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Éric Vallières is one of Canada’s foremost aviation lawyers and a leader of McMillan’s Aviation Group. He is also widely respected for his expertise in competition and foreign investment law. Éric’s broad practice encompasses class actions, international arbitration and cross-border litigation. As a top-notch and seasoned class action defence litigator, he has acted as lead counsel for multiple Fortune 500 companies in antitrust class actions, as well as in numerous product liability, misleading advertising and consumer protection cases. Éric’s vast litigation experience encompasses all levels of Québec courts, the Federal Court and the Supreme Court of Canada as well as specialized tribunals and disciplinary boards.

Éric’s many appearances before the Supreme Court of Canada include landmark cases involving the rights of indirect purchasers to sue in class proceedings, the rights and powers of the Canadian competition law authorities as well as the rights of bankrupt estates relating to the collection of sales taxes. He has also argued a significant number of international arbitration cases, including in front of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the International Telecommunications Union, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) arbitration panels. His arbitration practice also includes appearing before industry specialized tribunals, such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Travel Agency Commissioner.

For over 20 years, Éric has acted for the IATA both in Canada and abroad. He has represented IATA in several major cases including in connection with Swissair, Mexicana, CStar, Instrubel and NAV CANADA. Since 2015, Éric and his team have handled and co-ordinated all outside counsel legal affairs of IATA across the Americas, including co-ordinating the work of over 40 law firms regarding IATA matters. He routinely advises international and local airlines, as well as other stakeholders of the aviation industry. Éric and his team currently act or have acted, in recent years, for Cathay Pacific, Turkish Airlines, American Airlines, Air France-KLM and Corsair.

In addition to aviation, Éric assists clients in many other industries, including real estate, banking, public markets and telecommunication services as well as the media and entertainment sectors. In commercial matters, he advises and represents clients in the application of competition law. Éric has advised clients in connection with alleged price-fixing conspiracies, situations of potential abuses of dominance, disputed mergers as well as a multitude of compliance matters. In real estate matters, Éric has been retained by various real estate boards as well as the Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers, and has appeared before parliamentary commissions in connection with legislation reform. He has also acted for individual brokers in commercial matters, including before disciplinary boards.

Éric is a frequent speaker locally and abroad in areas relating to class actions, aviation and general commercial litigation as well as antitrust and bankruptcy matters.



Speaking Engagements

Non-Conveniens Forum: the Canadian Experience IATA Legal Symposium, Vancouver

February 2011

Jurisprudential and Commercial Assessment CAIRP Seminar on Insolvency and Commercial Restructuring

May 31, 2010

The CCAA reform, evolution or codification? Conference on Insolvency and Commercial Restructuring, Insight, Montreal

April 28, 2010

Issues, strategies and opportunities for buyers of companies in difficulty Insight Conference on Insolvency and Commercial Restructuring, InterContinental Hotel, Montreal

April 21, 2009

To the rescue of mutual funds! Presentation given at the 7th annual conference in bankruptcy and insolvency of the Canadian Institute, in Montreal

September 2007

Jurisdictional review of restructuring Conference given at the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals Annual Conference, Mont-Tremblant, August 18, 2007

August 18, 2007

TPS-TVQ - When reading the law is not enough Lecture given at the insolvency forum of the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals, at Center Mont-Royal

May 2007

The Canadian Insolvency System "A Brief Overview" Panel discussion: IATA Legal symposium

