Our Lawyers

David G. Colford

David G. Colford

Bar admission(s)

Quebec Bar, 1980

Profile

David joined the firm in 1980 after a teaching career and became a partner in 1985. His interests involve commercial and corporate law in the maritime industry. He specializes in multi-modal transport issues, contractual disputes and litigation controversies before the admiralty and civil courts. He has appeared in the Supreme Court of Canada on several occasions.
David continues to teach courses on admiralty at McGill’s Faculty of Law, and provide topical presentations to law students, freight forwarders, shipbrokers and operators in the transport industry.

Education

McGill University, B.A., Honours Classics, 1972
McGill University, Diploma in Secondary Education, 1973
McGill University, LL.B., 1978
McGill University, B.C.L., 1979

Professional involvement

Past-President, Canadian Maritime Law Association

Community involvement

Sessional Lecturer, McGill Faculty of Law
Member, Grunt Club Inc.
Member, WISTA
Member, Youth of Shipping

Language(s)

English
French

Other interests

David has been riding, raising and training horses for over 15 years.

Victor DeMarco

Victor DeMarco

Bar admission(s)

Quebec Bar, 1977

Profile

Victor’s specializations cover all areas of maritime litigation, including P&I cargo claims, collisions, groundings and other casualties, damage to fixed objects, oil pollution cases, charterparty disputes, claims for non-payment of hire and for various unpaid goods and services supplied to ships. He has practiced in the Federal Courts and in the provincial Courts of Quebec and Ontario, and is experienced in alternate dispute resolution such as mediation and arbitration. Victor has also provided legal counsel in connection with coasting trade, ship registration and various regulatory matters.

Education

Sir George Williams University, B.A., 1973
University of Montreal, LL.L., 1976

Professional involvement

Member, Canadian Maritime Law Association

Community involvement

Past-President & Member, Grunt Club Inc.

Language(s)

English
French

Richard Desgagnés

Richard Desgagnés

Bar admission(s)

Quebec Bar, 1988

Profile

Richard joined after spending over 25 years with a leading national and then international law firm, where he headed the maritime and transportation practice and the transnational litigation practice.
Richard’s transportation practice covers most litigious and non-litigious aspects of the speciality. He has advised or represented ship owners, operators, charterers and shippers, insurers, shipbuilders, domestic and international indemnity funds, ports and marine terminals operators, the Canadian government, banks and financiers, aircraft manufacturers, purchasers and their lenders as well as airport authorities.
He has successfully appeared on behalf of clients before all courts of Quebec, the Federal Courts of Canada and the Supreme Court of Canada as well as a number of private arbitration tribunals. He has coordinated or participated in various transnational litigations, both in civil law and common law jurisdictions, including cases before the courts of Hong Kong (including the Court of Final Appeal), England, Jersey Island (including the Privy Council), France, Luxembourg and the United States (including the Court of Appeals).
In addition, Richard is also very experienced with execution of foreign judgments and arbitral awards and issues of state immunity. In recent years, he has also developed a special interest for issues relating to the Arctic and the exploitation of natural resources off-shore.

Education

University of Montreal, LL.B., 1986
Diploma in Shipping, University of London 1988

Professional involvement

Past Chair, Maritime Law Section, Canadian Bar Association
Honorary Executive Member, Maritime Law Section, Canadian Bar Association
Regional Vice-President, Quebec, Canadian Maritime Law Association

Language(s)

English
French

Other interests

Outdoor activities including, in particular cycling.

Danièle Dion

Danièle Dion

Bar admission(s)

Quebec Bar, 1985

Profile

Danièle joined the firm as a partner in 1996 after working 11 years with the Admiralty Section of the Canadian Department of Justice. She practices in all areas of maritime and transportation law and her practice includes litigation, arbitration and mediation, as well as advice on commercial and regulatory matters. Danièle routinely advises on issues involving contracts of affreightment, coasting trade, vessel acquisitions and registration, port state control intervention and vessel arrest and security. She has been counsel in matters involving oil pollution, personal injury, ship groundings and hull and machinery claims. Danièle has appeared before a variety of courts including the Supreme Court of Canada.

Education

University of Ottawa, B.A. Social Communications, 1977

University of Ottawa, LL.L., 1980

University of Ottawa, LL.B., 1981
Dalhousie University, LL.M., 1983

Professional involvement

Director, Canadian Maritime Law Association
Vice Chairperson, Great Lakes Pilotage Authority
Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce
Member, Association of Maritime Arbitrators of Canada
Past Member, Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada
Past Chairperson, Legal Committee, International Hydrographic Organization

Community involvement

Member, Grunt Club Inc.
Member, WISTA

Language(s)

English
French

Other interests

Danièle’s other interests include most outdoor pursuits such as tennis, running, cycling and golf, time and weather permitting.

Katherine Shaughnessy-Chapman

Katherine Shaughnessy-Chapman

Bar admission(s)

Quebec Bar, 2017

Profile

Katherine joined the firm in 2016 as an articling student and was called to the Quebec Bar in May 2017. She assists colleagues and clients in all areas of the firm’s practice, notably, maritime claims, commercial transactions and various areas of Quebec Civil law. Katherine has appeared before the provincial Courts of Quebec and the Federal Court. Before joining Brisset Bishop, Katherine participated in a summer internship program at one of Canada’s largest shipping companies, allowing her to gain valuable knowledge of daily operations in the marine industry.

Education

Concordia University, B.A. Honours Urban Planning, 2012 (with distinction)
University of Montreal, LL.B., 2015

Professional involvement

Member, Canadian Maritime Law Association

Community involvement

Member, Grunt Club Inc.
Member, Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA)
Member, Youth of Shipping

Language(s)

English
French

Other interests

Katherine is an avid tennis player, golfer and skier. She also enjoys supporting various charitable causes and Montreal institutions.

Nick Spillane

Nick Spillane

Bar admission(s)

Quebec Bar, 1982
Law Society of Upper Canada, 1990

Profile

Nick practices environmental law and works in contamination issues, compliance, penal and contractual, including litigation. He also practices maritime law, handling cases in all aspects of P&I, FD&D and hull coverage, whether in arbitration or before the Courts, including experience with international contracts. Nick has extensive experience in contamination and pollution cases, both on the civil side as well as the criminal defence side. He also practices in non-marine insurance matters and provides mediation services in commercial cases as a certified mediator. Nick has pleaded before all Courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada.

Education

McGill University, LL.B. 1980 ; B.C.L. 1981

Professional involvement

Member, Canadian Maritime Law Association

Community involvement

Member, Grunt Club Inc.

Language(s)

English
French

Other interests

Various, including fishing.