Sébastien Vézina

Profile

Partner

Sébastien Vézina is a partner in the firm’s Business Law group.

Sébastien’s expertise lies in his exemplary ability to negotiate complex commercial agreements, in accordance with the highest standards of the legal industry. Recognized by his clients for his strong interpersonal skills, keen business sense and availability, he always adapts his strategic and legal advice to the business reality of the companies and organizations he works with.

Sébastien’s desire to develop a comprehensive and diversified practice has led him to represent companies in a variety of industries.

Over the years, he has refined his practice and developed a particular interest in negotiating commercial agreements with companies in the mining and renewable energy sources, financial services and sports and entertainment industries.

Generally, Sébastien’s practice in these different industries includes public and private mergers and acquisitions, public and private financing, private sector investments and company buyouts, in particular cross-border transactions between Canada and the United States and international transactions, and the negotiation of various commercial agreements. He has degrees in both civil law and common law.

Sébastien also represents boards of directors and independent committees of boards of directors and sits on the board of a number of private corporations. In addition, he is involved in charitable, community and sports organizations and associations.

He is recommended by legal directories identifying leaders in Canada, such as the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory since 2014, Chambers Canada since 2020 and The Best Lawyers in Canada since 2021.

Transaction Law

Sébastien represents a number of corporations along with various private equity funds and institutional investment firms in Canada and the United States.

He acts as legal counsel and special advisor to corporate, institutional, private and governmental sector clients, representing them in their private and public business transactions, both nationally and internationally. His approach and legal skills are invaluable in the negotiation, structuring and implementation of acquisitions, divestitures, mergers, consortiums, corporate financing (including cross-border financing), refinancing, syndication, debt restructuring, corporate reorganization and arrangement plans.

Sébastien has extensive experience in managing large-scale projects that require a large workforce and an interdisciplinary approach involving various industries and multiple jurisdictions.

Securities | Mining, Natural Resources and Renewable Energy Sources

Sébastien practises in securities law with a focus on mining and natural resource corporations. He provides advice on business consortiums, hostile takeover bids and proxy contests, corporate, partnership and revenue-based financings, including metal production and royalty sales transactions, as well as on issues related to infrastructure, transportation, energy and social acceptability. He is involved at every stage of the mining cycle, from exploration and project development to extraction and mine closures.

He has acquired solid experience with local and foreign investors as part of the Plan Nord aimed at the economic development of northern Quebec. He advises boards of directors and special committees on securities law compliance, corporate governance and related-party transactions. In addition, he is the corporate secretary for a number of public companies.

Sports and Entertainment

Sébastien’s sports and entertainment law practice focuses on sports franchise investments and acquisitions, sports facility management, commercial transactions, team-related transactions, intellectual property protection and enforcement of the applicable laws in this matter, the staging and operation of live sports and other events, public and media affairs and other types of professional sports-related projects.

He provides business and regulatory advice to sports teams, players, agents, owners, senior managers, sponsors, agencies, event promoters, team members, athletes and emerging digital businesses of all kinds. Over the years, he has gained experience in the development and financing of sports properties and commercial sports projects, as well as in corporate transactions and mergers and acquisitions involving Canadian and American sports leagues and clubs.

In addition, Sébastien is particularly interested in sports talent. He negotiates and drafts contracts entered into with key sports managers and contracts for other sports personnel, as well as contracts promoting his clients’ talents (including on-air talent and, in particular, former athletes, sports journalists and sports managers). He also helps his clients gain visibility, promote themselves and participate in conferences.

Finally, Sébastien is able to provide advice to sports organisations and associations that are subject to investigations pertaining to behavior. He is also able to prepare independent investigation reports and issue recommendations.

Representative mandates

Transactional Law

  • Representation of Aspen Skiing Company, LLC and KSL Capital Partners LLC in connection with the acquisition of Intrawest Resorts Holdings, LLC, an operator of ski resorts and recreational centres
  • Representation of an established private equity firm in the United States in connection with the acquisition of Pretium Holding, LLC, a manufacturer of rigid packaging products, and the secured debt financing related to the acquisition
  • Representation of Globe Specialty Metals Inc. for the completion of the acquisition of certain assets of Bécancour Silicon Inc. and the revolving credit facility

Securities | Mining, Natural Resources and Renewable Energy Sources

  • Representation of Stornoway Diamond Corporation in connection with the preparation and negotiation of financing agreements with the Quebec Government under which Stornoway has participated in the construction and maintenance costs of a highway extension
  • Representation of Hecla Mining Company in connection with an arrangement plan with Aurizon Mining Ltd. under which Hecla has acquired all issued and outstanding shares of Aurizon
  • Representation of a consortium led by Magris Resources inc. in connection with the completion and financing of the acquisition of Niobec Inc., a subsidiary of IAMGOLD Corporation and one of the three major producers of niobium in the world
  • Representation of Sodemex Développement s.e.c. in connection with an operation for the acquisition of an interest in a portfolio of mining royalties
  • Representation of Canadian Royalties Inc. with respect to its commercial and corporate activities, including the preparation of its impact and benefits agreement as well as its prospectus offering of more than $212 million
  • Representation of Geomega Resources inc. in a series of equity and debt financing related to the development of its rare earth elements/niobium Montviel project
  • Representation of Oceanic Iron Ore Corp. in connection with various financings and commercial agreements for the purpose of developing its iron ore deposit of the Ungava Bay in Nunavik
  • Representation of institutional venture capital funds in Quebec, such as Société de développement de la Baie-James and Fonds régional de solidarité FTQ

