Dimitri Maniatis

B.C.L./LL.B., LL.M., McGill University
Quebec Bar 1999, New York Bar 1998, Massachusetts Bar 1996

T: +1 (514) 795-3830
E: dimitri@accentlegal.ca

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Dimitri Maniatis is the founder of Accent Legal. His skills and experience are in advisory and counsel mandates principally involving risk analysis, mitigation and dispute resolution in a variety of practice areas and industries, including in the construction industry, as well as in infrastructure sectors such as transportation (air and rail) and natural resources.
Having been consistently ranked by legal industry publications as a leading lawyer, Dimitri is known for his business acumen and strong communication, analytical, strategy, negotiation, organizational and planning skills. Throughout his more than twenty-year legal career, he has driven successful outcomes in major domestic and international engagements involving significant stakes, risks and complexities. He is result-oriented and believes that passion, dedication, integrity, innovation, team-work and attention to detail are key drivers of success.
Dimitri’s skills in business and law are anchored in extensive academic training. After studying management and economics at Concordia University, where he was ranked among the top students in his department, Dimitri graduated from McGill University with common law and civil law degrees, as well as a Master of Laws. He is a member of the Bars of Quebec, New York and Massachusetts and currently sits on the Executive Committee of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the Canadian Bar Association, Quebec Division.
An avid cyclist and traveler, Dimitri enjoys pushing his boundaries and discovering the world around him.

Representative Work

Arbitration, Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Dimitri has led teams of lawyers and technical experts in major engagements, and bears ultimate responsibility for budgeting, planning, staffing, strategy and advocacy.

Lead counsel for an equipment manufacturer in the context of a multi-party dispute arising from the construction of a food manufacturing facility in the United States. The dispute raised complex legal and technical issues which were submitted to arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association.

Lead counsel for claimant in a dispute between two mining companies concerning the dilution of the minority partner for failing to satisfy cash-calls under the terms of a joint venture agreement. After a lengthy and complex hearing involving the compliance and propriety of a half billion dollar mine development plan, the arbitral tribunal granted all of claimant’s requests for relief and diluted the junior party from participation in the project.
Lead counsel for a junior mining company in a dispute with Osisko Mining Corporation arising from the 2014 acquisition of the Canadian Malarctic Mine by Yamana Gold and Agnico Eagle.
Acted for the holders of NSR royalties in defence of an attempt to disclaim and terminate the NSR agreements in the insolvency of X-Ore Resources.
Dimitri represented two former directors and officers of Cinar Corporation in the context of a well publicized claim for copyright infringement. Dimitri argued the case before the Supreme Court of Canada, which rendered a seminal judgment on the test for infringement in Canadian copyright law (Cinar Corporation v. Robinson, 2013 SCC 73). The case was ranked by Lexpert Magazine among the top 5 business cases of 2014.
Lead counsel for the owner in a multi-milliondollar commercial dispute with civil and earthworks consultants concerning target cost performance incentives. The magnitude and complexity of the dispute led to the constitution of two arbitral tribunals under the UNCITRAL Rules and multiple court cases which were vigorously prosecuted and defended by a team of lawyers led by Dimitri.
Lead counsel to EPCM provider in connection with withholding and deficiency claims arising out of work related to the expansion of a mining processing facility in Ontario.

Co-lead counsel, with a major U.S. law firm, in the successful prosecution of a multi-million dollar claim for damages arising from the breach of a long-term iron ore offtake agreement. The ICC International Court of Arbitration granted all of claimant’s claims for damages, legal fees, costs and interest.

Lead counsel in defence of a major class action alleging prospectus and secondary market misrepresentations in the mining sector.

Counsel for the former Chief Financial Officer of SNC Lavalin in defence of a multi-jurisdictional class action alleging misrepresentations under the Securities Act. This case involved issues related to anti-corruption compliance, internal investigations and the public disclosure obligations of public companies.

Working in concert with law firms in Toronto and elsewhere, Dimitri was part of the team which represented the liquidators of Stanford International Bank in the prosecution of a significant claim against a Canadian financial institution arising from the collapse of Stanford International Bank and the multi-billion-dollar fraud related thereto. The case raised numerous complex issues concerning the liability of banking institutions in the context of fraud committed by or against their customers.

