Davies

William Brock, Ad. E.

Bill Brock is a partner in the Litigation and Communications & Media practices. His focus is on complex commercial, corporate and securities litigation, fraud and misappropriation claims (including Mareva type injunctions), shareholders’ rights disputes, unfair competition and defamation claims, communications and media issues, arbitration (both as counsel and arbitrator) and international disputes. He conducts litigation at both trial and appellate levels, including before the Supreme Court of Canada, and advises Canada's leading companies.

Representative Work

  • Acted for BCE Inc. and Bell Canada in a successful appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada in a landmark commercial case involving the proposed $51.7 billion privatization of BCE and the attempt by certain holders of debentures of Bell Canada (BCE's subsidiary) to prevent court approval of the transaction on the basis that the transaction failed to properly protect their interests. In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court of Canada reversed the previous decision from the Québec Court of Appeal, rejected the claims made by the debentureholders, and restored the trial judge's approval of the transaction. The decision of the Supreme Court in this case set the standard in Canada for approval of plans of arrangement and claims of oppression. It also clarified the law concerning the duties of directors of public companies faced with potential change of control transactions.

  • Acted on behalf of Cinar Corporation in significant litigation in Canada and elsewhere involving the recovery of in excess of $100 million in relation to certain unauthorized transactions effected by past directors and officers of the corporation. This litigation also involved multi-jurisdictional safeguard, enforcement and liquidation proceedings.

  • Acted successfully for The Globe and Mail in its appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada involving the boundaries of freedom of expression and more particularly, the extent of the protection of confidentiality of journalistic sources and the availability of publication bans to protect confidential communications.

  • Acted for Barrick Gold Corporation in libel proceedings against Les Éditions Écosociété Inc. claiming compensatory, moral and punitive damages.

  • Acted for directors of Steinberg Inc. in relation to creditors' claims resulting from a leveraged buyout of the supermarket chain.

  • Acted for Vitran Corporation, a publicly-traded company, and its subsidiary Vitran Environment al Systems, in the successful defense of a multi-million dollar claim for the alleged breach of a share purchase agreement.

  • Acted for Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec in litigation relating to a successful takeover bid for a major Québec cable company and in relation to a rival's unsuccessful bid.

  • Acted for Cinar Corporation in an appeal before the Supreme Court of Canada in connection with alleged copyright infringement arising from the production of a children's television show. Successfully argued for substantial reductions in, and the absence of joint and several liability for certain aspects of, the damages awarded by the Superior Court pursuant to the Copyright Act.  

  • Acting for Videotron LLP against a claim in excess of $18 million in connection with the termination of a share purchase agreement. Videotron terminated the agreement as a result of a material adverse event within the target.

  • Acted for Cominar Real Estate Investment Trust in connection with its unsolicited takeover bid for Canmarc Real Estate Investment Trust, valued at approximately $904 million.

  • Acted for the Board of Directors of Zarlink Semiconductor Inc. in connection with the $635-million acquisition of Zarlink by Microsemi Corporation.

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Recognition

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  • Awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his outstanding contribution to the community.
  • Awarded the Lawyer Emeritus distinction by the Québec Bar, May 2009.
  • Recipient of the Medal of Honour of the Faculty of Medicine of the Université de Montréal, 2010.
  • Recipient of the Israel Cancer Research Fund’s Community Fellowship Honorary Recipient Award, April 2013.
  • Named a Litigation Star in the areas of Arbitration, Commercial Litigation and Securities by Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys.
  • Named a Leading Lawyer in the area of Dispute Resolution: Québec by The Legal 500: Canada.
  • Recognized in Expert Guides' Guide to the World's Leading Litigation Lawyers.
  • Named a leading practitioner in the area of Dispute Resolution by Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business which states that "he is said to bring his own brand of imagination and restless intellect to cases to brilliant effect".
  • Recognized as a frequently recommended practitioner in Corporate Commercial Litigation, Securities Litigation and Officers' Liability by The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory.
  • Listed in The Lexpert®/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada as a leading practitioner in Corporate Commercial Litigation.
  • Recognized by the Lexpert/Thomson Guide to Canada's 100 Most Creative Lawyers, and named a leading lawyer in Cross-border Litigation by The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory.
  • Recognized by the Lexpert® Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Litigation Lawyers in Canada.
  • Recognized as a leading business law practitioner in the areas of Corporate and Commercial Litigation and Securities Law by The Best Lawyers in Canada.
  • Recognized as a recommended lawyer in the area of Dispute Resolution by PLCWhich lawyer?
  • Achieved Martindale-Hubbell’s highest ranking, AV Preeminent.

Professional Affiliations

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Québec Bar Disciplinary Committee

Board Memberships

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  • Le Groupe Vision 2000 Inc.

Community Involvement

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  • Hemato-Oncology Research and Teaching Fund - Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital
  • The Generations Foundation

Teaching Engagements

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Speaking Engagements

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Bill is a regular on the legal lecture circuit, and is a frequent speaker and author on issues of corporate law, governance and shareholders remedies.

Articles and Publications

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Bill has authored a number of articles related to his practice focus, including:

  • "Oppression: From a Shareholders' to a Stakeholders' Remedy" from the Annual Review of Civil Litigation 2002.
  • Remedies & Responsibilities of Vendors, Purchasers & Brokers  – Meredith Memorial Lectures 1989 (McGill University).
  • L’Obligation de surveillance des administrateurs en droit canadien, Strasbourg Lecture, 2008
  • La fraude : histoire, enjeux, outils et défis, Strasbourg Lecture, 2012

Bill is also the photographer and author of "Portraits of Hope" (2012, The University of Montreal Press – www.portraitsofhope.ca).

William Brock
William Brock
Partner
Office:
Montréal
Tel:
514.841.6438
Email:
wbrock@dwpv.com
Bar Admissions:

Québec, 1979

Education:

Université McGill, LL.B., 1980

Université McGill, B.C.L., 1978

Université McGill, B.Comm., 1977