WOODS LLP is the foremost litigation, arbitration and insolvency firm in Canada, recognized nationally and internationally for its expertise and success.
We act in all manner of disputes where the stakes are high and the outcome is of vital importance to our clients and their businesses. Our team of formidable attorneys – fluent in English, French and other languages, trained in the civil law and common law, dedicated to understanding our clients’ interests and devoted to successful advocacy – is known for developing winning strategies and delivering concrete results. We are proud of our reputation for having the talent and drive to handle even the largest and most complex disputes, while remaining at all times highly flexible, responsive and efficient.
A dispute resolution practice as diverse as the business world.
Our practice reflects the breadth and diversity of disputes that arise in the business world. We act for governments, public and private companies and individuals in all manner of corporate and commercial litigation, before all levels of courts and tribunals in Canada, including in disputes relating to corporate liability and governance, directors’ and officers’ liability, shareholders’ or other stakeholders’ disputes, securities litigation and generally in matters concerning the interpretation and performance of complex commercial agreements. We are also frequently retained in matters relating to professional liability – of accountants, investment dealers, engineers, architects and other professionals – as well as in product and manufacturers’ liability cases, defamation suits, and disputes in the construction, energy, agri-business, IT and financial services industries, to name a few.
Our firm also boasts an important insolvency practice, which has grown significantly in recent years and includes some of the country’s finest bankruptcy and restructuring lawyers.
We are also one of the few firms in Canada with a dedicated international arbitration practice, representing clients and serving as arbitrators in international commercial and investment arbitrations under the rules of the world’s most important arbitral institutions.
James A. Woods has practiced in litigation and arbitration since 1976 and has pleaded at all levels of the federal and provincial courts in Ontario and Québec including the Supreme Court of Canada. Member of the Faculty of Law, McGill University, lecturer in civil litigation. Author of numerous articles and papers, he is fellow of the ACTL, LCA, FDCC and CIA(London). AAA panel member. Called in Québec (1976), Ontario (1979), Alberta and British Columbia (2006), England and Wales (2007), and Paris (2013).
Sylvain Vauclair has practiced for 30 years in insolvency and restructuring, acting the various stakeholders, including debtors, creditors’ committees, bankruptcy trustees, court-appointed monitors, bondholders and lenders. Widely recognized as a leader in his field. Member of the Insolvency Institute of Canada and of the American Bankruptcy Institute and its sub-committee on international insolvencies.
Stephen L. Drymer acts as counsel, arbitrator and mediator in domestic and international commercial arbitration and investment treaty disputes, advising clients on dispute resolution agreements and strategies in a broad range of industries, as well as in boundary cases and other state-to-state disputes, and in the area of sport law. Holds degrees in both Common Law and Civil Law.
Caroline Biron acts in commercial, corporate and shareholder disputes, class actions and professional liability matters before Federal and Provincial courts in Québec, arbitration, disciplinary and regulatory proceedings. She also holds a Certificate in Corporate Governance.
The Honourable Clément Gascon, a former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, joined Woods as Senior Counsel in the Spring of 2020. After a career of more than seventeen years in the Canadian judiciary, he returned to the private practice of law, which he had left in 2002. He uses his in-depth expertise and experience to guide and assist parties and their counsel in resolving disputes through arbitration at the national and international levels and acts as strategic advisor in the insolvency, restructuring and litigation matters of the firm.
Patrick Ouellet has practiced in the field of commercial, corporate and civil litigation since 1999. He has a particular expertise in the fields of securities and financial litigation, telecommunications, class actions, construction and shareholder disputes. He is recognized for his talents in handling complex evidence and is an astute cross-examiner.
Richard Vachon has practiced in the area of civil and commercial litigation since 2003, following some years in corporate and securities law. Richard has developed an expertise in the fields of shareholder rights, securities litigation, public-private partnerships, employment law and defamation.
Bogdan Catanu has practiced general commercial litigation since 2002. Acts in contractual disputes, international arbitration, injunctions, corporate litigation, class actions, professional liability and insolvency disputes. Is a course lecturer at the University of Montreal.
Marie-Louise Delisle has practiced in the areas of civil and commercial litigation since 2002 before all levels of courts in Québec. She has managed various high-profile cases in securities law, professional liability, class actions and arbitration. LL.M. in intellectual property law. Is a course lecturer at the University of Montreal.
Sarah Woods practices commercial litigation, including shareholder disputes, securities litigation, class actions, product liability, professional liability, employment law and defamation. Course lecturer at McGill Faculty of Law. Called to the bar in both Ontario and Québec.
Louis Sévéno has practiced since 2004 in arbitration, civil and commercial litigation, with a focus on injunctive proceedings, contractual disputes, employment law, construction disputes, public-private partnerships, shareholder disputes and bankruptcy and insolvency. Member of the Quebec, Ontario, and New York Bars.
