Sandra Abitan - Montréal Managing Partner

Sandra Abitan

Montréal Managing Partner

Key Contact: Insolvency and Restructuring

Contact Information

sabitan@osler.com

tel: 514.904.5648

Office

Montréal

Bar Admission

Québec, 1990

Education

  • Université de Montréal, LL.B.

Language(s)

French, English

Sandra is the Managing Partner of the Montreal office. She has played a significant role in the development of the office over the years and has held various leadership roles within the Firm. Sandra is a recognized leader in the insolvency and restructuring practice in Quebec and nationally. Her clientele is diverse and reflective of the Canadian and international business community – global companies, financial institutions, equity participants, and court officers who have sought her advice in working through reorganizations, recapitalizations, restructurings and strategic acquisitions.

With over 30 years of experience, Sandra has an expertise in cross border and international matters, acting for a number of major private and public corporations operating in a variety of areas. She is lauded for her creative and practical approach to problem solving and finding solutions to complex business and legal problems.

Sandra's expertise and leadership are recognized locally, nationally and internationally, as evidenced by the numerous ranking and awards received over the years. Sandra is recognized as a leader in her field in various publications such as The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory; The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada; Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Business Lawyers; IFLR 1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms; Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Lawdragon and The Best Lawyers in Canada.  In 2021, Sandra was the only Quebec woman included in the International Financial Law Review's Women Leaders list (IFLR1000). In addition, the International Law Office (ILO) awarded Sandra the Client Choice Award in Insolvency and Restructuring for 2011 Sandra was the only Canadian recipient of this award. She was also named a Woman of Power by Federation CJA (Montreal) and received the Leadership Award from the Association of Quebec Women in Finance.

Sandra is a Past President of the Board of the Turnaround Management Association – Montreal Chapter, a member of board of directors of the Insolvency Institute of Canada, and an active member of other renowned organizations in her areas of expertise.

A firm believer in the importance of developing diversity within the legal profession and fostering an inclusive work environment, Sandra has participated in several projects and committees created for this purpose with the Barreau du Québec. Sandra is also very involved in community work.

    • Orionis inc., in its capacity as a senior lender, in the context of the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act proceedings of Ontario Graphite Ltd
    • Laurentian Bank, in its capacity as a senior secured lender, in the context of the receivership proceedings of Media5 Corporation
    • TPG, in the context of the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) proceedings of Cirque du Soleil
    • Stokes Inc., in connection with its CCAA restructuring
    • Reitmans (Canada) Limited, acting for Ernst & Young Inc., in its capacity as CCAA court-appointed Monitor
    • Modasuite Inc., doing business as Frank and Oak, in the context of its restructuring proceedings and the sale of its business
    • Le Château Inc., acting for PricewaterhouseCooper Inc., in its capacity as CCAA court-appointed Monitor
    • Bouclair, acting for Deloitte Restructuring Inc., in its capacity as proposal trustee
    • Stornoway Diamond Corporation and affiliated entities, acting for Deloitte Restructuring Inc. in its capacity as CCAA court-appointed Monitor
    • Bombay et Bowring, acting for Richter Advisory Group Inc. in its capacity as proposal trustee
    • Crabtree and Evelyn (Canada) in its proposal proceedings under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (Canada)
    • BCBG in its proposal proceedings under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (Canada)
    • Deloitte Restructuring Inc., in its capacity as court-appointed monitor in the CCAA proceedings of Devonshire Trust
    • Sears Canada Inc. et al, in its CCAA proceedings
    • Homburg Invest Inc., in connection with its $3 billion debt restructuring and recapitalization under the CCAA
    • MEXX Canada Company, acting for Richter Groupe Conseil Inc. in its capacity as trustee to the proposal proceedings of Mexx
    • Target Canada Co., in connection with its restructuring under the CCAA
    • Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Canada Co., acting for Irving Oil, in connection with MM&A’s restructuring under the CCAA
    • Laura Shoppes Canada, acting for Salus, in its capacity as senior lender, in connection with Laura Shoppes Canada’s restructuring proceedings
    • Comark Inc. (the owner/operator of Ricki’s, Bootlegger and cleo), in its restructuring under the CCAA including the sale of its business and assets to Pacific West Commercial Corporation
    • Danier Leather Inc., representing Gordon Brothers and Hilco in their capacity as liquidator
    • Grafton-Fraser Inc., representing Gordon Brothers and Hilco, in their capacity as liquidators, in GFI’s restructuring proceedings
    • PJ’s Pets, acting for Gordon Brothers Group in its capacity as liquidator
    • Mabe Canada Inc, acting for Richter Groupe Conseil Inc. in its capacity as bankruptcy trustee

