Torys strengthens tech offering with addition of former Silicon Valley partner

March 07, 2019

Leading technology industry lawyer Kristine Di Bacco has rejoined Torys LLP.

After more than a decade with Silicon Valley firm Fenwick & West LLP, Kristine will lead the newly formed Emerging Technology Companies and Venture Capital practice in Torys’ Toronto office.

Kristine’s experience is in advising tech startups and investors on corporate transactional matters, including company formation, venture capital financing, M&A and public offerings.

At Fenwick & West’s Silicon Valley office, Kristine advised and was involved with many clients including unicorns WeWork, Square, GoPro, Pinterest, BuzzFeed and Facebook, and other successful start-ups including Everlane, LearnVest and Tile. She was then a founding partner of Fenwick’s New York City office and has been instrumental in the rapid growth of that office from eight to more than 45 lawyers.

Kristine said moving to “Silicon Valley North” made sense given the rate at which Toronto’s technology hub is growing.

“There is a reason major international technology companies are headquartered in Canada,” Kristine said.

“The scene is exploding and there’s no sign of it slowing down. The S&P/TSX technology index has gained 17% in the last year despite the volatility in other sectors.

“The energy is tangible. More tech jobs are being created here than anywhere else in the world. Microsoft has announced it will move its Canadian headquarters to downtown Toronto in 2020, Adobe is looking to open an AI lab in the city, and Thomson Reuters is investing $100 million in the Thomson Reuters Technology Centre.

“This type of momentum excites investors but startups still have a lot they need to navigate.

“Torys has the deep commercial and legal expertise to guide these companies through all the stages of their development, and it’s inspiring to work alongside them as they reach their full potential.

“Our team can provide expert advice across the full menu of services start-ups require, including, tax, IP, licensing, employment, litigation and financing. But more importantly, we want to be at your side assisting from start up to unicorn status and everything in between.”

Torys Managing Partner Les Viner said the decision to recruit Kristine was a strategic move that aligned with the firm’s objectives to strengthen its presence in the technology sector.

“This builds on our deep expertise in servicing emerging companies and venture capitalists in our Life Science and our Intellectual Property groups, both of which are consistently rated number one in their areas in Canada,” Les said.

“We see technology as a fundamental pillar of the Canadian economy, alongside financial services, mining, energy and agriculture.

“Kristine is a world leader with experience and familiarity with technology companies and venture capital investors that is second to none in Canada. We believe that combining her unique skill set with the quality and bench strength that already exists within Torys offers a powerful advantage for clients in this sector.”

Torys’ Life Sciences practice chair Cheryl Reicin said Kristine’s experience on both U.S. coasts, her dedication to the tech sector, her client-oriented approach and the ability to provide cross border advice seamlessly, would provide great value to the local scene.

“She came back home to Canada to make a difference,” Cheryl said.

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