The Honourable Louise Mailhot is a member of the Commercial Litigation and Labour, Employment & Human Rights practice groups for which she acts as strategic counsel. Louise also mentors the firm’s young lawyers. A former justice of the Court of Appeal of Québec and former vice-president of the International Association of Judges, Louise is a member of the Barreau du Québec.
Louise is a prolific author and active contributor to both the Québec and Canadian legal communities. She was co-editor of Revue du droit du travail, Revue légale, Rapports de pratique and also authored a book on the appellate process. She was a member of the editorial board of the Magazine Justice dans le Monde and coordinator of several collective publications on the legal system in Canada and abroad. An international lecturer, Louise has spoken on various topics, including judicial independence, legal discipline and ethics, judicial writing, reform of civil justice and the Canadian history of women in law and on the bench. In 2013, a book she wrote on the subject, entitled “Les Premières !”, was published by Éditions Yvon Blais. Mtre Mailhot currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Fondation Jules et Paul-Emile Léger.
After being the first woman articling student admitted to the law firm, Martineau Walker in 1965, Louise worked as a lawyer in private practice with other highly regarded law firms. Her practice focused mainly on labour and public law, subjects which she taught in the continuing education programs of two universities and at the Barreau du Québec. Louise has been a director on various boards, including the executive committees of the Québec Bar, the Québec Bar Foundation and the University of Montréal.
In 1980, Louise was appointed judge to the Superior Court of Québec, and in 1987, became the first woman lawyer appointed judge to the Court of Appeal of Québec in Montreal. While on the bench, Louise implemented a training program on judicial drafting for Canadian judges. She also taught the judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. She sat on the executive committee of the Canadian Superior Courts Judges Association and has chaired the Québec Superior Court Judges' Conference. From 1996 to 2005, she was elected vice-president of the International Association of Judges, an NGO encompassing national associations of judges from over 65 countries. Since 2005, Louise has acted as representative of the International Association of Judges to the United Nations.