Québec

Review

Dispute resolution
BCF Business Law

A new entry into Benchmark Canada in this edition (and, with only 25 years of history a relatively young firm), BCF Business Law has made inroads in the Québec market via its offices in Montréal, its larger office, as well as Québec City. A full-service business firm, its litigation practice is considered an “umbrella” group, divided into several relatively independent teams and decidedly focused primarily on mid-market and more entrepreneurial clients. “They are known for taking entities from the basement to the IPO,” states a peer. On a more recognizable level, the firm acted on behalf of Hydro-Québec and Société d’énergie de la Baie-James in a $33 million claim by a general contractor for various claim posts including, but not limited to, different geological conditions, additional requests, unforeseen works and additional equipment maintenance. (The case was closed when the Supreme Court denied hearing it in December 2020.) Montréal-based Andre Ryan chairs the litigation umbrella group and maintains his own practice that blends class action and arbitration work. “Andre has been around the block forever and he’s very talented. He’s a recent (2017) ACTL member,” testifies a peer. Ryan acted on behalf of a former executive officer of a publicly traded pharmaceutical corporation in connection with statutory and civil securities actions brought against him by individual shareholders and major institutional investors following a drop in share price and the issuance of corrective disclosures by the defendant company. Statutory and civil actions have also emerged as opt-out claims following the authorization (certification) of a class action that raises substantially similar claims. Ryan is also acting on behalf of a Canadian natural resources company in an arbitration proceeding instituted pursuant to NAFTA, whose foraging licenses were revoked without compensation by the Government of Québec. The arbitration proceedings are ongoing, with supplemental written and oral submissions scheduled for 2021.

Belleau Lapointe

Montréal boutique Belleau Lapointe has seen a rising profile of late, with a growing chorus of peers weighing in on its behalf. “They act in the plaintiff capacity often, particularly on class actions,” voices one defense-oriented peer, “so you would think we'd view them as an irritant but no, they are one of the good ones. They don't try to play stupid tricks, they are very strategic and selective.” Clients concur; “The firm is dedicated to the consumer's point of view and defending their rights. They have great expertise both in consumer rights and class action suits.”

Name partner Daniel Belleau, a noted class action authority, has been cheered by peers all over Canada. One in particular, located well outside of Quebec, simply addresses him as "the best." "This guy just has unquestionable sincerity. Even defense counsel, while maintaining an adversarial stance to him, find it difficult to counter some of his arguments because is so persuasively sincere. I love watching him at work." Another class action specialist Maxime Nasr is also viewed as "very strong, with a big brain, bright and quick." Nasr represented Option Consommateurs, a leading Québec consumer advocate, in the class action against Volkswagen that settled for more than $2.5 billion. He also represented this client in a class action against Leon's Furniture that resulted in landmark decision on the merits that establishes for the first time that attorney-client fees can be claimed on top of damages in application of section 36 of the Competition Act. Nasr represented this client once again in an antitrust class action matter concerning foam, a matter that settled for over $38 million. Nasr is also leading a securities litigation against embattled Canadian pharmaceutical entity Valeant.

Consumer Law Group Inc.

A Montréal plaintiff class-action shop, Consumer Law Group is largely the vehicle of Jeff Orenstein, a prolific class-action filer. “Jeff is definitely popping up in the mix, filing a lot of class actions and getting better and better at them,” claims one peer. Another notes, “Jeff takes complicated cases and is a reasonable guy. I had him in a few pharma cases, and I noticed he has become a lot more focused and pretty impressive.” Clients are equally impressed. One testifies, “All the cases that Jeff handled were successful. He was an excellent pleader in front of a judge. [He has] Good reaction time and is quick on his feet. He was an outstanding negotiator.” Orenstein has taken a role in an astonishingly prolific number of cases. Just a sample of several includes his position as one of the lead lawyers in the class action representing victims from the town that was destroyed by the oil spill and explosion, which killed 47 people. Through the bankruptcy court, the case was settled with almost all of the defendants for a global settlement amount of $460 million. Orenstein is also the lead lawyer in a class action against Amazon for sales tax charged on basic groceries, where there should be no sales tax charged (though it was for approximately seven years). Amazon has challenged the court’s jurisdiction and Orenstein recently won on this issue in the Court of Appeal. An appeal by Amazon has been filed with the Supreme Court of Canada. Orenstein is also lead counsel in a class action instituted in Québec against Ford for its miscalculation and misrepresentation of certain road-testing factors during vehicle certification testing and its use of a “Mileage Cheat Device” to misrepresent and conceal the true kilometrage of certain Ford vehicles and the vehicle emissions.

