François Côté

Senior Partner
Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

François Côté

François Côté



François Côté practises management-side employment and labour law. In particular, he advises employers on grievance arbitration, labour standards, administrative law, occupational health and safety law, and labour relations in the construction industry. He regularly acts as spokesperson at the negotiation table.

Mr. Côté regularly represents employers before the Commission des relations du travail (Quebec’s labour relations board) and grievance arbitrators, as well as in complex financing and prevention matters before the Commission des lésions professionnelles (Quebec employment injury board). 

He also represents employers before administrative tribunals and the courts of civil jurisdiction, regarding provisional, interlocutory and permanent injunctions in the context of labour disputes or in connection with the judicial review of decisions of administrative tribunals.

Over the years Mr. Côté has gained extensive experience regarding drug and alcohol policies and managing problems arising from drug and alcohol use.

Professional experience

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LL.B., Université Laval, 1988

  • Quebec 1989
  • Best Lawyers in Canada: Workers' Compensation Law, 2013-2024; Labour and Employment Law, 2024
  • Chambers Canada, Quebec: Employment and Labour, Chambers and Partners, 2017-2024
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, 2022-2023: recommended in Employment Law (Employer); 2013-2017, 2019-2023: recommended in  Labour Relations (Management); 2012-2016, 2018-2023: recommended in Occupational Health & Safety; 2013-2017,2020-2023: recommended in Workers' Compensation (Employer) 
  • Thomson Reuters Stand-out Lawyers, 2022
  • Acritas Stars 2021 – Designated as an "Independently rated lawyer"   
  • Acritas Stars 2020 – Designated as an "Independently rated lawyer"
  • Chambers Canada, Nationwide: Employment and Labour, Chambers and Partners, 2020
  • Acritas Stars 2019 – Designated as an "Independently rated lawyer"  
  • PLC Which Lawyer? Cross-border Labour and Employee Benefits Handbook
  • Practical Law Company: recommended in Labour and Employment Law
  • “Les injonctions en droit du travail,” presentation at the Canadian Bar Association, November 14, 2013.
  • “Éléments à prendre en compte sur les chantiers de construction au Québec en matière en matière de santé et sécurité au travail,” Faculty of Law, University of Montreal, April 2010.
  • “Historique législatif de l’industrie de la construction de Québec,” (with Philippe Levac), Faculty of Law, University of Montreal, October 6, 2011.
  • “Les concepts importants en matière de santé et sécurité sur les chantiers de construction au Québec - Qui est responsable de quoi?” Faculty of Law, University of Montreal, March 23, 2005.


  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Lecturer, University of Montreal, labour relations in the construction industry
  • La Peau de l’Ours
  • MUHC Art and Heritage Centre Advisory Committee
  • Contemporary Art Galleries Association
    • Independent director
  • Musée d’art contemporain des Laurentides, chairman of the board