The Honorable Yves Fortier KC > Twenty Essex > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Twenty Essex

Work Department

  • Energy (oil and gas)
  • General commercial matters
  • Infrastructure projects
  • Insurance
  • Investment disputes
  • Public international law
  • Treaty based disputes


Arbitrator/mediator, specialising in public international law and international dispute resolutions.


Yves is recognised as one of the top arbitrators in the world. He has served as chairman, president, sole arbitrator or co-arbitrator on numerous international and national arbitral tribunals, either ad hoc or constituted by a range of different arbitral institutions. Yves has also served as chairman or party-appointed arbitrator on numerous investor-state international tribunals.

From 1992 until 2008, Yves was Chairman of Ogilvy Renault. As a trial lawyer with extensive experience in the practice of commercial, corporate and competition law, he pleaded important cases before all court jurisdictions in Canada and before domestic and international arbitral tribunals. In 2011 Yves severed his relationship with Norton Rose Fullbright (formerly Ogilvy Renault). Since 1 January 2012, he has been an independent arbitrator/mediator with chambers in Montréal, Toronto and London.

From July 1988 until January 1992, he took leave from his law practice to take up an appointment as Canada’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. During this time, Yves was Canada’s Chief Delegate to the 43rd, 44th, 45th and 46th Sessions of the UN General Assembly. In September 1990, he was elected Vice-President of the 45th General Assembly. From January 1989 to December 1990, Yves served as Canada’s Representative on the Security Council of the United Nations and in 1989 he was President of the Council.

From 1984 to 1989 Yves was a member of the PCA at The Hague. From 1998 to 2001 he was President of the LCIA. Yves served as Chairman of the Sanctions Committee of the World Bank from 2012 to 2015. In 2016 he was appointed Chairman of the Enforcement Committee of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

He was sworn in as a member of the Privy Council of Canada in August 2013.


French (fluent); Italian (proficient); Spanish (proficient)


  • American Bar Association: Honorary Member
  • American College of Trial Lawyers: Fellow (Regent 1992–1996)
  • American Society of International Law
  • Canadian Bar Association: President (1982-1983)
  • Canadian Institute for Advanced Legal Studies: Director (2000–)
  • International Bar Association
  • International Commission of Jurists (Canadian Section): Member of Council
  • International Law Association (Canadian Branch)
  • Law for the Future Fund: Founding Director
  • LCIA: Honorary Vice-President
  • Security and Intelligence Review Committee of Canada (2013–)
  • Union Internationale des Avocats: Vice-Président, 1983–1988


  • University of Oxford: B.Litt. (1960)
  • McGill University: Bachelor of Civil Law (1958)
  • Université de Montréal: BA (1955)