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

Family Business Dispute, Start Up Company Dispute, and Closely-Held Company Litigation

David Alderson, LL.B, LL.M (Commercial and Corporate), Q.Arb, Lawyer and ArbitratorBusiness Litigation, Civil Litigation, Closely-Held Business Disputes, Commercial Arbitration, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Directors' and Officers' Liability, Family Business Disputes, Injunction & Specific Performance, Oppression Remedies, Partnerships and Shareholder Disputes, Shareholder Disputes, Start-Up Disputes0 Comments

We have experience acting for, advising and representing those in closely-held company litigation, both arising from family business disputes and from start-up company disputes. Family Business Disputes Many businesses in Canada are family businesses or have evolved from family businesses. Family businesses present many unique challenges as they grow, as key members of the company or partnership leave the family business, or when personal relationships of the key members of the family business change or deteriorate. One of the most common differences between a family business and other established businesses, whether or not a shareholders’ agreement, partnership agreement and other legal documentation was used in the formation of the family business, is the informality in operation of the family business, including the often ignored distinction in fact between employees, shareholders, or partners – since family members take on multiple roles. Please see our webpage on Family and Closely Held Business Disputes. Start Up Company … Read More

Shareholder Disputes, Oppression Remedy, and Directors and Officers Liability

David Alderson, LL.B, LL.M (Commercial and Corporate), Q.Arb, Lawyer and ArbitratorBusiness Litigation, Business Torts | Economic Torts, Closely-Held Business Disputes, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Arbitration, Commercial List Matters, Commercial Litigation, Directors' and Officers' Liability, Family Business Disputes, Oppression Remedies, Shareholder Disputes0 Comments

Our lawyers have acted in Ontario and other jurisdictions for small and mid-sized Ontario corporations, shareholders, directors, officers, executives and creditors in corporate disputes and shareholder disputes. We have acted in both oppression remedy action and derivative actions. Oppression Remedy The oppression remedy is a mechanism in the Ontario Business Corporations Act and the Canada Business Corporations Act to protect the interests of shareholders and stakeholders in a corporation against wrongful conduct.  Whether the Ontario or Canada Act will apply depends on the jurisdiction in which the corporation was incorporated. The oppression remedy can be used to protect the interests of shareholders, directors, officers or creditors against the acts of other shareholders, the board of directors or other affiliates of the corporation. When any act or omission of the corporation or any of its affiliates effects or threatens to effect a result; the business or affairs of the corporation or any of its affiliates are, … 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 Emphasizes Confidence in Fact Finding on the Record for Summary Judgment

David Alderson, LL.B, LL.M (Commercial and Corporate), Q.Arb, Lawyer and ArbitratorAppeals, Appellate Advocacy, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial Arbitration, Professions, Summary Judgment0 Comments

In Meehan v Good, 2017 ONCA 103, the Court of Appeal allowed the appeal of the plaintiffs of the dismissal of their claims by summary judgment against their former lawyer, Mr. Cardill. The motion judge had determined that the subject retainer was only with respect to assessment of the accounts of their earlier former lawyer, Mr. Good, and not any possible negligence action against Mr. Good, and thus there was no genuine issue whether Mr. Cardill owed the plaintiffs a duty of care to advise them about the limitation period in relation to a possible negligence action against Mr. Good. The Court of Appeal held that the motion judge’s analysis focused narrowly on the written retainer agreement, and not, as is required when determining if a lawyer owes a duty of care to a client, examining all the surrounding circumstances that define the lawyer and client relationship, when, as was pleaded here that … 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

Toronto Lawyers for Victims of Investment Fraud: When Investing in a Toronto Business Goes Bad

David Alderson, LL.B, LL.M (Commercial and Corporate), Q.Arb, Lawyer and ArbitratorAppeals, Appellate Advocacy, Broker and Agent Claims, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Commercial Arbitration, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Fraud, Fraud Recovery, Injunction & Specific Performance, Investment Fraud, Summary Judgment0 Comments

