Gerry Apostolatos

Key practice areas
Insolvency and Restructuring, Litigation and Dispute Resolution, Financial Institutions and Financial Services Law, Appellate Advocacy
Québec Bar 1989

Gerry Apostolatos is a partner at the firm's Montréal office. He is recognized for providing result-oriented strategic advice and has versatile expertise in litigation, arbitration as well as restructuring and insolvency. Gerry also advises on private equity/M&A transactions and is considered a “go-to lawyer” for matters related to Québec. He is a former Chair of the firm’s Board of Directors.

With over 30 years of trial and appellate experience, appearing regularly before a range of tribunals, arbitral bodies and courts in complex high-stake disputes, Gerry has acted in some of the most important litigation in Canadian history from a financial perspective.

As a leading expert in the area of insolvency and financial restructuring, he has also represented notable corporate debtors and other key stakeholders with respect to a wide range of reorganizations. Furthermore, he has served the profession as National and Québec Chair of the Insolvency Law Sections of the Canadian Bar Association and has acted as Chair of the Liaison Committee of the Bar of Montréal with the Commercial Division of the Superior Court (the equivalent of the Commercial Court Users’ Committee in other Canadian provinces).

Throughout his career, he has dedicated himself to the promotion of the rule of law, law reform, the continued improvement of the judicial system, and the public interest, as illustrated in part by his prior membership on the Disciplinary Board of the Québec Bar and his long-standing and sustained involvement with the Canadian Bar Association, culminating in his presidency of the Canadian Bar Association's Québec Branch.

He is a sought-after speaker and commentator in legal and business circles.

Gerry believes in volunteerism as well as civic responsibility. His wide range of contributions includes climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for the benefit of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Québec, contributing to foundations and educational institutions, pro bono legal work and volunteering as a community soccer coach.

A sample of his representative work is listed below.

Strategic Advisor

  • Advising in various areas of the law in connection with numerous industries. Leveraging the power and expertise of the firm to achieve exceptional results for clients, often in the most challenging of circumstances, including in fraud (Norwich orders), Mareva injunctions (asset freezing) and Anton Piller orders (civil search), anti-corruption, procurement, labour and employment law, mining law, construction law, intellectual property, technology, competition law and corporate matters.

Restructuring & Insolvency

  • A Rio Tinto affiliate, QNS&L railway, a critical supplier, in the Tacora Ressources CCAA filing.
  • Equitable Bank in certain confidential matters.
  • Arco/Murray International Construction - Toronto ULC, a major design-build construction contractor in the vertical farming BIA filing of Indoor Urban Farming Canada Inc.
  • Private vendors of the Woodlore business in the matter of the CCAA filing of Woodlore International Inc., Ébénisterie St-Urbain Ltée and Euro-Rite Cabinets Ltd.
  • Davy Global Fund Management with respect to a US$15M loan to an Italian debtor operating in the dry cargo shipping sector in the context of the contestation of an application for recognition of a foreign proceeding. The ship had been previously arrested and not released by the Federal Court of Canada after issuance of the Canadian recognition order by the Superior Court of Québec.
  • An Ad Hoc Committee of Independent Second Lien Lenders of around US$40 million in the Cirque du Soleil CCAA/Chapter 15 filing.
  • Financially distressed businesses with respect to their sale, and most recently, in an interprovincial context, an international conglomerate and a national plumbing fixtures company.
  • Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation in the BioAmber CCAA/Chapter 11 matter where IP licensing issues were at play in connection with a sustainable chemicals company.
  • Unilin Beheer BV in IP and patent litigation enforcement at the intersection with the application of federal insolvency legislation.
  • A major Canadian law firm in the CCAA/Chapter 11 filing of Performance Sports Group as regards insolvency and IP issues.
  • Several insurance corporations with a multitude of multimillion-dollar product liability claims in the Aquadis CCAA matter.
  • Pension committees with a claim of approximately $78 million in the CCAA sale and reorganization of Québec regional newspaper group, Groupe Capitales Média.
  • The provisional administrator of seven pension plans with a claim of approximately $400 million in the White Birch CCAA matter.
  • Rio Tinto affiliate, QNS&L railway, the largest unsecured creditor (over $500 million) in the Bloom Lake/Wabush mining CCAA/Chapter 15 matters.
  • Holders of NSR royalties in defence of an attempt to disclaim and terminate the NSR agreements in the mining sector.
  • Agricultural Financial Services Corporation in the reorganization and sale of Abitibi Helicopters, a company operating in the heliportable seismic support in North America and in mineral exploration and firefighting operations.
  • A major international insurance company as regards to several insurance and insolvency issues in the cross-border Kraus Group CCAA/Chapter 15 matter with regards to a $100 million policy.
  • The Montréal Auditor General in the Bixi BIA matter.
  • Canadian and foreign landlords and other creditors in the Aldo, DavidsTea, Spectra Premium and Laura’s Shoppe CCAA/Chapter 15 matters.
  • Medium Term Noteholders (the largest creditor group at $1.4 billion) in the Yellow Media CBCA capital restructuring, as Québec counsel.
  • The U.S. Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Québecor World CCAA/Chapter 11 matter, as Québec counsel.
  • Most major Canadian airport authorities in the CCAA matter and subsequent liquidation of Jetsgo, a Canadian airline.

