International Sale of Goods – the Law Applicable in Ontario

Andrew Ottaway, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.Arbitration, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Arbitration, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Corporate Litigation, Cross-Border Litigation, Offshore, Sale of Goods0 Comments

Many Ontario businesses buy and sell goods from foreign companies.  However, few Ontario businesses are aware that different laws apply to international purchases and sales of goods. For purchases and sales of goods between Ontario companies, the Ontario Sale of Goods Act will typically apply.  However, for purchases and sales of goods between Ontario and foreign companies, the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (the “CISG”) will typically apply. The CISG is “Ontario law”.  It is enacted in Ontario by the International Sales Conventions Act. There are a number of key differences between the Ontario Sale of Goods Act and the CISG.  One of the most notable is the obligation on the buyer to inspect goods (article 38) and give notice of any non-conformity (article 39).  The inspection obligation imposed by article 38 can have significant consequences: if the buyer fails to detect a lack of conformity … Read More

Andrew Ottaway comments on International Commercial Arbitration for the Law Times

Andrew Ottaway, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.Arbitration, Commercial Arbitration, Cross-Border Litigation, Gilbertson Davis LLP News0 Comments

Andrew Ottaway was asked to comment on international commercial arbitration in Ontario, including the new International Commercial Arbitration Act, 2017. Read the Law Times article here: “New laws may spur more arbitration in Ontario“. The lawyers at Gilbertson Davis have experience with domestic and international commercial arbitration.  Please contact us to arrange an initial consultation.

Ontario’s New International Commercial Arbitration Act Now In Force

Andrew Ottaway, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.Arbitration, Commercial Arbitration, Cross-Border Litigation, Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, Of Interest to US Counsel0 Comments

Ontario’s new International Commercial Arbitration Act, 2017 (the “ICAA”) came into force on March 22, 2017. The new ICAA contains a number of changes from its predecessor, including: Adoption of the the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (also known as the “New York Arbitration Convention”).  Essentially, Ontario has confirmed that it will recognize and enforce an arbitral award made in a state which is party to the Convention. Changes to the limitation period in which a proceeding must be commenced to enforce an arbitral award.  Both the ICAA and the Ontario domestic Arbitration Act, 1991 now provide for a 10 year limitation period to commence a proceeding to enforce an arbitration award.  (The ICAA previously provided for a two year limitation period.) Adoption of the 2006 amendments to the Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration adopted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law … Read More

Partnership Disputes & Joint Venture Litigation

David Alderson, LL.B, LL.M (Commercial and Corporate), Q.Arb, Lawyer and ArbitratorArbitration, Civil Litigation, Closely-Held Business Disputes, Commercial, Commercial Arbitration, Commercial Law, Commercial List Matters, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Directors' and Officers' Liability, Family Business Disputes, Joint Venture Disputes, Partnership Dispute, Partnerships and Shareholder Disputes, Shareholder Disputes, Start-Up Disputes0 Comments

Our lawyers have acted in Ontario and other jurisdictions for partners in small and mid-sized partnerships, and limited liability partnerships (LLPs) and contractual parties and partners in joint ventures. Partnership Disputes Partnership is a relationship between persons carrying on a business in common with a view to profit, which is not a corporation. It is one of the most commonly used business associations for small and medium-sized business. A partnership can be created at law and the Partnerships Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. P.5 sets out rules for determining existence of partnership, though commonly the parties enter into a partnership agreement. Joint Venture – Is it a Partnership? Joint ventures are often established to synergize what each member of the joint venture can add to the consortium. Sometimes a joint venture is the structure chosen because those members engaged in the joint venture are located in different jurisdictions. While invariably created by contractual agreement, some … Read More

Court of Appeal Upholds Stay Based on Contractual Choice of Forum/Arbitration Clause Against Non-Contracting Parties

Andrew Ottaway, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.Appeals, Appellate Advocacy, Arbitration, Civil Litigation, Commercial Arbitration, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Cross-Border Litigation0 Comments