Sports

Professional Hockey

  • Representation of Marc Bergevin in connection with his appointment as Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Montreal Canadiens hockey club
  • Representation of sports coaches in connection with their nomination as head coach or assistant coach of professional hockey clubs, such as Guy Boucher, Jacques Martin and Martin Raymond
  • Representation of a group led by the Molson brothers in connection with the acquisition of the Montreal Canadiens hockey club
  • Representation of hockey promoters in connection with the acquisition of a potential National Hockey League (NHL) hockey club
  • Representation of Pat Brisson and JP Barry, two leading hockey player agents, in connection with the acquisition of IMG’s hockey players’ representation business and the negotiation of a strategic partnership arrangement with Creative Artists Agency (CAA)
  • Representation of Luc Robitaille, President of the Los Angeles Kings hockey club, in connection with speaking engagements
  • Representation of Los Angeles Kings Hockey Club, L.P. and AEG Facilities Canada ULC in connection with their respective registration with the Registry of Lobbyists

Junior Hockey and M18 AAA

  • Representation of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in connection with updating its legal structure and governance, including creating and organizing a new entity under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act, reviewing its governance structure and drafting its new constitution and regulations
  • Representation of the Ligue de développement du hockey M18 AAA du Québec in connection with updating its legal structure and governance, reviewing its governance structure and updating its constitution and regulations
  • Representation of Benoît Robert and his partners in the sale of American Hockey Group, LLC (AHG), the operating company of the Omaha Lancers hockey club of the United States Hockey League (USHL), pursuant to which all of the membership interests of AHG were sold to Crossbar Down, LLC, a Nebraska company
  • Representation of Daniel Brière in connection with the acquisition of an interest in the capital of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada hockey club, a member of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
  • Representation of a lender in connection with a corporate loan granted to the Val-d’Or Foreurs hockey club, a member of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
  • Representation of a group of investors comprised on sportscasters and current and ex-NHLers for a contemplated acquisition and relocation of a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League hockey club
  • Representation of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League as an independent arbitrator

Other Sports

  • Representation of a group of investors in connection with the acquisition of the Montreal Alouettes football club of the Canadian Football League (CFL)
  • Representation of Groupe Yvon Michel Inc. (GYM) in connection with permitting procedures and exhibitions of boxing events in multifunctional arenas and casinos
  • Representation of Groupe Yvon Michel Inc. (GYM) in connection with a series of promotional agreements with Top Rank, Inc. and Matchroom Boxing Limited, boxing promotion companies affiliated with the American sports television channel ESPN and the online streaming service DAZN, in order to co-promote multiple fights

Brand, Publicity and Sponsorship

  • Representation of track and field and Olympian athlete Bruny Surin in connection with endorsement engagements, management of trademark portfolio and sponsorship representation arrangements
  • Representation of track and field and Olympian athlete Bruny Surin in connection with a lawsuit against Puma North America Inc. and Puma Canada Inc. for illegal use of trademarks and brand image
  • Representation of diver and Olympian athlete Jennifer Abel in connection with her endorsement engagements and sponsorship representation arrangements
  • Representation of a leading sponsor of the Canadian Football League (CFL) in connection with the negotiation of a sponsorship agreement
  • Representation of the sports agency Spring Management Inc. in connection with its business and strategic matters

Entertainment

  • Representation of the ad hoc committee of first lien lenders to Cirque du Soleil in connection with the acquisition of Cirque du Soleil pursuant to a credit bid under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act for $1.2 billion
  • Representation of the independent kids’ content company DHX Media Ltd. in connection with its corporate fundraising activities
  • Representation of 01 Studio Inc. in the negotiation of an equity financing and license and distribution agreement for a video game in China and in the Asia-Pacific region with Skymoons Technology Inc. and its affiliates
  • Representation of luxury goods online retailer Attalah Group Inc. (doing business under the name SSense) in connection with services regarding a work production and licensing arrangements
  • Representation of Les Productions O’Gleman Diaz inc. in connection with the broadcasting, publishing and licensing of its flagship TV program, magazines and books entitled « Cuisine futée, parents pressés »
  • Representation of contemporary visual artist Michel de Broin in connection with a legal claim for copyrights infringement
  • Representation of a renowned speaker in connection with the protection of public image, reputation, privacy and defamation recourse

Distinctions

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada in the field of Mergers and Acquisitions Law, 2021
  • Chambers Canada in the field of Energy and Natural Resources: Mining, since 2020
  • Lexpert Special Edition – Canada’s Leading Energy Lawyers as a leading lawyer in energy law, 2017
  • The Canadian Legal LEXPERT® Directory in the field of mining law, since 2014
Best Lawyers 2021

Education

  • LL.B., University of Western Ontario, 1997
  • LL.B., Université Laval, 1996

Boards and Professional Affiliations

  • Member of the Board of Directors of the Montréal Fashion & Design Festival
  • Member of the Sports Lawyers Association
  • Member of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada
  • Member of the Quebec Mineral Exploration Association
  • Corporate Secretary for the de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation
  • Member of the Executive Committee of the Yvon Michel Foundation
  • Bruny Surin Foundation
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