Shareholders’ Remedies under the OBCA: An Overview (Part 2/2) 

Janice Perri, B.A. (Summa Cum Laude)Business Law, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Closely-Held Business Disputes, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Law, Commercial Litigation, Corporate Disputes, Corporate Litigation, Directors' and Officers' Liability, Oppression Remedies, Partnership Dispute, Partnerships and Shareholder Disputes, Shareholder Disputes0 Comments

When a shareholder’s rights are breached, there are a variety of legal remedies available under the Ontario Business Corporations Act (“OBCA”). For more information on shareholders’ rights, please click here to see part 1 of this post. Oppression Remedy It is first important to note that as per the Ontario Court of Appeal decision Maurice v. Alles, the standard two-year limitation period set out in the Limitations Act applies to oppression remedy claims. The “clock starts to run” when the oppressive conduct first began, meaning that individuals must not delay if they wish to pursue an oppression remedy. The oppression remedy under s. 248 of the OBCA is broad in nature, and there is a large amount of judicial discretion afforded in its application. The oppression remedy can be an especially strong tool in protecting minority shareholders. When the Court determines that there has been oppressive conduct, unfairly prejudicial conduct, or conduct that disregards the interests of any shareholder it may make an order to resolve the matter in a variety of ways. … Read More

Shareholders’ Rights under the OBCA: An Overview (Part 1/2) 

Janice Perri, B.A. (Summa Cum Laude)Business Law, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Closely-Held Business Disputes, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Law, Commercial Litigation, Corporate Disputes, Corporate Litigation, Directors' and Officers' Liability, Oppression Remedies, Partnerships and Shareholder Disputes, Shareholder Disputes0 Comments

Under the Ontario Business Corporations Act (“OBCA”), shareholders of a corporation have a variety of rights. Outlined below are a few rights that all shareholders should be aware they possess. Please click here to see part 2 of this post on shareholders’ remedies. Voting Rights The board of directors, under s. 115 are ultimately responsible for managing or supervising the management of the business and affairs of a corporation. Major business decisions also involve the participation of the board of directors, though sales, leases, or exchanges of all or substantially all the property of the corporation that is not in the ordinary course of business requires the approval of shareholders (s. 184(3)). Shareholders also have voting rights that allow them to control the makeup of the board of directors (s. 119(4)), and also the ability to remove directors under s. 122(1) (though this is subject to exceptions under s. 120(f)). Shareholders have additional voting rights under … Read More

The Supreme Court of Canada On Defence Against the Tort of Conversion (Teva Canada Ltd. v. TD Canada Trust)

Janice Perri, B.A. (Summa Cum Laude)Appeals, Appellate Advocacy, Business Law, Business Litigation, Business Torts | Economic Torts, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial Law, Commercial Litigation, Employee Fraud, Finance Litigation, Financial Services | Investment, Fraud, Fraud Recovery, Fraudulent Schemes, Investment | Financial Services0 Comments

In Teva Canada Ltd. v. TD Canada Trust, Teva Canada Ltd. (“Teva”), a pharmaceutical company, “was the victim of a fraudulent cheque scheme implemented by one of its employees”, (para 1). Teva claimed the collecting banks were liable for the tort of conversion. Teva Canada Ltd. v. TD Canada Trust provides insight into the Bills of Exchange Act‘s (“BEA”) section 20(5) defence to the tort of conversion, by clarifying the approach used to determining whether a payee is “fictitious or non-existing”. In the event that a payee is deemed fictitious or non-existing within the meaning of section 20(5) of the BEA, the bill may be treated as payable to the bearer, and thus can be negotiated by simple “delivery” to the bank meaning endorsement is not required, and the defence will succeed (para 5). Justice Abella, writing for the majority, outlined the two-step framework a bank must satisfy to demonstrate that a payee is fictitious or … Read More

What Does the Illegal Substances Clause Mean in OREA Agreements of Purchase and Sale?

