Experience in-house and experience collaborating to resolve some of the largest crises affecting global businesses are part of what make Michael Smith the trusted advisor that clients choose to help manage their risk, solve their big problems, and to recognize the “small” problems that can develop into big ones.
Michael has been there before. He has extensive experience handling global cases and provides clients with innovative, business-oriented solutions to the issues they may be facing.
Prior to joining Bennett Jones, Michael was Counsel to General Motors of Canada Company, where he managed or advised on litigation, regulatory and business matters including class actions, dealer/franchisee disputes, commercial litigation, product liability and warranty claims, autonomous and connected vehicles, vehicle sharing, eBikes, vehicle safety and emissions investigations and compliance, consumer product safety, recalls, warranties, advertising and marketing, competition law compliance, labour and employment matters, pension and benefits issues, occupational health and safety, workers' compensation, environmental matters, insurance, and, research and development. Michael also provided legal support to GM's Government Relations Department.
Michael worked closely with other executives and many different business units while at GM. He has a keen eye for solutions that exceed business objectives and for continuous process improvement.
In addition to his work at Bennett Jones, Michael served as Acting General Counsel and Government & Regulatory Affairs Counsel at Volkswagen Group Canada Inc.
Before joining General Motors, Michael was a partner at another national Canadian law firm where he enjoyed a broad and thriving litigation practice that included class actions, product liability and recalls, commercial litigation, crisis management and communications, transportation law (marine, aviation, trucking, freight forwarding, customs broking, and terminal operations), defamation, insurance law, municipal and police liability, and personal injury litigation (both plaintiff and defence).
The product brands that Michael has represented include:
Michael is a recognized leader in Class Actions and Product Liability, and received the Benchmark Litigation Product Liability Litigator of the Year award in 2016.
Michael is on the Advisory Committee of the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (Ontario Centre of Innovation) and a Co-Chair of the American Bar Association Environmental and Toxic Torts Subcommittee.
Away from work, Michael is a pilot, adventure-seeker and an amateur musician.