Member of the Quebec Bar since 2004
Member of the Ontario Bar since 2012
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Sarah Woods is a seasoned litigator who has appeared before all levels of Quebec courts. Her diverse practice includes all aspects of commercial litigation, including securities litigation, construction and real estate litigation, shareholder disputes, as well as class actions. She is also involved in cases pertaining to professional liability and c-suite employment matters for executives.
Sarah is a prolific author and lecturer. She has been a course lecturer at the McGill University, Faculty of Law, teaching the Civil Litigation Workshop over the last fifteen years. She was the co-Chair of the American Bar Association’s Securities Litigation Sub-Committee for Canada (2015-2019) and co-chaired two editions of the American Bar Association’s National Institute on US-Canadian Securities Litigation. In addition to being a McGill University graduate in the transsystemic program (civil and common law), Sarah also holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Queen’s University.
Recent distinctions (2020)
Successfully represented the interests of the Attorney General of Manitoba in an application for declaratory judgment against Air Canada further to the shutting down of Aveos’ aircraft maintenance center in Montreal.
Obtained an order for a mandatory interlocutory injunction for Devimco, one of the most important real estate developers in Montreal.
Successfully contested an application for disqualification against expert accountants (RCGT).
Was involved in the approval of the arrangement in relation to the transaction between BCE and a conglomerate of purchasers.
Instituted on behalf of oppressed shareholders several oppression remedies in accordance with the Canada Business Corporations Act.
Negotiated several settlements on behalf of c-suite executives following termination of their employment and represents them before the Superior Court.
Defends professionals in relation to disciplinary and civil proceedings questions.
Represents plaintiffs having been subjected to defamatory remarks, often against major media outlets.
Defended Manulife Financial Corporation (“MFC”) in one of the largest securities class action proceedings in Canada in which plaintiffs alleged a fault with respect to MFC’s continuous disclosure obligations. Successfully restricted the scope of the class action at the authorization stage and won almost every interlocutory motion before the case was settled a few months before trial.
Obtained authorization for a class action against Jehovah's Witnesses concerning sexual abuse of minors.
Defends the interests of the group members in a class action against the Attorney General of Canada and the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in relation to the “mad cow crisis."
Sarah is ranked highly by her peers and her clients in the most reputable legal publications including the following:
Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory – recognized since 2019
- Class Actions - Repeatedly Recommended (2020)
- Litigation - Corporate Commercial – Consistently Recommended (2020)
Benchmark Litigation - recognized since 2016
- Litigation Star –Commercial, Dispute resolution, Securities, Professional liability, Labor and employment (2020)
Benchmark Litigation: recognized as one of the Top 50 Women in Litigation in Canada
The Best Lawyers in Canada (2021)
- Class actions
Chambers Canada (2021)
- Litigation - General Commercial: Up and coming
PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES AND ASSOCIATIONS
Co-lecturer at McGill University, Faculty of Law, “Civil Litigation Workshop"
American Bar Association, Co-Chair of the Regional Subcommittee – Canada, for the Securities Litigation Committee (2015-2019)
Canadian Bar Association
Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation
American Bar Association
2002 McGill University, Faculty of Law
B.C.L./LL.B. transsystemic program
2002 National University of Singapore, Faculty of Law
Exchange program with McGill University, Faculty of Law
1999 Queen’s University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Bachelor in Economics (cum Honoribus)
1998 Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Exchange program with Queen’s University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences (Economics)
PUBLICATIONS AND CONFERENCES
2017 - Moderator on the Securities class actions panel at the ABA’s 2nd National Institute on US-Canadian Securities Litigation.
2016 - Moderator on the Securities class actions panel at the ABA’s National Institute on US-Canadian Securities Litigation.
Preuve testimoniale d’un indice de présomption dans Claude Marseille, dir, Les objections à la preuve en droit civil, Montréal, LexisNexis, 2015, 515
Contradiction d’une présomption légale absolue dans Claude Marseille, dir, Les objections à la preuve en droit civil, Montréal, LexisNexis, 2015, 523
Sarah Woods et al., “The Reliance Element in U.S. and Canadian Securities Class Actions”, ABA Journal [Section of Litigation] (9 September 2015), online: <www.abajournal.com>.
Sarah Woods, “Moving Towards Clarity on the Viability of Fraud-on-the-Market in Quebec”(2015) 14 : 2 Corporate litigation J 822.