Recognition and Enforcement of a CIETAC Arbitral Award Allowed as Partial Summary Judgment

Rhea MathewAlternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Arbitration, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Cross-Border Litigation0 Comments

In Shanghai Investment Co. Ltd. V. Lu et al. 2024 ONSC 2762, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Commercial List), allowed a foreign arbitral award to be recognised and made enforceable as a partial summary judgment. The Plaintiff, Shanghai Lianyin Investment Co Ltd. (“SLIC”) sought the recognition and enforcement of a CAD $233 million arbitral award rendered under the rules of the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Committee (“CIETAC”) against the Defendant Zheng Yao Lu (“Lu”) as a threshold matter; and a declaration that the other defendant, Lichun Guo  (“Guo”) held her interest in two properties in Ontario on behalf of Lu, and that SLIC could enforce its award against these properties. The court found that the CIETAC award should be recognised and made enforceable as both of the following requirements under Articles IV and V of the New York Convention (incorporated in the International Commercial Arbitration Act, 2017, S.O. 2017, c. … Read More

Enforceability of Non-Compete Clauses in a Business Sale Upheld by Ontario Court of Appeal

Tyler O’HenlyAppeals, Breach of Non-Competition Agreement, Breach of Non-Competition Clause, Breach of Non-Solicitation Agreement, Breach of Non-Solicitation Clause, Business Disputes, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Contract Disputes, Employment, Non-Compete, Non-Competition Clause, Non-Solicitation Clause, Sale of Business Claims, Sale of Business Disputes0 Comments

In Dr. C. Sims Dentistry Professional Corporation v. Cooke, 2024 ONCA 388, the Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed that restrictive covenants negotiated as part of the sale of a business must be treated differently by courts than those contained in employment contracts. The dispute arose from an agreement of purchase and sale between two dentists for a dentistry practice in Hamilton, Ontario (the “APS”). The APS contained a non-solicitation/non-competition provision, which prohibited the vendor from practicing dentistry within 15 km of the practice for a period of five years post-closing (the “Noncompete Provision”). About three years after the purchase and sale, the vendor began working at a separate practice in a location that violated the Noncompete Provision, and the purchaser commenced an action to enforce it. The purchaser was successful at trial, and the vendor made this appeal. In his appeal, the vendor submitted that the trial judge incorrectly placed … Read More

Licensing Breaches and Lingering Fiduciary Obligations – Ontario Court of Appeal Rules License Agreement Breach Constitutes Fiduciary Duty Violation

Harrison Neill-MorabitoBusiness Arbitrator, Business Dispute Arbitrator, Business Disputes, Business Law, Business Litigation, Business Torts | Economic Torts, Civil Litigation, Closely-Held Business Disputes, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Law, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes0 Comments

In 7868073 Canada Ltd v 1841978 Ontario Inc, 2024 ONCA 371, the Ontario Court of Appeal recently assessed the legal effects of engaging in competing business ventures and the importance of honoring fiduciary duties stemming from license agreements following a parties departure from a former corporation. Robert Langlois (“Langlois”), alongside two partners, launched a powder-coating business, whereby Langlois granted a perpetual license (the “License”) for his industry “knowledge” to 7868073 Ontario Inc. (“786”), a company which the three parties formed and held equal shares in. In turn, 786 owned shares in two other companies (collectively referred to as “ACS”), which Langlois worked with. When Langlois left ACS to start another business without informing his former partners, ACS alleged that Langlois breached the License. The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial judge’s findings, rejecting the argument that the License was void ab initio due to its unreasonable worldwide scope and restrictions … Read More

Ontario Court Favours Place of Arbitration over Forum Selection Clause in Asset Purchase Agreement

Tyler O’HenlyAlternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Appeals, Arbitration, Business Dispute Arbitrator, Business Disputes, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Arbitration, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Cross-Border Litigation, Forum Challenges, International Litigation, Jurisdictional Challenges, Sale of Business Arbitrator, Sale of Business Claims, Sale of Business Disputes0 Comments

In Tehama Group Inc v. Pythian Services Inc., 2024 ONSC 1819, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice held that the place of an arbitration, not a forum selection clause in a contract, determines the jurisdiction that recourse against an arbitral award must be taken in. The litigants were parties to a cross-border asset purchase agreement (the “APA”). The APA included an arbitration clause for disputes regarding the calculation of the purchase price, and the parties appointed “the Toronto office” of an accounting firm as arbitrator for these disputes. The APA also included broad forum selection and governing law clauses, which required “any suit, action or other proceeding arising out of this Agreement” to be brought exclusively in the courts of New York and in accordance with its laws. A dispute arose regarding an earnout clause in the APA, and the parties proceeded to arbitration.  When the Toronto-based arbitrator rendered an … Read More

