MIchael Akkawi

Michael F.E. Akkawi

Toronto: 416.865.8122
Fax 416.865.7380


LLB (With Great Distinction), 1997
McGill University
BCL (With Great Distinction), 1997
McGill University
BComm (Finance, With Great Distinction), 1993
McGill University

Bar Admissions

Ontario, 1999


Michael is a corporate/commercial lawyer focused on private equity and venture capital. Michael is the head of the firm’s Private Equity Practice. In his mergers and acquisitions practice Michael advises private equity funds, venture capital funds and pension funds in all aspects of their domestic and cross-border M&A transactions and other investment activities, including leveraged buyouts, majority and minority equity investments, co-investments and restructurings.

In his private equity fund formation and fund investment practice, Michael advises both sponsors and institutional investors in structuring, negotiating and investing in private market funds. He has represented numerous institutional clients on their fund investment activities, including AIMCo, Alberta Teachers Retirement Fund, BDC, BMO, China Investment Corp, CIBC, EDC, HarbourVest, Northleaf, Scotiabank and Teralys. He also advises sponsors on fund formation spanning a range of private market areas, including buy-out, infrastructure, secondary and search funds, including most recently Imperial Capital Fund VI and numerous funds for Caledon Capital. His work also includes a number of secondary transactions to buy or sell LP interests in a fund or a portfolio of funds.

Representative Work

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Chambers Canada—Leading lawyer in private equity: buyouts (2017-2020)

Chambers Global—Leading lawyer in private equity: buyouts (2018-2019)

Best Lawyers in Canada—Leading lawyer in private funds law (2014-2020), corporate law (2016-2020)

Best Lawyers in Canada—Private funds law lawyer of the year (2018)

Lexpert’s Guide to US/Canada Cross-Border Lawyers in Canada—Most Frequently Recommended in business issues (2018)

Lexpert’s Guide to US/Canada Cross-Border Lawyers in Canada—Cross-border practitioner to watch (2009 and 2010)

The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory—Leading lawyer in private equity, mergers & acquisitions (2013-2019)

Lexpert’s Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40—One of Canada’s leading lawyers under 40 (2009)

Who’s Who Legal—Leading Canadian lawyer in private funds (2014-2015)



Professional Involvement

Michael is corporate counsel to the Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity, a not-for-profit, provincial government-sponsored organization. He also served as a director of the institute for over 10 years, starting with its founding. The institute was created to assess the economic competitiveness of the Province of Ontario by way of an independent task force chaired by Roger L. Martin, Dean of The Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.

Michael has been an adjunct professor of Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, and has taught the Business Associations course twice. He was previously a co-chair of Torys’ Student Committee.


For many years, Michael was pro bono corporate counsel to Free the Children, a Canadian charity founded by Canadian child rights activists Craig and Marc Kielburger. Free the Children is the world’s largest network of children helping children to develop as socially conscious global citizens and to become agents of change through domestic empowerment programs and leadership training. Michael was at the same time pro bono corporate counsel to Me to We, a new kind of social enterprise founded by Marc and Craig Kielburger. Me to We is committed to working with people who want to help change the world with their daily choices. Through its media, socially responsible choices and leadership experiences, Me to We supports Free the Children’s work with youth creating global change.

In the past, Michael has also advised the Heart & Stroke Foundation, COSTI Immigrant Services and ILEAP (International Lawyers and Economists Against Poverty) on various corporate and commercial matters.