Born in Montréal of French and Swiss parents, Bernard was brought up in a multi-linguisitic and multi-cultural environment with daily interaction with family friends, relatives, diplomats, business people and academics from around the world.
After graduating with a French Baccalauréat in pure sciences in 1974, Bernard enrolled in McGill University's Faculty of Management for one year before moving to the Faculty of Law's National Programme culminating in Bachelor of Civil Law (B.C.L.'78) and Bachelor of Laws (LL.B. '80) degrees. Bernard also studied at the University of Bordeaux (France), where he obtained a Masters in Business Law (1979).
Sworn in as a member of the Québec Bar and the Barreau de Paris in 1979, Bernard practised law in Montréal and Paris before being admitted to the Law Society of Upper Canada (Ontario's Bar Association) in early 1984. He opened Lette, Whittaker in Toronto that same year.
Bernard's own legal practice focuses on business law, mainly in mergers and acquisitions, as well as taxation, with an emphasis on international taxation. Residing near Geneva, Switzerland, he is primarily responsible for the firm’s European relationships and European business development.
Bernard sits on a variety of corporate boards, including several belonging to large international groups. He has also been active as a director and/or officer (including in several cases President or Chair) of several non-profit organizations such as: the French Chamber of Commerce in Canada, the Swiss-Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the German-Canadian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the Ontario Club, the Canadian Bar Association-Ontario's International Law Section, the Consular Corps Association of Toronto, and various community groups. He is also a co-founder of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in Canada.