Whether you require help with litigation prevention strategies, dispute resolution or representation before the courts, at De Grandpré Chait, our lawyers focus on listening, providing sound advice and achieving a satisfactory outcome. Throughout the process, our litigators work collaboratively with you, delivering high-quality service while keeping in mind budget and time constraints.
Our litigators represent clients before all levels of courts in Québec, as well as administrative bodies, including the Tribunal administratif du Québec, regulatory bodies such as the Autorité des marchés financiers and the Régie de l’énergie, as well as professional disciplinary bodies. We handle important cases involving the review, revocation and appeal of decisions from these administrative bodies, and regularly act in matters regarding injunctions.
Where appropriate and to better serve your interests, we will discuss with you the possibility of implementing alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation and settlement conferences, which in many cases can lead to speedier settlements and considerably reduced costs. Other matters will be better served by resorting to a hearing before an arbitration tribunal, resulting in shorter delays than the hearings taking place before common law tribunals.
Even the best of intentions, commitments and contracts cannot prevent a business relationship from deteriorating and leading to a dispute. In the event of a conflict resulting from the breakdown of a business relationship, the interpretation of contracts, contract compliance, manufacturer’s liability, debt collection or the protection of your intellectual property rights, our litigators combine experience and creativity to help you resolve the dispute as advantageously as possible.
- Represented a general contractor against a lender regarding conflicting lien rights, and successfully obtained judgment maintaining the contractor's priority such that the lender was required to pay several hundreds of thousand dollars
- Obtained various orders against a member of a wealthy family who had unilaterally taken over managing the parents' assets by forcing a rendering of the administration accounts
- Acted for the purchaser in the contestation of a motion by the vendors to cancel a $6M arbitration award involving the adjustment of the price of shares based on normalized EBITDA
- Represented the purchaser of shares in a distribution company in connection with an arbitration to reduce by $12M the initial sale price, which was based on normalized EBITDA further to misrepresentations by the vendor
- Obtained, from the Superior Court, an injunction against the government of Québec for six private day-care centres that had asked that the additional fees charged by them be recognized as legal
- Filed an injunction to prevent a network of restaurant franchises from using a trade-mark similar to that used by a restaurant owner for 50 years
- Represented a large landowner in the Laurentians in the settlement of a major claim for damages against an American multinational for alleged damages to the environment resulting from the dumping of gyproc
- Filed a $22.5M claim before an arbitration tribunal on behalf of a manufacturer of bulk material handling equipment for the price of an integrated handling system sold and delivered to the operator of one of Québec’s largest ports
- Won a decision in the Court of Appeal which held that the trade-mark Horst Waterproof on high-end bicycle bags did not cause confusion with the trade-mark Hörst Dusseldorf used by a manufacturer and wholesaler of men’s clothing
- Defended the interests of a real estate investor in connection with the acquisition and development of land to be used for the construction of luxury villas in the British Virgin Islands
- Defeated a damage action at a preliminary stage and obtained a condemnation against the Plaintiff for having acted abusively
- Successfully defended the interests of clients in numerous estate matters where they were unfairly and wrongly accused of inappropriate and improper behaviour
- Won, through arbitration, a dispute between two former partners involved in the development of a hotel project regarding the value of the shares of the partner being bought out
- Filed various proceedings in connection with the intellectual property rights to a modular restaurant concept to be operated in airports, and negotiated the royalty arrangements
- Filed and obtained injunction orders enjoining a strategic supplier to continue producing and delivering industrial parts in spite of a dispute regarding their pricing
The protection of shareholder rights and directors' and officers’ liability are part of the day-to-day reality for any corporation doing business in Canada. Our firm’s experience in such matters dates back to 2004 with the first case in which a Québec court recognized that misconduct by a shareholder could lead to the forced redemption of his shares, based on the court's power to oversee legal persons incorporated in Québec. Our services have also been retained to act in rectification actions and oppression remedies. The adoption in 2011 of the new Québec Business Corporations Act finally makes a range of recourses and remedies available to people harmed by a corporation’s actions to rectify abuses against them.
- Defended the interests of a minority shareholder of a company with real estate holdings by preventing actions by the majority shareholders intended to eliminate his participation in the corporation
- Represented a minority shareholder in its disputes with the trustee in bankruptcy of his co-shareholders, their principal creditor and his former business partners concerning the distribution of $1.1M in connection with the liquidation of the company in legal proceedings involving advances made by the shareholders in a complex group of entities including business corporations and partnerships
- Won, in the Supreme Court of Canada, in the matter of the Bankruptcy of Peoples Department Stores Inc. in which the company’s directors successfully challenged various claims by the trustee in bankruptcy totalling $32M. This landmark decision involving directors’ liability was considered the second most important decision rendered in 2004 by the legal directory Lexpert®.
