Jean Piette has experience in both environmental law and the development of environmental policy. He is Chair of our environmental law team and in 1972 became the first lawyer in Quebec to develop a practice devoted entirely to environmental law.
He provides legal counsel and strategic advice on matters of Quebec, federal and international environmental law. He advises clients on environmental permit applications, environmental audits, environmental due diligence for business transactions and environmental compliance strategies. He also provides assistance to clients in the areas of mining law and of land use planning law.
Mr. Piette represents clients in negotiations with environmental authorities, in environmental litigation before administrative and judicial tribunals and in private transactions involving environmental problems. He is a registered consultant in environmental law to the World Bank, which is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and in June 1999, he participated in the drafting of pesticide control legislation for Uzbekistan.
Before joining the firm, Mr. Piette worked successively for the Environment Protection Services, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Environment of Quebec.
In the 2011 Who’s Who of Canadian lawyers, Mr. Piette was described as enjoying a “stellar” reputation for his expertise in climate change, energy, natural resources and mining matters. In 2012, he is referred to as having an “outstanding reputation” in both his advisory and contentious work.
M.C.L., George Washington University, 1972
LL.L., Université de Montréal, 1970
B.A., Université de Montréal, 1967
Selected client work
- Counsel to Hydro-Québec in the $615 million acquisition of a 60% interest in the McCormick Hydroelectric Facility from Abitibi-Consolidated Company of Canada
Mr. Piette has lectured at the undergraduate and graduate levels at different universities in Quebec and has been a speaker at numerous conferences and seminars in North America and in Europe, including the following:
- “La responsabilité du propriétaire et du locataire de sols contaminés,” The Canadian Institute, May 2001.
- “L’émergence d’un droit nouveau, le droit de l’environnement,” Frontiers in Research Conference, University of Ottawa, November 9, 2000.
- “Aspects juridiques de la vérification environnementale,” 10th Annual Convention, Association of Professional Geologists and Geophysicists of Quebec, Rimouski, April 17, 1997.
- “L’eau et l’assainissement dans la ville,” Deuxièmes journées scientifiques, Association des universités partiellement ou entièrement de langue française (AUPELF) et de l’Université des Réseaux d’expression française (UREF), Dakar, Senegal, October 30 and 31 and November 1, 1996.
- “Le droit relatif à la contamination des sols,” Construction Law Section Colloquium, Canadian Bar Association, May 5, 1995.
- “Canadian Perspectives on Environmental Responsibility and Due Process,” Canadian-American Colloquium, American College of Trial Lawyers, August 20, 1993.
- “Les problèmes de pollution transfrontière et de déchets dangereux en Amérique du Nord,” Perspectives convergentes et divergentes sur le droit international, Europe and the Americas Colloquium, 1992.
- “Les attestations d’assainissement - Système de tarification à la pollution,” Association de planification fiscale et financière, 1992 Convention.
- “The Practical Impacts of International Treaties and Agreements on Global Business Development in the 1990’s: The Experience of Quebec,” symposium on Transnational Environmental Law and its Impact on Corporate Behavior, Boston, Massachusetts, November 8, 1991.
Rankings and recognitions
- The International Who’s Who of Environment Lawyers, 2011-2012
- Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2012: Environment (Band 1)
- Best Lawyers in Canada, 2012-2013 - Environmental Law
- Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2011: Environment
- PLC Which Lawyer? Environment Handbook
- LEXPERT/American Lawyer Media's ranking of the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada
Memberships and activities
- Quebec Bar
- Chair, Standing Committee on Environmental Law
- Member, Working Group on International Relations
- International Council of Environmental Law
- Canadian Centre for Environmental Arbitration and Mediation
- Conseil patronal de l’environnement du Québec