Jean-Marie Fontaine > Borden Ladner Gervais LLP > Montreal, Canada > Lawyer Profile

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

Work Department





Partner in BLG’s Shipping Focus Group. Practises in all areas of maritime law including cargo, freight, and demurrage claims; collisions; spills; disputes relating to shipbuilding and charterparty contracts; and the arrest of ships and cargos. Has expertise in the drafting of contracts of affreightment; logistics and warehousing agreements; charterparties; the purchase, sale, and financing of ships; applications for coasting trade licences; the importation and registration of vessels; and marine insurance defence and regulatory matters. His transportation law practice extends to aviation and trucking matters including passenger and cargo claims. Has represented clients before civil and administrative courts, including the Supreme Court, the Federal Court of Appeal and Québec Court of Appeal, as well as the Canadian Transportation Agency. Member of the Executive of Youth of Shipping, Director of the Canadian Maritime Law Association, and former member of the Montréal Bar liaison committee with the Federal Court. Co-author of the chapter on “General Average of Essentials of Canadian Law” – Maritime Law, 2nd ed.


Called to the Quebec Bar, 2000. LLB (Civil Law and Common Law), McGill University, 1998.

Lawyer Rankings

Canada > Transport > Shipping

(Leading individuals)

Jean-Marie FontaineBorden Ladner Gervais LLP

One of the oldest marine law practices in Canada, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP acts for shipowners, operators, shipbuilders, insurers, and charterers. It has a broad national practice, with expertise covering East Coast, Great Lakes, Arctic and West Coast shipping lanes. Disputes are a core practice area for the firm, which is frequently involved in major collision matters, cargo claims, ship arrests and customs disputes. Other areas of work include advising on transactional and regulatory issues. Jean-Marie Fontaine leads the team out of the Montreal office, acting for major clients on both transactional and litigation matters. Other key names are Dionysios Rossi and Graham Walker, both based in Vancouver.

Canada > Insurance

Known for its high-quality litigation bench, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP acts for insurers and insureds on a number of key disputes. The team is involved in a number of cases relating to business interruption as a result of Covid-19, with Patrick Heisen representing Lloyds Underwriters, HDI Global Specialty SE and Grenville mutual in separate class actions. It often acts on behalf of large insurers’ national programs but is also known to act for large entities including municipalities, hospitals and school boards. The firm also offers regulatory services. The team is headed by Rebecca Bush and Donna Spagnolo in Toronto and Graham Walker in Vancouver. Other key names include regional group manager Kevin McGivney in Toronto and Jean-Maire Fontaine in Montreal. Cyber insurance expert Eric Charleston joined from Miller Thomson.