  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business: Recognized in Restructuring/Insolvency Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Business Lawyers: Recognized in Restructuring/Insolvency
    • "...[Sandra] is knowledgeable, smart and pleasant to work with. She is hands-on and very practical on matters and knows how to work with various stakeholders with differing interests. She is extremely adept at providing strategic advice on how to get us to our stated goal.”
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory: Recognized in Insolvency & Financial Restructuring - Insolvency Litigation; Banking & Financial Institutions
  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada: Recognized in Insolvency & Financial Restructuring
  • The Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Litigation Lawyers: Recognized in Insolvency & Restructuring Best Lawyers in Canada: Recognized in Banking and Finance Law; Insolvency and Financial Restructuring Law
  • IFLR 1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms: Recognized in Restructuring and Insolvency (Highly Regarded); classified in the list “Women Leaders”
  • Legal 500: Recognized as a Recommended Lawyer, Restructuring and Insolvency
  • Who’s Who Legal: Who’s Who Legal: International - Restructuring & Insolvency; Who’s Who Legal: Canada - Restructuring & Insolvency Benchmark Litigation Canada: Recognized in Insolvency; Recognized as a Local Star
  • Lawdragon: Recognized in the 2020 Lawdragon 500 Leading Global Bankruptcy & Restructuring Lawyers
  • Expert Guides: The Legal Media Group Guides to the World’s Leading Lawyers: Restructuring & Insolvency; Association of Quebec Women in Finance: Leadership award; Federation CJA: Women of Power; Lexology: Client Choice Award of Lexology: Restructuring & Insolvency (Québec)

  • Federation CJA, Co-Chair of the Women in Business Network
  • Turnaround Management Association, former President of the Board of Montreal
  • The Insolvency Institute of Canada (Board of Directors)
  • Canadian Bar Association, Insolvency Section
  • Former Member of the Barreau du Québec Comité de liaison, Superior Court, Commercial Division
  • Canadian Insolvency Foundation
  • American Bankruptcy Institute, Member of the International Committee
  • International Association of Insolvency Practitioners (Insol International)

  • Co-chair of the 16th edition of the Advanced Conference on Restructuring, Insolvency and Financial Recovery, Institut Canadien, Montréal, November 29 and 30, 2016.
  • Co-author of the chapter on Directors’ Liability for LexisNexis publication JurisClasseur, April 2010 to present.
  • Chapter 15 Helps Canadian Companies Push the Envelope in Cross Border Restructurings, Journal of Corporate Renewal (Vol. 27, No. 4, May 2014).
  • “Court Terminates Director’s Charge and Refuses to Grant All-Encompassing Releases to Monitor and CRO”, post on the Weil Bankruptcy Blog (North of the Border Update), February 18, 2014 (with Julien Morissette).
  • “Interim Receiver Authorized to Borrow to Fund Debtor’s Operations”, post on the Weil Bankruptcy Blog (North of the Border Update), September 3, 2013 (with Julien Morissette).
  • “Can Management be Replaced with a Court-Appointed Monitor? A New Brunswick Court (Surprisingly) Says No”, post on the Weil Bankruptcy Blog (North of the Border Update), March 18, 2013 (with Julien Morissette).