Jacques Bernier

Jacques Bernier

Baker & McKenzie LLP


While leading Baker McKenzie's Canadian tax practice, Jacques Bernier assists clients in resolving their Canadian tax controversies and litigating them before the courts. With his vast experience, Jacques handles large, complex and sensitive cases — sometimes "bet the company" cases — often bringing exceptional results to clients. He also provides strategic advice to a number of multinationals in their dealings with the Canadian tax authorities and is the relationship partner to many Firm clients meeting their tax needs in Canada and abroad. He is singled out for his transfer-pricing expertise and recognized as a leading practitioner in Chambers Global and Euromoney's Guide to the World's Leading Transfer Pricing Advisors, as well as being consistently recommended for corporate tax litigation by Canadian Lexpert Legal Directory. According to Chambers Global, Jacques is "very determined, pragmatic and knowledgeable" and the "go-to-guy" in Canada. Sources also say, "He's thoughtful, he's calm, he thinks of the entire journey and the objective. He's responsive, very professional and easy to talk to."

Practice Focus

Jacques concentrates on tax litigation and representations to the Canadian tax authorities at the federal and provincial levels on a wide range of tax controversies. His most recent involvements include transfer pricing, APAs and MAPs, anti-avoidance rules, FAPI, e-commerce issues, permanent establishment and residency issues, GST/HST and provincial sales taxes, SR&ED tax incentives, independent contractor vs. employee status issues, taxable benefits, voluntary disclosures, taxpayer relief and judicial review.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Lead counsel for Express Gold Refining Ltd. in its ongoing Tax Court of Canada Appeal (Court File: 2020-1214 (GST)G). Favourable interlocutory decision, reported at 2022 TCC 33. Trial set down to start in February 2025.
  • Lead counsel to a multinational pharmaceutical company in its representation on transfer-pricing adjustments vis-à-vis the Canada Revenue Agency Audit and Appeals, MAP and APA with the Canadian and Belgian Tax Authorities.
  • Lead counsel to a multinational resource company and the successful resolution of a multi-billion dollar tax adjustment proposed by the Canada Revenue Agency denying the company's taxable gain exemptions under the Canada-Netherlands Tax Treaty on the basis that certain affiliates did not reside in the Netherlands.
  • Lead counsel to a multinational manufacturer and marketer of home appliances and the successful resolution of its Québec dispute dealing with taxability under the ARMAQ of incentive payments made by the company to the employees of its distributors.
  • Lead counsel to a multinational designer, developer, manufacturer and supplier of semi-conductors and infrastructure software products and the successful resolution with CRA Appeals of a multi-year, large tax controversy involving the deductibility of interest payments, thin-capitalization, FAPI, section 17 adjustments and the valuation of several foreign affiliates.
  • Lead counsel to a multinational manufacturer and marketer and the successful resolution of its tax dispute dealing with the characterization of Luxembourgish CPECs as debt for interest deductibility purposes.
  • Counsel to the Canadian Bar Association in its intervention in the IGGillis Holdings Inc. v. Minister of National Revenue matter before the Federal Court of Appeal.
  • Lead counsel to Front Street Management Inc. in its successful transfer pricing and FAPI appeal in the Tax Court of Canada.
  • Represented a multinational pharmaceutical company in the successful resolution of its appeal with CRA - Appeals (HQ) from substantial transfer pricing adjustments.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Barreau du Québec
  • Canadian Tax Foundation
  • Law Society of Ontario
  • The Advocates' Society
  • International Fiscal Association

Corporate Responsibility

Jacques has been a champion of the Canadian visual arts over the years. He was an active member of the board of directors and executive committee of the Power Plant Art Gallery, Canada's leading contemporary art institution before becoming its president and chair of the board from 2019 to 2022. Before that he was, for several years, a member and co-chair of Casey House's Art with Heart, Canada's leading art auction for a cause. Casey House is the first and only stand-alone hospital for people with HIV/AIDS.


  • Ontario~Canada (1988)
  • Québec~Canada (1983)


  • University of Ottawa (LL.B.) (1982)
  • University of Ottawa (LL.L) (1981)


  • English
  • French


Co-author, "Tax Directors Beware: Canadian Downward Transfer Pricing Adjustment Must be Challenged at the Federal Court, not the Tax Court," Baker McKenzie's Newsletter May 2022

Co-author, "The Future of Transfer Pricing," Report from Canada at the 2017 International IFA Congress, Vol. 102, Cahiers de droit fiscal international

Co-author with Mark Tonkovich of the Canada Chapter. The Tax Disputes and Litigation Review. 3rd ed, London: Law Business Research Ltd., 2015

Author, "The Glaxo Canada Tax Case: A Bitter Pill," The Tax Executive Vol. 62, No. 5, September - October 2010

Co-author, "The Glaxo Canada Tax Case: A Bitter Pill," The Tax Executive Vol. 60, No. 4, July - August 2008

Author, "Canada's Supreme Court Sets the Standards for Permissive Tax Avoidance," The Tax Executive Vol. 57, No. 6, November - December 2005

Author, "Transfer Pricing Litigation: The View from the Trenches," 39th Annual Canadian Tax Conference, Tax Executives Institute, May 2005

Author, "Voluntary Disclosures: More Art than Science," 56th Annual Conference, Canadian Tax Foundation, September 2004