Voters were impressed by the quality of the firm’s mandates, as well as the depth of legal expertise. “Superior quality standards,” said one voter, while the “high quality of young partners involved in high profile/complex matters,” impressed another.
3. Cain Lamarre Casgrain Wells LLP (3)
Total Lawyers: 162
Lawyers By Office: Quebec City, 34; Saguenay, 33; Montreal, 30; Drummondville, 12; Rimouski, 9; Val-d’Or, 9; Sept-Îles, 7; Sherbrooke, 6; Rivière-du-Loup, 6; Alma, 4; Saint-Félicien, 3; Saint-Georges, 3; Amos, 2; Roberval, 2; Amqui, 1; Plessisville, 1
Core Practice Areas: Commercial and corporate affairs; banking and finance; labour and employment law; native affairs; public administration.
Key Clients: Financial institutions; health-care institutions, municipalities, public institutions; First Nations; telecommunications carriers; transportation companies; companies in the energy and natural resources sector.
Notable Mandates: Acted for Société immobilière du Québec in its $45-million acquisition of the Îlot Voyageur site, including the land and building; represented Alexandre Dubé in his successful appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada in an aboriginal taxation matter regarding the taxability of investment income paid by a credit union located on a reserve; constitutionality contests handled by lawyers André Gauthier and Raymond Nepveu on behalf of the Conference of Municipal Judges of Quebec.
Star Alumni: Former Canadian ambassador to France and Quebec premier Lucien Bouchard; Quebec Superior Court justices France Bergeron, Martin Dallaire, and Robert Dufresne.
Affiliations: State Capital Group, TAGLaw
The Firm: Cain Lamarre Casgrain Wells came onto the scene in 1999 following the merger of three firms: Cain Lamarre Wells, founded in 1928 in Chicoutimi; Gauthier Nepveu Leblanc & Brouillette, established in Sept-Îles in 1951; and Casgrain Desrosiers Lévesque Bujold Villeneuve, which dated back to 1877.
With its total of 16 offices spread across the province, it’s no surprise that many voters emphasized the firm’s reach. “It’s a firm everywhere in Quebec so it understands the region reality,” said one respondent.
4. BCF LLP
(5)BCF.ca Total Lawyers
: 135 professionals (includes patent agents)
Lawyers By Office: Montreal, 109; Quebec City, 24; Barbados, 2
Core Practice Areas: Commercial law; commercial litigation; tax; corporate finance including banking; mergers and acquisitions.
Key Clients: BMO Financial Group, BRP, Sobeys Quebec Inc., Bombardier Aéronautique, Quebecor, Royal Bank of Canada, CAD Railway Industries Ltd.
Notable Mandates: Represented Blue Note Mining Inc. in the sale of its New Brunswick properties to capital pool company GeoVenCap Inc. for $8 million; acted for the purchasers of CAD Railway Industries from parent group Global Railway Industries Ltd. in a $12.4-million deal; represented Montreal-region grocer Adonis Markets as grocery store giant Metro acquired a majority stake in the company.
Star Alumni: Marie-Josée Lapierre, director of legal affairs at Yellow Pages Group, Jocelyn Auger, vice-president and general counsel at Enerkem.
The Firm: Established in 1995 under the name Brouillette Charpentier Fournier in Montreal. It opened an office in Quebec City in 2001, the same year it joined Meritas. The firm gained strength with the addition in 2004 of a team of patent and trademark agents from Brouillette Kosie Prince. The firm changed its name to BCF in 2005, which preceded a five-year period of expansion at the firm, with substantial additions made to personnel, offices, and technical resources.
Voters cited the firm particularly for its deep business roots: “Good coverage and great business savvy and approach,” said one voter.5. Robinson Sheppard Shapiro LLP
Total Lawyers: 79
Lawyers By Office: Montreal, 76; Hong Kong, 1; Beijing, 1; Shanghai, 1
Core Practice Areas: Business; litigation; insurance; transportation; labour.
