commercial Law Lexpert 2013-2016
Lexpert Ranked Lawyer Lexpert 2013, 2015
Best Lawyers International Best Lawyers 2011 - 2017
Appointed Queen's Counsel 2007
Lecturer / Teaching Positions
The following is a list of lectures, classes, seminars or speaking engagements given or taught by Scott:
Practice Fundamentals Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education 2016
Aboriginal Business Structures Faculty of Law, University of Alberta 2015
Commercial Transactions Law Class MacEwan University 2012
Corporate, Commercial and Real Estate Law Bar Admission Instructor - Legal Education Society of Alberta 1995 - 2004
The following is a list of presentations, seminars or speaking engagements previously given by Scott:
Seminar on financing transactions entitled Advanced Lender Legal Education Society of Alberta 2015
Construction Law and Recent Developments in Contractual Interpretation AltaGas Utilities 2014
Expectations of the Public Inquiry into Health System Matters Alberta Medical Association's Representative Forum 2012
Identifying and Dealing with Risk Legal Education Society of Alberta 2010
Managing Your Client's Risk Legal Education Society of Alberta 2010
Corporate and Commercial Issues of Interest CBA Alberta Law Conference 2009
Volunteer / Pro Bono
Canterbury Foundation (non-profit housing for seniors) Board Member 2013-Present
•As local Alberta counsel, Scott represented the builder in a transaction involving the design, build, finance, operation and maintenance of a major infrastructure project valued at over $1 billion. I assembled the legal team and managed the work under a hard deadline with multiple parties located across Canada. We produced the needed documentation that allowed the parties to close on time and in accordance with their plan.
•A government entity was facing significant potential liability and needed a preliminary legal opinion in less than a day. Scott was the team leader on this, orchestrating, organizing and managing the production of a complex strategic opinion and a recommended course of action for a potential claim with an exposure in excess of $1 billion.
Scott has years of experience with sophisticated deals, representing and advising clients such as the following:
Corporate / Commercial
•Represented a major land developer in the negotiation with a municipality for the relocation of multiple major pipelines and construction of a major roadway improvement plan affecting one of Canada's largest open-air retail developments.
•Represented owner in the $40 million sale of its business of supplying temporary power systems used in the construction sector.
•Developed a joint-venture template used by primary care physicians in Alberta allowing them new and novel ways to deliver health care to Albertans.
•Represented a pipeline contractor in a joint-venture dispute related to construction of a $360 million natural gas transmission pipeline in eastern Canada.
•Acted for multinational corporation on negotiating private loan agreement to fund Alberta business operations.
•Advised a steel mill on matters relating to bidding-tendering, and procurement law, and with negotiation of a joint venture with a scrap metal recycler.
•Represented owner in the sale and vendor financing of a fleet of tug boats and barges operating in the McKenzie Delta, Northwest Territories, together with related land and property interests.
•Acted for a western Canadian supplier in establishing a system to secure equipment leases.
•Acted for the vendor as part of the team on the sale of a television broadcasting company.
•Acted for owner of a chain of western Canadian liquor stores on retail store acquisitions and related financing transactions.
Governance / Advice
•Represented government in connection with strategic advice on risk management.
•Represented a leading Alberta university in risk assessment of major investments.
•Advised a major government agency on developing a board selection matrix and related policies.
•Provided governance advice to a major professional organization in Alberta that represents and advocates for professionals in the health care industry.
•Advisor to owners of a leading indoor shopping mall.
•Acted as agent for corporation located in Northwest Territories on a $350 million financing transaction.
•Represented borrowers in national and international asset-based lending transactions, and as Alberta agent on behalf of lenders.
•Alberta counsel for owner on $140 million financing of an office tower in Calgary.
•Have advised bank on numerous syndicated loan transactions.
•Acted for co-lender on a $69 million financing transaction to construct an office tower project.
•Represented the senior lender in structuring subordinated secured debt from junior lender to refinance a distressed oilfield service company.
•Regularly represent banks on interim cost-to-complete construction financing projects.
•Represented bank on financing a major land developer's holdings throughout Alberta.
•Acted for bank with its financing to a major residential land developer in Edmonton area.
•Represented bank in financing land acquisition and major development on leased lands in Canada's National Parks.
•Acted for bank on financing a major western Canadian trucking company, rolling stock and land terminals.
•Represented national automobile financing company on numerous dealership financings.
•Have represented distressed borrowers on negotiating forbearance agreements.
•Represented lender as part of the team refinancing a major shopping mall. At the time, it was the largest private placement in Canadian history.
•Acted for lender on real estate financing of developer's multiple locations within in Alberta and in the Northwest Territories.
•Represented major forestry company in negotiating a long-term joint forest management agreement (FMA).
•Acted for major forestry company in the negotiation and development of a framework agreement for operations under a joint FMA.
•Represented various major forestry companies on negotiation of log purchase agreements, operating agreements, and forest management services agreements.
•Have represented numerous First Nations, Metis Settlements and their companies on issues relating to tax strategies, business and operating issues and corporate organization.
•Provided strategic advice to government on Aboriginal issues.
•Acted for banks on numerous financing transactions involving First Nations in western Canada and Metis Settlements in Alberta.
•Represented the Monitor appointed to manage funds allocated to a distressed First Nation.
•Represented private Alberta lender that focused on making loans to Metis-owned businesses.
•Acted for First Nation in the negotiation of a camp catering joint venture with a non-aboriginal organization.
•Represented syndicate of sixteen First Nations and Metis Settlements in assessing proposed acquisition of a municipal hotel.
•Have represented a public utility on numerous purchase and sale transactions of pipelines, including transmission pipelines, gas distribution assets, gas wells, and related facilities.
•Have negotiated long-term gas transportation agreements, and pipeline operating agreements.
•Represented public utility on natural gas franchise issues, gas distribution agreements with Metis Settlements, licensing agreements, rights-of-way, crossing agreements and land issues.
•Amalgamated two natural gas utilities.
2017 - Distinguished - Peer Rated for High Professional Achievement
2015, 2017 - Best Lawyers - Lawyer of the Year - Securities Law
2013-2016 - Lexpert - Repeatedly Recommended in Corporate Commercial Law
2013, 2015 - Lexpert Ranked Lawyer
2011 - 2017 - Best Lawyers International
2007 - Appointed Queen's Counsel