François D. Gagnon  


Executive Summary

François Gagnon, a partner in our Financial Services Group, is also a member of our Insolvency and Financial Restructuring Group. He frequently represents secured and unsecured creditors, monitors, trustees, insolvent debtor companies, directors and asset purchasers in restructurings under the Companies Creditors' Arrangements Act and restructurings and liquidations under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.

François also has considerable experience in commercial litigation, having pleaded before all judicial bodies in Québec, including the Québec Court of appeal, as well as administrative and arbitration tribunals. He has also made representations on motions for leave to appeal before the Supreme Court of Canada.

In addition, he has a working knowledge of Spanish.

Representative Work

  • François represented the special committee of senior secured noteholders and their trustee, in the cross-border restructuring of AbitibiBowater.
  • He acted for Mexicana Airlines and its foreign representative in proceedings instituted under Part IV of the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act, and in a dispute against the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
  • He represented various creditors and a potential purchaser of assets in the restructuring of Aveos Fleet Performance Inc. et al.
  • He acted for a secured creditor in the cross-border restructuring of Quebecor World Inc.
  • He acted for a controller in the restructuring of Canadian asset-backed commercial paper (ABCP).
  • François also represented the controller in proceedings relating to the restructuring of Boutique Jacob Inc.
  • He acted on behalf of creditors and a potential asset purchaser in the cross-border restructuring of Nortel Networks.
  • He acted for the landlord under a lease redemption agreement in the informal restructuring of BELLUS Health.
  • He represented a creditor in the restructuring of Century Mining.
  • He represented the short-term lender in the restructuring of Béton Grilli.
  • He acted on behalf of the principal secured creditor in the restructurings of Blackwatch Entertainment Group and Telescene Film Group, television and film producers.
  • He represented Effigi in its restructuring and proposal under the BIA, as well as in various commercial disputes.
  • He acted for Allianz Madvac and its majority shareholder in a receivership.
  • He represented a former director of Chantier A.C. Davie in the restructuring of that company.
  • In addition to his specialized knowledge in corporate restructurings, François has considerable litigation experience in other fields of practice, including real estate, fraud, banking and shareholder disputes, which frequently proves highly useful in dealing with litigious and contested restructurings.
  • This expertise enables François to skilfully represent real estate developers and property owners, and, in particular, the largest real estate investment trust in Canada, in disputes related  to the holding and management of their properties.
  • François has pioneered in the drafting and application of safeguard orders in commercial disputes between landlords and tenants and in commercial mortgage foreclosure proceedings.

Publications & Presentations

  • "Ordonnances de sauvegarde et recours hypothécaires," a presentation to the Canadian Bankers Association.
  • "New Approaches to Landlord-Tenant Disputes," a presentation given at the International Conference of Shopping Centers.
  • "Réforme du Code civil – Recours hypothécaires – Mise à jour de la jurisprudence," a presentation to The Toronto-Dominion Bank, Business Division (Québec).
  • "Due Diligence in Real Estate Transactions," a presentation to the Risk Management Association.
  • "Saisissable des REER," a presentation to the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals (CAIRP).
  • "Programme de protection des salariés – de l'incohérence à la cohérence," a presentation to the Canadian Institute.
  • "Maîtriser les nouveaux développements en matière de priorités et supériorités pour protéger vos intérêts financiers et traduire les changements à la Loi sur la faillite et l'insolvabilité," a presentation to the Canadian Institute's 6th Advanced Conference on Financing and Security.

Rankings & Recognitions

  • ​Recognized in the 2019 edition (and since 2017) of IFLR1000 – The Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms (Restructuring and Insolvency, Financial Restructuring – Rising Star).
  • Recognized in the 2018 and 2017 edition of The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory (Insolvency & Financial Restructuring).