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Richard L. Desgagnés

Senior Partner

Richard L. Desgagnés

Richard Desgagnés’ litigation practice encompasses all aspects of commercial litigation. He is particularly knowledgeable about transportation matters and private international law. Mr. Desgagnés co-chairs our transnational litigation practice.

Mr. Desgagnés handles cases involving marine pollution, charterparty disputes, ship and aircraft casualties, shipbuilding and ship repair contract disputes, product liability disputes, ship and aircraft liens, insurance and insolvency, as well as a variety of general commercial disputes.

He regularly pleads before the Quebec courts and the federal courts of Canada and has successfully represented clients before all the courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada. He also has testified as expert witness in Canadian maritime law before American courts.

Mr. Desgagnés has also appeared before arbitration panels and has developed particular expertise in incidental arbitral proceedings, including recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitration awards against private parties and foreign states and matters of state immunity. In this connection, he has advised clients in litigation before the High Court of the Hong Kong SAR (Court of First Instance and Court of Appeal) as well as the Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong SAR, the Royal Court of the Island of Jersey (First Instance and Court of Appeal), the Privy Council and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

In addition to his litigation work, Mr. Desgagnés handles transactional work involving ship and aircraft financing, charterparty agreements and other agreements for the carriage and/or storage of goods. He also advises business lawyers of the firm on acquiring or transferring assets in the transportation industry.

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  • Year of call
    Quebec 1988
  • Law school
    LL.B., Université de Montréal, 1986
  • Education
    Diploma in Shipping, University of London, 1988
  • Speaking engagements
    • “Aircraft Repossession in Canada: The Competing Claims,” Inaugural IBA Air Finance Opportunities Conference, Montreal, June 11-13, 2014.
    • “Temporary Entry of OSV’s into Canadian Waters,” OSV North America, Houston, Texas, March 27‑28, 2014.
    • “Operating in ice-infested waters,” OSV Charterparty Management Seminar, Houston, Texas, March 23‑24, 2014.
    • “Natural Resources and the Arctic,” Colloquium on Arctic Law, McGill University Faculty of Law, Montreal, January 25, 2014.
    • “Legal Topics of Interest in the Arctic,” Arctic Oil & Gas North America 2013, St. John's, Newfoundland, April 10‑11, 2013.
    • “Canadian Perspectives on Regulation and Legislation,” Arctic Oil Spill Conference, London, UK, October 29‑30, 2012.
    • “Compensatory regimes for marine oil spills in Canada,” Marine Oil Pollution Prevention and Combating: Where do we stand? Seminar organized by the Institut Maritime du Québec in collaboration with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, February 3, 2011.
    • “Choices of Forum, Anti-Suit Injunctions, Forum Conveniens and Related Agonies - An Update,” Canadian Maritime Law Association 2010 Seminar, Halifax, June 3, 2010.
    • “Les clauses de résolution de différends en matière maritime : incertitudes et controverses,” Canadian Bar Association, Quebec Branch, International Law Section, January 2010.
    • “Aircraft Repossession in Canada,” Annual General Meeting, International Bar Association, October 2009.
  • Rankings and recognitions
    • Best Lawyers – Lawyer of the Year 2015: Maritime Law
    • Best Lawyers in Canada, 2012-2015 – Maritime Law
    • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2013-2015: Transportation; Transportation: Shipping
    • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, 2012: recommended in Shipping & Maritime Law
    • The International Who’s Who of Shipping & Maritime Lawyers, 2012-2013
    • International Who’s Who of Aviation Lawyers, 2011 – one of the world’s leading practitioners
  • Memberships and activities
    • Canadian Bar Association
      • National Maritime Law Section ─ Past Chair
    • Canadian Maritime Law Association
      • Executive member, Vice-President ─ Quebec