Dear Colleagues,

Wow! What a year!

At our Annual General Meeting last May, I said that 2018-2019 would be a year of change management … but I had no idea how right I was!

I would like to spotlight two events among the most important ones of the year, definitely out of the ordinary: the changing of the guard at the Bar of Montreal’s Direction, and the Bar’s new offices.

Changing of the guard at the Bar of Montreal’s Direction

First, a few words about what, in my opinion, was one of the top events of the year.

Mtre Larrivée announced her retirement

Mtre Doris Larrivée, our Executive Director, announced that she intended to take a well-earned retirement after 27 years of loyal and faithful service to the Bar of Montreal, including more than 16 as Executive Director.

I would like to express my warmest thanks to her for her consummate professionalism over the years. But, more than that, I want to express our deep gratitude for making sure that the transition went smoothly.

Furthermore, with her support, we were able to hold a recruitment process at the appropriate time in order to staff the position. Mtre Larrivée made every effort to ensure that her successor had sufficient time to get used to the job and make the transition, while transferring her knowledge to him.

Mtre Larrivée’s actions and helpfulness during this time demonstrated her commitment to her Bar, namely our Bar.

Awarding of the Pierre-Fournier Prize to Mtre Doris Larrivée

In order to pay a heartfelt tribute to Mtre Larrivée for her commitment during all those years and to highlight her significant contribution to the profession, I invite you to the Annual General Meeting, which will be held on Wednesday, May 8, 2019, at 5:30 p.m., in the Salle Jules-Deschênes (5.15) at the Montreal Courthouse.

On this occasion, it will be my great pleasure to award her the Pierre-Fournier Prize. Mtre Larrivée was chosen by the Council of the Bar of Montreal to receive this award, after consultation with the Conference of former Bâtonniers, in honour of her outstanding contribution to the Bar of Montreal and its activities.

A memory book will be placed at the entrance to the room so that everyone who would like to can write good wishes or a memory for Mtre Larrivée.

Mtre Jack H. Chadirdjian to take the helm

I am pleased to announce that the Council has retained the services of Mtre Jack H. Chadirdjian to succeed Mtre Larrivée as Executive Director.

Mtre Chadirdjian is a seasoned manager with a strategic approach to governance. An experienced communicator, he is perfectly trilingual and recognized not only for his public relations expertise, but also for his tact and diplomacy. He is a firm believer in achieving objectives through teamwork, while maintaining strict management of finances.

In the past six years, Mtre Chadirdjian has been President and CEO of Réseau capital, a venture capital association. In particular, he worked in close collaboration with the board of directors and committees, managed the association and supervised event planning.

Before that, he was Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Relations at the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), and Business Development and Communications Manager at the World Trade Centre Montréal.

He was even a Municipal Councillor for the city of Montreal and Vice-Chair of the Board of the STCUM. Lastly, Mtre Chadirdjian was in private legal practice from 1989 to 1999. Apart from his professional activities, he is both a baseball player and avid fan.

Together with Mtre Larrivée, it was agreed that Mtre Chadirdjian would gradually start in the position as of April 15; the goal is to promote the best transition possible until the Annual General Meeting (AGM) to be held on May 8. At that time, Mtre Chadirdjian will fully assume the position and Mtre Larrivée will remain in a support capacity until September 1.

I invite you to join us at the AGM to welcome Mtre Chadirdjian and to wish him every success in his new duties.

The Bar’s new offices

Now let us discuss what, in my opinion, is the second top event of the year: setting up and relocating to our new offices.

After more than 40 years as a tenant at the Montreal Courthouse, the Bar of Montreal has set up its offices at new premises, right across the street on Notre-Dame, where the Wilson & Lafleur bookstore used to be located. Our premises now include three meeting rooms, instead of just one, making it easier to accommodate the meetings of our many committees.

I salute Mtre Larrivée, who had to very quickly acquire completely new skills in real estate management.

On May 25 last year, the Bar of Montreal moved its headquarters. This was a huge change for the entire team, which had to set up shop at its new location and take control of the new work environment. I congratulate them and thank them for having succeeded in achieving this transition so seamlessly.

On October 4, we hosted an open house so that members could visit the new “Maison du barreau” of the Bar of Montreal.

However, even though the vast majority of the work had been completed, there were still numerous details to be finalized. It was only in February 2019 that our architects gave their final stamp of approval for the work. Nevertheless, some additional work was ultimately done in March 2019.

Congratulations to the entire team, which made it possible to carry out this exceptional project.

Closing remarks: Sincere thanks to all our volunteers

The Bar of Montreal has the good fortune to have about 40 committees with more than 400 volunteers devoted to the advancement of the profession. I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge their involvement and their dedication.

To all those who so generously give of their time, I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks for your involvement and invaluable contribution all year long.

Our society is evolving and the law must adapt to this process of change instead of just dealing with its effects afterwards. Your participation in the business matters of the Bar of Montreal shows your commitment to our profession, a profession undergoing profound changes. Thank you!

For an Avant-garde Barreau!


April 16, 2019