L. Michel Huart
Lawyer - Montréal
L. Michel Huart joined the firm in 2006 following a lengthy career in the railway industry, where he held the position of General Counsel for Canadian National.
He was Solicitor for the Canada Labour Relations Board and for the Canadian Transport Commission before joining VIA Rail following its creation in 1978. At VIA, he was Solicitor and Deputy General Secretary until 1984, when he became VIA’s General Superintendent, Transportation, for Quebec. He later held the position of Director, Internal Audit and Special Examination.
Recruited by CN in 1989 as Legal Advisor, Michel went on to become General Counsel. In this capacity, he was in charge of legal issues related primarily to Operations, Marketing, Environment and Risk Management for Canada. He represented CN before the Canadian Transportation Agency and the Federal Court of Appeal. He also appeared before a number of judicial review bodies to challenge decisions by health and safety officers and Transport Canada officials. On behalf of CN, he presented its views with respect to the proposed revision of the Railway Safety Act to the Standing Committee on Transport.
Through these various positions, Michel gained solid expertise in transportation law at both the contractual and regulatory levels. He has also been involved in a number of binding arbitration and mediation cases.
Michel has extensive experience in the management of projects for which environmental approval or environmental impact assessments are required, and has shepherded many such applications through the regulatory approval process. He has also been involved in environmental incident management and environmental assessments.
For several years, he gave a 45-hour course on environmental legal issues and environmental assessments at the continuing education department of the École Polytechnique in Montréal.
Licentiate in Civil Law, University of Ottawa, 1972
Rankings & Recognitions
- Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory 2021
- Chambers Canada 2021
- The Best Lawyers in Canada 2021
- The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory 2020
- Chambers Canada 2020
- The Best Lawyers in Canada 2020
- The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory 2019
- Lexpert/ROB Special Edition on Canada’s Leading Infrastructure Lawyers 2018
- The Best Lawyers in Canada 2019
- The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory 2018
- The Best Lawyers in Canada 2018
- The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory 2017
- The Best Lawyers in Canada 2017
- The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory 2016
- The Best Lawyers in Canada 2016
- The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory 2015
- The Best Lawyers in Canada 2015
- The Best Lawyers in Canada 2014
The Best Lawyers in Canada 2008 to 2013
Areas of Practice
Advising clients in connection with various projects in Plan Nord territory
Judicial review appearances before Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal
Appeared before the Canadian Transportation Agency and its predecessors on a range of topics: applications to abandon railway lines, service complaints, setting property values, disputing fares. Involved in various projects for the construction of railway infrastructure requiring interface with regulatory authorities at the federal and provincial levels.
Represented clients involved in Transportation Safety Board investigations
Drafted and negotiated complex transportation contracts dealing with, among other things, limitation of liability, insurance and service levels provisions
Mediated complaints about noise and vibrations in cases involving both municipalities and individuals
Contested Transport Canada and Human Resources and Social Development Canada decisions and directives
Supported clients in investigations or searches by investigators with search warrants
Represented clients in final offer arbitration cases
Developed strategies and applications to build railway infrastructure and to implement or withdraw services. Requested approvals from the appropriate authorities
Provided legal support for matters relating to flood plains, wetlands, and fish habitats
Provided legal support for authorization certificate applications, rehabilitation plans, and work on agricultural land
Performed environmental due diligence upon selling companies or issuing shares
Drafted environmental policies and policy implementation manuals
Trained executives on officers’ and directors’ liability and the notion of due diligence in the context of environmental laws, occupational health and safety laws, and amendments to the Criminal Code
A chapter entitled “Les tribunaux administratifs – Le Code canadien du travail” (Administrative Tribunals and the Canadian Labour Code) in La Gestion des relations du travail au Québec – Le cadre juridique et institutionnel.
2014 – Speaker at the NACM International Trade Seminar in San Antonio Texas: Canadian Regulations and Security Tools.
1996 – Conference speaker at Insight in Montreal with Pierre B. Meunier: “Managers’ and Directors’ Criminal Liability With Regard to the Environment”.
Guest speaker, continuing education, Varennes: “Legislation Governing Work in a Closed Environment”.
Guest speaker, continuing education, Varennes: “The Impact of the Westray Mine Disaster and Amendments to the Criminal Code, Bill C-45”.
Toronto Trucking Association: Member of a panel looking at amendments to the Canada Transportation Act.
Corporate Counsel Association, Saskatoon: Member of a panel looking into the role of legal advisors “Corporate Lawyers or Legal Advisors – The Broad Range of Legal Services”.
1995-2005 – Member of the board of Ecorail, a subsidiary of CN that specializes in the transportation of trailers between Drummondville and Toronto
1993-1997 – Lecturer on the environment, École Polytechnique de Montréal
Since 1993 – Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in North America
1983 – Member of the Governor General’s Canadian Study Conference
Since 1973 – Canadian Bar Association