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Our Team

Our lawyers have an extensive knowledge of the laws and regulations that apply to producers. Their expertise allows them to offer legal assistance tailored to the needs and realities of the agricultural world.

Diane Simard, M.B.A, M.A.

Director of Legal Affairs

Diane Simard is the Director of Legal Affairs at the Union des producteurs agricoles. She took over from Me Johanne Brodeur as head of the BHLF Lawyers team following her appointment as a superior court juge in 2017. A member of the Quebec Bar since 1988, Diane brings 25 years of experience in municipal law and in planning and urban development to the agricultural community. She has held management positions at the Union des municipalités du Québec and for municipalities. She also acted as an organizational performance consultant for Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton. Diane holds an MBA and a Master’s degree in Urban Analysis and Management. Over the course of her career, Diane has participated as a speaker at several conferences and seminars and has given training on various topics in municipal law. She was a member of the Municipal Courts Committee of the Quebec Bar from 2010 to 2018. 450 679-0540, ext. 8271

Marie-Andrée Hotte


Marie-Andrée Hotte graduated from Université de Sherbrooke and has been a member of the Quebec Bar since 1987. She has over thirty years of experience in civil and criminal litigation. Before joining the UPA in 2002, she practiced as a litigator in a reputable private law firm, including as a federal crown attorney and municipal court attorney. Marie-Andrée has a varied practice in insurance law, contract law and civil and criminal liability. She is also frequently consulted on issues related to defamation and construction law. Over the years, she has developed a particular expertise in the field of energy. Marie-Andrée is Vice-President of the South Shore Regional Legal Aid Centre, which oversees 11 permanent offices. 450 679-0540, ext. 8741 – 8540

Myriam Robichaud, LL. M.


Myriam Robichaud practices mainly in civil and administrative law. Her practice focuses in particular on advising and representing clients in the production and marketing of agricultural products. Her expertise is also solicited in access to information and privacy protection related matters. She holds a Master’s degree in International Law from Université Laval and a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies from Université de Montréal. Myriam is accredited as a mediator in civil, commercial and labour matters and in small claims mediation. She has been a member of the Quebec Bar since 2011. 450 679-0540, ext. 8574 – 8488

Rémi Jolicoeur, LL. M.


Rémi Jolicoeur focuses his practice on environmental law, as well as any matters related to land occupancy. A member of the Quebec Bar since 2009, he holds a master’s degree in environmental law, sustainable development and food security with distinction on the honour roll. In his practice, Rémi is called upon to represent agricultural and forestry producers before all courts (in civil and criminal matters), including municipal courts, and various administrative bodies. He is also called upon to advise them and intervene with the authorities regarding the compliance of their facilities, activities and projects. 450 679-0540, ext. 8280 – 8540

Charlotte Bourget-Rousseau, agr.


Charlotte Bourget-Rousseau joined BHLF Lawyers in 2017. A member of the Quebec Bar since 2013, she practices mainly in land use planning law, environmental law and land protection and agricultural activities law. She holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural and environmental sciences from McGill University and is a member of the Ordre des Agronomes, where she sits on the board of directors of the Montreal South Shore section. During her academic training in agronomy, Charlotte developed a solid field experience that allows her not only to better understand the reality of the agricultural producers she advises, but also to ensure that they are adequately represented before the courts and administrative bodies. 450 679-0540, ext. 8392 – 8488

Raphaële St-Amand-Valente, J.D.


Raphaële St-Amand-Valente holds a Bachelor of Laws degree and a Juris Doctor degree in Common Law and Transnational Law from the Université de Sherbrooke. In her work at BHLF Lawyers she covers all aspects of agricultural law, including neighbourhood disputes, contract drafting and municipal law. Raphaële stands out for her bilingualism, her rigour and her dynamism. She was sworn in as a lawyer in 2019. 450 679-0540, ext. 8576

Patrick Lareau


Me Patrick Lareau est diplômé de l’Université du Québec à Montréal en sciences politiques et de l’Université de Sherbrooke en droit.  Me Lareau est membre du Barreau du Québec depuis 2003. Avant de se joindre à l’UPA en 2009, il pratiquait au sein d’un réputé cabinet privé. Me Lareau a également agi au cours des dernières années à titre de secrétaire corporatif et d’instances pour l’UPA, bénéficiant d’une vaste expérience et connaissance des rouages de l’organisation. Il possède une pratique variée en droit corporatif, en droit contractuel, en propriété intellectuelle et en obligations. Il est fréquemment consulté pour des questions liées à la gouvernance et les droits et obligations des administrateurs, ayant donné de multiples conférences à ce sujet. 450 679-0540, ext. 8349

Yaëlle Lyman


Yaëlle Lyman graduated from Montreal University in 2019 and has been a member of the Quebec Bar since 2020. Before joining the BHLF Lawyers team, she gained experience in municipal law, urban planning, municipal taxation and expropriation at a major law firm. She has also been involved in significant real estate transactions to assist with a variety of civil law and land use planning issues. Her sharp eye and insight allow her to develop strategies in litigious cases before administrative and ordinary courts. Committed to the quality of her work, she is always available to defend her clients' interests. 450 679-0540, ext. 8547

Vanessa Hergett


Vanessa Hergett practices mainly in municipal law, land use planning, expropriation and municipal taxation. She is member of the Quebec Bar since 2010 and is an accredited mediator since 2015. As part of her practice, Vanessa represents agricultural and forestry producers before several judicial entities, such as municipal courts, administrative tribunals, and courts. She also advises her clients on construction permits, subdivision and compliance of agricultural activities before municipal and administrative authorities. Vanessa has been president and vice-president of the Municipal Law section of the Canadian Bar Association in Quebec and currently sits on its executive committee. 450 679-0540, ext. 8285

Administrative Team

BHLF Lawyers' attorneys and clients are fortunate to have an experienced and effective administrative team.

Administrative team