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Stewart McKelvey proud to continue as techNL Mission Partner

Speaker Sessions – June 12

Corporate growth and development: Diverse pathways to success

Speakers: Colin Ryan, Gerard Duggan, Tauna Staniland, K.C., Gavin Stuttard




Colin Ryan, COO & CFO of Solace Power and advisor to Sift Med Inc.;

Colin Ryan, CPA, ICD.D is an executive, advisor, and director in Newfoundland & Labrador’s technology sector. He has worked with and mentored numerous tech start-ups, guiding them from the pre-seed stages to Series A and beyond, and has been part of raising over $35 million in venture, strategic investor, angel investor and non-dilutive funding for early and growth stage start-ups in the NL start-up ecosystem.

As COO and CFO of Solace Power, a global leader in wireless power technology with clients including BMW, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and others, Colin oversees all fundraising activities and business operations. He also advises and has served on the boards of Atlantic Canadian start-ups, including SiftMed, an AI-driven SaaS platform for medical data management.

Colin also devotes time to the community, including as Chair of the Boys and Girls Clubs of St. John’s, and past Chair of Habitat for Humanity NL. A Memorial University graduate and CPA who articled with EY Canada, he resides in St. John’s.


Gerard Duggan, Vice President, eGovernment & Enterprise of Vision33

Gerard Duggan is the Vice President of Marketing, Enterprise Services & eGovernment, Vision33. He is a proven leader with almost 30 years of experience working with established organizations and new market entrants in the successful adoption of IT based innovation. As a member of Vision33’s executive leadership, Gerard has contributed to Vision33’s growth over the past 23 years as the company has developed new software products, taken on additional partners and grown through acquisitions.

Gerard is a former Board Chair of TechNL (NATI), current Board Chair of the Private Training Corporation and member of the Institute of Corporate Directors.



Tauna Staniland, K.C., ICD.D, Partner at Stewart McKelvey

Tauna is a corporate commercial lawyer who provides advice on a range of transactional and day-to-day business matters. Tauna assists her clients in negotiating and closing mergers and acquisitions, dispositions, financings and reorganizations. She provides strategic advice to corporations, directors and shareholders related to corporate governance matters and regularly advises on contract interpretation and compliance matters. She acts for clients who are going public (including via traditional IPOs, CPCs and RTOs of listed entities) and closes broker and non-brokered private placements and public offerings for her clients.

In the natural resources space, Tauna’s experience has been principally in the areas of mining and oil and gas (offshore), including transactional and contractual matters and knowledge of all facets of provincial mining legislation. Tauna’s clients include a range of public companies, owner-managed businesses, municipalities, engineering and other professional services firms.









Gavin Stuttard, Partner at Stewart McKelvey

No matter where a transaction takes place, or which industries it involves, Gavin’s unique mix of cross-border experience and practical insight help to successfully close the deal. For public company transactions, his clients look to him for leadership in structuring, negotiating and closing complex deals with speed, tact and precision. Working with a diverse group of client companies in real estate, mining, consumer products and media, Gavin helps protect interests and maximize returns. He has:

  • Acted for DHX Media Ltd. in connection with concurrent Canadian and U.S. public offerings totaling $65 million.
  • Acted for DHX Media Ltd. in connection with its cross-listing on the TSX and NASDAQ.
  • Acted for DHX Media Ltd. in connection with its creation and listing of a dual class share capital structure designed to ensure compliance with Canadian ownership restrictions.
  • Acted for DHX Media Ltd. in connection to primary and secondary bought deal offerings totaling $168 million.
  • Acted for Empire Company in connection with its $1.844 billion public offering of subscription receipts.
  • Represented Crombie REIT in bought deal offerings of convertible debentures, trust units and subscription receipts totaling more than $600 million.
  • Represented DHX Media Ltd. in a $19 million overnight marketed offering of common shares.
  • Represented High Liner Foods Incorporated in its $162 million acquisition of the Marketing and Manufacturing Group of Fishery Products International Limited and related prospectus offering.
  • Represented Empire Company Limited in its $1 billion transaction taking Sobeys Inc. private.
IP tips for software based businesses
Speakers: Rob Forsythe, Johanna Brown, Susan Norman, Richard Hirsch 




Rob Forsythe, Co-Founder & CEO of Milk Moovement

Rob Forsythe is the CEO and co-founder of Milk Moovement, a cutting-edge dairy supply chain platform. With a passion for progress and innovation, Rob has led the company in transforming the way dairy products are traced, tracked, and transported. Under his leadership, Milk Moovement has experienced rapid growth across North America and has been internationally recognized for its contributions to the agriculture and technology industries. 

