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About Francis

Francis is the practice group leader for the Montréal litigation group. He has considerable experience in several areas of commercial litigation, including product liability, contract law, corporate litigation and shareholder disputes, securities and related regulatory litigation, construction and real estate litigation. He has acted in the defence of insurance carriers and insurance brokers and has also represented various creditors and debtors in relation to large restructuring matters. He also has extensive knowledge of class action defence work in the fields of product liability, price fixing, consumer contracts and financial institutions.

Francis represents clients in trials and appeals at all levels of courts, including the Federal Court of Canada and the Supreme Court of Canada. He has also acted as counsel for clients in ad hoc arbitration proceedings and under the auspices of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and based on the UNCITRAL model law for international commercial arbitrations.

Francis is fluent in French and English.

Select Experience
  • Defended large multinational companies in class actions regarding consumer contracts, product liability and price fixing, and economic loss

  • Defended an oil company in an action relating to the interpretation of contractual provisions in ad hoc arbitration proceedings

  • Defended a mining company in a contractual dispute with monetary consequences in arbitration proceedings under the auspices of the International Chamber of Commerce

  • Defended the interests of a railway company in an action to recover funds under a transportation contract in arbitration proceedings based on the UNCITRAL model law for international commercial arbitrations

  • Defended a pharmaceutical company in the defence of a trademark infringement and passing-off action raising the novel question of analyzing the confusion of trade-marks through intermediaries

  • Represented a number of clients involving the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), the financial regulatory body in the province of Quebec, in respect of investigations carried on by the AMF

  • Defended an international insurance broker in the context of an action taken by an insured following the denial of coverage by the primary insurance carrier

  • Participated in the restructuring of a major real estate portfolio organization under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act

  • Acted for a leading manufacturer of polyvinyl-chloride (PVC) profiles and a leading producer of plastics in the context of a product liability action

  • Defended shareholders in various litigations arising from shareholders agreements, including oppression remedies and derivative actions

  • Acted for a private investment counselling firm with respect to an action involving allegations of unfair competition

Awards & Recognition

Francis has been recognized as a leading lawyer by the following publications:

  • The Legal 500 Canada – 2023–2024 (Dispute Resolution: Quebec)

  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business – 2018–2024 (Litigation – General Commercial)

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada (2015–2016, 2020–2021, 2023–2024: Class Action Litigation, Corporate and Commercial Litigation; 2016, 2020–2021, 2023–2024: Product Liability Law; 2020–2021, 2023–2024: Alternative Dispute Resolution; 2024: Appellate Practice)

  • Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys (2015 and 2022–2023: Litigation Star – Arbitration, Insurance, Product Liability and Recall; 2015: Litigation Star – Class Actions and Competition)

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (2023: Repeatedly Recommended in Litigation – Corporate Commercial, Class Actions, and Litigation – Product Liability; 2015 and 2020: Litigation – Product Liability; 2016 and 2019: Repeatedly Recommended in Litigation – Product Liability)

Professional Activities

Francis has been a member of the Firm's national Pro Bono Committee and a member of the Firm's Legal Personnel Committee and Recruitment Committee in Montréal.

Outside of Blakes, he is a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) and the Defense Research Institute (DRI). He is also a member of the Montréal Bar, the Quebec Bar and the Canadian Bar Association. From 1999 to 2001, he served as a member of the Montréal Bar's Liaison Committee with the Federal Court of Canada.

Professional Appearances

Admitted to the Quebec Bar – 1992
LLB, Université de Montréal – 1990
(Recipient of the Mateesco-Matte Award in Transportation Law)

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