Valérie Lemaire

Key practice areas
Insurance and Reinsurance, Civil and Commercial Litigation, Professional Liability, Product Liability and Consumer Protection, Litigation and Dispute Resolution
Québec Bar 1995

Valérie Lemaire has more than 25 years of experience in insurance law, liability and regulatory compliance. She represents and advises damage insurers, insurers of persons, financial institutions, insurance firms, professionals in various fields, and entrepreneurs. She regularly pleads before the courts with regard to insurance coverage, the distribution of financial products and services, and ethics, as well as civil, professional and products liability.

Valérie is known for her hybrid practice in litigation and regulatory compliance. She leverages her deep knowledge of the regulations governing insurance and distribution of financial products and services in advising her clients, while factoring in all related issues.

She is regularly recommended and cited in legal directories, including the Chambers Canada Guide since 2023. She was twice named “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers for Insurance Law, in 2019 and 2023. She also received the Excellence in Mentoring Award 2020 for Québec from The Advocates’ Society in recognition of her commitment to mentoring young professionals in her area.

She has authored a number of insurance law articles. She frequently delivers training in insurance, pleading techniques and regulatory compliance.

Valérie is actively involved with the firm and has earned the trust of her partners. She currently serves on the Executive Committee. She previously served on the Board of Directors for a number of years, and as head of the Insurance group.

Insurance law – Distribution of financial products and services – Regulatory inquiries

  • Representing insurers (insurers of persons and damage insurers), firms and distributors in connection with investigations, inspections, notice of order issued by the Autorité des marchés financiers in connection with the regulations governing the obligations of insurers, firms, representatives and distributors, as well as in the protection of personal information. These cases involved interpreting the Insurers Act, the Act respecting the distribution of financial products and services, and the applicable regulations, as well as the guidelines issued by the Autorité des marchés financiers.

Insurance law – Distribution of financial products and services

  • Defending insurers in a class action regarding rate pricing in automobile insurance. This litigation pertained to enforcement of the Automobile Insurance Act, the Direct Compensation Agreement for the Settlement of Automobile Claims, the Insurers Act and the related insurance regulations.

Telecommunications – Distribution other than through a representative – Insurance law 

  • Representing telecommunications businesses in a class action involving issues related to the distribution of insurance products other than through a representative.

Insurance law – Insurance coverage

  • Advises insurers regarding the interpretation of property, liability, and director and officer insurance policies.
  • Defending an insurer being sued for $4 million following a fire that involved interpreting a property insurance policy and performing a damage assessment.
  • Defending an insurer being sued for $10 million that required interpreting the exclusion related to business activities.
  • Defended insurers in a class action in relation to claims from business insureds for business interruption losses arising from COVID-19-related business closures.

Reinsurance – Contract interpretation

  • Represented an insurer in an arbitration proceeding involving a multi million claim to recover monies from a reinsurer.

Professional liability – Bodily injury 

  • Defending a hotel in a $10 million bodily injury suit following a guest accident.
  • Defended an insurer and its insured in litigation involving over $2 million in bodily injury arising from alleged carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Defending a mutual defense organization for physicians in connection with bodily injury claims or disciplinary complaints brought against physicians.