Rob’s entrepreneurial spirit and fierce dedication to customers has made him a sought-after speaker and thought leader in the industry. He has been featured in various publications and has participated in prestigious accelerator programs, including Techstars Farm to Fork. In 2023, Rob was named an EY Entrepreneur Of The Year in Atlantic Canada and in the same year Milk Moovement was named a Deloitte Fast50 Company. He has earned the reputation as a pioneer and innovator in the field of food and agriculture, and his work with Milk Moovement continues to inspire and drive progress in the industry.



Johanna Brown, Vice Chair, Board of Directors at techNL and Principal Sales Strategist of Rivet

Johanna is a B2B technology sales strategist, having worked within the tech sector over the past 14 years in enterprise sales. Through her sales consulting practice, Rivet, Johanna empowers early-stage tech companies to build their path to revenue and scalable growth. Working with clients across North America, while based in St. John’s, NL.

Johanna is the incoming Chair of techNL, a Managing Partner for Women’s Equity Lab (Atlantic), serves on tech related selection committees locally and federally, serves on the Heart & Stroke provincial advisory board, and is a mentor for the Canadian Women’s Network (CWN).

Dedicated to fostering diversity and gender inclusion within the technology sector, Johanna actively advocates for increased representation of women in tech and leadership roles.

Susan Norman, Partner at Stewart McKelvey

Susan has extensive experience advising clients in relation to option agreements, joint venture agreements, royalty agreements and aboriginal partnership agreements. She has extensive experience in advising early-stage and established players, together with investors, on shareholders’ agreements and corporate governance, share options, corporate finance, lease and participation agreements for wind energy projects, and mergers and acquisitions. In addition, she has an large client base that relies on her for advice on commercial services contracts and cloud-related contracts such as SaaS agreements, together with software licensing and related intellectual property commercialization contracts.




Richard Hirsch, Partner at Stewart McKelvey

Richard’s clients come to him looking for assistance with transactions, negotiations, intellectual property and information technology matters. Working with small and large corporate and institutional clients, some of the ways Richard has helped his clients with these issues are by:

  • The acquisition by Sobeys of the assets of Canada Safeway for approximately $5.8 billion.
  • The sale leaseback transaction between Sobeys and Crombie REIT with respect to 70 properties and proceeds of approximately $990 million.
  • Acting as national intellectual property (IP) counsel for a national grocer and a seafood company.
  • Acting as national information technology (IT) counsel for a national grocer, often with extremely high-value, complex and time-sensitive matters.
  • Acting for a multinational corporation in the incorporation of and various transactions of its many Nova Scotia subsidiaries.
  • Acting for an offshore oil and gas provider in its acquisition of another company.
Employment challenges in the tech sector
Speakers: Ruth Trash and Meghan Foley





Ruth Trask, Partner at Stewart McKelvey

Ruth works with her clients to understand their perspective, and tailors her advice to be responsive to their needs. Clients need to understand how the law impacts them and their operations from all angles, and Ruth aims to give real-world guidance to help each client make the choices that are right for them.

Some examples of Ruth’s regular work includes:

  • Conducting hearings and appeals before administrative tribunals, labour arbitrators, and at all levels of Court in the province;
  • Structuring successful hires and terminations, and defending against employment claims;
  • Advising statutory and regulatory bodies on administrative law, including procedural fairness;
  • Navigating the employment relationship, including discrimination and accommodation, union-management relations, and workers’ compensation;
  • Advising vendors and purchasers on employment matters that arise in corporate transactions.






