Jean-Pierre Sheppard has been practising commercial litigation since joining RSS in 1987. He is regularly involved in shareholder and partner disputes.
He represents private businesses and public institutions in cases of breach of contractual, legal and statutory obligations of shareholders, directors and officers. He has been involved in numerous unfair competition cases, as well as matters involving non-competition and non-solicitation clauses and misappropriation of confidential information.
He has pleaded countless motions for injunction, seizures before judgment and applications for other urgent provisional remedies.
He appears before all levels of courts, including the Superior Court and Court of Appeal.
Broadcasting — Obtained an order to compel a cable broadcaster to continue broadcasting the programs of our client, a television station.
Professional liability —Defended a firm of tax lawyers and obtained the dismissal of a claim for over $50 million for alleged negligence in corporate structuring and tax planning transactions.
“Partner” rights — Obtained judgment recognizing the right of withdrawal of a 50% co-owner of a commercial building for fair market value.
Shareholders’ rights —
- Obtained orders for the repurchase of minority shareholders shares for fair value in cases of oppressive and unfair conduct by majority shareholders.
- Obtained many emergency interim injunctions to secure access to accounting, financial and operational information on behalf of minority shareholders excluded from the management and operations of private companies.
- Obtained injunctions to prevent majority shareholders from disposing of and fraudulently converting corporate assets and funds for their own profit.
- Successfully defended majority shareholders — directors and officers — unjustly accused by minority shareholders of having caused the corporation to become insolvent and bankrupt. The claim for damages against them was denied.
- Successfully defended majority shareholders and directors against a claim for oppression and for an order to redeem a minority shareholder’s shares. Claim denied since the defendants had acted in the best interest of the company and in accordance with best practices.
Unfair competition — Obtained injunction on behalf of an integrated producer of goods and services for the aviation industry. Essential conclusions obtained:
- An order compelling the defendant, a competitor, to return to our client documents relating to operations, accounting and finances illegally taken by former employees of our client
- An order barring these former employees from using the confidential information on our client’s operations, accounting and business
- An order barring them from soliciting their former employer’s clients for several months.
Intellectual property — Obtained an injunction barring an ex-employee, now a competitor, from selling software used for the home oil distribution trade and from doing business with our client’s customers; judgment declaring the software to be our client’s property.
Partnerships — Challenging the validity of the sale of a general partnership’s sole real estate asset: issue relating to whether the decision required a majority or a unanimous vote.
Class actions —
- Presently represents directors of public companies in a case based on allegedly false statements of financial results in prospectuses.
- Presently represents a company alleged to have misrepresented the price of certain products on its website.
- Successfully represented a financial institution against claims based on alleged misrepresentations in the sale of financial products, including RRSP investments
- Represented actuaries having allegedly failed to follow standard practices in calculating accounting and financial reserves for public companies; case settled for nominal amount
- Represented manufacturers of allegedly defective breast implants and artificial hips, in addition to representing Quebec hospitals and health institutions in the C. difficile bacteria contamination case
Listed in 2015 and 2016 in Best Lawyers in Canada as an expert on commercial litigation
Chambers Canada: Recognised Practitioner, Québec, Dispute Resolution
Publications and Conferences
In addition to speaking at various conferences on business law and commercial litigation, shareholders’ litigation, defending against class actions and drafting restrictive covenants in shareholders’ agreements, sales contracts for businesses and employment agreements, Jean-Pierre has frequently been asked to lecture on litigation and advocacy techniques and strategies at the McGill University Law School.
- Collaboration as co-author of the chapter on Quebec’s conflict of laws regime in Lawrence W. Newman, Editor, Enforcement of Money Judgments, Huntington, NY, Juris Publishing, Inc. (looseleaf, last updated October 2014)
- “La doctrine des attentes légitimes: où en sommes-nous en 2012?”, Développements récents en droit des affaires, vol. 350 in Développements récents, Barreau du Québec/Éditions Yvon Blais, p. 391, 2012
- “La notion d’‘expectative’ ou attentes légitimes: un outil additionnel dans l’arsenal de l’actionnaire minoritaire”, Canadian Bar Association
- “Rédiger des clauses de non-concurrence qui tiennent compte des réalités d’affaires d’aujourd’hui: anticiper et prévoir les conflits potentiels”, Canadian Institute conference on business agreements, May 2007
- “La gestion des risques découlant du traitement d’une réclamation en assurance-responsabilité générale et des biens — Traitement et gestion des tactiques en défense dans le cadre de recours collectifs”, Canadian Institute
For numerous years, Jean-Pierre has been involved in his community as a soccer and hockey coach in both competitive and non-competitive settings. He has also been active with organizations helping to find lodging and employment for the homeless.
Bachelor of civil law, McGill University, 1986
Bachelor of literature, McGill University, 1982
Call to Bar