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.
Competition law in all ways - National symposium on class actions, Barreau du Québec February 2014 Preemption Revisited IATA Legal Symposium, San FranciscoMarch 2014
The realization of guarantees and presumed trusts - Back to square one? Financing and Security Conference, Canadian InstituteJanuary 2014
Non-Conveniens Forum: the Canadian Experience IATA Legal Symposium, VancouverFebruary 2011
The association of jurists for the advancement of artistic life AJAVA conference, October 29, 2010, at the Quebec Institute of Tourism and HospitalityOctober 2010
Jurisprudential and Commercial Assessment CAIRP Seminar on Insolvency and Commercial RestructuringMay 31, 2010
The CCAA reform, evolution or codification? Conference on Insolvency and Commercial Restructuring, Insight, MontrealApril 28, 2010
Issues, strategies and opportunities for buyers of companies in difficulty Insight Conference on Insolvency and Commercial Restructuring, InterContinental Hotel, MontrealApril 21, 2009
Collection of the GST QST in a bankruptcy context The last chapter? Article and Presentation: 8th Advanced Conference, Insolvency, Restructuring, Bankruptcy, October 17, 2008October 2008
To the rescue of mutual funds! Presentation given at the 7th annual conference in bankruptcy and insolvency of the Canadian Institute, in MontrealSeptember 2007
Jurisdictional review of restructuring Conference given at the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals Annual Conference, Mont-Tremblant, August 18, 2007August 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-RoyalMay 2007
Bankruptcy and civil law: towards an asymmetrical approach to compensation?, Presentation: Canadian Institute - Bankruptcy and Insolvency,September 2006
The Canadian Insolvency System "A Brief Overview" Panel discussion: IATA Legal symposiumFebruary 2006
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
- “Getting the Deal Through – Private Antitrust Litigation 2016, Canada Chapter,” Law Business Research, 2016
- “Taxpayers Lack Standing to Seek Damages in Class Action Proceedings for Bid-rigging,”TerraLex Connections (June 21, 2015)
- “Hitting ‘Em Where it Hurts: Canada Targets Russian Energy Sector in Latest Round of Economic Sanctions,” Economic Sanctions Brief (December 2014)
- “Competition Tribunal Confirms that Abuse of Dominant Market Conduct requires Acts directed at Injuring or Excluding Competitors,” Toronto Law Journal (June 2013)
- “Indalex: CAIRP’s Submission Before the Supreme Court of Canada,” Rebuilding Success, Vol. 11, Issue 2 (Fall 2012)
- “La réforme du droit des cartels – deux ans plus tard,” La Collection Blais Volume 13– Rendez-vous 2012 en droit des sociétés, Les Éditions Yvon Blais (October 2012)
- “Cracks in the DIPs?,” Rebuilding Success – CAIRP, Volume 10, Issue 2 (November 2011)
- “Supreme Court of Canada Judgment: Limiting Crown Claims for unremitted sales taxes in CCAA cases,” Corporate Restructuring Bulletin (January 2011)
- “Gatekeepers or Ticket Takers: Canadian and US Courts Diverge on the Role of Evidence in Antitrust Class Action Certification,” The 2011 Lexpert®/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada
- “Canada Chapter in: Getting the Deal Through – Private Antitrust Litigation 2011,” Reproduced with permission from Law Business Research. This article was first published in Getting the Deal Through – Private Antitrust Litigation 2011, (published in October 2010; contributing editor Samantha Mobley). For further information please visit www.GettingTheDealThrough.com.
- “Supreme Court of Canada Denies Priority to Revenue Québec for Bankrupt’s Unremitted Sales Taxes,” Restructuring Bulletin (January 2010)
- “Canada Chapter in: Getting the Deal Through – Private Antitrust Litigation 2010,” Reproduced with permission from Law Business Research. This article was first published in Getting the Deal Through – Private Antitrust Litigation 2010 (published in October 2009). (October 2009)
- “Competition Law in Canada: Is Canada For Sale?,”Consulegis Newsletter, Winter 2007-08 (December 2007)
- “Perception de la TPS et de la TVQ: Qui arrêtra Revenu Québec,” Published in the Annual Review of Insolvency Law (December 2007)
- “Canada Chapter in: Getting the Deal Through – Private Antitrust Litigation 2008,” Global Competition Review, October 2007 (October 2007)
Insights by Éric Vallières (11 Posts)
In a long-awaited decision, Canada’s newly appointed Transport Minister approved Air Canada’s acquisition of rival Transat on public interest grounds
On June 1, 2020, the CTA issued the Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations Application Exemption Order.
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.
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 CompaniesMay 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
The Supreme Court of Canada Confirmed Today the Paramountcy of theBankruptcy and Insolvency Act over License Denial RegimesNov 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
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 TrademarksFeb 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
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