Dentons

The Montréal office of international conglomerate Dentons is engaged in several high-stakes disputes touching on elements of construction and infrastructure, class actions and franchise law. The latter of these practices is principally the domain of Margaret Weltrowska, a key member of this office’s litigation team and someone who also handles consumer class actions, privacy class actions and competition work. Weltrowska represents Amazon in the context of a class action seeking the recovery of sales tax charged and remitted to the relevant tax authorities by Amazon on goods purchased by Québec consumers that were allegedly not taxable, as well as the award of punitive damages under the Québec Consumer Protection Act. Weltrowska also defended UPS in a file in which a former client claimed $2.4 million from UPS, representing the anti-dumping and countervailing duties the former client paid to the Canada Border Services Agency following the issuance of 30 detailed adjustment statements for aluminum columns and rails imported from China. The former client alleged that UPS committed faults in providing erroneous custom broker advice and analysis on antidumping duties that misled the former client, which UPS strongly denied. Further to a week-long trial, the Superior Court dismissed the claim, with costs. Over the summer of 2020, this office also welcomed the arrival of Emil Vidracsu, formerly a star with Lavery. “Emil is a brilliant lawyer,” raves a peer. “He is very strong and brings a lot of construction litigation experience. He also has very strong Aboriginal law experience, representing Hydro Québec in several Aboriginal engagements. [There are] Billions of dollars at issue, [these are] huge files.”

IMK

A venerated Montréal litigation boutique, IMK (formerly Irving Mitchell Kalichman) was initially a vehicle for its three senior name partners, one of whom is since deceased and the other who went to the bench. Doug Mitchell remains the firm’s talisman partner, responsible for cultivating a thriving team at the “next-generation” level while also remaining remarkably active himself. “Doug Mitchell is everywhere,” declares a peer. “He’s an arbitrator, he’s a litigator, and he’s constantly in demand for both. But he also has a relatively deep and talented team behind him.” Indeed, another peer asserts, “A lot of the real horsepower at IMK now is at the younger level.” Catherine McKenzie, formerly a star at the firm, has since left the business of law to pursue her interests as an author. However, this subtraction has not had any negative effect on the firm’s bench strength or market standing. A peer assures, “There are quite a few younger partners there now and they are quite amazing.” The firm is also noted for the freedom and diversity of both its bench and the work its lawyers cultivate. “They do plaintiff and defense work, and they do class-action work too. The plaintiff work they do is mostly public interest work. They did a trial on the rights of trans-gender and non-binary people, and they also have a case against Facebook! It deals with algorithmic discrimination.” Another peer notes, “They have a lot of talented and very respected lawyers and a lot of juicy litigation on the go. I like their approach.” In another example of the firm’s versatility and willingness to take on files of a more novel nature, Mitchell was appointed amicus curiae by the Supreme Court of Canada in a recent case involving alleged genetic discrimination.

Audrey Boctor, who began her career at Cleary Gottlieb in New York and joined IMK in 2010, is a generalist, who is engaged in a lot of enforcement of arbitration awards, corporate commercial work and appellate work. Among other matters, Boctor led the Canadian Vaping Association in a successful challenge to the constitutionality of provisions governing the testing and promotion of vaping in Québec. David Grossman is commended by the community as “very good, and also very pleasant in addition to be an extremely bright guy.” Grossman is presently before the Court of Appeal to determine (inter alia) whether foreign law applies to the transmission of shares of a Bahamian corporation after the death of one of the Québec joint owners, representing the appellant. Jean-Michel Boudreau is primarily a class-action practitioner, largely in the defense capacity except in the instances of a human rights element being concerned. He is attending to one case concerning Home Depot’s opting out of a class action settlement concerning merchant fees and is also co-counsel with Eleni Yiannakis in a construction-related class action. Yiannakis is also working with Raphaël Lescop on a case pertaining to the recovery of funds in the context of alleged collusion schemes. David Éthier, one of the firm’s youngest partners, makes his debut as a future star this year on the strength of vibrant peer and industry review. Éthier was awarded the “2020 Lawyer of the Year” award for civil and commercial litigation by the Young Bar of Montréal organization.