February 2006

News


Rankings & Recognition

  • Recognized by the Best Lawyers in Canada (2021) as a leading lawyer in the area of Competition / Antitrust Law
  • Recognized in the 2020 Benchmark Litigation: Canada Guide as a Litigation Star
  • Recognized in the 2020 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a Repeatedly Recommended lawyer in the areas of Aviation Law (Regulatory & Liability) Competition Law
  • Listed in Who’s Who Legal: Canada 2020 as a leader in Aviation
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada (2020) as a leading lawyer in the area of Competition / Antitrust Law
  • Listed in Who’s Who Legal: Canada 2019 as a leader in Aviation
  • Recognized in the 2019 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a Repeatedly Recommended lawyer in the areas Competition Law and Aviation (Regulation & Liability)
  • Recognized in the 2019 Benchmark Litigation Canada Guide as a Litigation Star
  • Recognized in the 2018 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a Repeatedly Recommended lawyer in the areas Competition Law and Aviation (Regulation & Liability)
  • Listed in Who’s Who Legal Canada: 2018 as a leader in Aviation
  • Ranked by Lexpert Guide (2018) as a leading US/Canada Cross-Border Lawyer in Canada
  • Selected as one of the leading aviation lawyers by Who’s Who Legal: Canada 2017
  • Listed in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2017 as repeatedly recommended in the area of Competition Law
  • Selected as one of the leading aviation lawyers by Who’s Who Legal: Canada 2016
  • Listed in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2016 as a leading lawyer in the area of Competition Law
  • Client Choice Canada 2015– Winner for Aviation Category – In association with Lexology and the International Law Office (ILO)
  • Client Choice Canada 2014– Winner for Aviation Category – In association with Lexology and the International Law Office (ILO)
  • Selected as one of the leading aviation lawyers in Canada by the International Who’s Who – Aviation Lawyers, 2014
  • Recommended in Chambers Global 2012 for Competition/Antitrust: Litigators (Canada)
  • Listed as a litigator to watch in the 2009 and 2010 Lexpert® Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Litigation Lawyers in Canada
  • 2008 and 2009 Finalist at the Lexpert® Rising Stars Leading Lawyers under 40
  • Commonwealth Scholar (1992)
  • Highest grades in Commercial Law, Université Laval (1991)
  • Best Pleader and Factum of the Pierre-Basile-Migneault Moot Court Competition (1991)
  • CANPRO for the best Canadian television program in Public Affairs (1985)

Directorships & Affiliations

  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Graduate Association of Laval University

Education & Admissions

1992
Called to the Québec bar
1993
United Kingdom, LLM (with Honours)King's College London
1991
LLB (Gold Medalist)Université Laval

Publications

Insights by Éric Vallières (12 Posts)

Competition Bureau Grounds FlightHub’s Misleading Advertising

Mar 3, 2021

On February 24, 2021, the Competition Bureau concluded its investigation into alleged misleading advertising by FlightHub by way of a consent agreement.

Canada’s Transport Minister Approves Air Transat’s Take-Over by Air Canada

Feb 22, 2021

In a long-awaited decision, Canada’s newly appointed Transport Minister approved Air Canada’s acquisition of rival Transat on public interest grounds

ATPDR: Limited Exemptions for Foreign Air Carriers

Jun 23, 2020

On June 1, 2020, the CTA issued the Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations Application Exemption Order.

COVID-19: The Importance of the Written Word

Mar 26, 2020

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation has evolved rapidly, and the extent of the legal and economic consequences for businesses and their operations remains uncertain.

Aviation – New Regulations Regarding Passenger Rights in Canada

Jun 5, 2019

On May 24, 2019, after many months of consultations with various stakeholders, the Canadian Transportation Agency (“CTA”) formally adopted the Air Passenger Protection Regulations (the “APPR”).

The Next Wave of US Extraterritorial Sanctions regarding Cuba – Potential Impacts for Canadian Companies

May 6, 2019

On May 2, 2019, after 22 years of semi-annual deferrals by multiple presidents, the United States brought Title III of its Helms-Burton Act into force.

The Queen v. Callidus Capital Corporation Overturned; Lenders Breathe a Sigh of Relief, But For How Long?

Nov 12, 2018

The decision, released in July 2017, was overturned on November 8, 2018 by the Supreme Court of Canada, offering sought-after certainty for secured lenders.

Final Report: Canada Transportation Act Review

Mar 16, 2016

Final Report: Canada Transportation Act Review

The Supreme Court of Canada Confirmed Today the Paramountcy of theBankruptcy and Insolvency Act over License Denial Regimes

Nov 19, 2015

The Supreme Court of Canada Confirmed Today the Paramountcy of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act over License Denial Regimes

UPDATED: Canada Expands Economic Sanctions and Targets Russian Energy Sector

Feb 21, 2015

UPDATED: Canada Expands Economic Sanctions and Targets Russian Energy Sector

Still Kicking: Quebec Court Confirms the Constitutionality of the Charter of the French Language, Clarifies the Rule of “Marked Predominance” and Reiterates the Exemptions for Unregistered Trademarks

Feb 20, 2015

Still Kicking: Quebec Court Confirms the Constitutionality of the Charter of the French Language, Clarifies the Rule of “Marked Predominance” and Reiterates the Exemptions for Unregistered Trademarks

Assigning Contracts in Canadian Insolvency Proceedings

Jul 18, 2014

Assigning Contracts in Canadian Insolvency Proceedings