- Obtained a judgment from the Court of Appeal of Québec which held that a shotgun clause in a shareholder's agreement requires strict interpretation and consideration of the tax consequences
- Successfully instituted an action for oppression remedies on behalf of a minority shareholder of a restaurant franchisor whose principal hypothecary creditor had an interim receiver appointed to manage the company’s assets. With the court’s authorization, our client purchased the franchisor’s assets, refinanced the company and kept the franchise in business
- Defended the interests of the majority shareholders of a snow removal business by having the court dismiss the safeguard applications filed by a minority shareholder, who asked for removal of the directors and a change in the decision-making power
- Presented a claim on behalf of a minority shareholder of a Canadian hedge fund and successfully negotiated a settlement allowing the shareholder to collect over $2M for the sale of his interest
- Represented, in an arbitration, one of the largest entertainment producers in Québec against its partner in connection with a dispute involving the production of television programmes and the rights related to one of the most successful television shows of 2011
- Obtained the cancellation of an Anton Piller order against a minority shareholder having started a new competing business, and negotiated the purchase of his shares at a price superior to the fair market value
- Convinced the Court of Appeal of Québec to confirm the judgment of the Superior Court, previously obtained by the firm, dismissing a multi-million dollar damage action by foreign individuals claiming violations of their property rights, as well as International Human Rights Treaties and Protocols
- Shareholder loans without interest or specific terms of repayment recognized by the Court of Appeal
- La nouvelle Loi sur les sociétés par actions du Québec (in French only)
- Directors were not responsible for the bankruptcy of People Department Stores Inc.
- Corporate governance - The case of Peoples Department Stores Inc.
- Directors duties: Finally some guidelines from the Supreme Court of Canada
All professionals could b subject to a claim regarding their professional liability or being investigated by the syndic of their professional order, potentially leading to a disciplinary complaint. We can help you effectively deal with this early on in the process, which can be very trying. Our experience enables us to assist you throughout such an ordeal and provides all the necessary support under the circumstances, from the moment the demand letter is received, to the syndic's investigation, the liability claim and the disciplinary complaint. Our expertise covers the following:
- Representing professionals with respect to investigations by syndics and before disciplinary councils following the issuance of a complaint, as well as before appeal tribunals
- Negotiating settlement through mediation in the course of the investigation of syndics, to try avoiding the issuance of disciplinary complaints by the disciplinary council
- Representing many categories of professionals and professional liability insurers in cases involving professional liability
- Representing professional orders and professionals in the course of civil and statutory matters
Since the amendments made to the Code of Civil Procedure in 1978, the number of class actions has dramatically increased, both in the volume of claims made annually and the extent of the economic and social issues involved. The globalization of trade and markets has a domino effect on claims to which no jurisdiction, whether national or provincial, is immune.
De Grandpré Chait is one of the rare firms in Québec that acts both for plaintiffs and defendants in class actions. This combination of skills gives us a unique advantage: that of knowing, understanding and anticipating an opponent’s strategies in order to maximize gains and minimize losses.
- Represented the Conseil québécois sur le tabac et la santé (CQTS) in the pre-trial phase of the largest class action in Canada against three Canadian cigarette manufacturers, for almost $12 billion in damages to compensate smokers diagnosed with lung cancer
- Represented the plaintiffs in connection with a class action instituted by the CQTS claiming several billion dollars of damages from Canada’s three largest tobacco manufacturers for alleged health problems
- Obtained a large out of court settlement worth $12M in connection with a class action taken against Pfizer Canada Inc. involving consumers of the drug Celebrex
- Represented the plaintiffs in the cancellation of the election of the mayor and five city councillors in the City of Saint-Constant due to electoral fraud
- Represented the plaintiffs in connection with a class action against the Minister of Education and several Québec school boards to provide dyslexic students with appropriate screening and teaching methods suitable to their condition.
- Represented the plaintiffs in connection with a class action against the pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson (Prepulsid)
- Represented the plaintiffs in connection with a class action involving the 1998 flooding in the Saguenay region
- Represented the defendants of certain pharmaceutical companies involved in the vitamin market, in connection with a class action instituted by consumers claiming breach of the Competition Act