Meghan Foley, Associate at Stewart McKelvey

Meghan is a litigator  who utilizes alternative dispute resolution where appropriate to assist insurers, businesses and employers in resolving disputes in a cost-effective manner. Her practice includes a focus on labour and employment matters, primarily for small and medium sized business. Meghan takes the time to understand her client’s business which is important in understanding their position in a dispute. She believes the key to a successful relationship is clear and consistent communication so her clients are able to make informed decisions throughout the life of a legal matter. Meghan’s experience includes:

  • Acting for plaintiffs, defendants, and third parties in civil litigation
  • Assisting with the defence of professional disciplinary proceedings
  • Assisting with the defence for an insurer of a professional association
  • Acting for a municipality in a dispute regarding a request under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
  • Assisting with proceedings before the Labour Relations Board
  • Assisting with drafting and reviewing employment and contractor agreements, workplace policies and procedures
  • Assisting with defending employers in wrongful termination actions
Stewart McKelvey proud to continue as techNL Mission Partner

Developed with the goal of supporting tech participants to grow, develop and scale their businesses, Stewart McKelvey is pleased to partner with techNL, and connect members with our experienced lawyers specializing in a number of areas relevant to businesses in the tech and innovation spaces. Throughout the year, Stewart McKelvey is pleased to offer techNL members topic-specific information sessions focused on key topics for tech and innovation start-ups.

Our Firm 

As one of the country’s top law firms, Stewart McKelvey is pleased to support the growth and development of the tech and innovation sector in Newfoundland and Labrador. With a focus on innovation and diversity, equity and inclusion, Stewart McKelvey and techNL share a commitment to the vibrancy and long-term sustainability of this sector. 

Our experience supporting tech and innovation

Stewart McKelvey is a large, full-service law firm providing depth of expertise across all areas of law.  With a local presence and our significant experience supporting businesses in the tech sector across all stages of growth, Stewart McKelvey is uniquely positioned to answer questions from tech participants and businesses on topics ranging from intellectual property, SaaS agreements, governance, privacy, labour & employment, commercial real property, financing and mergers & acquisitions.

With our own focus on innovation, Stewart McKelvey clients have access to our Practice Innovation infrastructure. This innovation infrastructure can help businesses through access to automated document assembly templates (for faster compilation of legal documents), software to organize, manage, and streamline commercial transitions, and step by step processes to help carry out routine legal processes – and much more.

Our clients

The work we do with our clients shows the depth of experience we have to offer. Below are examples of our work with tech and innovation businesses, where we acted as lead counsel:

Vision33 Canada Inc. – Acted for a global tech company with offices in Canada, the U.S., and the U.K., in an asset purchase from U.K.-based computer software companies, Synantix Ltd. and Alphagen Holdings Limited.


Empire Company – Acted for Empire Company in connection with its $1.844 billion public offering of subscription receipts, and its $1 billion transaction taking Sobeys Inc. private.


Regional Health Authorities in Newfoundland and Labrador – Acted as counsel to the Regional Health Authorities in Newfoundland and Labrador in response to one of the largest cybersecurity incidents in Canadian history.


Sift Med Inc. – Acted for an Intelligent Document Processing (IDP)  company that uses artificial intelligence to automate the organization of medical legal files in its $2.7 million seed funding round, as well as in reviewing and drafting its SaaS agreements, providing advice with respect to data privacy and labour and employment matters.


Repairify Inc. – Acted for a U.S. company focused on remote diagnostic solutions and services in the automotive repair industry, in a significant and strategic acquisition of Newfoundland and Labrador based Root Four Imagination Inc./ BlueDriver, a provider of direct-to-consumer aftermarket diagnostic scan tools. Also led the follow-on acquisition of Ontario-based adasThink, a leading software company focused on artificial intelligence leveraging automotive collision estimating repair data.


ABK Biomedical Inc. — Acted for an innovative, medical device company dedicated to the research, development, and commercialization of advanced imageable embolic medical devices, in connection with its Series B and Series C financing rounds totaling more than US$60 million.


Milk Moovement Inc. – Acted for a leading cloud-based dairy supply chain software in its U.S. $3.2 million funding round led by Dynamo Ventures, alongside Matchstick Ventures, Bread & Butter Ventures, and Better Food Ventures, and in drafting, reviewing, and negotiating its international SaaS agreements including with large enterprises in Australia, Europe, and the U.S., and in labour and employment advice.