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Agents and Brokers, Appeals, Broker and Agent Claims, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Misrepresentation, Negligence, Real Estate Agent and Broker, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

The Court of Appeal decision in Beatty v. Wei, 2018 ONCA 479, involved the failed closing of a residential property in Toronto and the proper interpretation of an illegal substances clause that is commonly found in OREA Agreements of Purchase and Sale. Illegal Substances Clause in OREA Agreement of Purchase and Sale In this case, about a month after entering into the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, the purchaser’s real estate agent discovered the property had been previously used as a marijuana grow-op in 2004.  The purchaser sought to terminate the agreement and demanded the return of the $30,000 deposit.  The sellers refused to terminate the agreement and commenced an application for a declaration that the purchaser breached the agreement by failing to close and an order that the sellers were entitled to the deposit and related damages.  In response, the purchaser commenced a competing application for similar relief. The dispute was in respect to … Read More

Court Considers When Limitation Period Commences to Enforce Foreign Judgment

Andrew Ottaway, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.Civil Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Cross-Border Litigation, Debt and Enforcing Judgments, Enforcement of Foreign Judgments, Injunction & Specific Performance, Of Interest to US Counsel0 Comments

In Grayson Consulting Inc. v. Lloyd, 2018 ONSC 2020 (CanLII), the plaintiff obtained a judgment in South Carolina in 2014.    The plaintiff commenced proceedings in Ontario in 2017 in respect of the South Carolina and obtained an ex parte Mareva injunction (freezing order) against the defendant.  The defendant challenged the Mareva injunction, arguing that the Ontario proceeding was commenced outside Ontario’s two-year limitation period.   The plaintiff argued, among other things, that the limitation period did not commence until the plaintiff received a report from investigators that the defendant had exigible assets in Ontario.   The plaintiff relied on the recent case of Independence Plaza 1 Associates L.L.C. v. Figliolini 2017 ONCA 44 (CanLII), in which the Court of Appeal stated that a claim based on a foreign judgment may not be “discovered” until a judgment creditor knew or ought to have known that the judgment debtor had exigible assets in … Read More

Grounds for Judicial Intervention on International Arbitral Awards – Key Takeaways

Janice Perri, B.A. (Summa Cum Laude)Appeals, Arbitration, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Arbitration, Commercial Leasing, Commercial Litigation, Construction | Builders, Construction Litigation, Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, UNCITRAL0 Comments

In Consolidated Contractors Group S.A.L. (Offshore) v. Ambatovy Minerals S.A., a decision of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, a USD$258 million project for the construction of a slurry pipeline from a nickel mine in the mountains of Madagascar to the coast lead to arbitration between the appellant (the contractor) and the respondent (tendered the project). After mutually agreeing to by-pass the adjudication stage of their three-stage dispute resolution process and go straight to a Tribunal, the appellant was only awarded $7M of its $91M claim and the respondent was awarded nearly $25M on its counterclaim. These awards were challenged on appeal as being made without jurisdiction, in breach of procedural fairness, and violating public policy. However, the appeal was dismissed. Judicial intervention in international arbitral awards under the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Law (the “Model Law”) – though given the force of law by the International Commercial Arbitration Act … Read More

UNCITRAL International Sale of Goods Convention – New Members in 2016 and 2017

David Alderson, LL.B, LL.M (Commercial and Corporate), Q.Arb, Lawyer and ArbitratorCommercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Arbitration, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Litigation, Conventions & Treaties, Counterfeit Goods, Distribution Agreements, Distributors | Dealers, International Sale of Goods, International Traders, Jurisdictional Challenges, Manufacturers | Re-Sellers, Sale of Goods, UNCITRAL0 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

China Signs Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements

Andrew Ottaway, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.Civil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Law, Commercial Litigation, Cross-Border Litigation, Debt and Enforcing Judgments, Forum Challenges, Jurisdictional Challenges0 Comments

We previously wrote that Ontario had enacted the International Choice of Court Agreements Convention Act, 2017, which will give effect to the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements (the “Hague Convention”) in Ontario once Canada ratifies the Hague Convention.  (Canada has not yet signed or ratified the Hague Convention.) Since our previous blog post, the People’s Republic of China signed the Hague Convention. China has not yet ratified the Hague Convention, which requires approval by the National People’s Congress. China’s signing of the Hague Convention represents an important step towards more widespread adoption of the convention. The lawyers are Gilbertson Davis have experience in international litigation and arbitration, and in interpreting international conventions.   Please contact us for an initial consultation.

Court of Appeal States that Placing Oneself in Position to Close Transaction not Waiver of Deficiency

Andrew Ottaway, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.Appeals, Appellate Advocacy, Business Law, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Real Estate Litigation, Sale of Business Disputes0 Comments

In 1418885 Ontario Ltd. v. 2193139 Ontario Limited, 2018 ONCA 54, the appellant entered into an agreement of purchase and sale to buy a property from the respondent.  The property included residential apartments.  The appellant sought confirmation from the respondent that the residential apartments were permitted use under the existing zoning by-law.  The respondent maintained that the residential apartments were “a legal non-conforming use”.  However, the planning authority indicated that there was a possible problem with the residential apartments.  The appellant’s lawyer advised the respondent’s lawyer that the purchase deposits had to be returned if the issue was not resolved. In spite of the residential apartments issue, the appellant and respondent moved towards the closing date by exchanging draft documentation and related material.  However, on closing date, the appellant’s lawyer advised the respondent’s lawyer that the appellant would not be closing because of the residential apartments issue.  The deal did … Read More