Kugler Kandestin

Montreal’s Kugler Kandestin is noted specifically for its active plaintiff capacity. “They do a mixed bag of plaintiff work on the bodily injury side, with some leading plaintiff class action cases. They also do a lot of residential school cases,” offers one defense-side peer. Another asserts, “For plaintiffs work, they know how to win a case, push it forward and get damages. People will tell you, if you get a demand letter from them, watch out.” Brothers Robert Kugler and Stuart Kugler are observed by peers as being “quite good – they are the sons of the founder and getting some more traction but they are still too much under the radar.” Managing partner Arthur Weschler is called “a very dynamic guy and an excellent lawyer,” with one opponent noting, “I have a big case against Arthur, he is not only good, but he’s also fun to deal with. David Stolow, a prominent partner who was previously with business law powerhouse Davies Ward, leads a proposed class action relating to the massive and unprecedented data breach that Desjardins publicly reported in June 2019. It is reported that the personal data of over four million people, including corporations– comprising names, addresses, birth dates, social insurance numbers, email addresses, and information about their transaction habits – was improperly and unlawfully accessed by a former Desjardins employee and disclosed to third parties. The proposed class action, which includes all Desjardins members whose personal data was breached, alleges that Desjardins did not have a sufficient system or adequate measures in place to adequately protect its members’ personal and highly sensitive information and claims significant compensatory and punitive damages.

Langlois Lawyers

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.” The firm 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 represents Suncor in defense of forced intervention proceedings by Poliquin in relation to an original claim by a group of entities and their insurer that alleges the presence of petroleum hydrocarbon contamination on its property and claims damages from Poliquin, the owner of the neighboring property where a service station was in operation in the past. In turn, Poliquin forced the intervention of Suncor, who between 1992 and 1995, leased petroleum equipment located on Poliquin’s property in the context of the operation of the service station. At the time, a settlement occurred between all parties, with release and discharge. In this context of this claim, Suncor has filed an aggressive motion to dismiss Poliquin’s intervention considering the release and discharge provided to Suncor’s predecessor in 1995. This motion was pleaded before the Québec Superior Court in December 2019, and judgment was rendered in March 2020, in favor of Suncor. Vincent de l’Etoile, 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’etoile is acting as lead counsel in Québec for Panasonic in a proposed multijurisdictional class action alleging anti-competitive conduct and price-fixing in relation to a component for electronic devices. Katherine Loranger and Jean-François Gagnon are acting as coverage counsel for Royal & Sun Alliance in a high-profile real estate development litigation involving technical construction expertise as well as complex coverage issues. Elisabeth Neelin defended Metso Minerals Canada in an international arbitration. It was a claim for lost profits in the mining industry; the client was alleged to have provided faulty equipment. The $200 million claim was dismissed with costs, and the arbitral award was since confirmed. “I had a few cases against Elizabeth and I think she’s fantastic,” extols a peer. Sean Griffin is building a constitutional law profile. In 2019, he and Veronique Roy acted for the Superior Court judges for Québéc in challenging the jurisdiction of the lower provincial court. The case is expected to make its way before the Supreme Court of Canada in 2020.

