Todd Bissett is a partner in Gowling WLG's Waterloo Region office.
Todd is a widely experienced business, technology, and international transactions lawyer, licensed in California and Ontario. He previously practiced for several years in Silicon Valley and Greater China.
Todd’s emerging growth practice focuses on the complete life-cycle of startup companies, from formation and organizational work through equity and debt financings, mergers and acquisitions, and complex business combinations. Todd acts for both issuers and investors in investments, and sellers and buyers in M&A transactions. He has worked extensively with major institutional and strategic investors, venture capital and hedge funds, and companies and issuers from early stage startups to multinational public and private organizations.
In his international practice, Todd advises on complex, cross-border transactions and business arrangements, drawing on his wide experience and resources to oversee multijurisdictional matters on behalf of his clients.
Todd has experience across several industries including software, telecommunications and value-added services, manufacturing, gaming, financial services, education, biotech, and medical products and services.
Todd provides advice to clients in a number of key areas:
- Emerging growth: Advising early stage startup and emerging growth companies on internal arrangements and making themselves investment ready, as well as advising on seed and angel financing transactions (whether through priced equity rounds or through convertible instruments such as convertible debentures or SAFEs).
- Corporate and commercial: providing general business and corporate advice to clients regarding operational and transactional matters, including purchase and sale of goods, licensing of intellectual property, joint ventures and other business combinations and partnerships, and general day-to-day business law advice.
- Equity and debt financing: representing both issuers and investors in a wide variety of equity and debt financing transactions, from early stage seed and angel investments through venture capital, private equity and strategic investments. Todd’s experience and market knowledge in diverse markets worldwide make him a strong facilitator of cross-border investment transactions.
- Private mergers and acquisitions: representing sellers and buyers in asset and equity acquisitions involving privately held target companies, both domestic and international.
- Corporate governance: advising clients on governance matters including board and committee composition, fiduciary duties, and conflicts of interest.
- International law: advising on complex, cross-border transactions in which Todd frequently acts as the central point of contact to identify, source, and manage diverse and multijurisdictional legal teams.
Before returning to Canada in 2011, Todd practiced with U.S. law firms in Silicon Valley and in both Shanghai and Beijing, China, ultimately managing and overseeing the China practice for an AMLAW 100 firm from 2009 to 2011.
Todd advises early-stage companies on a pro bono basis in association with accelerator and incubator programs such as Communitech, the Accelerator Centre, and the University of Waterloo’s Velocity Program.
Todd frequently speaks on topics related to the emerging growth market and doing business internationally (and particularly in China) at events for students, entrepreneurs, investors, and corporate executives.