Stephen Johnston joins Patterson Law
Published March 1, 2016
We are pleased to welcome Stephen Johnston to our team as Counsel, deepening the business value and advice clients can expect at Patterson Law.
Stephen’s business and management experience comes from almost 20 years as an executive with Tim Horton’s, working on everything from real estate and development to operations to Tim’s entry into New York City and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“Stephen brings a unique perspective to the Patterson Law team,” says managing partner, George White. “He has a strong legal background and an enviable reputation in management, real estate and business expansion.”
Our clients and lawyers will be able to draw from Stephen’s considerable management and development experience as he advises them on business focused solutions. “When you provide legal advice to a business, it can’t be just about the legal side,” says George. “Effective legal advice takes the entire business into account.”
A line of sight across the entire business is the theme of Stephen’s career. Stephen left private legal practice in Halifax in 1995 to be Tim Horton’s corporate counsel and was immediately tasked with working through the transactions side and closing of the merger with Wendy’s. “Right off the bat, I learned that you’ve got to know a business inside out and backwards to make the right decisions.” After the merger, Stephen moved from his legal role into senior management, first as Vice President of Operations for Atlantic Canada, then as Senior VP of Development. Here, Stephen led new store development and renovations for the entire chain in Canada, the US and the UAE.
But big business experience and international experience is only part of what Stephen brings to Patterson Law. Stephen is an entrepreneur and franchisee, owning and managing three Tim Horton’s franchises with his son, and running a property development company for commercial properties in Colchester County, Truro and Halifax.
With all this on his plate, Stephen is remarkably clear-minded about what he wants to do at Patterson Law. “Working in a business every day is challenging, and I love it. But getting to advise Patterson Law clients on their business challenges, helping them find solutions to specific problems – I’ll get to use my experience and expertise in a different manner and that’s exciting.”
“I can’t wait to get started. I’m proud and honoured to be coming on board with Patterson Law,” says Stephen. “They are exceptional lawyers and advisors, but they also have this great culture where everyone is engaged and working extremely hard and clearly seeking creative solutions for their clients.”
Stephen also brings his professional expertise to bear on behalf of the community through his volunteer work. He is a board member for the Rath-Eastlink Community Centre, serving on the governance and finance committees. He served on the organizing committee for the Pinty’s Grand Slam curling event last fall, he serves on the Business Economic Development Advisory Committee for Colchester County, he is a member of the Truro Industrial Society and Chairman of the Planning Advisory Committee for the Town of Truro.
“This is a coup for our clients,” says George. “We couldn’t be bringing better experience to the table than Stephen.”
Bringing on an experienced consultant like Stephen is a key part of the expansion of our corporate commercial team. Stephen joins the firm as Counsel on March 1.
Patterson Law is a Nova Scotia firm with offices in Halifax, Truro and New Glasgow. We offer a broad range of legal resources providing solutions to individuals, companies and organizations in Nova Scotia and beyond.