Marie Cossette, Ad E

Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

Marie Cossette, Ad E

Marie Cossette, Ad E



Marie Cossette has many years of experience with complex litigation files. A major component of Ms. Cossette's practice involves commercial and construction litigation. These cases raise a wide variety of technical issues and often involve complex expert evidence. Through her work in these areas of practice, Ms. Cossette has acquired extensive experience with issues relating to governance, ethical and professional conduct, particularly in the construction sector.

A second area of her practice covers public law, administrative law, professional liability and disciplinary law. She is regularly called to work on cases involving government relations in various forms. She has extensive experience relating to public inquiries (Chamberland Commission, Charbonneau Commission, Johnson Commission, Gomery Commission, and Poitras Commission). She served as counsel for the coroner's office during the public inquiry into a fire at the Résidence du Havre in L'Isle-Verte, Quebec. In addition, she acted as independent counsel for the Canadian Judicial Council during the public inquiry into the conduct of the Honourable Michel Girouard. She also acts for various professional orders and professionals during disciplinary, professional liability and penal investigations as well as in matters concerning governance.

Concurrently with these more traditional practice areas, Ms. Cossette has experience managing media relations during media crisis and court cases. She has worked closely with public relations firms to ensure her clients' rights are respected while ensuring they understand public relations imperatives. She also has practical knowledge of the workings of the print, television, and radio media and regularly serves as a legal analyst for the Réseau de l'Information (RDI) and Société Radio-Canada (Canadian broadcasters).

Professional experience

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  • LL.B., Université de Sherbrooke, 1990
  • B.A. (marketing and commercialization), UQAM, 2006
  • Quebec 1991
Matters in which Ms. Cossette has acted include:
  • Client support regarding ethical, governance and integrity issues (including regulatory investigations)
  • Client support in matters of crisis management and media relations
  • Counsel to highly publicized inquiries (Chamberland, Charbonneau, Gomery, Johnson and Poitras commissions; Isle-Verte coroner's inquest; Canadian Judicial Council inquiry into the Honourable Michel Girouard)
  • Representations in cases involving construction law and tendering matters on behalf of major public and private sector contractors (claims, latent efects and poor workmanship, performance bonds, contracting disputes, termination)
  • Representations in commercial arbitration and commercial litigation (duty of loyalty and the misappropriation of business opportunities, shareholder agreements, termination of commercial leases, intellectual property in connection with research projects, product liability, etc.)
  • Representations in civil liability class-action suits
  • Representations in professional liability claims
  • Representations in disciplinary and penal matters
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, 2016-2019: recommended in Litigation - Corporate Commercial; 2019: Litigation - Public Law
  • Avocate émérite by the Quebec Bar (Ad. E.)
  • Lexpert®/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 lawyers in Canada (2017)
  • Canada's leading litigation lawyers (2019)
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada in administrative and public law
  • "Lois et règlements en matière de marchés publics" (introduction), under Louis Bossé, Éditions Yvon Blais, 2018.
  • Various legal updates addressing corporate integrity and governance, 2015-2017.
  • "Understanding the organization and functioning of commissions of public inquiry to better influence them," Quebec Bar annual convention, 2010.
  • "Status and Role of Commission Counsel" (co-author Simon Ruel), The Law of Public Inquiries in Canada, Carswell, 2010.
  • Revision of manuscript of The Law of Public Inquiries in Canada by Simon Ruel, Carswell, 2010.
  • "The Role and Challenges of Commission Counsel," Proceedings of the 2009 CBA continuing education symposium on commissions of inquiry, volume 6, 2009.
  • "Appropriation of a Business Opportunity: Liability of Senior Management" (co-author Marc-André Sansregret), National magazine of the Canadian Bar Association and CBA PracticeLink, 2009.
  • "Précis de droit professionnel" (Summary of Professional Law), (co-author), Éditions Yvon Blais, 2007.
  • "Crise médiatique : pas de panique mais soyez prêts," co-speaker, Chairman of the Bar Tour, Traditional and social medias: legal challenges, 2018.
  • "Les récentes décisions dans le domaine de la construction impliquant les secteurs publics et para-publics," co-speaker, Open Forum, 2018.
  • "Les développements en matière de conduites dérogatoires chez les professionnels," co-speaker, Open Forum, 2018.
  • "S'exprimer pour convaincre et se démarquer," Leadership au féminin CCIQ, 2018.
  • "La résiliation unilatérale d'un contrat de construction par le client: les enjeux pour chaque partie," CEGQ Conference and Open Forum, co-chair, 2018 and Association des professionnels de la construction et de l'habitation du Québec, 2017.
  • "La protection des lanceurs d'alerte à l'égard des organismes publics," in-house conference, 2017.
  • "Présentation de la Loi favorisant la surveillance des contrats des organismes publics et instituant l'Autorité des marchés publics (Bill 108)," Association des estimateurs et des économistes de la construction du Québec, 2017.
  • "Le rôle du conseil d'administration d'un ordre professionnel à la lumière du Projet de loi 98," (Chair, disciplinary law day), Open Forum, 2017.
  • "La force du réseau en gouvernance" (panelist), regroupement des jeunes chambres de commerce, 2017.
  • "Projet de loi 108: Ce que vous devez savoir sur l'autorité des marchés publics," in-house conference, 2016.
  • Canadian Bar Association
    • Communications committee, since 2009
    • Executive committee - Quebec division, 2011-2012
  • Fondation du musée national des beaux-arts
    • Chair, governance committee, since 2018
    • Director, since 2016
  • Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs Advisory Committee, 2017
  • Externat St-Jean-Berchmans
    • Member of the fundraising committee since 2017
    • Scholarship committee campaign, honorary chair, 2016
  • Effet A - Femmes et ambition
    • Leader, Quebec cohort, since 2016
  • Chambre de commerce et d'industrie de Québec
    • Ambassador for the "Leadership au féminin," since 2017
    • Director, since 2013
    • Member of the business-culture committee, 2012-2017
  • Montreal and Quebec Bar
    • Organization committee, Congrès du Barreau, 2012-2013
    • Lawyers committee of the Montreal Bar, 2009-2010
  • Cultural funding campaigns
    • ECM+, honorary chair, 2016
    • Théâtre Le Périscope, honorary chair, 2011
    • Théâtre La Veillée, honorary committee, 2009-2010