Our History

Lette, Lette & Associés / Lette, Lette & Partners (LLP) was founded in 1898 in Montreal, Canada, under the name of Duranleau & Monty. The partners of Duranleau & Monty achieved great success and prominence, both eventually becoming Ministers in Canada’s federal government.

Raymond Lette, who was a legal advisor in Paris, moved to Canada in 1951 and shortly thereafter joined this prestigious practice. Combining his knowledge of European laws, institutions, languages, and customs with the solid base offered by the firm he had joined, Raymond Lette began to develop an international practice the likes of which was unheard of in Canada in those days.. The firm soon gained a solid reputation as a leader in international legal matters, representing corporations, governments, and individuals, Canadian as well as foreign, partaking in the intensification of international relations in the decades that followed World War II.

Raymond Lette’s prominence as an international legal expert is reflected in his close ties with the worlds of academia and diplomacy (to which he belonged as the honorary consul general of the Republic of San Marino). Raymond Lette became senior partner in 1963, he received the honorary distinction of Queen’s Counsel in Canada and led a brilliant career surrounded by talented associates he had trained himself, particularly in the fields of comparative law and international taxation.

Fluent in French, English, German and Italian, Raymond Lette was a man with an impressive general knowledge and was a close advisor to major European CEOs and members of strategic committees of a large number of European companies and multinationals present in Canada and the USA.

He encouraged his eldest son, Philippe, to pursue legal studies. After completing high school at the Stanislas College in Montreal, Philippe Lette was admitted at the McGill University Faculty of Law at the age of 17, and simultaneously at the Faculty of Law of Bordeaux in France. He carried on his legal studies in parallel in both countries and after successfully passing the Bar exams, he was sworn in as a member of the Quebec Bar in Montreal and in Paris in 1969.

Pursuant to a collaboration of several years with Maître Pierre-André Rosenfeld, an eminent Parisian lawyer and friend of Raymond Lette, Philippe founded the first European office of the Lette firm, in the same building as the National Bank of Canada (Europe), 47 avenue George V in Paris 8th arrondissement.

Benefitting and putting to good use the Canadian, Swiss and French origins of the Lette family, his legal expertise is centered on issues relating to private international law and European and North-American comparative law.

Later on, Philippe Lette founded Lette & Associés in Geneva, with an expertise in International commercial arbitration (he is a member of the panel of arbitrators at the ICC (International Chamber of Commerce) in Paris, and acting as legal and tax counsel, notably in the field of private banking. Appointed as Legal Counsel to the Canadian and Swiss Embassies in France, Philippe was also the President of the France-Canada Chamber of Commerce, (1990, 1996) and member of the Board of Directors of the Swiss Chamber of Commerce, thus strengthening the professional and family ties with Canada and Switzerland.

Bernard Lette, the youngest of the 4 Lette brothers, followed the same Canadian and French course of studies, becoming also a member of the Ontario Bar. He settled in Toronto where he founded the firm Lette Whittaker. He is also a managing partner at a Lette firm in Montreal that is distinct from Lette Lette & Partners.

Hence, the two branches of the Lette family carry on their careers separately, united in the pride of their historic origins.

Continuing the family tradition, Lette Lette & Partners is comprised of a dynamic team of lawyers specialized in international taxation and comparative law.
Maître Eléonore Lette, member of the Bars of Quebec and of Paris, and Maître Vanessa Ilharreborde Lette, member of the Bars of Quebec and of Paris, have joined the other members of the Firm, hence forming the 3rd generation of lawyers of the founding family.