Bogdan Alexandru Dobrota’s practice focuses on international commercial arbitration, cross-border commercial litigation and international insolvency cases. He represents local and international clients before judicial courts, mediation and arbitration.
The Honorable Joseph R. Nuss is senior counsel to the firm. Formerly a judge of the Québec Court of Appeal, he acts as an independent arbitrator and mediator in matters of Canadian and International Commercial Arbitration and Mediation. Fellow of the ACTL. Member of the CBA, IBA, LCIA, ICDR panel of arbitrators and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Arbitration Committee.
Last updated March 2020
Founded in February 2015, Renno Vathilakis Inc. has quickly become one of Montreal’s premier corporate and commercial litigation boutiques. Practising in the fields of corporate litigation and shareholder disputes, class actions, franchise and distribution litigation, commercial arbitration, bankruptcy and insolvency, competition law, family law, constitutional law, privacy law, defamation and freedom of expression, employment law, construction law and securities law litigation, Renno Vathilakis Inc. provides its clients with top flight representation.
Both of the firm’s co-founders have a consistent and impressive track record litigating and resolving corporate and commercial disputes.
Karim Renno was previously a partner in the Montreal litigation department of renown Canadian firm Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, as well as a partner in the highly regarded Montreal litigation boutique of Irving Mitchell Kalichman LLP. Through his fifteen years of litigation experience, he has amassed a number of accolades. From 2013-2018, he ranked as a Litigation Star in Benchmark Litigation and was cited as an Up and Coming litigator in the 2014 and 2015 editions of Chambers Global. He is also recognized by Best Lawyers Canada as a leading practitioner for corporate/commercial litigation in Québec since 2015. In 2013, Karim was awarded by the Client Choice awards as the top litigator in the province of Québec for client service. Finally, Karim was recognized by Benchmark Litigation as one of Canada’s top 40 trial lawyers in 2017, 2018 and 2019. He is also the founder and editor in chief of the ‘’ À bon droit’’ blog and contributes hundreds of case commentaries every year. In fact, his blog was named best practitioner legal blog in Canada for 2012 by the Canadian Law Blog Awards and was a finalist for Best Canadian Law Blog at the same awards in 2013 and 2014. He is a regular contributor to well-known law blogs such as Canlii Connects, Droit Inc. and Edilex. Moreover, Karim has published numerous articles relating to corporate law, commercial law, evidence and civil procedure.
He has amassed a vast experience and enjoys an excellent reputation with regard to private international law matters and injunctions, having argued before the Supreme Court of Canada on multiple occasions in cases involving such issues. Moreover, Karim has represented some of the most important companies before all levels of Québec courts. Karim has acted as lead counsel in several high profile cases related to the telecommunications, credit card, pharmaceutical, construction, tobacco, software, real estate, airline and transportation industries.
Co-founder Michael Vathilakis has an equally impressive track record. After working for renown Canadian firms Fasken, Martineau, DuMoulin and Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, Michael was tapped to lead the in-house team of Future Electronics Inc., one of the world’s largest electronic components distributors. He soon rose to the position of General Counsel, Vice-President Legal Affairs of the company. From that position, he spearheaded and oversaw numerous high profile commercial court trials and arbitrations, as well as a number of significant business transactions. He returned to private practice to found Renno Vathilakis Inc. His practice focuses on dispute prevention, commercial litigation and family law. In fact, Michael is recognized by Best Lawyers Canada (2020) as leading practitioner in Family Law. Michael has acted before all levels of Québec courts as lead counsel in significant cases related to, amongst others, technology, electronic component distribution and real estate industries. A member of the Law Society of Upper Canada - as well as the Quebec Bar - Michael has represented clients in international arbitrations both in Canada and abroad. He has also acted in various employment cases and is presently one of the lead counsel in a number of significant class actions.
Michael holds a master’s degree in law from Harvard University (LL.M.) and has lectured at his alma matter. Michael was recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a Litigation Star from 2016.
The founding partners are supported by a highly skilled and growing team. The young firm currently consists of six lawyers, two articling students and several summer students - with a view of further growth in the coming years.
Renno Vathilakis Inc. is dedicated to providing its clients with top notch dispute resolution services and to finding creative solutions to complex problems.
Last updated March 2020
CONSUMER LAW GROUP is a law firm with offices in Montreal and Ottawa, Canada.
We are actively engaged in complex litigation, emphasizing consumer protection, antitrust, drugs and product liability class actions.
Consumer Law Group’s experience and capabilities in these fields are based upon the talents of its attorneys, who are involved in numerous class action lawsuits.
We have worked in collaboration with several class action firms across Canada and the United States in files with a national and international scope.
