Toronto Sale of Goods Lawyers
Toronto, Canada International Sale of Goods Disputes Attorneys and Litigation Lawyers

Import-Export Claims Lawyers
International Claims Litigation against Manufacturers and Distributors

Our lawyers have acted for local and foreign companies, commence and defend against sale of goods lawsuits, including product liability claims.

Disputes can arise from sale of goods transactions in numerous ways.  For example, claims between manufacturers and distributors may arise from contract disputes regarding delays in delivery, and product liability issues such as defective products, product quality, and disputes regarding a product’s fitness for use.

Also, claims by end user business consumers against retailers, distributors, manufacturers and others may arise from allegations that the goods are not safe, reliable, and suitably fit for their purpose, of merchantable quality or that goods have a dangerous design or latent defect.

Though end user consumers may not have privity of contract with the manufacturers, all participants in the supply chain are at risk of being involved in a sale of goods dispute or litigation.  We often act for:

  • Retailers
  • Repairers
  • Consumers (business, industry and commercial)

We have experience with the often complicated issues that can arise in sale of goods lawsuits, which include:

Contracts are not always formally prepared. Contracts may be made by seemingly routine correspondence, or exchange of standard form documents. The place of contracting and the specific individuals involved can be key issues in a sale of goods lawsuit. Our lawyers have experience in providing opinions regarding the key aspects of contract formation.
The website terms and conditions of contracts are not always clear, and contracting parties do not always turn their minds to all of the issues which may arise. Various documents, such as purchase orders and invoices, may set out competing contractual terms. The parties’ course of dealings can influence contract formation. Our lawyers have experience providing opinions regarding the contract terms applicable to disputes in litigation arbitration.
Our contracting lawyers experience producing advice on the applicability of warranties and conditions to international sale of goods disputes.
Various local or international laws may apply to a sale of goods dispute.  For example, the Ontario Consumer Protection Act and the Consumer Product Safety Act may apply to sales to individual consumers.  The Ontario Sale of Goods Act may also apply to transactions between companies and sales to consumers. Internationally, the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods and the Ontario  International Sale of Goods Act may apply to transactions between companies.  Our lawyers have experience with the various local and international laws that may apply to a sale of goods dispute.
Whether you or your company is a plaintiff or a defendant in a sale of goods litigation, it is important to identify the potentially liable parties.  Our lawyers have experience with searching for and identifying other parties who may be liable to the plaintiff, or may be liable to the defendants for contribution and indemnity.
Insurance issues can often arise in international sale of goods litigation.  Sometimes companies are not aware of which insurance responds to a product liability claim.  Or else the insurance company may refuse to defend against the claim.  In other instances, the company may not agree with how the insurance company intends to resolve the dispute. Our lawyers have broad experience with insurance issues, including coverage issues in respect of product liability claims.
International sale of goods litigation, including product liability, often involves complex technical and industry-specific issues.  Our Firm has experience with retaining and instructing experienced expert witnesses, including engineers, accident reconstruction experts and accountants, to provide expert opinions on liability and damages.

International sale of goods disputes require lawyers with international experience. International disputes raise issues such as:

  • Jurisdictional challenges:  Multiple jurisdictions may have jurisdiction over a sale of goods dispute.  Your company may have been sued in a country which claims jurisdiction over your claim, but prefers to litigate in another forum.  Our firm has experience with challenging jurisdiction of Ontario Courts for international clients.
  • Conflict of laws: It may be unclear which jurisdiction’s laws apply to a dispute.  We have experience in determining which jurisdiction’s laws are most advantageous to our clients in a dispute and the conflict of laws rules which form the basis of the argument that the laws of one jurisdiction prevail.
  • International laws: International laws, such as the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, and the Ontario International Sale of Goods Act may apply to a sale of goods dispute. We have experience in advising international clients of the key differences between domestic laws and international laws which may apply to a sale of goods dispute.

International law can affect important aspects of international sale of goods litigation, such as:

  • Contract formation and contract terms
  • Notice periods for defects
  • Limitation periods
  • Fitness for purpose
  • Implied warranties
  • Calculations
  • Damages
In some international sale agreements, particularly in distribution agreements, the parties to the agreement may have agreed that that any disputes in connection with or arising out of the agreement be referred to arbitration, rather than to a court. We have experience in both domestic and international commercial arbitration.

Early advice about the forum, proper law and location of the arbitration is required.  Early review of the notice of arbitration is required to ensure that the disputes or claims are properly referred to arbitration.  Assistance with the challenge or appointment of an arbitrator may be required at an early stage.

Through the adoption of international conventions on the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards, the enforceability of a foreign arbitration award has become easier in many instances.

We have strength and experience in advising foreign clients involved in litigation or arbitration in Ontario and across its borders.

We are often consulted by those located in the United States, and in the past have been consulted by or retained in litigation by those (or matters located) in Alaska, California, Washington, Nebraska, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida and Texas.

Our International Sale of Goods Practice Group have also been involved in litigation or arbitration with clients (or matters) located in the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, England, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Monaco, Guyana, Liberia, South Africa, Angola, The Bahamas, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Iran, Kuwait, India, Bangladesh, South Korea, Hong Kong, PRC and Australia.

Our International Sale of Goods Practice Group include a lawyer who has been admitted and practised law in foreign jurisdictions (including England, Bermuda and New York), and who has both foreign and local legal education, including in the U.S. and U.K.

International Contact

Some of our lawyers have been admitted and practiced law in foreign jurisdictions, have both foreign and local legal education, and a number of our lawyers and law clerks speak languages which include French, Japanese, Portuguese, Italian, Russian and Cantonese.

If you or your company require assistance regarding an international sale of goods dispute, please contact Gilbertson Davis LLP to arrange for an initial consultation.

Our Lawyers


John L. Davis

Managing Partner
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David Alderson

Counsel – Commercial Litigation
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R. Lee Akazaki

Partner
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Andrew Ottaway

Associate
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