Michael Blatchford

Partner | Vancouver


Portrait of Michael Blatchford


Michael practices exclusively with the social impact sector, including charities, not-for-profit organizations, associations, clubs, and social enterprises. He has more than 15 years experience advising on regulatory compliance, governance, restructuring, complex gift planning, fundraising and revenue generation, and commercial transactions. He regularly helps new organizations on structure and registration, and represents charities and non-profits in dealings with provincial and federal regulators. Michael is a registered parliamentarian, providing practical advice and assistance to organizations with complex or contentious meetings. Michael presents and speaks regularly on topics relevant to the social impact sector.

Michael works with registered charities and non-profit organizations in every area, from healthcare to education, social services and non-profit housing to arts and culture, environmental causes to religious and faith-based organizations. He also assists professional bodies, member associations, and recreation and athletics clubs.

Creation: Incorporation and structuring, charity registration applications, organizational start-up
Tax Compliance: Obligations under the Income Tax Act, including charitable purposes and activities, granting, fundraising, advocacy, filing obligations, working overseas, structuring and working with private entities.
Governance: Bylaws and governance policies, director fiduciary duties and statutory responsibilities, board-management relations, member-relations, member-discipline, virtual meetings, complex meetings.
Gift-Planning: Gift documentation and policies, certified cultural gifts, gifts of private shares, gifts of art, gifts of interests in real-estate, gifts of life-insurance, charitable remainder trusts
Commercial transactions: restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, amalgamations, service and agency agreements, funding contracts, negotiation of government agreements, operating and transfer agreements, waivers and indemnity agreements.

Prior to Miller Thomson, Michael was a partner with a global law firm advising charities and non-profits.

Michael is a volunteer with a number of causes in his community and is currently a director on the national board of the Canadian Association of Gift Planners.

Professional achievements & leadership

  • Best Lawyers in Canada: Charities / Non-Profit Law, 2021-2024; Trusts and Estates, 2022-2024; Corporate Governance Practice, 2024
  • Chambers Canada, Nationwide: Charities/Non-profits, Chambers and Partners, 2019-2024
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory: recommended in Charities/ Not-For-Profit Law, 2019-2024
  • Best Lawyers in Canada: Trusts and Estates, 2022
  • Best Lawyers in Canada: Charities/Non-profit Law "Lawyer of the Year," 2021

Community involvement

  • National Board of Directors, Canadian Association of Gift Planners

Professional memberships

  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Canadian Association of Gift Planners
  • National Association of Parliamentarians
  • Parliamentarians Association of British Columbia

Bar admissions & education

  • British Columbia, 2009
  • LL.B., University of British Columbia, 2008
  • B.A., Simon Fraser University, 2005