Jean-François Bilodeau practises in the fields of insurance and transportation law (maritime, road, rail and air). His insurance practice is focused on product liability and professional liability. He also advises insurers on coverage issues. He acts on behalf of local as well as national and international insurance companies.
In his transportation practice, he represents carriers, charterers, shippers, receivers, freight forwarders, warehouseman, ship repairers, shipbuilders and other parties involved in transport.
The breadth of his practice has allowed him to develop experience before the Quebec courts and Supreme Court of Canada, as well as the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court and the Quebec Transport Commission.
Jean-François was a member of the Naval Reserve of the Canadian Armed Forces from 1981 to 2007. He sailed in various positions including Navigating Officer and Executive Officer on several Canadian warships on the Atlantic and Pacific oceans as well as serving as Exchange Officer with the UK Royal Navy on the North Sea and with the French Marine nationale on the Mediterranean. This exceptional experience gives him a unique edge on matters of maritime law.
Peracomo Inc. v. TELUS Communications Co., 2014 SCC 29, April 2014 — Along with partner Nicholas J. Krnjevic, Jean-François represented Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada before the Supreme Court of Canada in this case where the Court recognized that a fisherman who had severed a submarine fiber-optic cable had committed wilful misconduct that allowed the insurer to deny coverage.
Wolverine Motor Works Shipyard LLC v. Canadian Naval Memorial Trust, 2011 NSSC 308, July 2011 — Represented the insurers of the defendant, a Trust maintaining a World War II corvette operated as a floating museum in the Port of Halifax. In September 2003, a hurricane hit the Maritimes and caused the mooring of the corvette to break. The corvette drifted, then hit and sank a schooner moored at an adjacent dock. The owner of the schooner was suing the Trust for the loss of the vessel. Jean-François was successful in proving that the Trust had taken all reasonable measures to moor the vessel and that the hurricane amounted to an Act of God, thereby relieving the Trust from liability.
Laflamme c. Groupe TDL Ltée, 2014 QCCS 312, February 2014 — Represented Tim Hortons and its insurers in an action taken by a customer who severely burnt her mouth while eating soup served in one of our client’s restaurants. Jean-François was successful in opposing a claim for over $1.7 million in damages for the plaintiff’s depression and incapacity to work.
Best Lawyers in Canada: Jean-François has appeared since 2006, currently being listed under both insurance law and maritime law.
Chambers Canada: Recognised Practitioner, Nationwide, Transportation: Shipping
Canadian Bar Association
Canadian Transport Lawyers Association
Canadian Maritime Law Association
Publications and Conferences
An experienced speaker, Jean-François has published legal articles for the Canadian Institute and with the continuing education of the Québec Bar.
Recent activities include:
- “Les pouvoirs de Transports Canada: vos droits et responsabilité en tant qu’exploitant”, presented at the 2018 annual convention of the Association québécoise du transport aérien, March 2018
- “Développements récents en droit des assurances”, lecture given in June 2016 at the annual training session offered by RSS’s Insurance Group, a programme accredited by Quebec’s Chambre de l’assurance de dommages and recognized by the Quebec Bar and by the Chambre des notaires
- “La copropriété dans le contexte des assurances” (Co-ownership in an insurance setting), training session for the Institut d’assurance de dommages du Québec, April 21 and 23, 2015
- Speaker and facilitator of a workshop on warehousing risk, Quebec Risk and Insurance Management Association, December 2013
- Speaker at the Canadian Board of Marine Underwriters semi-annual meeting, May 2013
- Speaker, “La médiation en Cour fédérale; une approche pratique”, Canadian Bar Association, November 2012
- Co-lecturer, Continuing public training for the Institut d’assurance de dommages du Québec — Le coffre à outils juridique, training accredited by the Chambre de l’assurance de dommages and recognized by the Bar of Quebec, October 2012
Grunt Club Inc. — Jean-François was president (2013–2014) and director (2007–2013). The Grunt Club is a non-profit organization whose objective is to foster a spirit of community and good fellowship throughout the marine industry in the Port of Montreal.
Course work for the Master of Laws, University of Montréal
Bachelor of Law (LL.B.), Laval University, 1985
Bridge Watchkeeping Certificate, Royal Canadian Navy, 1985
Call to Bar