Caroline Briand

Key practice areas
Aboriginal Law, Internal and Regulatory Investigations, Compliance and White Collar Defence, Litigation and Dispute Resolution, Public and Administrative Law, Constitutional Law
Québec Bar 2008 Ontario Bar 2010 Nunavut Bar 2017

Caroline Briand devotes her practice to Aboriginal, constitutional and administrative law.

Her practice in Aboriginal and constitutional law focuses on advice, negotiation, consensus-building with various stakeholders involved, and capacity building. She supports Indigenous communities, tribal councils, government bodies and corporations in creating, implementing and improving governance structures, as well as in complex and long-term negotiations, particularly with regard to Aboriginal and treaty rights.

Caroline advises and represents professional orders and other regulatory bodies, particularly with respect to governance matters and judicial reviews.

Caroline’s passion for human rights and equality issues forms an integral part of her practice, in which she advises and supports organizations, businesses and educational institutions with respect to harassment, discrimination, sexual violence and ethical breaches disclosures. She regularly investigates sensitive and complex cases, often with high reputational risk for clients or for the parties involved. Caroline applies a trauma-informed approach in her work, leveraging her knowledge of the issues and dynamics at play in such circumstances.

As part of her commitment to sharing her knowledge and expertise, Caroline regularly provides training to her clients and colleagues, both internally and externally, including with respect to Aboriginal law and investigation techniques, ethics and adopting a trauma-informed approach. She also mentors younger professionals within and outside the firm.

Caroline is certified by the Québec Bar as a lawyer who conducts workplace psychological harassment investigations. She also teaches the Ethics, Professional Conduct and Professional Practice course at the Québec Bar School. In addition, she coaches McGill University Faculty of Law teams for the Kawaskimhon National Aboriginal Moot, a Canada-wide negotiation simulation.

Aboriginal Law

  • Represents two Indigenous organizations in challenging the constitutionality of certain provisions of the Charter of the French language, CQLR c. C-11.
  • Represented First Nations in negotiations with proponents of natural resource development projects, particularly in the extractive and energy sectors.
  • Represented a First Nation in negotiating a migratory caribou hunting co-management agreement.
  • Advised a First Nation on legislation being drafted regarding immovable rights and securities on reserve lands.
  • Represented a First Nation development corporation in an application for declaratory judgment and damages for the removal, clean-up and remediation of outfitting operations established without right on territory covered by the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement and the Northeastern Québec Agreement, as well as in related negotiations.
  • Represented a First Nation regarding negotiations with the province and other Indigenous governments as part of updating treaty provisions and legislative and regulatory provisions relating to the outfitting regime on territory covered by the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement and the Northeastern Québec Agreement.
  • Represented two First Nations and a Québec tribal council in the Public Inquiry Commission on relations between Indigenous Peoples and certain public services (the Viens Commission) and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Administrative Law

  • Reviewed and advised on the implementation of harassment, discrimination, sexual violence and ethics policies for local governments, higher education institutions and businesses.
  • Advised and conducted administrative investigations for post-CEGEP educational institutions, public administrations and businesses.
  • Advised clients on developing and implementing codes of ethics and codes of conduct.
  • Served as external ombudsperson for Indigenous local governments and public bodies, and private companies.
  • Provided ad hoc support to syndics of professional orders, particularly during inquiries and disciplinary complaints.
  • Trained administrative decision-makers in investigative techniques and procedural fairness.
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory – Aboriginal Law, 2023
  • Lexpert Rising Stars: Canada’s Leading Lawyers Under 40, 2022
  • Benchmark Litigation Canada – Future Star, 2023-2024

Teaching engagements

  • Québec Bar School, Instructor of a course on Ethics, Professional Conduct and Professional Practice, since 2023

Professional associations

  • Québec Bar, Member of the Expert Committee on Aboriginal Law, since 2023
  • Canadian Bar Association:
    • Aboriginal Law Section, Member, since 2016
    • Women Lawyers Forum, Executive Member, since 2012
    • Canadian Technical Consultant for the Sustaining Inclusive Resource Development project, 2017-2020

