François Fontaine, Ad E

Senior Partner
Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

François Fontaine, Ad E

François Fontaine, Ad E



François Fontaine has a wealth of experience as a litigator in civil, corporate and commercial litigation and penal procedure, including white collar crime and regulatory investigations, before all Quebec courts and the Supreme Court of Canada. Mr. Fontaine devotes a significant portion of his practice to representing clients before the courts and tribunals in administrative litigation (including injunctions and judicial review).

Mr. Fontaine has a great deal of experience in fraud and anti-corruption matters, business ethics compliance and crisis management. He has led several investigations in connection with allegations of fraud and corruption, including conducting interviews and examinations, investigating the facts, providing legal opinions and advising clients on legal and reputational risks. Mr. Fontaine counsels clients on compliance with the Canadian Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act and has significant experience in matters involving misappropriation of confidential information, fraudulent financial transactions and tracing and recovery of stolen funds.

He regularly defends corporations in class action suits, particularly in environmental matters. He also participated in the work of the subcommittee responsible for revising civil procedure pertaining to class actions as part of the reform of the Quebec Code of Civil Procedure. From 2003 to 2007, at the invitation of the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice, Mr. Fontaine conducted a seminar on class actions for new federally appointed judges and in 2004 he was invited to conduct the same seminar for all judges of the Quebec Superior Court at their annual meeting. From 1989 to 1994, Mr. Fontaine taught civil procedure at the Faculty of Law of University of Sherbrooke.

Professional experience

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LL.B., Université Laval, 1984

  • Quebec 1985


  • Conducted the defence of the first company to be prosecuted in Quebec by the federal government under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and was involved in an appeal case before the Supreme Court of Canada challenging the constitutionality of that act
  • Pleaded a major environmental class action case before the Supreme Court and has pleaded numerous cases involving defamation and image rights matters, including injunctions


  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, 2013-2022: Litigation - Corporate Commercial; 2020, 2022: Litigation - Directors' & Officers' Liability; 2013-2017: Class Actions
  • Acritas Stars 2019-2021 – Designated as an "Independently rated lawyer"   
  • Acritas Stars 2018 – Designated as a "Star" lawyer by a panel of over 4,300 clients
  • Chambers Canada, Nationwide: White-Collar Crime and Government Investigations, Chambers and Partners, 2017-2022
  • Chambers Canada, Quebec: Litigation - General Commercial, Chambers and Partners, 2018-2022
  • Benchmark Litigation Canada: Litigation Star 2021-2022
  • Best Lawyers in Canada: Class action litigation, corporate and commerical litigation, alternative dispute resolution, 2010-2022
  • Taught civil procedure at the Faculty of Law at the University of Sherbrooke
  • Regular guest speaker on topics pertaining to environmental penal law


  • Quebec Bar
    • Professional Training Committee
    • Standing committee on civil procedure
    • Subcommittee responsible for revising civil procedure pertaining to class actions as part of the reform of the Quebec Code of Civil Procedure
  • Bar of Montreal
    • Liaison committee with the Superior Court


  • English
  • French