In Novatrax International Inc. v. Hägele Landtechnik GmbH, 2016 ONCA 771, the plaintiff and the defendant Hägele were parties to an Exclusive Sales Agreement (“ESA”).  Hägele terminated the ESA.  The plaintiff sued Hägele, its individual principals and Cleanfix, a North American company related to Hägele. The defendants collectively moved to stay the Plaintiff’s claim, relying on a forum selection clause in the ESA which stated: “The contractual parties agree that German law is binding and to settle any disputes by a binding arbitration through the “Industrie und Handelskammer” (Chamber of Commerce) in Frankfurt.” The motion judge granted the stay, despite the fact that only Hägele, and not the other defendants, was a party to the ESA. The plaintiff appealed on two grounds: that the motion judge erred in i) interpreting the scope of the forum selection clause and ii) staying the action against the defendants who were not party to the … Read More

Court Stays Arbitration but Denies Costs to Successful Party for “Blameworthy Conduct”

Andrew Ottaway, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.Arbitration, Civil Litigation, Commercial Arbitration, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Partnerships and Shareholder Disputes0 Comments

In Gorman v Kosowan, 2016 ONSC 5085, the applicant commenced a proceeding regarding a business dispute. The applicant and individual respondent were joint owners of a transportation and warehouse business.  A dispute arose between them.   The respondents subsequently terminated the applicant’s employment and excluded him from the business.  The applicant sought relief from the allegedly oppressive conduct under the Canada Business Corporations Act and the Ontario Business Corporations Act.  The respondents brought a motion to stay the oppression application based on an arbitration clause in the parties’ Unanimous Shareholders’ Agreement (“USA”). The USA arbitration clause required arbitration for “disputes under” the USA. The Judge found that the applicant’s claims were covered by the arbitration clause and granted the respondents’ motion to stay the application. In the Judge’s subsequent costs decision, here, the Judge denied the respondents’ request for costs of the motion.  While a winning party is typically entitled to its costs … Read More

Joint Venture Disputes and International Joint Venture Arbitration

David Alderson, LL.B, LL.M (Commercial and Corporate), Q.Arb, Lawyer and ArbitratorArbitration, Commercial Arbitration, Contract Disputes, Cross-Border Litigation, Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, International Distribution, International Joint Venture, International Sale of Goods, International Traders, Joint Venture Disputes, Jurisdictional Challenges, Of Interest to US Counsel, Partnership Dispute, Partnerships and Shareholder Disputes0 Comments

Joint ventures are often established to synergize what each member of the joint venture can add to the consortium. Sometimes a joint venture is the structure chosen because those members engaged in the joint venture are located in different jurisdictions, a consideration which may be pivotal for its success. While invariably created by contractual agreement, some joint ventures have been held by the courts to be a partnership, while others have been determined to be merely contractual, without comprising a partnership. A myriad of considerations have been used by the courts in determining whether a joint venture is a partnership. Issues have also arisen concerning the management and operational structure of a joint venture and whether such structure necessarily results in the joint venture being found to comprise a partnership. Historically the distinction between partner and contractor has been important, since the law only imposed a fiduciary duty upon partners, and not … Read More

Enforcement of Ontario Judgment in US (U.S.A and American States)

David Alderson, LL.B, LL.M (Commercial and Corporate), Q.Arb, Lawyer and ArbitratorArbitration, Casino Debt Recovery, Civil Litigation, Commercial Arbitration, Commercial Litigation, Creditors Rights, Cross-Border Litigation, Debt and Enforcing Judgments, Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, Enforcement of Foreign Judgments, Forum Challenges, Jurisdictional Challenges, Loan and Guarantee, Of Interest to US Counsel0 Comments

If you are looking for Enforcement of US Judgment in Ontario, Canada, then click here. ____ Enforcement of Ontario Judgment in US (U.S.A and American States)  We sometimes act for clients in litigation against defendants located in an American state, or having assets located in one or more U.S. states. Other times we are retained simply to assess and / or seek enforcement of an Ontario or other Canadian judgment in an U.S. state. Accordingly, the consideration sometimes arises whether a money judgment obtained in a court of Ontario or Canada is readily enforceable in a particular US state. Neither Ontario nor Canada is a party to any bilateral enforcement of money judgement treaty or convention with the U.S. or any particular state in the U.S..  However many U.S. states have enacted statutes concerning the enforcement of foreign (including Ontario and Canada) money-judgments in that state. Since this is largely … Read More

Partnership and Contractual Disputes between Professionals (Dentists, Doctors, Accountants, Lawyers, Architects, Engineers)