A bad investment may not be the result of market fluctuations. A false representation inducing and leading to an investment loss may be actionable at law. Often there is a promised  high-yield on an investment in a company, project or property.  Sometimes a loss occurs from a scheme where there is no intention by those entrusted with an investment to make the promised purchase or transfer. In Ontario, civil lawsuits for the victims of investment fraud have often been framed as claims for deceit, fraudulent misrepresentation, civil conspiracy,  breach of contract, unjust enrichment and restitution. Increasingly though, plaintiffs in lawsuits simply claim damages for losses arising directly from the tort of civil fraud. The leading case on civil fraud in Canada is the Supreme Court of Canada decision in 2014 in Hryniak v. Mauldin, 2014 SCC 7, and in that case civil fraud is defined this way “… the tort of … Read More

Business Dirty Tricks: Unfair Competition: Intentional Interference, Inducing Breach of Contract, Conspiracy and Defamation

David Alderson, LL.B, LL.M (Commercial and Corporate), Q.Arb, Lawyer and ArbitratorAppropriation of Personality, Business Litigation, Business Torts | Economic Torts, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Arbitration, Commercial Law, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Cross-Border Litigation, Cyber Risks, Fraud, Injunction & Specific Performance, Intellectual Property, Of Interest to US Counsel, Partnerships and Shareholder Disputes, Passing Off, Trademark Infringement0 Comments

Sometimes businesses and their stakeholders act wrongfully in seeking to advance their interests and / or harm competitors. There are often reports of the “dirty tricks” used by those in business to seek to destroy, defeat or diminish the effectiveness of a competitor. These are often unethical tactics, but sometimes such conduct is also wrongful and has been recognized by the common law as actionable in the courts for damages or injunctive or other urgent equitable relief, or prohibited by a statute which provides for a civil monetary remedy or grounds for an injunction. These causes of action have been recognized and provide the basis of lawsuits for harm, loss and damage, and in suitable circumstances, grounds for an immediate injunction or mandatory order prohibiting the further commission of the wrongful acts. In short, wrongful intentional acts causing harm, loss or damage to businesses or their stakeholders may give rise to a cause of action in common law business torts (the so-called … 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

Gilbertson Davis LLP News – OsgoodePD Program on Shareholder Litigation and the Closely-Held Company

David Alderson, LL.B, LL.M (Commercial and Corporate), Q.Arb, Lawyer and ArbitratorBusiness Litigation, Business Torts | Economic Torts, Closely-Held Business Disputes, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Arbitration, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Directors' and Officers' Liability, Family Business Disputes, Gilbertson Davis LLP News, Injunction & Specific Performance, International Joint Venture, Oppression Remedies, Partnerships and Shareholder Disputes, Shareholder Disputes0 Comments

David Alderson, of Gilbertson Davis LLP attended as a faculty member of the OsgoodePD professional development program on April 7, 2015 concerning Shareholder Litigation and the Closely-Held Company. He was on the panel addressing Ethical and Professional Issues in Shareholder Disputes and Litigation. Osgoode Hall Law School said of this professional development program, “This OsgoodePD program brings together some of the country’s top commercial litigators and other experts to provide insight into key aspects of litigating these cases.”  Shareholders disputes are one of the most common and most complex disputes handled by commercial litigators and in-house counsel. The panel on Ethical and Professional Issues in Shareholder Disputes and Litigation included Paul N. Feldman of Feldman Lawyers, Tom Curry of Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP and David Alderson of Gilbertson Davis LLP, with Lisa C. Munro of Lerners LLP moderating. The program is being re-broadcast on May 22, 2015 as described here. David Alderson has experience in shareholder and partnership disputes, both in arbitration … 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

International Sale of Goods Convention – New Members in 2014 and 2015

David Alderson, LL.B, LL.M (Commercial and Corporate), Q.Arb, Lawyer and ArbitratorCivil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Arbitration, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Creditors Rights, Cross-Border Litigation, Distributors | Dealers, Forum Challenges, International Distribution, International Sale of Goods, Jurisdictional Challenges, Sale of Goods0 Comments

The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (“CISG”) establishes a comprehensive code of legal rules governing the formation of contracts for the international sale of goods, the obligations of the buyer and seller in contracts for the international sale of goods, and the remedies for breach of contracts for the international sale of goods. Canada on accession to the CISG declared that, in accordance with article 93 of the Convention, the Convention would extend to Ontario (and other provinces named in the declaration). The Canadian International Sale of Goods Contracts Convention Act, S.C. 1991, c. 13, has been in effect in Ontario since 1992 because of the International Sale of Goods Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. I.10.  These two acts brought into effect in Canada the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods. The Ontario International Sale of Goods Act provides that the contracting parties “may … 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