Letters of credit and the fraud exception: Supreme Court examines applicability to fraud by a third party

Rhea MathewAppeals, Arbitration, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Cross-Border Litigation, Loan and Guarantee0 Comments

A letter of credit or a bank guarantee is an autonomous instrument that is issued by a financial institution on the directions of a customer. The letter of credit seeks to underwrite the customer’s obligations to the beneficiary under the distinct underlying contract. It entitles the beneficiary to payment on demand from the issuing bank, so long as that demand strictly complies with the requirements set out in the letter of credit. The obligation of the financial institution to pay when presented with a valid demand is near absolute. The only recognized exception in Canadian law is when there is fraud by the beneficiary that is brought to the financial institution’s attention prior to payment. In Eurobank Ergasias S.A. v. Bombardier Inc. 2024 SCC 11 (CanLII), the Supreme Court of Canada examined  a critical issue of when an issuing bank is required to refuse to honour a demand for payment … Read More

A Promise Made is a Promise Kept: Ontario Superior Court Grants Permanent Injunction to Enforce Provisions of Long-term Supply and Lease Agreement

Tyler O’HenlyBreach of Non-Competition Clause, Business Disputes, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Law, Commercial Leasing, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Injunction & Specific Performance, Non-Competition Clause, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

In Parkland Corporation v. Caledon Fuels Inc., 2024 ONSC 2361, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice granted an injunction which prevented a party to a long-term lease and supply agreement from breaching certain negative covenants contained in that contract. The Applicant and Respondent were both parties to an agreement under which the Applicant was made the exclusive supplier of petroleum products to a gas station which it subleased to the Respondent. In January of 2024, the Respondent notified the Applicant that it intended to enter into arrangements with another supplier, in contravention of the agreement. The Applicant brought an urgent application seeking a permanent injunction, to prevent the Respondent from doing so. In its decision, the Court’s analysis on the injunctive relief  sought by the Applicant followed the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision in 711811 Ontario Ltd. (AdLine) v. Buckley Insurance Brokers Ltd., 2014 ONCA 125, where that Court cited … Read More

Adjournment Request Denied! Ontario Court Recognizes Arbitral Award from China

Gilbertson Davis LLPAlternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Arbitration, Arbitrators, Business Litigation, Civil Liability, Civil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Arbitration, Commercial Arbitrator, Debt and Enforcing Judgments, Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, Enforcement of Foreign Judgments0 Comments

In the recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (“ONSC”), Xiamen International Trade Group Co., Ltd. v. LinkGlobal Food Inc., 2023 ONSC 6491, the applicant sought the recognition and enforcement of an arbitration judgment of the Xiamen Arbitration Commission (the “Award”). The underlying arbitration dispute related to a contract entered into by the parties wherein the applicant was to purchase protective masks from the respondent for the purchase price of US $532,224.00. The contract between the parties contained an arbitration clause and a choice of law clause providing that the law of the People’s Republic of China governed any dispute over the contract between the parties. In the arbitral proceeding in China, the applicant sought a refund of the purchase price of the masks and compensation for other costs incurred. A panel of three arbitrators unanimously ruled in favour of the applicant and granted the Award. As the … Read More

Family Business Litigation | Start Up Company Litigation

David Alderson, LL.B, LL.M (Commercial and Corporate), Lawyer, Qualified Arbitrator and MediatorAppointing Auditor, Appointing Inspector, Business Arbitrator, Business Defamation, Business Dispute Arbitrator, Business Disputes, Business Law, Business Litigation, Commercial, Commercial Arbitration, Commercial List Matters, Directors' and Officers' Liability, Family Business 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 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 thereby 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 often take on multiple roles. Please see our webpage on Family and Closely Held … Read More

Divorce and the Family Business

David Alderson, LL.B, LL.M (Commercial and Corporate), Lawyer, Qualified Arbitrator and MediatorBusiness Dispute Arbitrator, Business Litigation, Business Mediation, Business Mediator, Closely-Held Business Disputes, Commercial, Divorce & Family Business, Family Business Disputes, Oppression Remedies, Partnership Arbitrator, Partnership Dispute, Partnership Dispute Arbitrator, Partnerships and Shareholder Disputes, Shareholder Arbitrator, Shareholder Dispute Arbitrator0 Comments

Family Business Challenges from Divorce or Separation Many businesses in Canada are family businesses or have evolved from family businesses. Family businesses present unique challenges as they grow should the personal relationships of the key members of the family business change or deteriorate. Divorce and separation can have serious impact upon family-owned and family-run businesses, whether incorporated companies or partnerships. Changes in a family business and the challenges presented by change can often result in legal disputes between interested parties. Family business disputes are often be protracted, expensive, and disruptive, and may even result in the sale, division or winding up of the family business. Impact of Separation and Divorce on Family Businesses Complex questions arise in the division of property and assets when dealing with a family business during a separation or divorce. The value of the family business may be included in the equalization of net family property … Read More

