Alex K. Paterson OC, OQ, QC, Ad.E.

Counsel

Executive Summary

Alex Paterson is a Counsel in our Montréal office and a former senior partner of the Firm. Alex is recognized as one of the leading litigation lawyers in Québec in the following fields:  health, construction, accounting, arbitration and mediation.

Alex has acted as General Counsel to the non-marine underwriters of Lloyd's Insurance in Canada since 1982. He has pleaded before two Royal Commissions (Nelles and Krever), representing two distinguished medical scientists.

As well as appearing before the courts, Alex has spent a good portion of his career representing clients in the drafting and presentation of briefs before government bodies. He has appeared before committees of the Legislatures of Ontario and Manitoba and the Parliament of Canada in relation to legislation affecting language and the Constitution. He has presented briefs on behalf of the health and education sectors in Québec before the National Assembly, and has participated in the development of health legislation in Québec for over 25 years.

Representative Work

Health Care Law

  • For over 40 years, has acted for the McGill University hospitals, as well as several community hospitals.

Construction

  • In the 1990s, together with his partner, Jacques Brien, was retained by Canadian National to bring a construction claim against a supplier that involved many regional offices of the railway. Protracted litigation was expected but the case finally settled.
  • Won a case in the Supreme Court for the well-known architect, the late Richard Bolton, against Montréal Trust, involving the trust company's obligation to pay the architect for his blueprints for the McGregor Place Building.

Accounting

  • Has represented several large accounting firms, acting for their insurers in professional liability cases, most recently in a case involving the independence of auditors and rules that should govern that matter.

Arbitration and Mediation

  • Acted as a Commissioner of school disputes, appointed by the Provincial Government (the Poirier Commission) and acted as a Special Inquirer in a labour dispute affecting the English education sector, 1976.
  • Arbitrated disputes relating to school principals and school boards, and a major dispute between two computer firms.
  • Served on a committee of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce, in a dispute between a Québec and an Italian company.
  • Served as Chief Negotiator for the Québec Government in the negotiations with the Mohawks, and in 1976 was a member of the three-arbitrator provincial panel that settled a province-wide strike in the education sector.
  • Acted as Québec counsel for Sergei Nemstanoff, a Russian diver who defected to Canada at the Olympic Games in 1976, and worked with David Matheson of Toronto in negotiating with Russia, the RCMP and the Government of Canada.
  • Put together an international team that succeeded in having a Spanish world chess champion who had been imprisoned in Uruguay admitted to Montréal, without a visa, passport or identification.

Publications & Presentations

  • Author, My Life at the Bar and Beyond, McGill-Queen's University Press, 2006.

Rankings & Recognitions

  • Received the Commander's Medal of the Ordre de Montréal.
  • Recognized in the 2018 edition (and since 2006) of The Best Lawyers in Canada® (Personal Injury Litigation).
  • Named "Lawyer of the Year (Personal Injury Litigation, Montréal)" in the 2012 edition of the Best Lawyers in Canada®.
  • Named Advocatus Emeritus of the Barreau du Québec, 2010.
  • Bar of Montréal's Medal of Honour, "for his major contribution to the cause of justice and his exemplary devotion to the communities of Québec and of Canada."
  • Named to the Academy of Great Montréalers.
  • Appointed Officer of both the Order of Canada and the Order of Québec.
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ 5 out of 5 Peer Review Ranked.
  • Honorary Doctorates in Law from both McGill University and Bishop's University.
  • Awarded CASE District I Distinguished Friend of Education Award.