Key Clients: Burger King Canada; National Bank of Canada; Fonds d’assurance-responsabilité professionnelle de la Chambre des notaires du Québec; Stericycle; Renaissance Capital; Lloyd’s Underwriters.
Notable Mandates: Represented the vendor in the sale of the second largest residential revenue property in Montreal; represented Quebec hospitals pursued by thousands of claimants in class actions.
Star Alumni: David Shapiro, vice president and general counsel of Air Canada; Quebec Superior Court justices Francine Nantel and Lucie Fournier.
Affiliations: International Lawyers Network
The Firm: Founded in 1921 by Benjamin Robinson and Joseph Shapiro. Until Claude-Armand Sheppard arrived at the firm in 1959, the firm primarily served an anglophone business clientele. It has diversified since the 1960s to become a full-service firm, with an increasing number of francophone clients. Notably, sons of the firm’s founding partners — Jonathan Robinson and Barry Shapiro — continue to practise at the firm.
The professionalism and experience of the lawyers at RSS featured strongly in voter comments. They are “focused on providing the best possible service in a quick, efficient, and cost-effective manner,” said one respondent. “Good balance of young and senior lawyers,” said another.6. De Grandpré Chait LLP
Total Lawyers: 70
Office: Montreal, 70
Core Practice Areas: Real estate; business; construction; litigation; insurance.
Key Clients: Large real estate developers and property managers, institutional investors and lenders, financial institutions, a top Canadian food retailer, a leading North American retailer, a European leader in construction and infrastructure.
Notable Mandates: Represented the vendor in the $114-million sale of a major real estate portfolio that included 30 shopping malls located mainly in Quebec; won a $12-million settlement in a class action against Pfizer Canada Inc. on behalf of consumers of the drug Celebrex; acted for a large Quebec company in its acquisition of a fish and seafood distributor with $110 million in sales, as well as a meat product distributor with sales of $70 million.
Star Alumni: Quebec Superior Court justices Yves Poirier, Christiane Alary, and Martin Castonguay; Quebec Court justices Gilles Lareau, Normand Amyot, and Christian Tremblay.
Affiliations: Interlaw Ltd., Lexwork International, and the US/Europe Network
The Firm: Established in 1999 through the merger of predominantly francophone de Grandpré Godin and predominantly anglophone Chait Amyot, a firm that traces its roots back to 1928.
“Outstanding service, expertise worthy of a large national firm,” impressed one voter, while another respondent highlighted the firm’s “competitive rates and great service.”7. Lapointe Rosenstein Marchand Melançon LLP
Total Lawyers: 76
Lawyers By Office: Montreal, 76
Core Practice Areas: Corporate-commercial and financing; commercial and civil litigation; taxation and estate planning; insurance; intellectual property; real estate.
Key Clients: Insurance companies; manufacturers; financial institutions; major retailers; aviation companies; computer and software companies; shipping and transportation companies.
Notable Mandates: Counsel to clients involved in national and international mid-market transactions; involved in a leading case relating to oppression remedies available to shareholders of Quebec companies; class action suits relating to breast cancer and contaminated blood.
Star Alumni: Quebec Superior Court Justice Pierre Jasmin, Former Barreau du Québec president Yvon Jasmin.
Affiliations: TerraLex Inc.
The Firm: This new firm was spawned in 2010 through the merger of Lapointe Rosenstein and Marchand Melançon Forget. Two of the four founding members of Lapointe Rosenstein — Brahm Gelfand and Mark Rosenstein — continue to practise law with the merged firm. So too do a pair of Marchand Melançon Forget’s founding members, Paul Melançon and Michel Marchand.
“LRMM is traditional, yes, but they hire exceptional people who are first and foremost smart and human, and then lawyerly,” said one voter who gave the firm top marks.8. Stein Monast LLP
Total Lawyers: 54
Office: Quebec City, 54
Core Practice Areas: Corporate law and financing; commercial law; securities; civil and professional liability insurance; labour and employment law; real estate.
