Michael Birch
Partner | Vancouver
Vancouver: 604-631-4247

Michael's practice focuses primarily on banking, corporate lending, acquisition finance, project finance, high-yield and mezzanine finance, and commercial real estate finance transactions.

Michael regularly advises financial institutions, institutional lenders and borrowers on senior and subordinated, secured and unsecured, bilateral and syndicated financing transactions and on a wide range of commercial issues. Recent transactions include major corporate credit facilities, acquisition financings, high-yield and mezzanine financings, infrastructure and project financings, construction financings, and cross-border structured financings, particularly to businesses focused on mining and precious metals, engineering and construction services, light industrial manufacturing, water, waste-water and gas utilities, industrial equipment rental, site support and logistics structures and services, and a wide range of diversified enterprises.

Michael provides legal services through Michael Birch Law Corporation.

SELECT EXPERIENCE

Recent representative transactions include advising:

  • GCT Global Container Terminals Inc., the operator of four major container terminals in British Columbia, New York and New Jersey, in connection with its $1.02-billion refinancing comprised of senior secured credit facilities and senior secured notes

  • Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. for the structuring and establishment of C$300-million five-year secured revolving credit facilities with a syndicate of nine Canadian and U.S. banks to refinance its existing C$261-million senior secured term and second second-lien debt
  • Craigmont Industries Ltd. for the structuring and establishment of C$20-million of mezzanine project financing for the development and construction of a magnetite processing plant and related facilities constructed on a third-party’s copper/gold mine site
  • Macquarie Bank Limited, as sole underwriter and facility agent, and a syndicate of lenders with respect to the structuring and establishment of US$150-million secured revolving corporate loan facilities for B2Gold Corp.
  • Macquarie Bank Limited, as agent, collateral agent, lender and hedge provider with respect to the establishment of US$90-million project financing and hedging facilities for the development and construction of the Riacho dos Machados open pit gold mine project in Minas Gerais State, Brazil, and Macquarie Bank Limited, as purchaser, under long-term gold-stream purchase facilities established in respect of the project
  • The lenders to a professional sports franchise
  • The lenders in connection with acquisition financing for recent acquisitions, including private equity private-equity-sponsored acquisitions, of businesses in the mining, forestry, marine equipment, health and fitness, recreational, parking, sanitation and janitorial, and light industrial manufacturing industries in Canada and the U.S.
  • The lenders in connection with the establishment of a construction facility for a large, mixed-use retail, commercial and residential development, including a 35-storey condo tower
  • The lenders to a private utility company for the structuring of new revolving and acquisition facilities in connection with its acquisition of a long-term concession from a major U.S. university and its pending acquisition of a large water and waste-water utilities business operating in 17 states in the U.S.
  • The lenders on the structuring and establishment of project financing for a 144 MW wind-power project in Western Canada
  • The successful proponent of the South Fraser Perimeter Road project in respect of the structuring and establishment of the project financing
  • The lender for the structuring and establishment of a development facility with respect to the refurbishment of a central American gold mine project
AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Michael is recognized as a leading Canadian lawyer in the following publications:

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada 2017 (Banking & Finance Law)
  • Who's Who Legal: Banking 2017

  • The 2016 Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Corporate Lawyers in Canada (Asset-Based Lending)
  • The Legal 500 Canada 2015-2016 (Banking and Finance Law)
  • The International Who's Who Banking Lawyers , 2014-2016
  • Who's Who Legal: Canada, 2012-2016 (Banking)
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, 2008-2016 (Asset-Based Lending: Consistently recommended; Banking & Financial Institutions: Repeatedly recommended)
  • Legal Media Group's Guide to the World's Leading Lawyers in Banking, Finance and Transactional Law, 2013-2015