Canadian Lawyer InHouse

June/July 2021

Legal news and trends for Canadian in-house counsel and c-suite executives

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www.canadianlawyermag.com/inhouse 15 Top 10 Quebec Law Firms Expertise, cost awareness and willingness to listen among key attributes valued by clients FEATURE QUEBEC'S LEADING FIRMS are a valuable resource due to their in-depth knowledge of the laws of the province and its unique culture. Selected by Canadian Lawyer readers as the top 10 Quebec regional firms, these firms meet the needs of varied clients across the region in many ways. At number two in the lineup of top Quebec firms, Lavery de Billy LLP serves a vast range of clients across industries from its offices in Montréal, Québec City, Trois-Rivières and Sherbrooke. The legal team at Valcourt, Quebec-based BRP regularly works with Lavery on litigation and HR matters, in addition to labour issues. "I like working with Lavery because they are very agile, accessible and very responsive," says Julie Morel, director, legal department, litigation at BRP, a manufacturer of vehicles including snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles and personal watercraft. "Big firms sometimes forget that they have a client and they need to listen to him, but with Lavery, they listen, and they get to know your business and become a real business partner." Cost is also a critical factor at BRP. "Like any public company, we are conscious of the constant legal fees, so if I can get good service at a lower cost, which Lavery gives me, I'm going to go with them," says Morel. Lavery is the firm of choice for Groupe Sélection. The Laval, Que.-based real estate developer and management company outsources corporate resolutions and financing matters for property acquisitions and refinancings. "They are very honest and unbiased, and they respect the timeframe that I give them," says Helen Bougas, vice president, legal affairs at Groupe Sélection. Bougas also turns to the firm for legal opinions on partnerships. Also a client of Lavery, the Agropur Dairy Cooperative relies on the firm for its intellec- tual property needs. "They are experts in their field, and they are very efficient," says Celine Ruault, senior legal counsel at Agropur. Ruault participates in regular meetings with the lawyers at Lavery to stay in touch on trademark law matters. Ranked in fourth place in our list of top firms, Cain Lamarre LLP serves clients in all areas of the law and all sectors of the economy. Sollio Groupe Coopératif has been a client of Cain Lamarre for more than 10 years, choosing to outsource a wide range of work to the firm, including contract reviews, M&A and litigation files. "We really like the human and practical side of the firm," says Nancy Lemaire, director of legal affairs at the Montreal-based agricultural co-op. "They are always available, they are open to different ideas and very aligned with the business needs of the client." Lemaire says she also values Cain Lamarre's reasonable fees. As legal practice leader at Desjardins, Sylvain Pilote outsources work to many different Quebec firms, including Dunton Rainville LLP, which came in sixth place in our top 10 lineup. The financial services giant has worked with Dunton Rainville for 15 years on repossessing houses and other matters. "We appreciate it when our firms are proactive and find solutions that we haven't thought about," says Pilote. "We appreciate their loyalty and the fact that the lawyers we deal with are in good contact with judges and staff at the courthouse so that cases can proceed quickly." Also recognized among our top 10, Lapointe Rosenstein Marchand Melançon LLP offers expertise in areas of the law including corporate and commercial, civil and commer- cial litigation and bankruptcy and insolvency. Restaurant chain Cora Franchise Group has been calling on LRMM for the past two years for help with corporate and contractual work and privacy matters. HOW WE DID IT Canadian Lawyer asked lawyers, in-house counsel and clients from across Canada to vote on the top full-service regional firms in Quebec. They were asked to rank their top firms from a preliminary list, with a chance to nominate a firm that was not included on the list. Respondents' rankings were based on firms' regional service coverage, client base, notable mandates, service excellence and legal expertise. To be considered in the vote, firms were required to have offices only in Quebec and offer a wide range of legal services. The final rankings were determined through a points system, in which firms were rewarded on a sliding scale for the number of first-place to 10th-place votes received.

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