Community involvement

  • McGill University:
    • Coach of the Faculty of Law teams at the Kawaskimhon Aboriginal Law Moot, since 2019
    • McGill Women’s Alumnae Association, Member of the Board of Directors, 2011-2019
  • Co-speaker: Consultation et accommodements des Peuples autochtones : Décisions marquantes en 2023 + à quoi s’attendre en 2024 [Aboriginal consultation and accommodation: Landmark decisions in 2023 + what to expect in 2024], as part of the Journée stratégique sur la consultation et les accommodements avec les communautés autochtones, organized by Open Forum Ouvert, Montréal, December 4, 2023.
  • Co-speaker: Négociations avec les communautés autochtones : les clés pour une collaboration réussie [Negotiations with Indigenous communities: The keys for a successful collaboration], organized by the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association and the Canadien Bar Association's Québec Branch, webinar, October 3, 2023.
  • Speaker: Aboriginal Law – The 2020-2022 Years in Review, organized by the Law Society of Nunavut, webinar, November 21, 2022.
  • Co-speaker: Impacts cumulatifs et leur pertinence dans un contexte de consultation et d’accommodements  [Cumulative impacts and their relevance in a context of consultation and accommodation], as part of the Journée stratégique sur la consultation et les accommodements avec les communautés autochtones, organized par Open Forum Ouvert, Montréal, December 5, 2022.
  • Speaker: Un vent de changement – Les droits des Peuples autochtones face aux changements climatiques [A Wind of Change – Indigenous Peoples’ rights in the face of climate change], as part of the Développements récents en droit des autochtones, organized by the Québec Bar, webinar, November 24, 2022.
  • Co-speaker: Quels risques doivent surveiller les ordres professionnels en 2022-2023? Saurez-vous naviguer entre les écueils? [What risks should professional orders be watching out for in 2022-2023? Can you navigate through the pitfalls?], Langlois Knowledge, Montréal, October 5 and 12, 2022.
  • Co-speaker: Les enjeux autochtones en tant que partie intégrante des ESG [Aboriginal challenges as an integral part of ESG], as part of the Journée stratégique ESG pour avocats, organized by Open Forum Ouvert, Montréal, May 31, 2022.
  • Co-speaker: Le mot en "D" : discrimination en droit professionnel et déontologie, [Discrimination in the area of professional law and ethics], Développements récents en déontologie, droit professionnel et disciplinaire (2022), Barreau du Québec – Service de la Formation continue, Montréal, May 5, 2022.
  • Speaker: Community Consultation and Engagement – International and Canadian Perspectives et Land Rights and Best Practices in Land Acquisition, as part of the Pro Bono Advocates Training Program, organized by the Canadian Bar Association and the Tanganyika Law Society, Mwanza (Tanzania), January 29, 2020.
  • Speaker: Indigenous Women in the Canadian Legal Landscape: The Year 2019 in Review, organized by the the Law Society of Nunavut, Iqaluit (Nunavut), December 10, 2019.
  • Speaker: The Duty to Consult and Accommodate in the Time of Social Acceptability: The Year 2019 in Review, organized by the the Law Society of Nunavut, Iqaluit (Nunavut), December 9, 2019.
  • Speaker: We’re all here to stay: Perspectives, Paths and Proposals from Québec, as part of the CBA Aboriginal Law Conference, Banff (Alberta), June 19, 2019.
  • Co-speaker: Droits humains, activités économiques et peuples autochtones : perspectives comparées [Human rights, economic activities and Indigenous people: Comparative perspectives], as part of the Annual Forum of Lawyers Without Borders Canada (Québec), Québec City, November 22, 2018.
  • Speaker: Canada’s Journey – Development of Fair Practice on Relocation and Compensation Plans – A Canadian Case Study, as part of the Kenya National Forum on Gender and Extractives, organized by the Canadian Bar Association and the Law Society of Kenya, Nyahururu (Kenya), April 26, 2018.

Master of Laws with thesis, Université Laval (candidate)

Certificate in Mining Law, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, 2016

Major, Trial and Appellate Practice, McGill University, 2007

B.C.L./LL.B., McGill University, 2007