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, arbitration (both as counsel and arbitrator) and international disputes. He conducts litigation at both trial and appellate levels, including the Supreme Court of Canada, and advises Canada's leading companies.
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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 for Hollinger Inc. in its action against Conrad Black and other former executives of Hollinger in a multi-million dollar action for breach of fiduciary duty, etc.
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 a successful claim in excess of $3 million 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.
Acting for Cinar Corporation in appeal before the Supreme Court of Canada in connection with a litigation with Claude Robinson et al. with respect to alleged copyright infringement and extra-contractual liability arising from the production of a children's television show.
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.
Acting for Vidéotron Ltée against a claim in excess of $26 million for the alleged breach of a share purchase agreement.
Acted for the Board of Directors of Zarlink Semiconductor Inc. in connection with the $635-million acquisition of Zarlink by Microsemi Corporation.
Acted for Cinar Corporation by successfully obtaining judgments on behalf of Cinar and its affiliates from the Superior Court and Court of Appeal ordering Paquette & Associés to pay the proceeds from the sale of the residences of Ronald Weinberg (which amounted to over $4 million) to the Weinbergs' creditors, including in particular, Cinar.
Acted for BCE Inc. and Bell Canada in connection with a proposed $51.7-billion take-private acquisition of BCE by way of a plan of arrangement with an investor group led by Teachers' Private Capital. Successfully defended the transaction in related court proceedings brought by Bell Canada bondholders, and secured a precedent-setting decision from the Supreme Court of Canada.
Acted successfully for the plaintiff Stephanie Bruker pro bono before the Supreme Court of Canada in the landmark case of Bruker v. Marcovitz where damages were awarded for the failure to respect a contractual promise to provide a Jewish divorce.
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Québec Bar Disciplinary Committee
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.
Bill has authored a number of articles related to his practice focus, including:
Bill is also the photographer and author of “Portraits of Hope” (2012, The University of Montreal Press).
Université McGill, LL.B., 1980
Université McGill, B.C.L., 1978
Université McGill, B.Comm., 1977
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