Blog

Could a Law Firm Be Vicariously Liable for the Actions of a Lawyer Practicing “In Association”?

3 May 2018

By Uri Snir

In Wallbridge v. Brunning, the Court of Appeal for Ontario set aside a summary judgment granted in favour of the defendant partnership of lawyers, Williams Litigation Lawyers (“Williams”). By sending the issue of Williams’ liability to trial, the Court of Appeal has potentially opened the door to a law firm being found vicariously liable for the actions of a lawyer who practices “in association” with it.

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Is Expert Evidence No Longer Necessary in Investor Loss Cases?

25 April 2018

By Cynthia Spry

In Cunningham v. Wiltzen, the Alberta Court of Appeal recently dealt with an appeal of a trial judge’s findings regarding an investment adviser’s liability for breach of his duty of care.

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Monsters and Explosions: Who Knew that Legal Limitations Issues Could Sound so Hollywood?

10 April 2018

By Khrystina McMillan

In a decision released last week, the Ontario Court of Appeal held that section 138.3(6) of Ontario’s Securities Act cannot be used to avoid the “statute-bar monster”. In Kaynes v BP, P.L.C., the Court of Appeal upheld the motion judge’s decision to strike eleven of fourteen secondary market misrepresentation claims in a putative class action on the grounds that they were statute-barred. In doing so, the Court of Appeal rejected the plaintiff’s submission that the court could treat all the misrepresentations as a single representation under section 138.3(6) to extend the limitation period for the eleven statute-barred misrepresentations.

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The OSC Develops New Strategy Aimed at Protecting Seniors

2 April 2018

By Uri Snir

On March 20, 2018, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) published a report titled Seniors Strategy. The report develops initiatives and an action plan to better protect senior investors in Ontario. The report is the culmination of extensive research and data collection by the OSC, as it recognizes the growing challenges facing older investors. Babin Bessner Spry’s own Ellen Bessner served on the Seniors Expert Advisory Committee that consulted with the OSC in developing its Seniors Strategy.

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Manitoba Joins Emerging Trend of Granting More Legal Authority to Investment Industry Regulators, but is Investor Protection Really the Bottom Line?

26 March 2018

By Khrystina McMillan

and Shakaira John

Last week, Manitoba’s Minister of Finance introduced proposed amendments to Manitoba securities legislation that would grant a national investment industry regulator enhanced enforcement powers. If approved, these amendments will make Manitoba the fifth province that has provided self-regulatory organizations (“SROs”) with more robust legal authority in the name of investor protection. It is not clear, however, that the goal of investor protection is actually served by giving SROs more enforcement powers.

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The Great Library – A Love Letter to an Accessible, Modern Resource with a Remarkable History

19 March 2018

By Eden Kaill

The Great Library at the Law Society of Ontario (“LSO”) is many things – a historically significant collection of rare books, an architectural masterpiece hidden in plain sight, and for those looking for an obscure (or not-so obscure but expensive) legal text, an absolute treasure trove. Law students study here, members of the public walk the stacks, any licensed lawyer or paralegal can access any document the library manages, and the knowledgeable staff will even help with research.

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Blockchain: The Disruptive Technology Changing the Legal Landscape

12 March 2018

By Uri Snir

On February 1, 2018, the Ontario Securities Commission approved Canada’s first exchange traded fund (ETF) that tracks blockchain-based companies. There appear to be at least two additional blockchain ETFs in the pipeline and more will likely follow. Earlier this year, similar ETFs were launched on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.

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The Ontario Court of Appeal Applies Knowing Assistance Doctrine to Allow Damages Against Corporations in Fraud “Shell Game” Case

6 March 2018

By Morgan Westgate

In its recent decision, DBDC Spadina Ltd. v. Walton, the Ontario Court of Appeal clarifies the law on knowing assistance claims that are brought against corporations.

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Court of Appeal Finds Claim of Solicitor’s Negligence Not Appropriate for Summary Judgment

27 February 2018

By Cynthia Spry

In Aird & Berlis LLP v. Oravital Inc., the Court of Appeal recently overturned a decision: (1) granting summary judgment to a law firm for unpaid fees and disbursements; and (2) dismissing the counterclaim by the law firm’s former clients (two corporations) alleging negligent provision of legal advice and representation. The decision emphasizes that, even where all parties agree that an action is appropriate for summary judgment, it is nonetheless open to the courts to disagree and order a matter proceed to trial.

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Changes to Ontario’s Whistleblower Regime to Enhance Protections and Proposed Changes to Clarify the Ineligibility of In-House Counsel for Whistleblower Awards

20 February 2018

By Shakaira John

In an earlier post, we discussed the Ontario Securities Commission’s (“OSC”) Whistleblower Program under OSC Policy 15-601 and, in particular, the OSC’s focus on promoting awareness of whistleblower protections despite criticisms of their efficacy. Recently, legislative amendments gave teeth to whistleblower protections by creating a civil cause of action for reprisals, potentially resolving one of the criticisms of the program (highlighted in our earlier post).

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