Réjean Hinse, wrongfully convicted of armed robbery almost 50 years ago, has been awarded $13.1M from the federal and Québec governments, the most significant compensation of its kind in Canada for a wrongful conviction. A team of BLG lawyers provided Mr. Hinse with pro bono representation in the suit.

Guy Pratte, a partner and chair of BLG's National Council, called the ruling "a historic day for Canadian justice."

In 1964, Mr. Hinse was sentenced to 15 years in prison and was acquitted by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1997 as a result of new evidence. After the federal and Québec governments failed to offer an apology or compensation, Mr. Hinse filed a civil law suit against them. As a result, the federal government has been ordered to pay $8.6M (including interest), and the Province of Québec settled prior to judgement for $4.5M.

"They've been in denial until now," said Mr. Pratte. "The court told the government that their powers have to be used properly, and they turned a deaf ear for 40 years."

Along with Mr. Pratte, Mr. Hinse was represented by Alexander De Zordo, partner and regional manager of BLG's Litigation Department, and Katherine Loranger, Marc Unger and Patrick Plante, associates within BLG's Commercial Litigation Group.