LCM Attorneys

Another Montréal litigation boutique, which saw its formation largely on the strength of an entrepreneurial group that decamped from the once-revered but since-imploded Heenan Blaikie, LCM is making its presence increasingly felt in the city’s litigation community. A peer asserts, “They are right up there with the best now. They are involved in some of the most dynamic, interesting cases coming through Québec.”
Patrick Ferland, uniformly championed by peers, attends to a diverse practice including appellate work and judicial review. Ferland is also known for a lot of international law work, recognition of foreign judgments, and a lot of work for foreign states of foreign entities regarding issues of sovereign immunity. “Patrick is really owning that space right now,” opines a peer. “He’s acting on a big case for Iraq!” Specifically, Ferland’s representation of the Republic of Iraq and other state entities is in the context of claims for the recognition of a foreign arbitration award. Ferland also leads the representation of an aircraft lessor in the context of the seizure of an Airbus aircraft under construction in proceedings seeking the recognition of an English judgment against the Tanzania and Air Tanzania Company. On a more local level, Ferland also leads the representation of Walmart Canada before the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Canada in a major class-action against Visa and Mastercard. Ferland, who is admitted to practice in two US states (New York and Massachusetts) as well as Québec, has also developed an expertise in public or administrative law. Dominique Ménard and David Joanisse are addressed by a peer as “extremely practical and loved by their clients. David has a niche practice, which he loves, in the art world. Dominque (recently appointed the managing partner of the firm) is the go-to for injunctions, seizures, Anton Piller or Mareva orders. She’s quick, she’s fast, and clients have huge confidence in her. She often steps into files where the client might be losing ground in confidence and she will get in there when the going gets rough. She’s also building a practice that is almost like an in-house counsel for some larger clients.” Sebastien Caron is said to have a “very well established practice in securities class actions. [He] Knows everything about securities, and he also tends to do a lot of counsel work in that area.” Marc-André Landry, who joined the firm after a stint at Blake Cassels & Graydon, focuses on a diverse mix of commercial litigation that also encompasses administrative law and environmental and expropriation work. “Marc-André can do it all,” opines a peer. “He’s very knowledgeable and well equipped, especially for his [young] age.”

McMillan

The Montréal office of McMillan has been building a steadily ascending profile as of late. “They merged with Lang Michener in 2009 and ever since then have come a long way in class actions, competition and product liability, with some of the product liability work being individual and class action work,” confirms a peer. “They have been involved in competition work before it was ‘trendy.’ They also are involved in aviation. They get some of the best of the best in eastern Canada.” The latter practices are largely attributed to Éric Vallières, who lays claim to securing a rare denial of certification in a class action for Capital One. Sidney Elbaz, another class actions specialist, is also not wanting for acclaim. “Sidney did a great job on a class action for Netflix,” raves a peer. “He led a resistance of certification and then won the appeal.”

Renno Vathilakis

Celebrating six years in business as of March 2021, Renno Vathilakis is another Montréal litigation boutique but one that follows a decidedly unconventional model. “This is not the cookie-cutter type of firm doing the routine, boring work,” notes a peer. “These guys take on whatever they want.” “Whatever they want” includes a vibrant mix of high-risk/high-reward litigation cases that range from class actions (often in the plaintiff capacity) to contentious family law cases for high-net-worth individuals. Karim Renno, a “maverick” trial lawyer who held posts at Stikeman Elliott and IMK before forging this firm, is called “very good at getting out there and getting his name around town,” by a peer. Renno’s assertive promotion is supported by his aggression in the courtroom. A peer concedes, “If you’re looking to ‘do the dance,’ you’re going to hate going against him because you’re going to get hurt. If you try to dance around him, he will sink his teeth into your legs. You literally can’t go on autopilot for a minute – Karim will always be watching you and waiting for an opening to exploit a weakness.” Renno was lead counsel representing Corporatek in a major securities case in which the opposing party is alleged to have participated in a massive Ponzi scheme and committed fraud. He was also lead counsel for Eurobank in an appeal in a $10 million case against Bombardier regarding the enforcement of international letters of credit. Michael Vathilakis also walks his own line, with a practice that combines class actions, arbitration work (including international work) and a steady stream of contentious divorce work for high-net-worth individuals requiring an independent advocate. The novel nature of Vathilakis’ practice has put him at the forefront of some cutting-edge issues; in addition to quintessential family law issues such as custody, spousal support, child support, patrimony, applicable matrimonial regime etc., the vast majority of his family law files have also entailed corporate/commercial issues. Vathilakis had the opportunity to work on a same-sex divorce between two power clients within the real estate industry. In the class actions capacity, Vathilakis has been advancing existing files and, most recently, filed the motion for bringing a class action against TD Waterhouse with respect to allegations that the bank illicitly limited trading on their platform certain securities including GameStop, Nokia and AMC amongst others. An example of his arbitration practice is provided by a US-based peer with a largely Asian focus: “Just four months ago, we worked together on an arbitration that involved the breach of a distribution agreement between a US supplier and an Asian distributor. The amount in dispute was in excess of US$1 billion, as the contract was worth US$700 million a year. Under intense time pressure, Michael led provided strategic advice during high-stakes negotiations and ultimately achieved an extremely favorable settlement of the dispute. Vathilakis has also drawn vocal support from some fiercely loyal clients; one testifies, “I appreciated the initial contact whereby he granted me, as he always does to new clients, a one-hour initial session free of charge, where both of us would be able to assess if our eventual relationship would be positive and hold firm. I consider this policy to be a very noble gesture on his part; I have not heard of this with other law firms in Montréal.” Speaking to Vathilakis’s approach, this client insists, “Michael sees clearly the overall picture, with a cool head, including the chances for an eventual settlement or court action, which counteracts, for the better, the shorter views of his clients, and those of opposing counsel. His sincerity is unquestionable. He has many times told me ‘Let me be upfront with you,’ which means that he has at heart the best interest of his client and the case at hand, above any personal bias for a given course of action. I feel very confident that he will do his utmost to bring about the best possible outcome, for any given case. His unbiased attitude scores very high in my book, as we have so often heard of friends complaining of expensive legal fees for little advancement in their case. This is not the case with Michael or his firm. By the way, his fees are very reasonable and comparable to other firms.” A client in the divorce capacity extols, “From the moment I hired Michael, I knew I had the upper hand in what turned out to be the divorce from hell! As emotional as a divorce could be, Michael was always by my side to calm things down and to flip things over to help me see the more intelligent way of moving forward in our case in order to get the outcome we aspired for.” A third client sums up, “Montréal street smarts with Harvard pedigree. Michael is someone you want on your team in any complex litigation file.”

