William Brock, Ad. E.

Bill Brock is a partner in the Litigation practice. 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. 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. This case also resulted in the fastest commercial appeal ever heard by the Supreme Court of Canada. The appeal was heard by the Court and decided unanimously in favour of BCE less than 30 days after BCE launched its application for leave to appeal from a decision of the Québec Court of Appeal revoking approval for BCE's proposed plan of arrangement that had been granted by Justice Silcoff of the Quebec Superior Court following a lengthy and highly expedited trial.

  • 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 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 Ciment McInnis Inc. in defence of a motion to quash a permit issued by the Minister of Environment allowing McInnis to move forward with its project to build a $1 billion state-of-the-art cement plant in Port-Daniel, Gaspésie.

  • 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 Ltd. 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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  • Recognized in Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business and Chambers Canada in Dispute Resolution: Québec (Band 1) and in Dispute Resolution Canada, which state that he "is really smart and experienced. His mind is super-quick – he is always thinking of the next angle and issues that are going to pop up."
  • 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 and received an Honourable Mention in Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys in Arbitration, Commercial Litigation and Securities.
  • Named a Leading Lawyer in the area of Dispute Resolution: Québec in The Legal 500 Canada.
  • Recognized as a top litigator in Expert Guides' Guide to the World’s Leading Litigation and Product Liability Lawyers.
  • Recognized in The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a Most Frequently Recommended practitioner in Litigation – Corporate Commercial, as Consistently Recommended in the areas of Litigation – Securities and Litigation – Directors & Officers’ Liability as well as Repeatedly Recommended in International Commercial Arbitration.
  • Listed in Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada as a leading practitioner in Corporate Commercial Litigation.
  • Recognized in 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 as a leading cross-border litigation lawyer in Lexpert’s 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 in The Best Lawyers in Canada.
  • Recognized in the ROB/Lexpert special edition Canada's Leading Litigation Lawyers.

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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  • The Fund for Education and Research Into Blood Cancers - Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital
  • The Generations Foundation
  • Contributed to the creation of the Chair in Applied Stem-Cell Transplant Research at Université de Montréal and Maisonneuve-Rosemont hospital

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
Bar Admissions:

Québec, 1979


McGill University, LL.B., 1980

McGill University, B.C.L., 1978

McGill University, B.Comm., 1977