Consumer Law Group is committed to practicing law with integrity and in an ethical and professional manner. We also strive to be good corporate citizens and to work with a sense of global responsibility.
Last updated April 2020.
The story of IMK has been unfolding since 1997. Today, our team of 21 lawyers includes 6 former law clerks, 5 of whom clerked at the Supreme Court of Canada. We have lawyers licensed to practice in Quebec, Ontario and New York. All IMK lawyers and staff are fluent in Canada’s 2 official languages, and members of our team speak a total of 7 other languages.
The strength of our team lies in the diversity of its members. We come from a variety of different backgrounds and work together to respond to our clients’ needs. IMK is a firm on the cutting edge and is a place where gender parity exists at all levels of the firm, including the partnership.
Our versatility combined with top-flight professional expertise helps our firm deliver outstanding value.
Our areas of expertise include administrative law, appellate advocacy, arbitration and mediation, civil and commercial litigation, class actions, constitutional law, construction litigation, employment law, estates and trusts law, insurance law litigation, municipal law, real estate litigation, securities and banking litigation and shareholder disputes.
IMK advises on questions of administrative law and represents clients in this area on a regular basis. Representative mandates include civil proceedings, judicial review, representing clients in administrative investigations, and disciplinary actions before various professional orders.
We are in the rare position of having acted both for investigative bodies such as the Autorité des marchés financiers and for investigated parties such as pharmaceutical companies and pharmacies. We also represent lawyers, notaries, doctors, pharmacists, psychologists, accountants and real estate agents in the context of disciplinary proceedings.
Appeals require different skills than trials. Our team of experienced appellate lawyers knows how to put your best case forward on appeal.
IMK has been involved in more than 20 appeals on the merits at the Supreme Court of Canada, either as a party or as an intervener. We regularly argue before the Quebec Court of Appeal and have also argued before the Federal Court of Appeal and the Courts of Appeal of Ontario and Newfoundland.
Both the Supreme Court of Canada and the Quebec Court of Appeal have named IMK as amicus curiae in major appeals.
Many of our partners and associates started their careers as clerks at the Supreme Court of Canada or other appellate level courts, giving them invaluable insight into appellate-level decision-making. Whether you are looking to change counsel or simply for a second strategic opinion, our team can help you win.
CIVIL AND COMMERCIAL LITIGATION
IMK has distinguished itself in the areas of civil and commercial litigation including real estate, construction, insurance litigation as well as contract and shareholder disputes. A large portion of our mandates directly or indirectly involves one of these fields.
In addition, IMK acts regularly in extraordinary procedures such as seizures, injunctions and Mareva and Anton Piller orders.
Class actions have been part of our stock in trade since the firm was founded in 1997. Our work touches on a number of different areas, including civil law, constitutional law and administrative law. Requiring significant collaborative effort, these files have been instrumental in the development of one of our firm’s hallmark qualities: teamwork.
Class actions can arise in a range of industries and areas of law, and our team can handle them all. In particular, we have experience in class actions involving advertising practices, consumer protection, environmental law, financial products and services, price-fixing, product liability, public law, retiree benefits and securities law.
Our firm has extensive experience in constitutional law. Clients have entrusted us with files involving governmental division of powers, violation of fundamental rights and the constitutionality of numerous laws and bills.
Our representative files include a precedent-setting case before the Court of Appeal permitting the legalization of gay marriage in Quebec. In another case, our lawyers represented the Barreau du Québec in a matter where a number of media organizations were contesting the validity of regulations limiting the recording of images and sound by the media in Quebec courthouses. A number of our lawyers were also involved in the case of the estate of Iranian-Canadian photographer Zahra Kazemi, contesting the constitutionality of state immunity in civil proceedings for torture all the way to the Supreme Court.
Many of our partners and associates started their careers as clerks at the Supreme Court of Canada or other appellate level courts, giving them invaluable insight into major constitutional cases.
IMK regularly represents clients in shareholder disputes and oppression remedies. Our lawyers have handled cases involving companies of all sizes, across a variety of industries, including start-ups as well as established companies.
We represent both minority and majority shareholders and have experience dealing with a range of oppression remedies, including orders for the communication of documents, damages, and the repurchase of shares.
OUR BENCHMARK LITIGATORS
Audrey Boctor — Litigation Star and 40 & Under Hot List
Jean-Michel Boudreau — Future Star
David Grossman — Litigation Star
Raphaël Lescop — Litigation Star
Catherine McKenzie — Litigation Star
Doug Mitchell — Top 50 Trial Lawyers and Litigation Star
Eleni Yiannakis — Litigation Star
WHEN IT REALLY MATTERS, GET US THINKING FOR YOU.
Last updated March 2020