Claudette van Zyl

Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

Claudette van Zyl

Claudette van Zyl



Claudette van Zyl is a civil and commercial litigator whose diverse practice includes class actions, product liability, international arbitration, and anti-corruption. 

She has also taught courses in international commercial arbitration, appeals, and legal practice at the Université de Montréal.

After having completed her bachelor's in political science and economics as a Greville Smith Scholar, Claudette earned her bachelor's in Civil and Common Law at the Faculty of Law of McGill University. During her legal studies, Claudette worked as a consultant for the Center for International Sustainable Development Law and the International Development Law Organization, was the founding editor-in-chief of the McGill Journal of Dispute Resolution, and spent four years working at the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy, focusing primarily on questions related to pharmaceutical patents. She has helped to prepare interventions in pharmaceutical cases at both the Supreme Court of the United States and the Supreme Court of Canada.

Before joining the firm as an associate, Claudette completed legal internships with a prominent international arbitrator based in Montreal and at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.

Claudette also has a keen interest in food and regulatory law, and co-authored a chapter in an award-winning book on the transformation of cider in Quebec. She is co-author of the Jurisclasseur (Québec) intellectual property fascicule on collective marks, and co-coaches the McGill team for The H.G. Fox Moot in intellectual property.

Professional experience

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B.C.L./LL.B. (minor Classical Studies), McGill University, 2016
B.A. (Hons., Political Science, minor Economics), McGill University, 2011 (Greville Smith Scholarship)
  • Quebec 2017

International Arbitration & Mediation

  • Provided counsel in the context of NAFTA and UNCITRAL arbitrations.
  • Representation of a North American transportation company in a commercial arbitration involving questions of discriminatory practices and competition law.
  • Two global companies in a mediation regarding contractual disputes in the context of a multi-billion-dollar public-private partnership project.

Class Actions & Product Liability

  • Pfizer Canada in class actions regarding epinephrine injectors (EpiPen) and contraceptive pills (Alesse).
  • Hotwire, inc, inc, Canadastays, and Orbitz Worldwide LLC in a class action regarding the conformity of online pricing displays with the Québec Consumer Protection Act.

Food, Beverage, & Environmental Law

  • Metro Épicerie-en-Ligne, lead counsel in the first case in Québec regarding the eligibility of entirely virtual grocery stores to be granted alcohol permits, and the parameters of alcohol delivery by grocery stores. 
  • Yellow Pages Group in a major litigation regarding the validity of certain environmental decrees.
  • A global engineering company in a dispute respecting the management and rehabilitation of contaminated land.

Governance, Ethics, & Anti-Corruption

  • A global food and beverage company in an internal investigation further to allegations of corrupt practices.
  • A global company in the context of a World Bank investigation and in a foreign parliamentary inquiry. 
  • Best Lawyers in Canada: Ones to Watch: Corporate and Commercial Litigation, 2023-2024; Class Action Litigation, Alternative Dispute Resolution, 2024
  • "Marques de certification et appellations d'origine" (co-author: Pierre-Emmanuel Moyse) in JurisClasseur Québec - Propriété Intellectuellel.
  • "Le cadre juridique du cidre de glace au Québec" (co-author: Pierre-Emmanuel Moyse) in Martin Cloutier & Anaïs Détolle (eds), La transformation du cidre au Québec (Presse de l'Université du Québec : 2017). The book is the Canadian winner of the Gourmand Awards in the category "Traditional Alcoholc Drinks Book" and won 2nd place internationally.
  • Edited eight book chapters in Marie-Claude Cordonier Segger & H.E. Judge C.G. Weeramanty, Sustainable Development Principles in the Decisions of International Courts and Tribunals, 1992-2012 (Routelege, NY: 2017).
  • "Compendium of Legal Practices for Fair Trade," a working paper presented at the International Sustainable Development Law Organization's 2013 Conference in Rome.
  • "Indications géographiques" guest lecture in the course, "Brevets et marques - Droit des affaires avancé," University of Montreal, 2023.
  • "Intellectual Property: The law of good things in life" (co-presenter), McGill University, 2019.
  • "Innovation dans l'agroalimentaire et marques collectives" (co-presenter), Food for Law Week at McGill University, 2019.
  • "How to write and present an 'expert' expert witness report at trial" (co-presenter), Canadian Psychiatric Association Annual Conference, Toronto, 2018.
  • "How to be an 'expert' expert witness" (co-presenter), Canadian Psychiatric Association Annual Conference, Ottawa, 2017.
  • "Introduction au droit des brevets" guest lecture in the course, "Notions juridiques & affaires," HEC Montreal, 2016.
  • "Canadian patent litigation in psychiatric pharmaceuticals," 34th annual International Congress of Law and Mental Health, Sigmund Freud University, Vienna, 2015.
  • "The emergence of wine law in Canada," Borden Ladner Gervais Student Paper Conference, McGill University, 2015.

Professional Associations

  • The Advocates' Society
  • YCAP - Young Canadian Arbitration Practitioners
  • Young OGEMID - Oil, Gas, Energy, Mining, and Investment Disputes
  • Young Bar Association of Montreal

Community Involvement

  • McGill Journal of Dispute Resolution Advisory Board (2015-present)
  • Prestige Scholar Mentor - McGill Alumni Association (2016-2020)
  • Montreal Museum of Fine Arts' Young Philanthropists' Circle (2017-2020)
  • McGill University Health Center Breast Clinic - Enchantée Committee (2019)
  • Harold Fox Moot on intellectual property, co-coach of the McGill team (2019, 2020, 2021)
  • Orchestre symphonique de Montréal - Ambassador Committee of the Bal d'une nuit d'été éclaté (2018, 2019)
  • Jeunes Ambassadeurs de l'Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Executive Committee (2021-2023)
  • I Musici de Montréal, member of the Board of Directors (2023-present)
  • Afrikaans
  • English
  • French