Court of Appeal Confirms Importance of Requisitions in Real Estate Transactions

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Appeals, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Real Estate Litigation, Summary Judgment0 Comments

The Court of Appeal of Ontario decision in 1418885 Ontario Ltd. v. 2193139 Ontario Limited, 2018 ONCA 54, recently overturned a summary judgment motion decision which confirmed the importance of requisition letters in real estate transactions. In this case, the parties had entered into an Agreement of Purchase and Sale for a property with a restaurant, golf course, 12 residential apartments, a two-storey home and a banquet hall.  The Agreement of Purchase and Sale included the following requisition clause:    8.  TITLE SEARCH:  Buyer shall be allowed until 6:00 p.m. on the 30th day of May, 2016 (Requisition Date) to examine the title to the property at his own expense and until the earlier of: (i) thirty days from the later of the Requisition Date or the date on which the conditions in this Agreement are fulfilled or otherwise waived or, (ii) five days prior to completion, to satisfy himself that there are … Read More

Court of Appeal Provides Guidance on Whether Party Carrying on Business in Ontario as Basis for Jurisdiction

Andrew Ottaway, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.Appellate Advocacy, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Cross-Border Litigation, Jurisdictional Challenges, Of Interest to US Counsel0 Comments

In Sgromo v. Scott, 2018 ONCA 5, the Court of Appeal considered the scope of one of the presumptive grounds for jurisdiction of the Ontario Court: whether a party carried on business in Ontario.  The Defendants were incorporated in jurisdictions outside of Ontario.   The Defendants brought motions to stay or dismiss the subject actions. On the motion, the Plaintiff alleged that because the products of some of the Defendants were advertised, marketed, and distributed by third party retailers in Ontario, the Defendants were carrying on business in Ontario, such that Ontario had presumptive jurisdiction.  The motion judge rejected that argument. On appeal, the Court of Appeal agreed with the motion judge’s reasons, stating that: as set out by the Supreme Court of Canada in Club Resorts Ltd. v. Van Breda, 2012 SCC 17 (CanLII), the Courts must be cautious when considering whether an entity is carrying on business in the jurisdiction, … Read More

Ontario Court Decides Motion in Loblaws Bread Price Fixing Class Action

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Civil Litigation, Class Action Defence, Commercial, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes0 Comments

The recent Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision in David v. Loblaw, 2018 ONSC 198, involved a motion brought by the plaintiff to challenge the terms of a $25 consumer card program that the Loblaw defendants (“Loblaws”) had offered to consumers after various class actions were commenced in connection to a bread price fixing scheme that Loblaws participated in from 2002 to 2015. Customers may sign up for the consumer card, either online or by paper application, by declaring that he or she had purchased bread from Loblaws during the relevant time period.  The application advised customers that sign up for the consumer card that they will still be eligible to receive “incremental compensation” and recommended they seek legal advice from plaintiff’s counsel or from independent counsel.  The application also included a form of Release, which read in part as follows: In exchange for this twenty-five (25) Canadian Dollar Loblaw Card you hereby release and forever discharge Loblaw … Read More

Court of Appeal Allows Negligence Claim Against Individual Starbucks Employees to Proceed

Andrew Ottaway, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.Appeals, Appellate Advocacy, Civil Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Directors' and Officers' Liability, Insurance, Negligence0 Comments

In Sataur v. Starbucks Coffee Canada Inc., 2017 ONCA 1017, the plaintiff alleged that a Starbucks barista poured scalding water on the plaintiff’s hands.  The plaintiff sued Starbucks, and also brought  claims against the barista and the Starbucks store manager personally.  The plaintiff alleged that the barista and the store manager owed the plaintiff a duty of care and that each was personally liable to the plaintiff for breaching those duties. Starbucks brought a motion to strike the plaintiff’s  claims against the barista and store manager on the basis that, among others, the plaintiff could not claim against them personally.  The motion judge agreed, stating that employees are not liable for acts within the scope of their authority and done on behalf of their corporation.  The motion judge struck the plaintiff’s  claims against the barista and store manager. The plaintiff appealed.  The Court of Appeal, citing the Supreme Court of Canada’s … Read More