Successfully defended a $50 million damage claim in the mining sector and secured a $550,000 cost award for his clients. In the process, the Court of Appeal rendered a precedent-setting decision on the principle of res judicata (Ungava Mineral Exploration Inc. v. Mullan and Durham et. al., 2008 QCCA 1354).

Lead counsel in a major commercial dispute between two mining companies involving the vesting of ownership in a mining property under to the terms of an option-joint venture agreement. The 250-page final award of the arbitration tribunal, rendered in favour of Dimitri’s client, canvasses complex factual and legal issues related to mining project finance and option-joint venture agreements in common use in the mining industry and, as such, constitutes one of the few global precedents on the subject.

Secured an important appellate court victory for a mining company in a case dealing with the autonomy and limits of commercial arbitration in the Province of Quebec. In the process, the Québec Court of Appeal rendered a leading decision confirming that private arbitration tribunals have the power and jurisdiction to interpret and enforce commercial agreements through orders of specific performance (Canadian Royalties v.Nearctic Nickel Mines, 2012 QCCA 385).

Lead counsel in the successful prosecution of a multi-million dollar claim by Canadian National Railway for breach of contract. The case raised complex legal issues in contract law and public law, all of which were decided by the arbitrator in favour of CN.

Lead counsel for Virgin Atlantic Airways in defence of a class action alleging a conspiracy to fix prices in violation of the Competition Act.

Co-counsel, with the late Raynold Langlois Q.C., in the successful defence of an application to disqualify Cinar’s attorneys in the context of Cinar’s $100 million suit against its former founders and others. The Superior Court, confirmed by the Court of Appeal, rendered a detailed fact-based judgment dismissing all allegations of conflict of interest.
Co-counsel for Canada’s major airports in the insolvency filings of regional carriers Inter-Canadien Airlines and Jetsgo. The engagement comprised taking measures to seize and detain aircrafts for unpaid airport charges, and led, in the case of Inter-Canadien, to a landmark decision of the Supreme Court of Canada on the nature, scope and extent of the seizure and detention rights of Canadian airport authorities (Re Inter-Canadien (1991) Inc. [2006] 1 S.C.R. 865).

Dimitri represented the former CFO of Quebecor Media in the prosecution of a significant claim seeking to enforce rights accrued under executive stock option incentive plans. Through a vigorous litigation strategy involving an application to dismiss a statement of defence on the basis of frivolity, the claim was resolved rapidly and to the satisfaction of the parties.

For years Dimitri acted for a common-carrier railway in various shipper-carrier disputes, some of which led to final offer arbitration under the Canada Transportation Act and to proceedings before the Canadian Transportation Agency, and the Federal Court of Canada.

Co-counsel on a case for a regional airline in defence of the constitutional validity of certain provisions of the Competition Act empowering the Commissioner of Competition to render cease and desist orders against dominant air carriers.

Lead counsel in defence of several significant actions in damages against Concordia University. The cases were successfully defended, after the implementation of a vigorous defence strategy that sought preliminary dismissals of plaintiffs’ claims.
Lead counsel in defence and prosecution of multiparty claims involving the seller, buyer, real estate brokers and notary arising out of the failed closing of a residential real estate transaction valued by the parties at more than $15 million.

Corporate, Commercial and Advisory

Dimitri is best known for his expertise in dispute resolution, but his practice also encompasses corporate, commercial and advisory matters.

Lead legal counsel for a bidder on a public request for proposals to supply operation and maintenance services for a commuter train network. The engagement involved providing legal support to the bidder in the context of an RFP valued at over $300 million. Engagement included providing advice on legal framework governing contracting with public bodies, service agreements and the railway industry, and review and negotiation of train services agreement.

Counsel for mining company in connection with the acquisition of net smelter return royalties. Negotiated and prepared industry-specific NSR agreement.

Counsel for regional railway in connection with the conclusion of rail transportation agreements with shippers. Provided advice and assisted in drafting long-term rail transportation agreements of significant economic value.

Counsel for equipment manufacturer in connection with review and preparation of supply agreement and compliance thereof with requirements of Quebec law, including in respect of liquidated damages, delay damages, exclusions and limits of liability and warranties.

