Cristina Birks

Cristina Birks  


Executive Summary

Cristina Birks is counsel in our Commercial Litigation Group in our Montréal office and is a member of our International Trade and Arbitration Group. Cristina handles various litigation files in numerous fields and pleads regularly before all judicial bodies in the province of Québec, and has also pleaded before international arbitration tribunals, including ICSID, the ICC and the ICDR. She is fluent in English, French and Spanish.

In November 2014, Cristina was awarded "Lawyer of the Year in Civil and Commercial Litigation" by the Young Bar Association of Montreal.

Prior to joining BLG, she completed an internship at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica. Cristina also worked at a boutique Aboriginal law firm in Montréal.

Before beginning her career in law, Cristina worked at the National Geographic Magazine in Washington, DC for two years. She also worked for a year in Hanoi, Vietnam at an elementary school implementing an English-language program for students and teachers. While living in Lima, Peru, she completed a certificate in Peruvian law at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Lima. Cristina also spent a year studying literature at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and did a one-year exchange program in Barcelona, Spain.

Representative Work

  • Cristina represented a Latin American manufacturer in an international commercial arbitration dispute under the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce.
  • She represented a commercial landlord in an insurance claim in liability for approximately 5 million dollars.
  • She represented an electronics manufacturer in a product liability claim for damages for approximately 25 million dollars.
  • She acted for a European importer in a 5-million dollar fraud file.
  • She acted for a Latin American government against a Spanish company in an investor-state dispute before the World Bank's International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes.
  • She represented a group of 73 shareholders in a claim for damages in a shareholder dispute.
  • She represented defendant liquidators in an Estate file in a five-week trial in a claim for damages in the amount of 15 million dollars.
  • She acted for a Canadian bank before the International Chamber of Commerce's DOCDEX division.
  • She acted for a Canadian manufacturer in a dispute against one of its sales agents.

Publications & Presentations


  • "Quebec court consolidates law on third-party funding agreements: impact on commercial arbitration," International Law Office, June 2018.
  • "A Pyrrhic Victory: Bell v. Molson" (2013) 32 Est.&Tr.J.187.


  • “Cross-Examination in International Arbitration,” Speaker, International Chamber of Commerce of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico (June 2017).
  • "Recent Legislative and Judicial Developments in Latin America," Speaker, YCAP 2016 Fall Symposium in conjunction with ICC's Young Arbitrators Forum (October 2016)
  • "Advantages of Regulating the Appeals Process in Arbitration," Speaker, 9o Congreso Latinoamericano de Arbitraje, Lima, Peru (April 2015).
  • "The Recognition and Enforcement of Arbitral Awards Annulled at the Seat of Arbitration," Speaker, 8vo. Congreso Latinoamericano de Arbitraje, Lima, Peru (April 2014).
  • Arbitrator at the Eleventh Vis East Moot Competition in Hong Kong (2014).

Rankings & Recognitions

  • Recognized by Global Arbitration Review for inclusion in Who’s Who Legal - Arbitration List of Future Leaders 2018.
  • ​Winner of the 2014 Lawyer of the Year in the Civil and Commercial Litigation category at the 8th "Leaders of Tomorrow" Gala (2014), sponsored by the Young Bar Association of Montreal.