Key Clients: Autorité des marchés financiers, Bridgestone Canada Inc., Chartis, Génome Québec and Genome Canada, National Bank of Canada, Professional Liability Insurance Fund of the Barreau du Québec, Investissement Québec, Cominar, Groupe Le Massif, Greif Brothers Canada, Roynat Inc., Desjardins Venture Capital.
Notable Mandates: Acts as counsel for Quebec in the financing of its sovereign debt; represented National Bank of Canada at the Supreme Court of Canada in Quebec (Revenue) v. Caisse populaire Desjardins de Montmagny regarding provincial legislatures’ ability to modify the order of priority in the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act; acted as counsel for Investissement Québec in the matter of the plan of compromise or arrangement of Davie Yards Inc.; represented the vendors in the $44-million sale of Norref Fisheries to Groupe Colabor Inc.
Star Alumni: Quebec Superior Court justices Bruno Bernard, Jean-Francois Émond, and Alicia Soldevila; Paule Gauthier, former CBA president; former Quebec premier Jean Lesage; former prime minister Louis St. Laurent.
Affiliations: Risk Management Counsel of Canada
The Firm: It is the successor of Stein Monast Pratte & Marseille, a Quebec City firm that was founded in 1957. It merged with Montreal’s Desjardins Ducharme from 1992 to 2007.
One voter said Stein Monast stands out thanks to the quality of its lawyers, calling the firm a “strong commercial presence in Quebec City.”9. Delegatus Services Juridiques Inc
Total Lawyers: 18
Office: Montreal, 18
Core Practice Areas: Corporate and commercial law; commercial and civil litigation; real estate; financing; intellectual property.
Key Clients: Yellow Pages Group, Pharmascience, ABB, La Coop fédérée, Société en commandite Gaz Métro, Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec.
Notable Mandates: Acted for Vantrix Inc. in private placements of convertible notes and shares issued to different investors; helped Accedian Networks to build a legal department in their company; acted for Quebec City on the occasion of the leasing of the Coliseum of Quebec City; represented Yellow Pages Group in its acquisition of assets from an Ontario company.
Affiliations: Collaborates with like-minded firms in other provinces.
The Firm: Delegatus was founded in 2005 by Pascale Pageau, who aimed to create a law firm that provides lawyers with a more flexible practice and enables businesses to substantially reduce their legal service costs. In the last two years alone, the firm has grown from six lawyers to 18 and tripled its revenue.
Voters were struck by the firm’s business model, which has shaken up the Quebec market in its short life. “The business model is interesting,” said one voter who was impressed by the “very high quality of the lawyers.” “A completely different vision, and for a firm of this size, a tremendous leader,” said another.10. Joli-coeur Lacasse Avocats
Total Lawyers: 94
Lawyers By Office: Quebec City, 61; Montreal, 28; Trois-Rivières, 5
Core Practice Areas: Commercial and international business; insolvency and enforcement of security; real estate; administrative law; civil litigation.
Key Clients: Entities involved in fields such as engineering, transport, manufacturing, finances, and real estate.
Notable Mandates: The acquisition of York Fire & Casualty Insurance Co. by La Capitale Financial Group; the acquisition of a major bus transportation group; the reorganization of the North American activities of a major group of European investors.
Star Alumni: Quebec Superior Court justices Clément Samson and Marc St-Pierre, Tribunal administratif du Québec Judge Marie Charest, and former Tribunal du travail du Québec judge Gilles Plante.
Affiliations: Pannone Law Group, Lawyers Associated Worldwide
The Firm: Founded in 1983, and in 2007 merged with Pouliot L’Ecuyer, a Quebec City firm, and Lozeau L’Africain of Montreal. Four partners of Quebec City’s Grondin Poudrier Bernier SENCRL also recently came aboard.
“Excellent client service, emphasizes responsiveness, and top-notch legal expertise,” said one voter who was also struck by the firm’s “reasonable rates.”