Michael Paiva

Partner / Property and Commerce

Michael Paiva is a founding partner of Unified LLP and leader of the firm’s Property and Commerce department. He services clients from the firm’s Toronto and Waterloo Region offices, specializing in expropriation, real estate, and business law.

As leader of the Property and Commerce department, Michael maintains a hybrid practice handling both litigation and transactions in real property matters (including municipal law, land use planning, expropriation, real estate, construction law, tieback and crane swing agreements, commercial leases) and corporate/commercial matters, including corporate and business litigation and transactions of various kinds. Michael works closely with land use planners and other professionals to secure development approvals and obtaining official plan amendments, zoning by-law amendments, site plan approvals, and building permits. Michael is also adept at representing businesses and individuals expropriated by the government.

Michael delivers responsive, decisive, and thorough service, and leaves no stone unturned.  He tactfully navigates the complexities of each matter with an eye focused on resolution. Michael employs a pragmatic and results-oriented approach to every file and always considers his clients’ business operations.  As an advocate, he has successfully appeared before the Ontario Land Tribunal (formerly LPAT, OMB), Superior Court of Justice, Ontario Court of Appeal, and the Construction Act ODACC.

Michael maintains an intimate familiarity with all relevant local and provincial expropriation processes and a variety of expropriating authorities. Residential land owners, business owners, and tenants are entitled to compensation under the Expropriations Act; obtaining the full market value of the expropriated lands typically requires working with an expropriation lawyer with a deep familiarity with expropriation law and the legal nuances (i.e. injurious affection) that determine the total compensation that you may be subject to. Approval authorities may expropriate land for transit projects, broader infrastructure projects, airport construction/expansion, etc. – in all cases, you have the right to compensation for your land and should retain the help of a Waterloo expropriation lawyer to ensure you receive the maximum value for your land.

Prior to the formation of Unified LLP, Michael was a Partner of Rodrigues Paiva LLP. He started his legal career as an associate lawyer, articling student and summer student at Gowlings. Prior to law school, Michael successfully defended his Master’s thesis on Canada-US trade in the Mulroney-Reagan era. His research was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

Representative work


  • J.D., University of Ottawa
  • M.A., University of Waterloo
  • B.Ed., University of Western Ontario
  • B.A. (Hons.), University of Waterloo

Professional Associations

  • Ontario Expropriation Association
  • Urban Land Institute
  • Law Society of Ontario