Nutra Holdings Inc. – Acted for an e-commerce sports nutrition company headquartered in St. John’s in acquisitions, divestitures, intellectual property, labour and employment, and corporate and commercial matters from inception to its growth as a business spanning more than 100 products, millions of customers, and multiple brands such as Jacked Factory, Transparent Labs, and Cira Nutrition. The company had been recognized as one of Canada’s top growing companies by the Globe and Mail, a fastest growing company by Canadian Business, and its founder had been recognized as an EY Entrepreneur of the Year.


Sobeys Inc. – Acted for Sobeys in connection with its $1 billion brokered private placement of unsecured debt.


Cority Software Inc. – Acted for a leading software provider in drafting, reviewing, and negotiating its international SaaS agreements including with large enterprises in Europe, the U.S., and China.



ClearRisk Inc. – Acted for a cloud-based risk management software company in the purchase of shares and debt held by GrowthWorks Atlantic Ltd. and related financing.


Focus Field Solutions Inc.
– Acted for a leading software provider with respect to software license reseller agreements, SaaS agreements, share purchase agreements and financing activities.



Solace Power Inc. – Acted for a company dedicated to the development of wireless power solutions in general corporate commercial, governance and employment matters.


Bluedrop Training and Simulation Inc. and Bluedrop ISM Limited –
Acted for an international technology pioneer and e-learning company, in reviewing and drafting SaaS agreements, privacy matters, labour and employment, and intellectual property matters.



ScreenScape Networks Inc. – Acted for the shareholders of an SaaS-based digital signage company, ScreenScape Networks Inc., in the sale of shares to Spectrio LLC, a U.S.-based provider of customer engagement and content management technology.


Tenera Care
– Acted for a real-time monitoring and analytics platform for senior care, Tenera Care, in equity raises and general corporate and commercial matters including advising on SaaS considerations, bridge financings, and intellectual property matters.



LifeRaft – Acted for a security intelligence company with over 200 clients in over 25 countries, in a range of matters including reviewing, drafting, and negotiating SaaS agreements, financing, and investment transactions.


AltoMaxx Technologies Inc. – Acted for  AltoMaxx Technologies Inc., a drone technology company, in corporate, commercial and employment law matters.





Venus Concept Ltd. – Acted for Venus Concept Ltd., an innovative global aesthetic technology leader (NASDAQ), in its acquisition of NeoGraft Solutions’ hair restoration business, one of the world’s most recognized brands of hair restoration devices and products with assets in Canada, the U.S. and France.


Trihedral Engineering Limited – Acted for the majority shareholders of Trihedral Engineering Limited, a SCADA and IIoT software company, in the sale of Trihedral Engineering Limited to Delta Electronics, a global leader in power and thermal management solutions for approximately $45 million.


PGHCapital Inc. – Acted for the shareholders of PGH Capital Inc. in the sale of subsidiaries (PanGeo Subsea Inc. and PanGeo Subsea Scotland Limited) to Kraken Robotics Inc., in a transaction valued at approximately $23 million. PanGeo is a 3D imaging specialist providing sub-sea imaging services. 


DHX Media Ltd. (now WildBrain Ltd.)  – Acted for DHX Media Ltd. in connection with concurrent Canadian and U.S. public offerings totaling $65 million, its cross-listing on the TSX and NASDAQ, creation and listing of a dual class share capital structure designed to ensure compliance with Canadian ownership restrictions, and a $19 million overnight marketed offering of common shares.

Webinars and information sessions

Check back to this space for more information on available information sessions. techNL members can also submit topics for future information sessions to

Stewart McKelvey’s Tech Committee

The strength of Stewart McKelvey is the knowledge and expertise of our team. The following lawyers, based in our St. John’s office, are focused on driving the growth and development of the tech sector in Newfoundland and Labrador. They look forward to having the opportunity to collaborate with techNL members:

Tauna Staniland, K.C., Chair
Mergers & Acquisitions
Securities/ Governance

Steve Winter, Vice-Chair
Mergers & Acquisitions
Financing/ Commercial Real Property

Erin Best
Intellectual Property (Technology)

Sarah Byrne
Mergers & Acquisitions

Janet Carpenter
Cybersecurity, Privacy

Jonathan Dale
Commercial Litigation

Susan Norman
Intellectual Property
SaaS Agreements

Ruth Trask
Labour & Employment

Koren Thomson
Cybersecurity, Privacy



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