Service Abroad in Civil and Commercial Litigation

David Alderson, LL.B, LL.M (Commercial and Corporate), Lawyer, Qualified Arbitrator and MediatorBusiness Litigation, Casino Debt Recovery, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Arbitration, Commercial Litigation, Corporate Litigation, Cross-Border Litigation, Hague Conventions, International Commercial Arbitrator, International Distribution, International Litigation, International Reinsurance Dispute, International Sale of Goods, Internet Defamation, Online Defamation, Passing Off, Request for International Judicial Assistance, Trademark Infringement0 Comments

The Hague Service Convention  Since 1989 Canada has been a member of Hague Convention of 15 November 1965 on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters, (the Hague Service Convention). Incoming Service of Foreign Process We have blogged before about the requirement of the Hague Service Convention that its member States designate a “Central Authority” to accept incoming requests for service. There are alternatives to the Hague Service Convention service of foreign process in Ontario. Service of Ontario Process Abroad  As other jurisdictions become, or will become, members of the Hague Service Convention, the Status Table is updated. For instance, see the status of Azerbaijan (November 1, 2023), Singapore (December 1, 2023) and Paraguay (January 1, 2024) on the Status Table. Why Chose Gilbertson Davis LLP? One of  the senior commercial litigation lawyers at Gilbertson Davis LLP, though now only practicing in Ontario, has also practiced … Read More

Ontario Superior Court of Justice Finds Expired Arbitration Award Relevant in Motion for Injunctive Relief

Tyler O’HenlyAlternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Arbitration, Arbitrators, Business Dispute Arbitrator, Business Disputes, Business Litigation, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Arbitration, Commercial Arbitrator, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Law, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Corporate Litigation, Injunction & Specific Performance, Internet | Technology, Moving Litigation to Arbitration, Technology Arbitrator0 Comments

In Rogers v. TELUS Communications Inc., 2023 ONSC 5398, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice held that the terms of an expired arbitration decision are relevant when a party seeks injunctive relief that contradicts its terms. The moving and responding parties are both prominent competitors in the Canadian telecommunications market. Under a requirement imposed by the Government of Canada, their customers have the reciprocal ability to “roam” on the other carrier’s network in areas where their own carrier does not provide coverage. This obligation allows Canadian customers to access wireless services across the country. For a time, the parties did not agree on what was displayed to customers when they were roaming on a competitor’s network. The primary dispute was whether the network identifier (“NID”) displayed in the top-left corner of most mobile devices would connote an extension of their own carrier’s network (i.e. “[Carrier]-EXT”), or if it would notify customers … Read More

Ontario Court of Appeal Comments on the Oppression Remedy – Oppression is Focused on Fairness and Equity, not on Legal Rights

Gilbertson Davis LLPAppeals, Business Law, Business Litigation, Business Torts | Economic Torts, Civil Liability, Civil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Corporate Litigation, Directors' and Officers' Liability, Oppression Remedies, Partnerships and Shareholder Disputes, Shareholder Dispute Arbitrator0 Comments

In the recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal (“ONCA”), Pereira v. TYLT Technologies Inc. (TYLTGO), 2023 ONCA 682, the appellant successfully appealed a judgment dismissing his application for an oppression remedy under the Canada Business Corporations Act, RSC 1985, c C-44 (the “CBCA”). The appellant argued that the application judge erred in only considering the appellant’s expectations as an employee and failing to consider his expectations as a shareholder. The ONCA opined that the application judge took an “overly narrow” approach by placing focus mostly on the documents signed by the parties and not considering all of the circumstances. The ONCA considered some of the major principles related to the oppression remedy, including the following: Oppression is an equitable remedy which seeks to ensure fairness. Thus, conduct found to be oppressive does not need to be “unlawful” per se, because oppression is focused on “fairness and equity”, rather … Read More

Stay of Court Proceedings in Favour of Arbitration – Standard of Proof

Gilbertson Davis LLPAlternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Appeals, Arbitration, Business Disputes, Business Law, Business Litigation, Business Torts | Economic Torts, Civil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Law, Commercial Litigation, Commercial Mediators0 Comments

In the recent decision Husky Food Importers & Distributors Ltd. v. JH Whittaker & Sons Limited, 2023 ONCA 260, the Ontario Court of Appeal (“ONCA”) reviewed the law of international commercial arbitration, and in particular opined on the issue of the standard of proof that a party needs to meet in order for the court to grant a stay of a court proceeding pursuant to section 9 of the International Commercial Arbitration Act, 2017 (the “Act”), in favour or arbitration. Section 9 of the Act states as follows: Where, pursuant to article II (3) of the Convention or article 8 of the Model Law, a court refers the parties to arbitration, the proceedings of the court are stayed with respect to the matters to which the arbitration relates. The appellant submitted that the proper analytical framework for assessing a request to stay an action under the Act was set out in the … Read More

