“Clients need clear, concise advice provided in a timely manner. This is the level of service they deserve, and which I do my utmost to deliver.”
Celso is a Partner in the Business Law Group at Watson Goepel LLP. He advises foreign companies on investing and setting up businesses in Canada, business immigration issues, and commercial lending matters. A frequent speaker on Italian-Canadian business relations, and to foreign entrepreneurs and investors on doing business in Canada, Celso presents in both English and Italian.
He speaks regularly in both Canada and Europe on the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA), including at the World Summit of Corporate Counsel in Montréal. Celso is President of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada-West and the European Union Chamber of Commerce in Canada West.
Celso serves as Vice-Chair of Lawyers Associated Worldwide (LAW), a global association of over 100 independent law firms located in more than 180 major commercial centers throughout the world, allowing Watson Goepel LLP to service clients that are expanding their operations and relationships into new domestic and foreign markets.
Past President of the Liberal Party of Canada (B.C.), Celso was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2017. He is an avid golfer and skier and enjoys reading history.
- LLB, University of British Columbia, 1981
- BA, History & Political Science, University of British Columbia, 1977
- British Columbia, 1985
- Alberta, 1982
- Advised on the divestiture of a leading Canadian producer, marketer, and distributor of branded specialty food products, with a combined value of cash and equity in excess of $60M.
- Negotiated a master development agreement for a ski resort.
- Represented a client in a major toxic site cleanup.
- Assists with the immigration process and the related business acquisitions.
- Acts for clients regarding condominium development, from land assembly to sales.
- Assists with commercial, inter-bank, and real estate lending transactions.
- Guided an employee shareholder group on the acquisition of the employer.
- Advises business owners on employment issues.
- Manages litigation and relationships with major institutional and corporate clients.
- Acts for Charities and not for profit entities.
- Assists with most types of business agreements, including asset and share purchase, incorporations, joint ventures, partnership, distribution, solicitors errors and omissions defense, including representation at Law Society disciplinary proceedings.
- Advises employers on employment law and human rights complaints.
- Aboriginal law: impact/benefit analysis and duty to consult.
- Board work: governance, legal advisor, director, and chair.
Publications and Presentations
- Presenter, “CETA and its Benefits,” Germany-Canada Smart Industry Forum, European Enterprise Network, March, 23rd, 2021.
- Lecturer, “Doing Business in Canada,” Faculty of Law, LUISS Business School, LUISS Guido Carlo University, Roma, July 6th, 2020.
- Moderator, “United States, Mexico, and Canada Trade Agreement”, Lawyers Associated Worldwide, October 2020.
- Presenter, “Building Bridges between Western Canada & Europe”, Belgian Business Club and 8 bilateral European Business organizations in Western Canada representing Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Slovenia, and Switzerland, October 2020.
- Lecturer, “Doing Business in Canada,” LUISS University, Rome, Italy, July 2020.
- Presenter, “CETA and Beyond”, EU-Canada Conference: Next Steps in the Trans-Atlantic Relationship, Italian Students Association, University of BC, March 2020.
- Lecturer, “Doing Business in Canada,” Faculty of Law, Università Degli Studi, Milano, May 2019.
- Presenter, “CETA,” Consular Corps (B.C.), October 2017.
- Presenter, “CETA,” Surrey Board of Trade, September 2017.
- Presenter, “CETA,” Richmond Chamber of Commerce, September 2017.
- Presenter, “Doing Business in Canada,” European Union Economic and Commercial Representatives visit to British Columbia, September 2017.
Professional and Community Affiliations
- Member, Future Borders Coalition
- Vice-Chair Lawyers Associated Worldwide
- President, Italian Chamber of Commerce (Canada-West)
- President, European Union Chamber of Commerce (Canada-West)
- Past President, Liberal Party of Canada (B.C.)
- Past President, National Federation of Canadian-Italian Business and Professional Associations Inc.
- Chair, St. Mark’s College/Corpus Christi College, UBC
- President, Possibilities Association of British Columbia
- Officer, Order of the Star of Italy, 2020
- Queen’s Counsel, 2017
- Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella della Solidarietà (“Knight of The Italian Republic- Star of Solidarity”), 2009
- Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, 2002
- Italo-Canadian of the Year, Confratellanza Italo-Canadese, Vancouver, B.C., 1993
- Canada 125 Commemorative Medal, 1992
* Practicing through a Professional Law Corporation.