Named after a since-deceased but legendary (certainly within the Québec legal community) figurehead, Langlois is unique among firms within the province. As one peer explains, “Although Langlois is not a ‘boutique,’ they really do have more of a litigation focus, unlike some of the other firms [in Montréal], which are more business firms.” Langlois is also one of the few litigation-centric firms in the province to have ample bench strength in Québec City as well as its Montréal base. The firm also offers litigation services that are more attuned to certain specialties, particularly insurance and labor and employment, than several of its other Québec competitors. A client cheers the firm’s “depth of dispute-resolution experience” and goes on to note, “Recent additions to the firm have added to its strength, particularly in labor and employment, class-action defense and commercial litigation.” Peers also confide that the firm “is getting aggressive in hiring and building. They took on numerous partners from [now-defunct] Heenan Blaikie a few years ago and have been pulling in partners from all over town ever since.”
The latest in its series of strategic recruits is Sophie Perreault, who joined the firm’s Montréal office from Norton Rose Fulbright. Perreault was named by the Québec Superior Court to act as Independent Supervising Attorney in a highly publicized fraud court battle that took place at the Montréal Courthouse in Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 involving allegations from the founder of the Phi Center in Montréal that her former personal assistant stole nearly $15 million from her through various schemes in order to pay for travel and luxury goods for herself and others. During trial, at the request of plaintiff’s counsel, the court named Sophie Perreault as Independent Supervising Attorney and ordered the defendant to submit to Langlois lawyers all her IT devices for Langlois to perform an independent review of the evidence, while ensuring the protection of solicitor-client privilege. Perreault also acts for Suncor Energy and Laval Fortin in commercial disputes. Sean Griffin, a widely respected figure among peers, represents the National Bank of Canada in a class action instituted against multiple banks offering fixed-mortgage loans in Québec, specifically regarding the fees these banks charge when borrowers decide to terminate mortgage loans before the fixed term. The matter is at the authorization stage. Griffin also acts for Intact Insurance Company, Belair Insurance Company and Royal & Sun Alliance in a class action instituted against multiple insurance companies offering home and business damages insurance policies in Québec, alleging that insureds are steered toward the insurers’ network of certified contractors without disclosing that the contracts concluded between insurers and the certified contractors provide for payable discounts to insurers. The matter is at the authorization stage and the Superior Court dismissed the authorization in February 2022. “Sean Griffin is low-key but a very, very good lawyer. I am working on a case with him right now and I’m very impressed,” testifies one peer. “He’s a super lawyer, he trained at McCarthy’s and has a name on the litigation scene already.” Vincent de l'Étoile, a class actions specialist who is routinely acknowledged as “one of the best, especially for his young age,” is a client favorite. One calls him, “One of the most brilliant and knowledgeable young lawyers I have had the chance to work with. His customer service is unparalleled, and he just makes things happen. I really get a lot of bang for my buck. He understands my business and its risks, making my life much easier.” De l'Étoile is said to be busy with claims concerning COVID-related cases, including business interruption cases for insurers and as airfare refund disputes for WestJet, as well as consumer-related claims. In the labor and employment space, Marie-Hélène Jetté and Marianne Plamondon have been busy in their work for employers with new COVID-related issues that have transformed the workplace, such as mandatory vaccination, as well as employees that were let go during the pandemic that are now needed once again.