David Alderson, LL.B, LL.M (Commercial and Corporate), Q.Arb, Lawyer and ArbitratorArbitration, Business Litigation, Business Torts | Economic Torts, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Arbitration, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Debt and Enforcing Judgments, Injunction & Specific Performance, Joint Venture Disputes, Partnership Dispute, Partnerships and Shareholder Disputes, Professions0 Comments

Partnerships Professionals often carry on their professional practice as partners in a partnership or limited liability partnership. Partnerships can be created simply by conduct and the application of the Partnership Act or by a simple or complex partnership agreement. Joint Venture Contract – Fiduciary Duties? In other cases professionals associate in practice by participation in a contractual joint venture which, depending on the agreement and the circumstances, may or may not at law also be a partnership but, in any event, may attract the duties and obligations of partners, including fiduciary duties. Sharing Space Lastly, some professionals may consider that they are only sharing space with other professional and may be very surprised to find that the arrangement gave rise at law to unexpected obligations. Duty of Honest Performance The recent decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Bhasin v. Hrynew, though not a case about partnerships, nonetheless has a wide-ranging impact … Read More

Court of Appeal Dismisses Appeal Pursuant to “Competence-Competence” Principle

Andrew Ottaway, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.Appeals, Arbitration, Civil Litigation, Contract Disputes0 Comments

In Ciano Trading & Services C.T. v. Skylink Aviation Inc. the Ontario Court of Appeal considered the appeal of an order staying court proceedings pending the arbitration of the dispute. The arbitration clause at issue was part of a Services Agreement that was terminated prior to commencement of the court proceedings.  The Services Agreement listed the provisions that would survive termination, but did not specifically address whether the arbitration clause survived termination.   The appellant argued that the motion judge should have found that the arbitration clause did not survive termination of the Services Agreement, and therefore should not have stayed the court proceedings. The Court of Appeal disagreed stating that, because it was arguable whether the arbitration clause survived termination of the Services Agreement, it was preferable to leave the issue of jurisdiction to the arbitrator pursuant to the “competence-competence” principle.  The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. If you require advice … Read More

Court Declines Plaintiff’s Request to Stay Its Own Action in Favour of Arbitration

Andrew Ottaway, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.Arbitration, Civil Litigation, Contract Disputes0 Comments

In Paul Wurth Inc. v. Anmar Mechanical and MAG Engineering, the Plaintiff entered into a contract with MAG Engineering.  The contract contained an arbitration clause.  Nevertheless, the Plaintiff brought a court action against MAG Engineering for breach of contract.  The Plaintiff also claimed against Anmar Mechanical.  Anmar Mechanical was not a party to the contract.  But the Plaintiff alleged that the services under the contract were to be provided by both MAG Engineering and Anmar Mechanical, and that MAG Engineering was an agent, partner, or joint venturer of Anmar Mechanical. After starting its court action, the Plaintiff brought a motion to stay its action and to require MAG Engineering and Anmar Mechanical participate in binding arbitration.  In the alternative, the Plaintiff sought to force only MAG Engineering to participate in arbitration, and to stay its action against against Anmar Mechical pending the outcome of that arbitration. The Judge dismissed the Plaintiff’s motion … Read More

London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) – New Rules Include Expanded Provisions on Emergency Relief

David Alderson, LL.B, LL.M (Commercial and Corporate), Q.Arb, Lawyer and ArbitratorArbitration, Business Litigation, Commercial Arbitration, Commercial Litigation, Copyright Infringement, Cross-Border Litigation, Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, Enforcement of Foreign Judgments, Fashion Industry, Industrial Design, Injunction & Specific Performance, Intellectual Property, International Sale of Goods, Mareva Injunction, Of Interest to US Counsel, Preservation Orders, Textiles and Apparel0 Comments

The London Court of International Arbitration has announced that its new LCIA Arbitration Rules have been formally adopted by the LCIA Court and the LCIA Board of Directors and will come into effect on 1 October 2014. Article 9B of the new LCIA Arbitration Rules – Emergency Arbitrator provides that in the case of emergency at any time prior to the formation or expedited formation of the Arbitral Tribunal , any party may apply to the LCIA Court for the immediate appointment of a temporary sole arbitrator to conduct emergency proceedings pending the formation or expedited formation of the Arbitral Tribunal. By Article 9.14 of the New Rules, Article 9B does not apply where the parties have concluded their arbitration agreement before 1 October 2014 have not agreed in writing to ‘opt in’ to Article 9B, or the parties have agreed in writing at any time to ‘opt out’ of Article 9B. Reference should be had in this regard to … Read More

