Blog

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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Pencils in Space: Why Targets for Women in Corporate Leadership Should no Longer be a Debate

12 February 2018

By Khrystina McMillan

I think I was in high school when I first heard the story about a contest held by NASA offering a hefty cash prize to anyone who could invent an anti-gravity pen for use in outer space. While many of the country’s greatest minds set out to design such a “space pen”, pouring millions of dollars and countless hours into the task, according to legend the contest was won by a young child who simply wrote: “Why not use a pencil?”

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The Anxiety of Retiring Solo: New Survey Finds Single Canadians are Concerned About Retirement Savings

5 February 2018

By Uri Snir

It is increasingly common for Canadians to be living on their own as they enter retirement: it is a living arrangement that some plan for, while others do not. Whether single, separated, divorced or widowed, Canadians who live on their own in retirement face several challenges.

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When You Ought to Have Known: Court of Appeal Upholds Liability Against Successive Tippees Who Lacked Actual Knowledge of the Source of the Inside Information

29 January 2018

By Khrystina McMillan

In a decision released last Thursday, January 25, 2018, the Ontario Court of Appeal considered for the first time the definition of a “person in a special relationship with an issuer” as it applies to successive tippees who possess inside information. In Finkelstein v Ontario Securities Commission, the Court of Appeal upheld findings of liability and significant sanctions against Howard Miller and Francis Cheng – the final two recipients in a five-person long chain of successive tippees – even though neither Miller nor Cheng knew that the source of the information was an insider. According to the Court of Appeal, however, they ought to have known that they were acting on inside information.

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Ontario Superior Court Takes Flexible Approach to Limitation Periods in Relation to Claims by Vulnerable Persons

22 January 2018

By Shakaira John
The Ontario Superior Court has made an important statement about limitation periods in relation to litigation guardians. In Shaw v. Barber, an application was brought by the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (“OPGT”) on behalf of an incapable woman for support under the Succession Law Reform Act (“SLRA”). The court’s decision clarified that limitation periods do not begin to run against an incapable person from the day that the OPGT becomes the statutory guardian of property, but rather, from the day the OPGT decides to act as litigation guardian.

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Court Affirms OSC Panel's Fraud Decision

15 January 2018

By Uri Snir
The Ontario Divisional Court recently upheld two related decisions from the Ontario Securities Commission (“OSC”).

In 2013, an OSC panel found that the Appellants, North American Financial Group Inc. (“NAFG”), North American Capital Inc. (“NAC”), and Alexander and Luigino Arconti, had committed securities fraud, among other contraventions of the Securities Act (the “Merits Decision”).

In a separate 2014 hearing, the panel imposed a lifetime ban against the Appellants, and ordered over $3 million in disgorgement, and an additional $2 million in penalties and costs (the “Sanctions Decision”).

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Protecting What Strict Laws Cannot: Supreme Court Uses Equitable Doctrine to Enforce a Promise Made Before the Promisor Obtained an Interest in the Property

19 December 2017

By Morgan Westgate

In what appears to be the last judgment written by Chief Justice McLachlin before her retirement this past weekend, the Supreme Court of Canada considered the scope of the doctrine of proprietary estoppel. The Cowper-Smith v. Morgan decision considers proprietary estoppel in the context of an acrimonious estate dispute, and may have significant implications in respect of equitable proprietary claims.

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New OSC Research Finds Millennials Are Not Big Investors

11 December 2017

By Uri Snir

The Ontario Securities Commission (“OSC”) recently released a research study on the investment habits of millennials, entitled “Missing Out: Millennials and the Markets” (the “Study”). The Study was conducted online between May 5th and 12th, 2017 among a representative sample of 1,585 Ontarians, 18 to 36 years old. It finds that 80% of millennials are saving, but less than 50% are investing.

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