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International students left in lurch after Quebec private colleges file for creditor protection

Date Closed

July 6, 2022

Lead Office



24.40 Million CAD

McCarthy Tétrault sought and obtained a representation order appointing McCarthy Tétrault to represent the interests of approximately 1,500 students (the Students) who had paid, in advance, tuition fees of approximately $15,000 each – six times the average annual salary in India – to the Debtors and were collectively owed in excess of C$11,390,000, representing more than 50% in value of the Debtors’ estate. The vast majority of the Students are from India and faced significant financial hardship and complex questions regarding their immigration status as a result of the Debtors’ insolvency.

The Students were initially not represented in the CCAA proceedings which have and will continue to have a major impact on their lives from an economic, academic and immigration standpoint. In addition to providing general immigration advice to the Students, McCarthy Tétrault provided timely updates by way of communications to the Students throughout the proceedings and represented the Students’ interest in the negotiation of a transaction which provides that the vast majority of them can complete their studies without having to incur additional fees or request a refund.

For those Students who were prevented from pursuing their studies and were not eligible for a refund, McCarthy Tétrault is continuing to evaluate the options available to maximize their recovery and limit the impact of the Debtors’ insolvency on such Students. One of the complexities of this matter resided in ensuring communication with over 1,500 Students who are facing emotional and financial hardship as a result of the Debtor’s insolvency and do not understand the complex legal and financial issues raised by the Debtors’ CCAA proceedings. McCarthy Tétrault’s appointment allowed the Students to actively participate in the CCAA proceedings and voice their position on the restructuring alternative proposed by the Debtors and other parties.

McCarthy Tétrault assisted the Students with a team led by Alain Tardif that included Jocelyn T. Perreault and François Alexandre Toupin (Bankruptcy & Restructuring), Stéphane Duval and Shefali Tanna (Immigration).