Heather Devine, CTLA President
Heather Devine is one of Canada’s leading Transportation lawyers and Advocates. Her most recent success in the (Ontario) Superior Court of Justice (Commercial Court) enabled her client to retain possession of a private jet over which her client claimed a lien. Her success in the Federal Court of Canada resulted in a permanent injunction being granted in one of Canada’s few mechanical patent trials, as well as clarification of the role of experts in the Federal Court and the successful defence of a spoliation claim. Justice Manson described Heather’s cross examination of an expert at trial was described as having been“shredded on cross- examination”.
Having gained a reputation as being a ‘fixer’ in the field of commercial litigation for businesses and insurers, she develops and implements the strategy, budgeting and case management of complex litigation for private and public, national and international clients. Some of her significant victories, aside from the permanent injunction in the Federal Court of Canada, include an arbitration judgment of Euros 6 million against the Government of Libya at the ICC (Paris) and successful judicial review of an error by the Patent Commissioner, to compel the granting of a mechanical patent on a truck bumper.
In her role as a commercial litigator, Heather has defended product liability claims regarding pipes, medical devices, lighting fixtures, transformers and aerospace materials, among others. She has also litigated claims involving property management issues, condominium law and commercial tenancy, which included removing directors from condominium board of directors, damages for breach of commercial lease, reserve fund claims, personal injury, environmental contamination and construction issues.
In 2009, Heather learned to fly single engine planes. Her love and admiration of aviation led her to an interest in Transportation law. Since 2013, Heather has been included in the peer reviewed publication Best Lawyers® in Canada. She combined her interest in technology, transportation and intellectual property to advise brokers, freight forwarders, carriers, 3PLs and 4PLs on all aspects of supply chain logistics and the movement of goods locally and internationally. She has advised clients generally regarding cargo claims, liens, warehousing, bills of lading, multi-modal, NVOCC issues, spoilage and more specifically advised International manufacturer/shipper clients regarding Third Party Logistics Services, Cross Border Long Haul issues (incl. NAFTA) and customs.
In Halifax and Hamilton, Heather also advised hospitals, manufacturers and various carriers and brokers on issues regarding labour and employment law, conducting many successful labour arbitrations, advising human rights issues and how to enforce (or bust) executive non-competition agreements.
Heather has obtained letters rogatory, enforced foreign judgments and won several injunctions and mandatory orders. She is very familiar with the issues of enforcement and contempt law and has litigated these issues through the all levels of the Courts; applying twice for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Recently, Heather has capitalized on her understanding of litigation, and expanded her focus to assist clients with contracts and agreements to minimize their risk. She ‘Canadianized’ the TIA shipper-broker, broker-carrier agreements as part of her work on the Transportation Intermediaries Association Contract Committee. She has experience advising clients how to risk manage the movement of bulk commodities, foodstuffs, perishables and hazardous materials. Whether last mile or movement of goods by sea, Heather enjoys all aspects of servicing clients in the transportation industry.