René specializes in corporate, administrative, constitutional and international law. His practice focuses on complex litigation, including investor-state arbitration and competition law.
René has acted as counsel to several companies in proceedings before the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., as well as before the Canadian courts in a variety of administrative and constitutional law disputes. He also advises companies during the execution of search warrants; acts as defence counsel in antitrust cases; conducts internal corporate investigations; designs, implements and reviews internal corporate compliance programs; and otherwise advises on all aspects of Canada's competition and antitrust laws.
René also has significant expertise in international commercial arbitration, business crimes and corporate social responsibility.
René is fluent in both English and French.
- Represented an investor during an investor-state arbitration under the authority of the Belgium/Luxemburg-Uruguay Bilateral Investment Treaty
- Represented a steel manufacturer in a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Chapter 11 investor-state arbitration against the United States
- Represented an investor in ICSID hearings at the World Court (The Hague) and ICDR (London) in a challenge to the expropriation by the Hungarian government of interests held in the operating company of the Budapest International Airport under the Cyprus-Hungary Bilateral Investment Treaty, which resulted in the Republic of Hungary being found liable in an award of US$83.8-million, including all costs
- Represented a Canadian mining company in ICC and ICSID international arbitration cases against the Democratic Republic of Congo, which resulted in interim measures of specific performance being obtained before an ICSID panel in Zurich, prompting a multibillion-dollar settlement
- Provided various opinions on arbitration, private international law, Quebec's Charter of the French Language, the Consumer Protection Act, tobacco legislation, government procurement, provincial Milk Marketing Board requirements, transportation (aircraft, harbours), the Competition Act, the Crown Liability Act, the Financial Administration Act (Federal - Part X: Crown Corporations and equivalent Quebec legislation), the State Immunity Act, the National Defence Act, the Official Secrets Act and NAFTA (Chapter 11)
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
René is recognized as a leading lawyer in the following publications:
- The Best Lawyers in Canada - 2013-2017 (Alternative Dispute Resolution)
- Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys - 2013-2014 (Litigation Star: Canada - Arbitration; Local Litigation Star: Quebec)
Blakes Bulletin on International Dispute Resolution, May 6, 2016.
Commercial Arbitration - Canada
GAR Know-How, Global Arbitration Review ", August 1, 2015.
LegisPratique - Guide de l'arbitrage, Lexis Nexis, November 11, 2014.
Lexology Navigator Q&A: Arbitration - Canada
Lexology, July 25, 2014.
Has Chapter 9 of the TPP Grown Too Complex to Offer Canadian Investors Real Protection?
Understanding the TPP: IP Protection and Investment Protection, A co-sponsorship of the McGill Centre for Intellectual Property Policy, the Quartier de l'innovation, the Centre d'entreprises d'innovation de Montréal, the Centre for International Governance Innovation, and DS Avocats, January 29, 2016.
Accords sur les investissements étrangers entre pays industrialisés: Sont-ils pertinents?
International Law Association, December 3, 2015.
Top 10 (and more!) issues in Drafting ADR Clauses and Agreements
ADRIC - 2014 Conference: ADR in the Making: New Code, New Culture, ADR Institute of Canada, October 23, 2014.
Canada's Accession to ICSID, WCCAS 8th Annual Energy, Mining and Resources Arbitration Conference
Western Canada Commercial Arbitration Society, Calgary, Alberta, May 14, 2014.