Vanessa Deschênes

Vanessa Deschênes

Lawyer and Practice Leader


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Tel. Montréal: 418 781-0767
Tel. Québec: 418 781-0767
Languages: English, French, Spanish
When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.
Henry Ford

Vanessa Deschênes is the Leader of ROBIC’S Data Protection, Privacy and Cybersecurity Sector and is part of the Emerging Technologies Group within the firm. She has extensive expertise in privacy, data governance, compliance and technology law. She offers strategic advice on best practices to adopt, whether when implementing a new technology, launching a new product or during a crisis, in particular in the event of a security incident, complaints or investigations by a privacy commissioner. Vanessa uses her expertise to help companies manage legal risks related to the use of data while creating added value for the company and its client.

In addition to holding an MBA, Vanessa Deschênes has several certifications in the field of privacy and holds the title of Fellow of Information Privacy (FIP), which recognizes her leadership and expertise in this field of activity.

Before joining the firm, Vanessa was the very first appointed Chief Privacy Officer of a large Canadian financial institution, which earned her the prize of ZSA Quebec Legal Counsels Tomorrow’s Leader Award, in 2018. She was also a lecturer at the Polytechnique de Montréal and at the Faculty of Law at Laval University.


  • Bachelor of Civil Law LL.B., Université Laval (2007)
  • Bar Registration (2008)
  • Master of Business Administration, International Profile (MBA), Laval University and International Profile with the Norwegian School of Economics – NHH (2012)
  • Certified Information Privacy Professional Canada (CIPP/C), IAPP (2014)
  • Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM), IAPP (2016)
  • Certified Practitioner in Applied Neuroscience, Coaching Québec (2019)
  • Certified Data Privacy Solutions Engineer (CDPSE), ISACA (2021)
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)
  • Information Systems Audit and Control Association – chapitre Québec (ISACA)
  • IAPP Women Leading Privacy Section
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) – Canadian Advisory Board
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) – Co-Chair of the KnowledgeNet Montreal Chapter
  • Association des MBA du Québec (AMBAQ)
  • Best Lawyers in Canada 2023 : Privacy and Data Security Law
  • ZSA Quebec Legal Counsels Tomorrow’s Leader Award (2018)
  • Fellow of Information Privacy (FIP) de l’IAPP (2017)
  • Bourse du Fonds Pierre-Côté (2010)
  • Emerging Technologies
    • Data Protection, Privacy and Cybersecurity
      • Drafting website terms of use, policies and procedures
      • Information Access
      • Regulatory Compliance
      • Data and corporate governance
      • Investigation Office of the Privacy Commissioner
      • Incident Management
      • Due diligence
      • Consulting and business strategies
      • Privacy by Design
      • Cybersecurity
      • Information Technology
      • Risk Management
      • Contracts and negotiations
      • Ethical use of data
  • Comprendre la loi canadienne anti-pourriel (Québec Numérique, décembre 2020)
  • Politique de confidentialité : Tout ce que vous devez savoir! (Québec Numérique, octobre 2020)
  • Protection des renseignements personnels et virage numérique : que faut-il savoir? (Formation ROBIC, septembre 2020)
  • Table ronde sur la transformation numérique (en collaboration avec Chuck & Co, mai 2020)
  • Les renseignements personnels et les jeunes (École secondaire Joseph-François-Perrault, Octobre 2018)
  • Council for Chief Privacy Officers Panel Discussion (Canadian Board of Canada, October 2018)
  • La protection des renseignements personnels (Mouvement Desjardins, 2017-2018)
  • La protection des renseignements personnels à l’ère de l’innovation (IdentityNORTH Montreal Executive Forum, Avril 2018)
  • Cadre réglementaire et de contrôle de la sécurité de l’information et des systèmes – Les lois sur la vie privée (HEC Montréal, Octobre 2013)
  • Droit des technologies de l’information (Faculté de droit de l’Université Laval, 2015-2016)
  • Classification de l’information (Polytechnique de Montréal, 2012)