Natacha Lavoie

Associate General Counsel,
LEX, Canada

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Natacha Lavoie

“After nine years in private practice as a litigator, I needed new and more exciting challenges. When I heard about the Senior Legal Counsel-Litigation position at BAT Canada, I knew I had to apply. As I was going through the interview process, I would often drive past the BAT Canada offices, and would tell my husband that I knew I would join the BAT legal team. My experience in private practice was very exciting; but nevertheless, I needed something new, more challenging and fulfilling.

“At BAT, I knew there’d be some incredible challenges because of the highly regulated environment. During my first interview, I could sense that my manager-to-be knew where she was going and who she wanted to hire in her team. In private practice, there’s lots of competition between women, but that didn’t seem to be the case here. In fact, it seemed that I could join a real team where teamwork was a key element to success. I’m proud to say that after close to four years of being with BAT Canada, I still very much enjoy coming to work in the morning. BAT promotes people, teamwork and hard work.

“I’m proud to be part of a team of sixteen hard-working individuals, of which nine are lawyers – seven women and two men – and we work so well together because we have the same goal: to protect BAT in a highly regulated market. Being part of a close-knit team means more to me than most because when I was a litigator in a small law firm, I was often working on my own within a very competitive environment.

“I have a young son, and the flexible working policies suit me very well. There’s subsidised on-site day care, too, so I can drop my son off at the start of the day and pick him up at the end of it. When I came back from maternity leave, I had to slot into a transitional job while I got up to speed with the Associate General Counsel-Litigation position, so it was a real challenge. It was a great proof of trust and confidence in me from BAT’s management that, after being gone for a year on maternity leave, this position was kept open for me. I greatly appreciate the vote of confidence. BAT Canada believes people are its greatest asset and provides its employees with professional development and career opportunities that enables individuals to move up internally.

“With a young family, mobility is not presently on the agenda, so I’ll be staying in Montreal for the time being. However, I am willing to take on Regional or Global projects from Montreal, as frequent travel is not a concern. I work regularly with my colleagues in the Regions and at Globe House. We have developed a great relationship with them. As being one of BAT’s most heavily regulated markets, we know we are being followed by other markets on how we deal with regulation and cases as our colleagues in other end markets may encounter same or similar situations in the future.”