Justice Fish mentors our litigation lawyers on appeal matters, including the framing of issues and the drafting of persuasive arguments. He draws on his unparalleled litigation experience and deep knowledge of appellate practice to provide timely legal and strategic advice to our partnership.
Justice Fish served on the Québec Court of Appeal from 1989 to 2003 and on the Supreme Court of Canada from 2003 to 2013.
He graduated with First Class Honours from McGill University’s Faculty of Law, where he was a University Scholar, was elected Permanent Class President and received the Greenshields Prize, the Crankshaw Prize for Highest Standing in Criminal Law and the Macdonald Travelling Scholarship. He pursued postgraduate studies in constitutional law and public liberties at the Université de Paris.
Justice Fish practised law in Montréal from 1964 to 1989. He was called to the bars of Québec, Prince Edward Island and Alberta and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1984.
An adjunct professor in the Faculty of Law at McGill University, Justice Fish lectured on criminal evidence and procedure, and advanced criminal law. He has also taught in the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law and at the Université de Montréal. Over his long career, Justice Fish contributed to many legal periodicals and spoke at numerous legal and judicial conferences in Canada and abroad. In 2007, he became the first Canadian to deliver the H.L.A. Hart Memorial Lecture at Oxford University.
Justice Fish served as a consultant to the federal Department of Justice, Revenue Canada (now the Canada Revenue Agency) and the Law Reform Commission of Canada. He was special counsel to the Inquiry Commission into the Exercise of Trade-Union Freedom in Quebec’s Construction Industry (Cliche Commission), the Security Intelligence Review Committee and Canada’s Minister of Justice. Justice Fish was also appointed by the Minister of Defence as the Independent Review Authority charged with conducting an exhaustive examination of Canada’s military justice system.
A former board director of Montréal’s Legal Aid Bureau, Justice Fish chaired various committees of the bars of Montréal and of Québec. He was chair of the Québec Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee, was a long-time member and former chair of McGill University’s Faculty of Law Advisory Board and is a member of the McGill principal’s International Advisory Board. In 2005, Justice Fish was appointed to serve as the “person of unquestioned integrity and independence” provided for by McGill’s Regulations Relating to the Employment of Academic Staff.
Justice Fish received honorary LLDs from McGill University in 2001 and from Yeshiva University in 2009. He is an Honorary Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
In recognition of his remarkable contributions to the legal community and the cause of justice, Justice Fish has received numerous awards and medals, and was appointed Companion of the Order of Canada in 2017.