Bernard Lette

T: +41 (0) 79.137.5085
T: +1 514.788.0998
T: +1 416.971.4898
F: +1 (416) 971-4849

  • Bio

    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.

  • Memberships
    • Canadian Tax Foundation
    • Consular Corps Association of Toronto
    • German Bar Association (Ausserordentliches Mitglied des Deutschen Anwaltvereins)
    • International Fiscal Association
    • Law Society of Upper Canada
    • Ontario Bar Association
    • Quebec Bar Association
  • Publications and Articles
  • Lectures & Presentations
    • Coach in a Negotiating Class as part of the International Master of Business Administration program at York University’s Schulich School of Business
    • Numerous presentations on doing business in Canada
  • Representative Work
    • Represents one of the world’s largest nickel mining companies and has advised them in connection with acquisitions of publicly traded companies.
    • Acts on behalf of one of the world’s leading freight forwarding and logistics providers that owns or leases over 1 million square feet of commercial industrial real estate in Canada.
    • Represents one of Germany’s largest investment funds that is a major office and industrial real estate investor in Canada.
    • Represented a European state-owned mining and agrochemicals multinational on the acquisition of interests in mineral exploration and mining projects in Canada
    • Represented a German multinational construction company in connection with a proposed joint venture project for a wind turbine manufacturing facility
    • Advised a European environmental services company on the proposed acquisition of a Canadian hazardous waste treatment facility
    • Represented an international food-products company seeking Canadian Competition Board approval for asset acquisitions in the beverage industry
    • Acted as Canadian counsel on the world-wide reorganization of a German chemical company
    • Advised a Canadian environmental services company on the structuring and documentation of a joint venture with a foreign construction company to provide municipal, commercial, and industrial waste collection services abroad
    • Advised a European environmental services multinational on investments, acquisitions, and joint ventures relating to waste treatment facilities and infrastructure projects in Mexico, Central and South America

    Some notable cases:

    • Haser v. Marty (Ontario Court of Appeal):  establishing the sovereign immunity claim of a foreign state public prosecutor and deferring to that foreign state’s court as the convenient forum for any litigation.
    • Armstrong World Industries Inc. v. Arcand (Ontario Superior Court): dealing with the defence of a take-over bid and the entitlement of a party to reject a bidder’s offer. This case also addresses the proper tests involved in declining mandatory injunctions in take- over bids.
    • Von Teichman v. Canada (Tax Court of Canada): the determination of a genuine business arrangement, allowable farming losses, and the reasonable expectation of profit.
  • Community Involvement
    • Canadian German Chamber of Industry and Commerce ( Director, Secretary and Legal Counsel)
    • Consular Corps Association of Toronto (Past Secretary)
    • European Union Chamber of Commerce in Canada (Co-founder and Legal Counsel)
    • French Chamber of Commerce in Canada  (Director; Past President, Toronto Section)
    • Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Canadian Branch (Director)
    • Swiss Canadian Chamber of Commerce (Ontario)  (Secretary and Legal Counsel; Past President)
    • The Ontario Bar Association – International Law Section (Past Chair)
    • The Ontario Club (Past Chair)
  • Awards
    • Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Mérite (awarded by the French Government)

Bernard Lette

T: +41 (0) 79.137.5085
T: +1 514.788.0998
T: +1 416.971.4898
F: +1 (416) 971-4849


Year of Call

1979 Paris
1979 Quebec
1984 Ontario


  • Admitted to the Ontario Bar, 1984
  • Admitted to the Québec  Bar and Barreau de Paris, 1979
  • Université de Bordeaux, LL.M., 1979
  • McGill University, LL.B., 1980
  • McGill University , B.C.L., 1978



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