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Riel Lawyers

Jean-Pierre has over 25 years of experience in practicing real estate law with a specialty in commercial leases. In 2000, he founded the Montreal boutique law firm Riel & Associates. Jean-Pierre was previously a director and in house counsel for TrizecHahn during which time he participated in several major real estate transactions. Today, his clients include major institutional corporations, developers and tenants seeking legal services for their real estate needs across Quebec and Canada. For over a decade, he has been the lead commercial leasing lawyer for the most important retail development in the greater Montreal area. His clients rely on his extensive expertise and experience during the negotiation, drafting and conclusion of leasing transactions. Jean-Pierre also has a solid experience in sales and acquisitions, litigation and arbitration relating to real estate matters. Jean-Pierre was called to the Quebec bar in 1986 and is a graduate of the University of Ottawa, the University of Strasbourg and the Pantheon-Sorbonne University (Paris 1). Recognized by his peers as a leading lawyer in commercial leases, Jean-Pierre regularly contributes to publications on real estate related topics.

He is named as one of Canada’s most repeatedly recommended property leasing lawyer by the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2020.

Education :

  • D.E.A. de l’Université de Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne in Droit international économique (1989)
  • Certificat d’études européennes at Institut des Hautes Études Européennes (IHEE) (Université de Strasbourg) (1988)
  • University of Ottawa (LL.L 1985)

Call to the Bar :
Quebec, 1986

Conferences :

  • Commercial Leasing : a World in Evolution – The Financial Aspect of the Commercial Lease Conférences Yvon Blais, Spring 2000.
  • Commercial Leases – Operating Expenses, Canadian Institute Conference, Spring 2009.

Jo-Anne Durand started her law career in the same firm as Jean-Pierre Riel in 1993. During the first five years, she practiced in the areas of commercial litigation and real estate law. She also had the opportunity to work at TrizecHahn at the beginning of her practice where she acquired her first experience in commercial leasing.

Since 1999, she has dedicated her practice to real estate transactions with particular expertise in the areas of commercial leasing, sales and acquisitions and the development of commercial and mixed-use projects representing landlords as well as tenants, developers and real estate owners. Jo-Anne assists clients on office, retail and industrial leasing as well as on mixed-use and life-style center projects. Prior to joining Riel and Associates, Jo-Anne was a partner at two large Montreal law firms where she was involved in the development, financing and commercial leasing of large-scale commercial developments such as the Carrefour de la Rive Sud and Faubourg Boisbriand. For over ten years, Jo-Anne also acted for Walmart Canada with respect to its acquisition, development, and commercial leasing work in Quebec. Since joining Riel and Associates in 2009, Jo-Anne has been involved in the commercial leasing of other significant developments such as the Quartier Dix30TM, Griffintown and other mixed-use projects.

Jo-Anne has negotiated with major national tenants such as Canadian Tire, Jean-Coutu, Metro, the National Bank, the TD Bank, the Laurentian Bank, Regus and Sobeys as well as major international tenants such as Abbott and Abbvie, Apple, Costco, Home Depot, Sephora, Starbucks, WeWork, Winners, Williams-Sonoma and Zara.

Education :

  • L.L.B. – University of Montreal (1993)
  • Certificat en langue et culture française (Université de Paris IV (Sorbonne) (1990)
  • Liberal Arts College – Concordia University (1990)

Call to the Bar :
Quebec, 1994

Conférences :

  • Conference on the negotiation of operating costs – 2017 ICSC Canadian Law Conference.
  • Conference on co-tenancy clauses and related challenges – 2016 ICSC Canadian Law Conference.
  • Negotiation and drafting of commercial leases – Montreal Real Estate Leasing Conference, Spring 2008.
  • Servitudes and exclusivity clauses in commercial developments – Spring 2003.
  • Sublease Agreements – Fall 2000.

Emanuela joined Riel and Associates in 2016 as a commercial real estate lawyer. Her practice focuses on drafting, negotiating and interpreting commercial lease agreements of all kinds. She advises and assists institutional landlords, national and international tenants and developers in their various projects in Quebec and Canada.
Prior to joining the firm, Emanuela acted as legal counsel for one of North America’s largest franchisors in the restaurant industry. During this time, she developed a variety of corporate and commercial legal skills, with a particular focus on franchise law and commercial leasing across Canada.

Emanuela has also written several articles for the local Italian community on a variety of topics, and as volunteered for legal research for various associations.

Emanuela obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Law at the University of Montreal in 2014, where she is currently completing a Juris Doctor in North American Common Law. In addition, Emanuela is fluent in Italian and Spanish.

Education :

  • Diploma “Florence Institute on International and Comparative Law” – San Diego University (2012)
  • Bachelor of Laws LL.B – University of Montréal (2014)
  • Juris Doctor Degree in North American Common Law – University of Montréal (ongoing)

Call to the bar :

Quebec, 2015

Professional Associations :

Young Bar of Montreal

Stéphanie Bernier joined Riel & Associates as a lawyer after having completed her Quebec Bar articling program with the firm in 2018. During her law studies, she had the opportunity to clerk under the direction of a judge of the Superior Court of Quebec. She has also volunteered for various organizations such as the McGill Legal Information Clinic and Pro Bono Students Canada (PBSC). Prior to studying law, Stéphanie obtained a BA in International Studies from the University of Montreal, where she completed an internship at the Public Diplomacy Office of the Consulate General of the United States in Montreal.

Stéphanie now practices in real estate law and specializes in commercial leasing. Her work involves drafting and negotiating leases and other legal documents for retail, office, industrial and mixed-use properties. She represents real estate developers, landlords and tenants on various leasing matters and assists them throughout their commercial leasing transactions.

Education :

  • Bachelor of Laws – University of Montréal (2017)
  • Bachelor’s degree in International Studies – University of Montréal (2014)

Call to the bar :

Quebec, 2018

Distinctions :

Recipient of the Association of Italian-Canadian Jurists of Quebec (AJICQ) Scholarship (2016)

Professional Associations :

Young Bar of Montreal

Management, billing and account receivables.

Benjamin Couturier

Law graduate from the University of Lyon, France.

Benjamin joined Riel & Associates as a paralegal in January 2020 to participate in the drafting of commercial leases and other legal documents.