Pierre Bienvenu, Ad. E.
Global Co-Head of International Arbitration, Senior Partner
Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP
Pierre Bienvenu, Ad. E.vCard
Pierre Bienvenu is global co-head of our international arbitration practice. He was managing partner of Ogilvy Renault LLP (one of our predecessor firms in Canada) from 2005 to 2009 and chaired its executive committee from 2005 to 2011. He served on our global supervisory board from 2011 to 2014.
Mr. Bienvenu is a disputes lawyer with more than 35 years' experience, practising in international commercial arbitration, corporate and commercial litigation, and constitutional law. He has acted as counsel or served as arbitrator in numerous domestic and international arbitrations, both ad hoc and institutional, involving disputes in energy, transportation, telecommunications, mergers and acquisitions, construction, pharmaceutical products, international distribution and joint ventures, and foreign investment. He is also regularly called upon to represent parties in court proceedings to enforce or set aside foreign or domestic arbitral awards. A former co-chair of the IBA's Arbitration Committee (2008-2009), he served as an alternate member of the ICC International Court of Arbitration between 2015 and 2021 and previously, between 2010 and 2015, as a member of the LCIA Court, of which he was also a vice-president. He was appointed to the Arbitration Court of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) in July 2021, and was designated by the Government of Canada as a member of ICSID's Panel of Arbitrators (International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes) for a six-year term beginning in September 2021.
In addition to appearing before numerous administrative and arbitral tribunals, Mr. Bienvenu has pleaded before the courts of Quebec, the Federal Court of Canada and the Supreme Court of Canada. He has participated in numerous challenges to the constitutional validity of provincial and federal legislation, and has extensive experience in public law litigation. His Supreme Court of Canada experience includes representing government bodies, institutions, corporations and individuals in a range of high-profile constitutional and commercial law disputes, including representing the Attorney General of Canada in the landmark Reference re Secession of Quebec, the federally appointed judiciary in the Bodner case and the Reference on the Jurisdiction of the Court of Quebec, the successful party in the highly publicized Eric v Lola equality case, and acting as co-counsel for BCE and Bell Canada in their successful appeal to the Supreme Court to approve a plan of arrangement for the $50 billion leveraged buyout of BCE by a private equity consortium.
Mr. Bienvenu is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He was awarded the distinction Advocatus Emeritus by the Quebec Bar in 2008 and, in 2013, he was presented with the Paul-André Crépeau Medal by the Canadian Bar Association for his contribution to the advancement of the international dimension of private law and commercial law in Canada. He was ranked among the top 25 most highly regarded individuals in the practice of international arbitration worldwide in Who's Who Legal's 2016 International Who's Who of Commercial Arbitration.
- LL.M., London School of Economics and Political Science, 1983
- LL.L., Université de Montréal, 1981
- Quebec 1983
Mr. Bienvenu acted recently for the following clients:
- The successful respondents in an appeal before the Supreme Court of Canada in negligence proceedings against a lawyer and his law firm for recommending a financial advisor who subsequently absconded with the clients' savings
- Hydro-Québec in an appeal before the Supreme Court of Canada by Churchill Falls (Labrador) Corporation. (CF(L)Co), seeking to revise the pricing terms of the long-term power supply contract between these parties
- Air Canada in an appeal before the Supreme Court of Canada concerning the application of the Montreal Convention, an international treaty, to a damages claim under the Official Languages Act
- The successful party in the Eric v Lola case, the highly publicized challenge to the constitutional validity of the treatment of unmarried spouses under the Civil Code of Québec, which was decided by the Supreme Court of Canada early in 2013
