Death of J. Vincent O'Donnell, former partner and builder of Lavery

It is with deep regret that we learned of the death of our former partner and colleague, J. Vincent O’Donnell.

Mr. O’Donnell joined the firm in 1957 and practiced law until his retirement in 2009. He quickly rose up the ranks to become one of Quebec’s foremost litigators. Over the course of a career spanning more than 50 years, he argued cases at all levels of court, including a dozen appearances before the Supreme Court of Canada. A number of the cases with which Mr. O’Donnell remained closely associated resulted in precedent-setting decisions in the areas of insurance, professional liability and class actions.

Bâtonnier of the Bar of Montreal from 1984-1985, Mr. O’Donnell played an active role on various committees of the Barreau du Québec and the Canadian Bar Association throughout his career. His reputation also extended beyond Canada’s borders thanks to his membership in prestigious international associations such as the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and the International Association of Defense Counsel.

Mr. O'Donnell profoundly influenced several generations of legal practitioners, to whom he bequeathed his passion for the law and his professional rigour. Paying tribute to the entirety of his career, the English-speaking section of the Bar of Montreal presented him with its inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.

On behalf of the entire Lavery team, we extend our most sincere condolences to Mr. O’Donnell’s family and friends, as well as to all our colleagues who had the privilege of knowing him.

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