Directors Can Be Liable To Corporations Creditors For Stripping Assets

Sabrina Saltmarsh, B.A. (Hons), J.D.Business Litigation, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes0 Comments

In the recent Court of Appeal decision of FNF Enterprises Inc. v. Wag and Train Inc., 2023 ONCA 92 the Court of Appeal considered whether a landlord in a commercial lease arrangement could pursue a claim against the sole director and officer of the tenant corporation, for stripping the assets of the corporation to evade their debt obligations under the lease. The Facts The Appellants, FNF Enterprises Inc., and 2378007 Ontario Inc. (the “Landlord”) owned a commercial premises in Kitchener, Ontario which they leased to one of the Respondents on the appeal, a corporate entity named Wag and Tag Inc., (the “Tenant”). Wag and Tag Inc. was in the business of providing dog grooming, training and daycare services. The lease ran from 2015 to March 31, 2021. The premises was abandoned by the Tenant prior to the end of the lease term. The Claim In September 2020, the Landlord commenced … Read More

Recognition of Foreign Judgments and Arbitral Awards – Recent Decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice says Ontario Court is Not to Intervene Absent Exceptional Circumstances

Gilbertson Davis LLPArbitrators, Business Arbitrator, Business Litigation, Civil Liability, Civil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Arbitration, Commercial Arbitrator, Commercial Litigation, Cross-Border Litigation, Debt and Enforcing Judgments, Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, Enforcement of Foreign Judgments0 Comments

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice (“OSCJ”) recently released its decision in Costco Wholesale Corporation v. TicketOps Corporation, 2023 ONSC 573, granting an application to enforce judgments received by the applicant from the United States District Court (Western District of Washington at Seattle) and/or the underlying arbitral awards. At the same time, the OSCJ also rejected the Respondents’ motion to convert the application into an action. Recognition of Awards With regard to the Awards, the OSCJ advises as follows: “In Ontario, foreign arbitral awards are enforceable through the International Commercial Arbitration Act, 2017, S.O. 2017, c. 2, Sched. 5 (“ICAA”).  The ICAA provides that the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (“Convention”) has force of law in Ontario.  The Convention is set out in Schedule 1 to the ICAA.  The ICAA also provides that the Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (“Model Law”) has force of law in Ontario.  The Model Law is set out in Schedule 2 to the ICAA.” The OSCJ notes that the Convention and … Read More

Recognition of United States and Other Foreign Default Judgments – The Ontario Court Does Not Consider Underlying Merits!

Gilbertson Davis LLPBusiness Litigation, Civil Liability, Civil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Contract Disputes, Cross-Border Litigation, Debt and Enforcing Judgments, Enforcement of Foreign Judgments0 Comments

Just over a month ago, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (“ONSC”) in North Field Technology Ltd. v. Project Investors, Inc., 2022 ONSC 5731, recognized as orders of Ontario a default judgment and various ancillary orders that the Applicant obtained in the United States District Court, Southern District of Florida (“Florida Court”), against the Respondents. The Florida Court found that the Respondents were evading service of the legal proceedings in Florida and issued a series of judgments against the Respondents such as an asset freeze injunction and permanent injunction restraining the Respondents from transferring their assets, as well as orders for certain monetary and declaratory relief, among other orders. The ONSC validated service of the Ontario application, recognizing that the Florida Court “has already found that the respondents were avoiding service”. The ONSC also found that the Applicant has met the test for recognition and enforcement of the Florida Judgments … Read More

Entire Agreement Clause Not A Shield To Fraudulent Misrepresentation

Sabrina Saltmarsh, B.A. (Hons), J.D.Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Litigation, Construction Litigation, Contract Disputes, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

In the recent Court of Appeal ruling of 10443204 Canada Inc. v. 2701835 Ontario Inc., 2022 ONCA 745, the Court of Appeal clarified that entire agreement clauses in contracts do not shield any representor or deprive any party to a contract from remedies available for a fraudulent misrepresentation. Background In May of 2019 the appellant Chirag Patel and his corporation 2701835 Ontario Inc. (the appellants) entered into a purchase agreement (the “APS”) with the respondent 10443204 Canada Inc. (the respondent), related to the purchase of a coin laundry business located in Brampton. The APS contained an entire agreement clause of which the relevant part indicated: “There is no representation, warranty, collateral agreement or condition, affecting this Agreement other than as expressed herein.” In accordance with amended terms to the APS concerning the purchase price the appellants made a partial payment of $100,000 on closing and the balance of the purchase … Read More