Arbitration and Enigma: Why it’s better when made up

R. Lee Akazaki, C.S., B.A. (Hons.), J.D.Arbitration0 Comments

Getting beyond First Principles Apart from taking part in arbitrations, attending seminars presented by arbitrators and arbitration practitioners, and reading articles, opportunities to learn about arbitration are few and far between.  Expose yourself to enough of these sources, and you will find the topics recurring with greater frequency than in other areas of legal practice.  Much of it hovers over first principles, although I do not mean to belittle the subject.  The basic structure and formulation of arbitrations can involve thinking at a high level.  Subjects such as conflicts of interest and bias, avoidance of advocate-arbitrators on panels, and other process topics are tough to grasp because there is no fixed body of practice. Thus, any dialogue about teaching arbitration must acknowledge the following truths: Unlike public court or arbitration decisions, private arbitral awards are not usually published unless there is an appeal or judicial review application to a public … Read More

German Arbitral Award Recognized and Enforced by Ontario Court

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Arbitration, Commercial Arbitration, Cross-Border Litigation, Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards0 Comments

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently released its endorsement in Alfred Wegener Institute v. ALCI Aviation Ltd., 2014 ONCA 398, upholding an order from the application judge that a German arbitral award be recognized and enforced in Ontario as if it were a judgment or order of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. After the appellants failed to appear at the German arbitration and the Ontario application to enforce the German arbitral award, the appellants finally responded by bringing this appeal based on a technical argument under Article 35(2) of the International Commercial Arbitration Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. I.9, which required the party relying on the foreign arbitral award to supply a certified copy of the original award to the application judge.  The appellants argued that the translation of the arbitral award before the application judge was not a duly certified copy. The Court of Appeal rejected the appellant’s argument and held that the application judge could properly find that the arbitral award met … Read More

Dubai’s DIFC Announces Amendment of Arbitration Law to Accord with New York Convention

David Alderson, LL.B, LL.M (Commercial and Corporate), Q.Arb, Lawyer and ArbitratorArbitration, Commercial Arbitration, Contract Disputes, Cross-Border Litigation, Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards0 Comments

Canada and UAE – New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards In 2006, United Arab Emirates joined 137 other nations in acceding to the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the so-called 1958 New York Convention). Canada acceded to the New York Convention in 1986 declaring that it would apply the Convention only to differences arising out of legal relationships, whether contractual or not, that were considered commercial under the laws of Canada, except in the case of the Province of Quebec where the law did not provide for such limitation. In Ontario, it found its way into the International Commercial Arbitration Act, RSO 1990, c I.9 to the extent it is contained in the UNCITRAL Model Law, a schedule thereto. Respect of Arbitration Agreements under the New York Convention By Article II (3) of the New York Convention “The court of a Contracting State, when seized of … Read More

30 Day Time Limit to Appeal Arbitration Award

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Appellate Advocacy, Arbitration, Commercial, Commercial Arbitration0 Comments

The Ontario Court of Appeal decision in R & G Draper Farms (Keswick) Ltd. v. 1758691 Ontario Inc., 2014 ONCA 278, involved a dispute between two Ontario-based farming businesses over the purchase and sale of carrots and carrot chunks.  The parties agreed to resolve the dispute through arbitration in accordance with The Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation (“DRC”) arbitration rules.  The arbitrator awarded damages to the respondent. The issue arose when the appellant applied to the Superior Court of Justice to set aside the arbitration award approximately two and a half months later.  The Arbitration Act, 1991 (the “Act”) provides for a thirty day time period to appeal the arbitration award while the International Commercial Arbitration Act (the “ICAA”) provides for a longer three month time period.  Unfortunately, the DRC rules are silent in respect to which arbitration act may apply. Under s. 2(1) of the Act, the Act applied unless the application of the Act was excluded by law, or the arbitration was … Read More