Isabelle Desharnais


[email protected]

Isabelle is the co-leader of BLG's sector-based approach to the insolvency and restructuring market in Montréal. Her areas of practice include banking law, banking litigation, corporate finance, insolvency and financial restructuring.

She advises both legal and special accounts groups of leading Canadian financial institutions, as well as trustees and accounting firms on complex commercial insolvencies.

Isabelle also practises in commercial litigation, specializing in matters of fraud, bills of exchange and other payment instruments.

Isabelle previously worked as a research analyst at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, with lawyers and policy advisors of the Office of Values and Ethics. She was involved in drafting internal policies for federal public service employees, particularly the Values and Ethics Code and the Policy on Internal Disclosure of Information Concerning Wrongdoing in the Workplace.

Isabelle is a member since 2016 of the Executive Board of the Executive Committee of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Section of the Québec Division of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) and as of September 2021, currently sits as President for said section.


  • Acted for Bank of Montréal, first ranking secured creditor, in the appointment of an interim and national receiver to Leading Edge Geomatics et al, a group of related debtors having multi-provincial and cross-border operations.
  • Advises banks, mortgage lenders, asset-based lenders and other financial institutions, as well as creditors and committees of creditors concerning their rights in cases of liquidation and insolvency
  • Acts for bankruptcy trustees and managers dealing with various problems related to bankruptcy and insolvency
  • Represents debtors under the protection of the courts pursuant to the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act
  • Represents clients before all courts in Québec, including the Court of Appeal, as well as before administrative and arbitral tribunals
  • Acting for National Bank of Canada, first ranking secured creditor (depending on the entity) and co-interim lender, in the Xebec Adsorption Inc. et al. CCAA proceedings, a group of related debtors having multi-provincial and cross-border operations.

Beyond our Walls

Professional Involvement

  • Member, Barreau du Québec
  • Member, Executive Committee, Canadian Bar Association, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Section, Québec Division (CBA)
  • Member, International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC)
  • Member, Turnaround Management Association (TMA)
  • Member, Association of Québec Women in Finance
  • Member, Insolvency Institute of Canada (IIC)

Community Involvement

  • Member, Commercial Practice Division Liaison Committee, the Superior Court of Québec, Montréal District, 2020-present

Awards & Recognitions

  • Recognized in the 2024 edition (and since 2016) of The Best Lawyers in Canada (Insolvency and Financial Restructuring Law)
  • Recognized in the 2024 edition (and since 2020) of Benchmark Litigation Canada
  • Recognized in the 2024 and 2023 edition of The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory (Banking & Financial Institutions) and the 2024, 2023 and 2019-2020 editions (Insolvency and Financial)
  • Recognized in the 2022 edition (and since 2017) of IFLR1000 – The Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms (Restructuring and Insolvency)

Bar Admission & Education

  • Québec, 2004
  • LL B in Civil Law, magna cum laude, University of Ottawa, 2002
  • BA in Political Science/International Relations, Université du Québec à Montréal, 1999