Smart & Biggar

Canada’s deepest and most renowned intellectual property-based legal entity, Smart & Biggar has etched itself a dominant position in the country’s IP community, most notably in the capacity as true trial lawyers. One peer notes, “More often than not, these cases actually go to court! And Smart & Biggar has a pretty stellar record of winning at trial.” The firm also enjoys a dedicated and vocal client base. One client insists, “The Smart & Biggar team are gifted advocates, highly technically competent, and provide excellent value especially considering their world-class litigation skills.” Another client elaborates, “We go to this firm with all kinds of intellectual property work, in particular trademark opposition matters and general brand protection work, cease-and-desist letters as well as trademark prosecution work. [They deliver] outstanding written work product and oral advocacy, extremely effective cross examination and responses to questions from the bench. They also have very good client relationship management and a tailor-made approach.”

The firm is revered for its range of experience covering patents, trademarks and copyrights, each being areas in which the firm has secured some landmark wins. Its celebrated patent practice leans heavily on the pharmaceutical industry, but is far from limited to this area, with a diverse portfolio of patent victories concerning everything from polymers to hockey helmets. Its trademark practice meanwhile has attracted a list of clients that reads like a “who’s who” of household names. Historically boasting its deepest bench in Ontario, with practitioners of equal horsepower in its offices in Toronto and Ottawa, the firm has recently provided a substantial boost to its Montréal office, which has grown to nearly double its size of just a few years ago. François Guay features prominently as the most seasoned IP litigator in the Montréal office. Guy and Jean-Sébastien Dupont scored a victory for Canadian National Railway (CN) in February 2020, when the Federal Court of Appeal issued its judgment granting CN’s appeal in its lower court win against BNSF Railway Company, reaffirming the long-established practice of granting protective orders to parties involved in IP litigation before the Federal Court in Canada. Guay and Ekaterina Tsirembis represent Bel and Fromageries Bel Canada in a trademark infringement matter against Agropur Coopérative and Aliments Ultima as their new for Iögo Nano and Oka L’artisan snack cheeses sold in Canada have packaging that is confusingly similar to the Mini Babybel cheese’s packaging, for which Bel holds several Canadian trademark registrations.

Torys

The Montréal office of venerated Canadian legal institution Torys has, despite being smaller and more recently established, been steadily developing a following for itself among peers and clients, the latter of whom appreciate the full strength provided to this office from the horsepower of its Toronto mothership. “They are diligent, [provide] great communication, and demonstrate subject matter expertise in dealing with specifics of Québec law,” extols one such client. The successful build-out of the Montréal office can be credited to Sylvie Rogridgue, a noted class action specialist who has particularly developed a pronounced presence in the pharmaceutical field and who seamlessly marshals resources between the Ontario and Quebec offices. An ardent client exclaims, “Sylvie Rodrigue is a super woman! She is brilliant and a fantastic litigator, who manages the Montreal office and commutes between Toronto and Montreal, getting the whole Torys machine going for her.” Rodrigue led a team that is representing AstraZeneca in proposed national and provincial product liability class actions in Ontario, Québec and Saskatchewan concerning the client’s blockbuster antacids NEXIUM and LOSEC. Plaintiffs alleged these drugs may cause acute kidney injury, which left untreated may cause chronic kidney disease, and that the defendants failed to warn of these risks. In a judgment issued in May 2019, the Québec Superior Court dismissed the proposed Québec class action, a considerable victory considering Québec’s notoriously low certification bar. The Montreal office is further enhanced by the presence of Christopher Richter, a multifaceted practitioner who balances class and individual commercial work, product liability and employment law.