Lead counsel for consulting companies involved in the construction management of a major gold mine for Newmont Mining in South America. Negotiated, reviewed and drafted customized incentives agreements for the payment of multi-million-dollar performance incentives to project team for successful completion of the project.

Lead counsel for a potential acquirer of a mine in Canada. Led team of lawyers providing legal due diligence to business team charged with evaluating a potential transaction with significant complexities and stakes.

Part of a team which represented a mining company in connection with a $100 million first-ranking project loan. Engagement involved assisting borrower in due diligence conducted by lender, and, with assistance of other lawyers, reviewing and drafting loan and mortgage documentation.

In various matters, advised clients and assisted in respect of pre-transaction agreements such as confidentiality agreements and non-disclosure agreements.

Lead counsel for a start-up construction management firm. Provided counsel and advice in connection with severance from previous partners, and a variety of matters typically involved in the commencement of a new business.

Provided counsel and advice to partner in respect of a bidding cooperation agreement with a global multi-national in connection with the submission of a joint bid for the construction of a power plant.

Counsel for Canadian National Railway in the context of the CCAA filings of Ivaco and Stelco steel mills.
Counsel for a subsidiary of Rio Tinto in the CCAA filings of Cliffs Québec in respect of the Bloom Lake and Wabush iron ore mines.

Lead counsel to a railway company in connection with risk analysis related to the use of its tracks for passenger operations. Engagement involved the review and analysis of complex interline and other agreements and legal framework governing personal injury and wrongful death in Canada.

Railway Law and Practice

Over the years, Dimitri has had extensive involvement in railway matters. He has acted for railways, including Canadian National, Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway and Genesee & Wyoming in such matters as commercial arbitrations, major insolvency proceedings, significant public requests for tender, transportation agreements for bulk commodities, derailments, shipper-carrier disputes, final offer arbitration, proceedings before the Canadian Transportation Agency and the federal courts, and other matters.

Government Relations

Dimitri was lead counsel for Aéroports de Montréal and Canada’s other principal airports in the context of the negotiation and implementation of the Unidroit Convention on Security Interests in Mobile Equipment and Aircraft Protocol. This long-term engagement required Dimitri to get involved in the public consultation process to promote and defend the interests of Canadian Airport Authorities in connection with the negotiation of the treaty, which created an international security interest in aircraft.

Selected Publications and Presentations

Dimitri is a frequent commentator on a variety of topics of interest to the business and legal communities.

Publications

Uniform Law Conference of Canada Modernizes the Uniform Domestic Arbitration Act, Langlois Bulletin
Crafting the Next Generation of NSR Agreements in Quebec, Langlois Bulletin
Is Your Mediation Confidentiality Clause Watertight?, Langlois Bulletin
Are NSR Royalties Enforceable against Mining Properties Located in Québec?, Langlois Bulletin
Commercial Arbitration in Quebec, Langlois Bulletin
Supreme Court of Canada Case Settles Debate About Equitable Set-Off in Quebec, The Lawyers Weekly
International Insolvency Law Reform: A Report on the Uncitral Initiative, National Insolvency Review 
New Opportunities, Lower Costs and Increased Service Offerings: New Canadian Rules Governing International Telecom, Langlois Gaudreau Legal Bulletin
Aéroports de Montréal v. Meilleur: Towards Greater Autonomy for Montreal’s Airport Authority, Aviation Insurance & Law
Air and Space Law Challenges: Confronting Tomorrow, Aviation Quarterly
The Law Governing Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects: From State Responsibility to Private Liability, Annals of Air and Space Law
Conflict in the Skies: The Settlement of Air Transport Disputes – From the Law of the Jungle to the Rule of Law, Annals of Air and Space Law

Presentations

“Litigation in the Mining Sector: Uncovering and Managing the Risks”, presented to the ABCs of Mining seminar hosted by Behre Dolbear at PDAC, Toronto
Moderator of a Panel of Experts from Canada, the United States and United Kingdom addressing “The Recovery of Non-Economic Damages”, at McGill University’s Conference on International Aviation Liability and Insurance, Montreal.
“En Route Towards Litigation”, presented to CN Supply Management Annual Meeting, Montréal
“Aviation Finance”, presented to the Multilaw Conference of the Americas, Quebec City
“The Liability Convention and Commercial Space Activities”, presented to the International Conference on Air and Space Law, Montréal