- The Attorney General of Canada in litigation concerning the legality, under both Canadian constitutional law and public international law, of the secession of the Province of Quebec from Canada, including in the landmark Reference re Secession of Quebec by the Government of Canada to the Supreme Court of Canada
- The federally appointed judiciary before the Judicial Salaries and Benefits Commission (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020), and before the Supreme Court of Canada in the Bodner case and the Reference re Code of Civil Procedure (Que.), art. 35, concerning the monetary jurisdiction of the Court of Quebec
- The Canadian Commercial Arbitration Centre before the Supreme Court of Canada in Éditions Chouette (1987) Inc. v Desputeaux, an appeal concerning the arbitrability of copyright disputes; the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) before the Supreme Court of Canada, first in Dell Computer Corp. v Union des consommateurs, a case dealing with the enforceability of arbitration clauses in consumer contracts, and on a second occasion, in the Yugraneft case, which concerned the legality of local time limitation periods under the New York Convention; and the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce before the Supreme Court of Canada in the Uber case, which concerned the application of the compétence/compétence principle to the ICC arbitration clause contained in the licensing agreement entered into by Uber drivers
- An intervener in the Carter case, in which the Supreme Court of Canada declared constitutionally invalid the Criminal Code prohibition on physician-assisted death
- The Canadian Bar Association, in an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada relating to the standard to determine whether a lawyer's in-court behaviour constitutes professional misconduct on the basis of incivility
- The Advocates Society, in an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada concerning the constitutional validity of provisions of the Income Tax Act that sought to exclude accounting records from the ambit of the protection afforded by solicitor-client privilege
- BCE Inc. in its $1.2 billion claim against the private equity sponsors of the failed leveraged buyout of the company
His recent experience as an arbitrator includes:
- ICDR arbitration, seated in London, concerning the rights to a new generic Top Level Domain name (President)
- ICC arbitration, seated in Stockholm, of multi-billion dollar claims in the nuclear industry (President)
- ICC arbitration, seated in Paris, of a $500 million claim concerning the protection of trade secrets (President)
- ICC arbitration, seated in Paris, of claims and counterclaims of over $350 million in the information technology sector (President)
- ICC arbitration, seated in London, of claims arising out of the cancellation of a licence agreement in the medical sector (President)
- LCIA arbitration, seated in London, of a claim under a political risk insurance policy (President)
- Ad hoc arbitration, seated in Brussels, concerning the termination of a commercial aviation agency agreement (President)
- Ad hoc conciliation, seated in Paris, in a dispute arising out of the taxation of windfall profits in the oil industry (party-appointed conciliator)
- Acritas Stars 2021 – Designated as an "Independently rated lawyer"
- Who's Who Legal: Canada - Arbitration, Litigation 2014, 2020
- Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, 2011 - 2022: recommended in Commercial Arbitration; Litigation - Corporate Commercial; Litigation - Regulatory & Public Law
- Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada, 2020-2022: Most Frequently Recommended in the area of Commercial Arbitration; Litigation – Corporate Commercial
- Chambers Global, Canada: Dispute Resolution (Band 1), Chambers and Partners, 2018-2021
- Chambers Global, Canada: Dispute Resolution - Arbitration, Chambers and Partners, 2018-2022
- Chambers Global, Canada: Dispute Resolution - Most in Demand Arbitrator (Band 1), Chambers and Partners, 2018-2022
- Chambers Global, Global-wide: Arbitration (International), Chambers and Partners, 2008-2022
- Chambers Canada, Nationwide: Dispute Resolution - Most in Demand Arbitrator (Band 1), Chambers and Partners, 2018-2022
- Chambers Canada, Nationwide: Dispute Resolution - Arbitration, Chambers and Partner, 2016-2022
- Chambers Canada, Quebec: Litigation - General Commercial (Band 1), Chambers and Partners, 2018-2021
- The Legal 500 Canada: Dispute Resolution - Quebec (Leading Lawyer), 2016-2022
- Benchmark Litigation Canada: Litigation Star, 2021-2022
- Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers (since 2005)
- Awarded Paul-André Crépeau Medal by the Canadian Bar Association (2013)
- Named "Advocatus Emeritus" by the Quebec Bar (2008)
- Best Lawyers in Canada: Alternative dispute resolution "Lawyer of the Year," 2012, 2016 and 2021
- Best Lawyers in Canada: International Arbitration "Lawyer of the Year," 2014
- Best Lawyers in Canada: Alternative dispute resolution, director and officer liability practice, appellate practice, bet-the-company litigation, corporate and commercial litigation, international arbitration, securities law, 2006-2022
- Who's Who Legal – Arbitration (2016)
- Benchmark Canada (2012-2014): local litigation star in Quebec ("a unanimous mention"; "a very refined attorney") and Arbitration star in Canada ("brilliant international arbitration counsel")
- The International Who's Who of Arbitration Lawyers (2011-2013)
- The International Who's Who of Commercial Litigation Lawyers (2011-2013)
- PLC Which Lawyer? (2011-2012): Dispute resolution: International Arbitration
- Lexpert® Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Litigation Lawyers in Canada (US Litigation Guide) (2011-): International Commercial Arbitration; Litigation – Corporate Commercial
- The International Who's Who of Trade & Customs Lawyers (2011)
- Global Arbitration Review (GAR100) (2011-): International Arbitration
- Global Arbitration Review 100, (2009): International Arbitration ("undoubtedly the best arbitration counsel in Canada")
- Lexpert-Thomson Guide to the Leading 100 Creative Lawyers in Canada
- "A comparative perspective on good faith, changed circumstances, hardship and more: The Canadian Supreme Court's decision in Churchill Falls (Labrador) Corporation Limited v. Hydro-Québec" (keynote address), LCIA North American Users' Council Symposium, Montreal, March 2019.
- "The Lola Case and its Potential Impact on Common Law Spouses in Quebec" (keynote speaker), The Lord Reading Law Society, Montreal, April 2012.
- "Get What You Need: Winning Damages and Other Remedies in International Arbitration" (lead session speaker), IBA Annual Conference, Dubai, UAE, November 2011.
- "Arbitration in the 21st Century: Making it Work" (Co-Chair), Joint IBA-ICC Conference, New Delhi, India, December 2009.
- "Due Process in International Arbitration" (Conference Chair), 12th IBA International Arbitration Day, Dubai, UAE, February 2009.
- "Compensation for Unlawful Expropriation, and Other Recent Manifestations of the Principle of Full Reparation in International Investment Law," ICCA Congress Series No. 14 (2008).
- "When Transnational Commercial Contracts Come Before International Arbitral Tribunals," Civil Law Seminar on Contract Law, National Judicial Institute, Halifax, May 2006.
- "The Recognition and Enforcement of Chinese Arbitral Awards Abroad," IBA and CIETAC Conference on International Arbitration and China: Recent Developments and Current Issues, Shanghai, February 2006.
- "Arbitral Advocacy," 15th Annual International Commercial Arbitration Workshop (Conference Co-Chair), Institute for Transnational Arbitration, Dallas, Texas, June 2004.
- "Arbitration and Company Law," Annual Convention, International Bar Association (Committee D), Amsterdam, September 2000.
- International Bar Association (IBA)
- Co-Chair, North American Forum (2010-2011)
- Co-Chair, Arbitration Committee (2008-2009)
- International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
- Alternate member of the ICC Court (2015-2021)
- Canadian roster of arbitrators
- London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA)
- Court member (2010-2015)
- Vice-President (2011-2015)
- Court of Arbitration of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC)
- Court member (2021-present)
- ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR
- Member (2015-2021)
- Canadian Bar Association
- Former member, Council
- Former member, International Development Committee
- Former member, Executive Committee, Quebec Branch
- Former president, Constitutional Law and Civil Liberties Section, Quebec Branch
- Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (London)
- Commercial Panel of the International Center of the American Arbitration Association
- NAFTA Advisory Committee on Private Commercial Disputes
- Optimum Group Inc. (director)
- Optimum Reinsurance Inc. (director)
- Canadian Institute for Advanced Legal Studies (director)
- Foundation Concours musical international de Montréal (director)
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