Gilbertson Davis LLP has lawyers who have acted in business litigation in Ontario and other jurisdictions for small and mid-sized Ontario corporations, partnerships and joint ventures, shareholders, business owners, directors, officers, executives and creditors. We also can act for US clients and with their US Counsel / Attorneys in Ontario business litigation and in international business arbitration.

Business Disputes and Business Litigation

Disputes within a partnership, corporation or joint venture disrupt the business and, if not dealt with quickly and discreetly, may have a long term effect on their reputation in the business community, on the confidence of their trading partners and perhaps even the viability of the business itself.

Choose Gilbertson Davis LLP As Your Business Litigation Lawyers

Gilbertson Davis LLP has senior commercial litigators with experience in a wide variety of businesses and industries which allows us to have a quick understanding of your business and the dispute at hand.

We can provide early and results-oriented strategic advice and representation.

We have knowledge and experience in the management of business disputes including the urgent equitable remedies available through the courts. Gilbertson Davis LLP has lawyers who have extensive experience in the court procedures and process, including that of the Commercial List, a part of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice which is dedicated to the resolution of eligible Toronto-based business and commercial litigation.

Business Litigation – Examples

Business disputes can arise in a wide variety of circumstances, including:

Urgent Remedies and Resolution of Business Disputes

The lawyers at Gilbertson Davis LLP with experience in this practice area have skills in negotiation and litigation, and have worked on the Commercial List in Toronto. They also have experience in alternative dispute resolution. When someone is being treated unfairly or the reputation and viability of a business is being threatened by the conduct of others, knowledge of and experience in obtaining urgent equitable remedies is necessary for the fair and prompt resolution of business disputes.

Here is a sample of urgent remedies available for the resolution of business disputes:

Success in obtaining early injunctive relief often results in early dispute resolution.

The lawyers at Gilbertson Davis LLP with experience in this practice area can provide sound advice and results-oriented representation in time sensitive matters. When there is need for immediate assistance from the courts, clients turn to lawyers who have acted in such proceedings before. Gilbertson Davis LLP has lawyers who are experienced in matters requiring immediate litigation response, for both local and international clients.

The legal landscape is shifting for businesses in litigation.

The Supreme Court of Canada has recently promoted better access to justice through summary judgment, partial summary judgment and summary trials. This is good news for small and medium businesses who previously could not afford a trial or the viability of a trial as a dispute resolving mechanism. Some lawyers at Gilbertson Davis LLP were at the vanguard of legal developments in this new access to justice approach, including both obtaining and responding to summary judgment motions, in widely reported and leading decisions in this field.

Often a start-up company, a closely-held company or a family business is started informally and without written agreement(s) between the stakeholders in the business. Such agreements typically address the rights and obligations between the parties and how disputes are to be resolved while the business is ongoing, or during changes within or in relation to the business association. Whether or not such agreements exist, we can advise on the rights and obligations between the partners, partnership, shareholders and company, as the case may be, including the law governing those relationships derived from statute, common law and equity, if any. Early advice is often advantageous.
The investment vehicle known as a REIT, a Real Estate Investment Trust, has achieved prominence in both the public and private investment markets in Canada and elsewhere. The structure of the REIT, without express inclusion of rights and remedies in its declaration, does not typically include the investor protections for unit holders in the REIT which would be afforded to stakeholders in corporations, namely the oppression rights and remedies provided by statute to oppressed or dissenting minority stakeholders. While there is a growing approach to include those statutory rights and remedies in REITs through express inclusion in the declaration of trust, many REIT still do not contain these important safeguards.

Some of our lawyers have experience in corporate, partnership and trust disputes, litigation and arbitration. We can assist unit owners, trustees, management, lenders and underwriters with respect to disputes arising in connection with Real Estate Investment Trusts.

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.

International joint ventures are often the chosen structure in international mining, development, infrastructure, energy, transportation, large-scale or cross-border construction and other projects.  Those in particular industries, such as telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, chemical engineering, cosmetics, petrochemical, automotive, ship-building and other heavy industries sometimes chose the international joint venture structure.  Most international joint venture agreements require that the parties to refer disputes to international arbitration. The application of the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, also known as the “New York Convention”, and whether it applies to the joint venture members, is often one of the considerations in deciding to include a mandatory arbitration clause in a joint venture agreement. The resolution of disputes under third party supply contacts and lending agreements are usually not covered by a joint venture arbitration agreement and may still require disposition by the local courts.

Sometimes businesses and their stakeholders act wrongfully in seeking to advance their interests and / or harm competitors.

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 (economic torts). Such activity, if unlawful under statute, may provide the victim with statutory civil remedies, including a statutory civil cause of action or grounds for injunctive relief.

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.

The common law business tort causes of action include:

  • Intentional Interference with Economic Interests
  • Interference with Economic Relations by Unlawful Means
  • Inducement of Breach of Contract
  • Conspiracy to Cause Harm
  • Conspiracy to Commit Wrongful Act Likely to Cause Harm
  • Intimidation, Extortion and Abuse of Process
  • Passing Off (Common Law Infringement of Trademark)
  • Appropriation of Personality
  • Defamation and Slander of Title

Statutory Civil Remedies include:

Remedies under the Competition Act R.S.C., 1985, c. C-34, Trade-marks Act R.S.C., 1985, c. T-13 and the Copyright Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. C-42

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

Some of our lawyers have been admitted and practised law in foreign jurisdictions (including England, Bermuda and New York), have both foreign and local legal education, including in the U.S. and U.K. and a number of our lawyers and law clerks speak languages including French, Japanese, Portuguese, Italian, Russian and Cantonese.

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. Internationally, we 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.

Courtroom and Arbitration Experience 

Gilbertson Davis LLP has lawyers with significant courtroom experience, in important motions, trials and appeals at all levels of the courts in Ontario and Canada (including the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Federal Court and the Supreme Court of Canada). Some of our lawyers have conducted arbitration of business disputes, both locally and in international arbitration.

We offer ethical, cost-efficient and results-oriented legal services through careful management of your business dispute.

Please contact Gilbertson Davis LLP to arrange an initial consultation.