Appellate Work (Supreme Court of Canada and Court of Appeal of Québec)

  • Defendants in a lengthy and complex shareholders’ dispute where the amount at stake largely exceeded $100 million, and in which matter was granted one of the largest cost awards.
  • The intervening shareholder in the Supreme Court of Canada in the context of the contestation of the $35 billion leveraged buyout of BCE, involving inter alia the nature of the duties of corporate directors and the oppression remedy in Canada, as co-counsel.
  • Aéroports de Montréal in the landmark judgment of the Supreme Court of Canada on the nature, scope and extent of the seizure and detention rights of Canadian airport authorities.
  • Statoil Canada Ltd. in multi-party real estate litigation in an insolvency context in the Superior Court of Québec and in the Court of Appeal of Québec.

Canadian, Cross-Border and Multi-Jurisdictional Litigation

  • A multinational inspection, product testing and certification company in major proceedings ($40 million) against an international oil trading company, as Canadian counsel.
  • One of the world’s largest manufacturers of machine-made carpets in a precedent-setting dispute which involved the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, Québec civil law, and Canadian insolvency law.
  • One of the world’s largest renewable energy firms in a dispute with a utility services provider.
  • Manulife in significant mortgage fraud litigation.
  • The bank liquidators in the multijurisdictional liquidation of Stanford International Bank and in multi-billion dollar litigation against a major financial institution, as Québec counsel.
  • One of Canada’s largest energy companies in Norwich proceedings in an interprovincial context to obtain the disclosure of information identifying online wrongdoers.
  • The private curator and then the liquidator of an estate in connection with a dispute involving questionable transactions initiated by a third party.
  • General Dynamics Corporation in a litigation arising from an agreement of purchase of shares in the field of arms manufacturing.
  • A Japanese multinational corporation in an injunction matter with cross-border implications in the field of industrial and energy equipment.

Domestic Arbitration

  • The prime contractor in a construction dispute with the Government of Nunavut under Northwest Territories arbitration law over the building of an airport runway.
  • A key counterparty in an ad hoc arbitration on the interpretation of natural gas supply contracts in an interprovincial context.
  • A North American supplier in an ad hoc arbitration regarding distributorship agreements in a cross-border context.

International Arbitration

  • A major international businessman in an ICC arbitration over supply issues for his private jet.
  • A foreign entity in an ICC arbitration over services provided in the international defence industry.
  • A California bank on issues relating to domestic and international arbitration.
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory – Insolvency & Financial Restructuring, 2024
  • Benchmark Litigation Canada – Litigation Star, 2017-2024
  • Recognized as an important member of Montreal’s business community by the Canadian Associates of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
  • Recognized as Professional of the Year by the Hellenic Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
  • Insolvency Lawyer of the Year, Le Monde Juridique
  • Canadian Law Awards, Judge on the Selection Committee, 2020
  • Lexpert Rising Stars Awards, Member of the Advisory Board, 2020
  • Bar of Montreal (prior involvement):
    • Member of the committee which developed the Guide of Best Practices in litigation matters
    • Chair of the Subcommittee on the development of a standard Anton Piller order
  • Canadian Bar Association (prior involvement):
    • Chair of the Insolvency Law Sections of the National and Québec Branches
    • Member of various committees of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Section on the amendments proposed by Justice Canada to the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and to the CCAA
  • Participant in public consultations on the second series of proposed legislative amendments concerning the harmonization of federal law with the civil law of the Province of Québec, in the area of bankruptcy and insolvency
  • Hellenic Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, President and Chair of the Executive Committee
  • Québec Bar, Participant in the Panorama project, which consists in work in connection with the recruitment, retention and advancement of lawyers from ethnocultural groups within in-house litigation departments and firms in Québec
  • McGill University, Co-Chair of the Law Class of 1988, which established a needs-based bursary for students
  • Québec Bar School, Teacher, Bankruptcy and Insolvency

Sought-after as a speaker, Gerry has given numerous presentations, namely relating to arbitration and litigation, multi-jurisdictional insolvency files, legal developments in bankruptcy and insolvency, the United States Bankruptcy Code, and various aspects of cross-border files. Here is a sample of conferences:

  • Moderator: L’informatique dans le nuage : éclaircissements [Cloud computing: clarifications], Langlois Knowledge, Québec City, May 30, 2018, and Montréal, May 31, 2018.
  • Commentator on the governance of financially distressed enterprises, as part of the 16th Annual Review of Insolvency Law, 2019.
  • Panelist: Jurisdictional Issues in Cross-border Fraud, as part of the American Bankruptcy Institute’s Cross-Border Program, New York City, November 14, 2016.
  • Speaker: CBA National Insolvency Conference, organized by the Canadian Bar Association, Chicago, September 30, 2016.
  • Co-speaker: Les développements récents en droit de la faillite attirent le regard [Recent developments in bankruptcy law catch the eye], Congrès annuel 2015 du Barreau du Québec, June 10-12, 2015.
  • Speaker: The Supreme Court of Canada’s judgment in the BCE matter, as part of a symposium of the Canadian Bar Association - Québec Branch, in cooperation with McGill University's Faculty of Law, 2009.
  • Co-founder and co-chair: CBA Insolvency Law Conference, organized by the Canadian Bar Association's Insolvency Law Section, 2005-2007.

B.C.L., Civil Law, with Honours, McGill University, 1988

LL.B., Common Law, with Honours, McGill University, 1988

B.A. (partial), Government and Policy Studies, Dartmouth College, United States, 1987

Civil and Common Law Exchange Program, Dalhousie University and Université de Sherbrooke, 1984

DCS, Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf, 1983