Louis LeBel

Québec Bar 1962
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We were deeply saddened to learn that the Honourable Louis LeBel passed away on June 8, 2023. After more than 60 years of practising law, including 30 years on the bench, he chose to spend the final decade of his illustrious career at Langlois, where he took his retirement in March 2023. With his encyclopedic knowledge of Canada’s two legal traditions, he was an invaluable—and highly influential—asset to the firm.

Mr. LeBel was called to the Bar in 1962. He received a graduate degree (DES) in private law from Université Laval in 1965 and an LL.M. from the University of Toronto in 1966. He practised law in Québec City, first with LeBel, Letarte, Bilodeau, Boily from 1963 to 1964 and then at Désilets, Grondin, LeBel & Associés from 1964 to 1971, before becoming a partner at Grondin, LeBel, Poudrier, Isabel, Morin & Gagnon, where he practised from 1971 to 1984. He was appointed to the Québec Court of Appeal on June 28, 1984, and to the country’s highest bench, the Supreme Court of Canada, on January 7, 2000. He sat on the Supreme Court until his retirement from the judiciary in 2014, when he joined Langlois.

His exceptional talent, extraordinary dedication and remarkable contributions to the field of law earned him numerous tributes. He received honorary doctorate of laws degrees from Université Laval in 2001 and from the University of Ottawa in 2010. He was also awarded the medals of both the Barreau du Québec (the provincial Bar association) in 2000 and the Barreau de Québec (Québec City Bar) in 2008. He was made an Honorary Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers in 2004 and a Companion of the Order of Canada on December 29, 2017. In 2022, the Barreau de Québec recognized his 60th anniversary of admission to the Bar by awarding him the medal of the Conseil du Barreau.

Louis LeBel was very engaged in the legal community and generous with his knowledge. He was a frequent conference speaker and authored many legal articles and monographs in various areas of law. He coauthored, with lawyer Robert‑P. Gagnon and professor Pierre Verge, a labour law treatise entitled Le droit du travail en vigueur au Québec, recently updated by a team of lawyers at Langlois and still today considered indispensable for understanding the workings of labour law. Mr. LeBel also sat on various committees of the Barreau de Québec and the Barreau du Québec, including the editorial committee of the Revue du Barreau (1976–1982), which he chaired from 1979 to 1982. He was a member of the board of the legal-aid organization Corporation du Centre communautaire juridique de Québec from 1973 to 1975 and of the legal aid committee of the Barreau de Québec. In addition, he served as vice-president of the Barreau du Québec from 1982 to 1983 and as Bâtonnier of Québec from 1983 to 1984. He was also a guest lecturer at the University of Ottawa and Université Laval, as well as judge in residence at Université Laval’s law faculty.

Mr. LeBel is widely regarded as one of the most brilliant judges in Canadian history, rendering countless landmark decisions in an extensive variety of matters influencing the rights of Canadians. His rich legacy will continue to influence future generations of jurists.


Master of Laws, University of Toronto, 1966

Graduate degree in Private Law, Université Laval, 1965

Bachelor of Laws, Université Laval, 1961