Facts about Alan Gahtan – Toronto-based computer and information technology lawyer

  • Since the start of my legal career, I’ve focused my practice in the computer, technology and e-commerce law area. I didn’t start off as a corporate, banking or real estate lawyer and then decide to switch. I also don’t just dabble in this area. I do it on a full time basis. And I’ve accumulated almost 16 years of IT law specific experience.
  • In the past, I’ve worked as an in-house attorney for a large Canadian bank and also as a partner in a leading Canadian law firm and later in a New York based US law firm. However, I’ve now chosen to operate as a sole practitioner. On more complex transactions (such as larger outsourcing transactions), I work with my client’s other specialized legal advisors or if necessary, tap into my own network. No longer working at a large law firm has not adversely affected my practice as most clients these days tend to hire individual lawyers rather than law firms so that they can purchase best-of-breed expertise, are assured they get my time and attention to their matters and don’t have to worry about their work being “leveraged” to keep other attorneys busy or used to train junior lawyers.
  • Prior to commencing the practice of law, I was involved in the business side of the computer industry for about 13 years. During that time, I worked as a programmer, operated a computer reseller company as a principal, worked as a sales and marketing manager for a telecommunications and computer distributor and later as a LAN Administrator for the law school I attended and for a large financial institution. This experience has allowed me to better and more quickly understand the business of my clients and has given me a very practical perspective on the work I do.
  • I am sensitive about legal costs faced by clients and strive hard to help my clients keep costs under control. For
    example, unlike most attorneys, I don’t charge clients for disbursements on routine items such as long distance, faxes, meals, mileage, etc.
  • Most of my clients are larger institutional clients and multinational corporations. However, I’m not adverse to representing smaller businesses and individuals but normally ask for a reasonable financial retainer in such circumstances.
  • I am a member of both the Law Society of Upper Canada (Ontario bar) and the State Bar of California.
  • In the past, I held the office of Chair of the Toronto Computer Lawyers’ Group and as Chair of the Information Technology and E-Commerce Law Section of the Ontario Bar Association. I’ve been interviewed by and quoted in numerous publications and have been interviewed for two segments of the CBC National News. I’ve also authored several books on Electronic Evidence, Y2K Legal Issues, Internet Law and am a co-editor of a looseleaf service on E-Commerce Law. I’ve written over 100 articles about technology and legal issues, and have been a columnist of Law Times News’ Bits & Bytes column since 1994
  • I am very computer and technology literate, which allows me to communicate with clients on their own terms and provide quick turn around time on work.
  • For more information, please visit the Gahtan Law Office website. Please note that I’ve removed email contact information (at least for the time being) because I’ve fed up with spam emails and requests for free advice.
  • I created this blog as a tool to communicate my observations on new developments related to technology, the Internet and the legal world. Nothing contained here should be interpreted as legal advice.