Civil liability – Professional liability – Products liability

  • Representing a specialist contractor being sued for damages following a series of issues that occurred during construction and involving the building of a Berlin-type wall.
  • Defended a household electrical products distributor being sued for damages following a fire.
  • Defending financial security advisors being sued for damages in connection with the underwriting of insurance of persons products.
  • Defending architectural firms being sued for professional liability.
  • Representing financial security advisors subject to disciplinary complaints before the Disciplinary Committee of the Chambre de la sécurité financière.
  • Chambers Canada – Insurance Dispute Resolution, 2023-2024
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory:
    • Commercial Insurance Litigation, 2015-2024
    • Professional Liability, 2018-2024
    • Product Liability, 2022
  • Benchmark Litigation Canada:
    • Litigation Star, 2019-2024
    • Local Litigation Star, 2015-2018
  • Best Lawyers in Canada:
    • Insurance Law, 2012-2024
    • Product Liability Law, 2019-2024
    • Professional Malpractice Law, 2022-2024
    • Personal Injury Litigation, 2023-2024
    • Lawyer of the Year – Insurance Law (Québec City), 2019 and 2023
  • The Advocates’ Society, Excellence in Mentoring Award for Québec, 2020
  • Member of the Executive Committee of the firm, 2024
  • The Advocates’ Society, Member of the Québec Regional Advisory Committee, since 2020
  • PLUS (Professional Liability Underwriting Society), Member, since 2017
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the firm, 2013-2018
  • Québec City Association of Insurance Women (AFAQ), Member, since 1997
  • Co-author: “New Regulation respecting the handling of complaints and the resolution of disputes in the financial sector: towards a standardization of practices”, April 29, 2024.
  • Co-author: “Le privilège relatif au litige : la protection du processus judiciaire” [The litigation privilege: protecting the judicial process], Assurance de dommages – Troisième Colloque, La Collection Blais, Vol. 26, 2017.
  • Co-author: “Contrat de réassurance: notions et principes” [Reinsurance policies: concepts and principles] and “Les ententes de réassurance” [Reinsurance agreements], in Le contrat d’assurance de dommages et le contrat de réassurance: sujets choisis [Property and casualty insurance policies and reinsurance contracts: selected topics], under the direction of Sébastien Lanctôt, Montréal, LexisNexis, 2015.
  • Co-author: “La portée de l’obligation de bonne foi de l’assureur dans le traitement des réclamations” [The Scope of the Insurer’s Duty to Act in Good Faith in the Handling of Claims], Assurance de dommages – Deuxième colloque, La Collection Blais, Vol. 22, May 13, 2015.
  • Contributor: Legal Aspects of Doing Business in North America (Québec section), Juris Publishing, Release 1, Huntington, New York, 2012.
  • Author: “Compliance as a Protective Mechanism”, March 5, 2012.
  • Co-speaker: L’interrogatoire et le contre-interrogatoire des experts [Examination and cross-examination of experts], Colloque de La Société des plaideurs, Québec City, October 12, 2023.
  • Co-speaker: Évolution de la jurisprudence : quelles sont les répercussions sur le traitement de réclamations impliquant des réserves de couvertures? [Developments in case law: What are the implications for the handling of claims involving coverage reserves?], private workshop on claims handling, Langlois Knowledge, Montréal, June 7, 2023.
  • Co-speaker: Maîtrisez les objections [Master objections], Colloque de La Société des plaideurs, Montréal, April 25, 2023.
  • Co-speaker: Cabinet de services financiers et représentant autonome – rôles et responsabilités [Financial services firm and independent representative – roles and responsibilities], private workshop, Langlois Knowledge, Montréal, February 2, 2023.
  • Speaker: Les relations Locataire-Locateur : fardeaux et présomptions [Tenant-landlord relations: Burdens and presumptions], Langlois Knowledge, Québec City, January 17, 2023.
  • Co-speaker: L’assurance des pratiques d’emploi [Employment practices insurance], Langlois Knowledge, Montréal, September 24, 2021.
  • Co-speaker: Regard sur la responsabilité professionnelle des radiologistes [A look at radiologists' professional liability], 56th SRQ annual convention, Montréal, November 1, 2019.
  • Co-speaker: La notion de bonne foi en droit civil [The concept of good faith in civil law], Colloque 2019 - Droit des assurances, Langlois Knowledge, Montréal, March 19, 2019.
  • Speaker: L’accès à l’information et la protection des renseignements personnels [Access to information and protection of personal information], Lévis, February 15, 2018.
  • Co-speaker: Le privilège relatif au litige : la protection du processus judiciaire [The litigation privilege: Protecting the judicial process], Assurance de dommages – Troisième Colloque, Québec City, June 12, 2018.
  • Co-speaker: La portée de l’obligation de bonne foi de l’assureur dans le traitement des réclamations [The Scope of the insurer’s duty to act in good faith in the handling of claims], Assurance de dommages – Deuxième Colloque, organized by Éditions Yvon Blais, Québec City, November 30, 2015.
  • Speaker: La gestion de l’instance – impact du nouveau Code de procédure civile [Case Management – the Impact of the new Code of Civil Procedure], 2015.
  • Speaker: La prescription [Limitation of Actions (prescription)], 2015.
  • Co-speaker: Le risque de pollution [The risk of pollution], Colloque droit des assurances 2015, Langlois Knowledge, Montréal, May 22, 2015.
  • Speaker: Quels sont les moyens que l’assureur ne peut opposer au tiers lésé? [What arguments the insurer cannot use against an injured third party], interactive workshop presented as part of the Colloque droit des assurances 2014, Langlois Knowledge, Montréal, May 29, 2014.
  • Speaker: The Obligation to Follow Sound Commercial Practices, organized by The Canadian Institute, 2010.
  • Speaker: The Lawyer’s Role in Managing Regulatory Compliance Risks, organized by The Canadian Institute, 2009.
  • Co-speaker: New Guidelines From the Autorité des marchés financiers and How to Comply, organized by the Institut d’assurance de dommages du Québec, 2009.
  • Speaker: Implementation of a Compliance Management Program by an Insurer, organized by Insight, Montréal, 2008.
  • Speaker: Guidelines Issued by the Autorité des marchés financiers, private presentation to insurance clients, 2008.
  • Speaker: L’évaluation du préjudice corporel [Assessing personal injury], organized by the Québec City Association of Insurance Women, Québec City, 2008.
  • Speaker: Managing Landlord/Tenant Relations, organized by the Québec City Association of Insurance Women, Québec City, 2008.
  • Co-speaker: Waiver, Estoppel from a Québec Legal Perspective, organized by the Institut d’assurance de dommages de Québec, Montréal, 2007.
  • Speaker: Initial Declaration of Risk and the Consequences of Non-Disclosure, organized by the Québec City Association of Insurance Women, Québec City, 2006.

LL.B., Civil Law, Université Laval, 1994