Woods

Montréal boutique Woods is revered not only as one of the strongest boutiques in the city but one of the strongest litigation groups of any firm in Québec. While still commandeered by its namesake and senior trial lawyer James Woods, the firm has proven its succession plan, with a deep and relatively young team of talent at the next generation down. “Woods is at the top,” concedes a peer. The firm’s bench has been bolstered further with the recent admission of Alex Dobrota to partnership status. “Alex is great,” raves a peer. “He was a war journalist in Afghanistan and he has a lot of experience in life that is helpful as a lawyer.” Future star Neil Peden was recently thrust into the spotlight as well, with a major triumph at the Supreme Court of Canada in January 2020 for client IMF Bentham in a matter concerning the third-party litigation funder’s role in the CCAA proceedings of video game entity Bluberi.

Patrick Ouellet, addressed by peers as “a usual suspect and for a very good reason,” remains as active as ever. One peer testifies, “I see him everywhere, even during the pandemic I’m hearing about him, and he continues to just kill it.” Another quips bluntly, “If I need a lawyer, and I can afford him, that’s where I am going!” Ouellet represented a client in a case valued at $18 million against The Canada Life Assurance Company, who alleges claims that defendants, including Ouellet’s client, made false representations to induce it to participate in a group insurance program that was in deficit. The client maintains that he has no contractual relationship with the plaintiff and has made no representations that would engage its liability. Ouellet also acted for National Bank in a novel live/virtual hybrid trial in late 2020 concerning issues around the qualification of a wire transfer, in which the individual who made the transfer filed for compensation from his insurer, who denied coverage, rebutting that the financial institution had to assume the loss on the basis that the funds belonged to the bank and that the transfer was similar to a bill of exchange. The Court of Appeal rejected the argument that the bank was liable, and, in December 2020, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the appeal. Ouellet also acts with Sarah Woods in representing an executive in a matter valued at $300 million in which plaintiffs filed an application for authorization to institute a class action on behalf of any person who acquired one or more securities of the Laurentian Bank of Canada between a window of dates spanning 2017 and 2018 for the purpose of obtaining compensation for the loss in value of their shares allegedly resulting from the defendants’ breaches of their duty of care. Sarah Woods is also increasingly active in the class-action capacity, notably on the plaintiff side, in several lightning-rod matters. She is involved in one against certain Watch Tower entities in relation to alleged sexual assaults within the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization, as well as in relation to the alleged mishandling of these sexual assaults. She also is acting as plaintiff’s counsel for the proposed class seeking authorization to institute a class action against Uber Canada in relation to the events of October 2016, during which personal information provided by users and drivers, collected, held, retained and used by Uber was made accessible to unauthorized persons, namely two hackers. A peer extols, “Sarah is at the forefront of these privacy cases! She is working with Carsten Jensen from JSS Barristers in Calgary and Luciana Brasil of Branch MacMaster in Vancouver, two leading plaintiff class action litigators.” Richard Vachon has kept especially busy as of late. He leads a team acting for Quebecor, as well as two subsidiaries, in several commercial and administrative lawsuits. One particular suit is a $150 million claim brought by Bell Canada and its subsidiaries in connection with an interruption of service of the TVA Sports channel, a Quebecor property. A team composed of Vachon, Louis Seveno and Marie-Louise Delisle act for Health Montreal Collective, a joint venture of two multinational construction corporations, in over 20 disputes (some at the Superior Court, most in arbitration), against a variety of commercial parties, concerning the construction and design of the CHUM mega-hospital PPP project. These disputes involve project delays, alleged defects and remedial works, security packages and project certification, as well as associated penalties, deductions and contractual claims. They are, in the aggregate, valued at roughly $150 million.