“The art of law is really about the creative deliverable. No one can have all the answers—and that opens the door to flexible and unique solutions.” - Jeff Teal
Jeffrey Teal Partner
As a business lawyer, Jeff Teal has the same high expectations of himself and his firm as his clients have of themselves and their businesses. An open-minded and creative thinker, you’ll never catch Jeff saying, “That’s the way we’ve always done it.”
He leaves no stone unturned.
If you’re looking for creative solutions, look no further than Jeff Teal.
The law may be steeped in tradition and precedent, but that doesn’t stop Jeff from looking for approaches and solutions that challenge the status quo. The last thing he wants is his clients to be trapped by outdated or dogmatic thinking—he wants to break the mould on their behalf. “I’m never satisfied,” he says. “I’m always trying to find ways to improve our product or service so our clients get the most value.” The gallery of stunning local art on the walls of the firm’s downtown office is an example of Jeff’s creative thinking: a way to unite his passion for art and desire to support emerging artists with Scarfone Hawkins’s commitment to the city.
Jeff’s practice covers all aspects of business law from simple transactional work to matters related to the governance of large national and international corporations. Mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, corporate reorganizations, corporate finance, e-commerce, intellectual property—he does it all, and for some of the largest organizations around. He has managed multi-million dollar commercial real estate deals, quarterbacked the sale of Canadian companies to international corporations and worked with large public institutions on the acquisition of assets and intellectual property matters.
Jeff’s entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to being different results in innovative outcomes, but it’s client relationships that are at the heart of his practice. “There has to be a good fit,” he says. “When there is, it doesn’t take long to earn trust. I’d call the majority of my clients friends.”
Jeff is corporate counsel for several multinational corporations offering a full spectrum of corporate guidance, governance and legal strategy services.
He is corporate counsel to the largest independent private junior and senior boarding school in Canada.
He is routinely involved in estate planning for health professionals, including professional corporations and family trusts.
Jeff regularly acts for purchasers and vendors in the acquisition and divestiture of multi-million dollar enterprises across various industries, including oil and gas and pharma.
He provides legal counsel to McMaster University and OSCAR EMR with respect to the management of their leading edge ISO-certified electronic medical records systems.
He is counsel for several Canadian multi-jurisdictional businesses including a gas distribution corporation with operations in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.
Jeff acted as counsel in the development of one of Canada’s first LEED Platinum multi-residential buildings.
" Q: A quote that stuck with you."− A: “In his commencement address at Stanford University Steve Jobs said, 'Don’t be trapped by dogma.' He meant don’t be content living with the results of other people’s thinking. I firmly believe that. You can easily get sucked into thinking, 'That’s how we always did it.' Steve Jobs would say, 'So what?' That’s probably one of the firm’s best aspects—we think for ourselves.”
" Q: Top tip for clients. "− A: “Work with a solid legal framework for your business. It’s like insurance for when things don’t go as you planned: when the distribution agreement gets cancelled or someone slips and falls in front of your store or a disgruntled employee goes after you. It’ll allow you to grow your business without fear.”
" Q: Your greatest role model."− A: “My father. He was a chemical engineer and looked at everything upside down and backwards. I remember when he was teaching me to drive he said, 'You never want to be dead right, Jeff.' It doesn’t matter if the other person was in the wrong if it ends up killing you. That had a big impact on me—I try to never put my client in the position where we were right but we compromised ourselves.”