Ontario Court Finds Jurisdiction Resulting From Cumulative Effect of Individually Insufficient Connecting Factors

Andrew Ottaway, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Cross-Border Litigation, Forum Challenges, International Sale of Goods, Jurisdictional Challenges0 Comments

In Freshway Services Inc. v. CdEnviro Ltd., 2017 ONSC 6591, the plaintiff Ontario company contracted with the defendant Northern Irish company.  The defendant was to build a waste recycling facility and install it at the plaintiff’s facility in Ontario.  A third party to provide warranty coverage and servicing for components of the waste recycling plant, once it was built and delivered to Ontario.  A dispute arose between the parties, and the plaintiff sued the defendant in Ontario.  The defendant brought a motion to stay the Ontario action on the basis that Ontario lacked jurisdiction. The motion judge considered the the presumptive connecting factors for jurisdiction set out by the Supreme Court in Club Resorts Ltd. v Van Breda, 2012 SCC 17, being whether the contract was made in the Ontario: whether the defendant was carrying on actual business in Ontario; whether the defendant is resident in Ontario; or where the … Read More

Ontario Court Declines To Find that Twitter Posts Require Libel Notice

Andrew Ottaway, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.Commercial Litigation, Cyber Risks, Defamation, Internet | Technology0 Comments

In Levant v. Day, 2017 ONSC 5956, the defendant was regular participant on social media.  The defendant posted numerous times on Twitter criticising a fundraising campaign by Rebel News.  The plaintiff is the principal of Rebel News.  The plaintiff brought an action seeking damages for defamation. The defendant brought a motion to dismiss the action under the section 137.1(3) of the Courts of Justice Act, which was implemented to prevent strategic lawsuits against public participation (the “anti-SLAPP” provisions).  As part of an anti-SLAPP motion, the Court considered whether there were grounds to believe the defendant had a valid defence.   The defendant argued, among other things, that the plaintiff had failed to deliver a libel notice. Section 5(1) of the Libel and Slander Act requires that a plaintiff has give notice to the defendant in writing within six weeks after the alleged libel comes to the plaintiff’s knowledge, specifying the … Read More

Court of Appeal States that Security for Costs Should Not be Treated Differently for Recognition and Enforcement Actions

Andrew Ottaway, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.Appeals, Appellate Advocacy, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Corporate Litigation, Cross-Border Litigation, Enforcement of Foreign Judgments, Of Interest to US Counsel0 Comments

Yaiguaje v. Chevron Corporation, 2017 ONCA 741 arose from an action by the Plaintiffs to enforce an Ecuadorean judgment in Ontario against the Defendant.   The Defendants obtained summary judgment dismissing the Plaintiffs’ claim.  After the Plaintiffs appealed, the Defendant sought a security for costs against the Plaintiffs, who were non-Ontario residents from Ecuador.   The Plaintiffs argued that security for costs should not be ordered because of, among other reasons, the unique nature of a recognition and enforcement action.  The Plaintiffs relied on the Supreme Court of Canada decision on jurisdiction in the same action: Chevron Corp v. Yaiguaje, 2015 SCC 42, [2015] 3 S.C.R. 69.  The Plaintiffs argued that the Supreme Court’s decision required courts to treat recognition and enforcement cases in a different manner than first instance actions. The Court of Appeal confirmed that courts should take a “generous” approach in finding jurisdiction in recognition and enforcement actions. … Read More

Summary Judgment Granted in Multiple Proceedings Surrounding Enforcement of Italian Judgment

Bianca Thomas, B.Sc.(Hons.), J.D.Business Litigation, Commercial, Commercial Litigation, Cross-Border Litigation, Enforcement of Foreign Judgments, Jurisdictional Challenges, Summary Judgment0 Comments

The case of King v Lang Michener, 2017 ONSC 1917 (one of three related actions), began with a transaction that went awry. The Plaintiff, Gregory King, a lawyer at Aylesworth and later Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, acted in a transaction relating to a new hotel in China with an Italian company, Sincies Chiementin SpA (“Sincies”), and various other foreign individuals and businesses. Mr. King received a 5% interest in the hotel, and Aylesworth was to receive payment for legal fees. Sincies went bankrupt, and one of its assets, a $600,000.00 USD deposit, vanished. Sincies’ trustee in bankruptcy eventually sued Mr. King, among others, in Italy, to try to recover the money. Mr. King did not defend the Italian proceedings. The Italian court ruled against him, and ordered him to pay the deposit. Mr. King did not pay the judgment on the grounds that the Italian court lacked jurisdiction. Sincies’ trustee then … Read More