Full and Frank Disclosure, Material Misrepresentations, and the availability of Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Coverage

Harrison Neill-MorabitoCivil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Law, Commercial Litigation, Insurance, Insurance | Reinsurance0 Comments

The Ontario Court of Appeal’s (the “Court“) recent decision in Davies v AIG Insurance Company of Canada, 2024 ONCA 509 (“Davies“), deals with an insurance coverage dispute related to the defense of a Ponzi scheme fraud claim. Notably, the Court’s decisions underscores the significance of full and frank disclosure by insureds when applying for coverage. In Davies, the subject Applicants acted as the principals of related Ontario real estate development companies (the “Companies”). AIG Insurance Company of Canada (“AIG”) issued directors’ and officers’ liability insurance policies (the “Policies”) to the Companies. As part of this action, the Applicants were named as defendants in two separate lawsuits alleging that they used the Companies to conduct a Ponzi scheme and that the Companies’ alleged real estate developments were funded by millions of dollars in syndicated mortgages (the “Underlying Actions”). Soon after being named as defendants in the Underlying Actions, the Applicants sought … Read More

Jurisdiction and forum non conveniens in the Digital Age – Ontario Court Refuses to Certify Class Action against the United States Largest Cryptocurrency Exchange due to Lack of Jurisdiction

Harrison Neill-MorabitoCivil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Law, Commercial Litigation, Cross-Border Litigation, Finance Litigation, Securities Litigation0 Comments

In Shirodkar v Coinbase Global Inc. et al, 2024 ONSC 1399, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice provides a review of jurisdictional challenges and the issue of forum non conveniens involving a cryptocurrency class action. The defendants, Coinbase Global, Inc., along with its affiliated entities (“Coinbase”), faced a class action lawsuit brought by a user of its online trading platform, Mr. Shirodkar, which Coinbase sought to dismiss due to a lack of jurisdiction. Coinbase operates a platform for buying and selling digital assets, including cryptocurrency. Between October 2017 and January 2021, Mr. Shirodkar conducted transactions on the Coinbase platform while residing in France and later in Ontario. His complaint, in the form of a class proceeding, alleged that the crypto assets traded on the Coinbase platform should be classified as “securities” under the Securities Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. S. 5 and that Coinbase failed to abide by the disclosure requirements … 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

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

7 Things to Know About Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Ontario

Gilbertson Davis LLPBusiness Disputes, Civil Liability, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial Law, Cross-Border Litigation, Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, Enforcement of Foreign Judgments0 Comments

In the recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (“ONSC”), Roger Vanden Berghe NV v. Merinos Carpet Inc., 2023 ONSC 6728, the ONSC provided a helpful guide on some of the key principles applicable to cases involving the recognition and enforcement in Ontario of judgments from other countries. In this case the ONSC granted an application for the recognition and enforcement of a judgment from a court in Belgium; the Ghent Business Court, Kortrijk Division, First Chamber (the “Judgment”). The underlying dispute that was adjudicated in Belgium was with respect to unpaid invoices for textile orders. The respondent did not respond to the proceeding in Belgium, although summoned by a Writ of Summons. The respondent claimed that it was not properly served with the Writ of Summons, and even if it was, one of its representatives would not have been able to attend given the Covid-19 travel restrictions … 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

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

Do it, Don’t Just Say it! Court of Appeal refuses to Rule on Arbitration Clause

Gilbertson Davis LLPArbitration, Civil Litigation, Commercial Law, Commercial Litigation, Moving Litigation to Arbitration0 Comments

On a recent motion before the Court of Appeal in Paulpillai Estate v. Yusuf, 2020 ONCA 655 (CanLII), Jamal J.A. clarifies that a party needs to bring a motion if it wants the proceeding to be referred to arbitration. In the underlying decision, Paulpillai v. Yusuf, 2020 ONSC 851 (CanLII), the motion judge noted that the responding parties “have maintained in their affidavit evidence that the matter should have proceeded by way of arbitration, but at no time did they bring a motion seeking to stay these proceedings or to compel the Applicants to proceed by way of arbitration”. Accordingly, the motion judge found that the responding parties have waived their right to seek to have the issues in the action determined by way of arbitration. In agreement with the motion judge, Jamal J.A., writing for the Court of Appeal, clarifies that, even though (a) there was an arbitration clause … Read More

Corporate Governance Considerations During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Sabrina Saltmarsh, B.A. (Hons), J.D.Business Interruption, Business Law, Business Litigation, Business Torts | Economic Torts, By-laws, Closely-Held Business Disputes, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Law, Commercial Leasing, Commercial List Matters, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Coronavirus, Corporate Disputes, Corporate Litigation, COVID-19, Derivative Actions, Directors' and Officers' Liability, Family Business Disputes, Oppression Remedies, Partnership Dispute, Partnerships and Shareholder Disputes, Retail Disputes, Retail Litigation, Sale of Business Disputes, Shopping Mall Lease Disputes, Shopping Mall Lease Litigation0 Comments

Corporate governance issues are top of mind for directors and businesses who are attempting to navigate through the Covid-19 Pandemic related closures and emergency measures. Boards of Directors still need to operate and make decisions in the best interests of the corporation, and this can involve tough decisions, particularly where there is little guidance as to how measures to lift Covid-19 related restrictions will play out. By example, while it may be in the best interest of investors and shareholders that the Board act to lay off employees in the short term, the impact of staff shortages when Covid-19 restrictions are lifted may pose it’s own challenges. Many businesses must consider how to hold governance meetings during Covid-19 times. On March 30, 2020, Ontario passed an Order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA), (Ontario Regulation 107/20) entitled “Meetings for Corporations” making temporary changes to the Business Corporations … Read More

COVID-19 / Coronavirus: Rent Relief for Small Businesses Is Coming

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Business Interruption, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Arbitrator, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Law, Commercial Lease Arbitrator, Commercial Leasing, Commercial List Matters, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

On April 16, 2020, the Federal government announced the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program to assist small businesses with their rent payments during the COVID-19 crisis. The CECRA program will provide loans and/or forgiveable loans to commercial property owners who will be expected to pass on the benefit to small businesses by lowering or forgoing rent for April (retroactively), May and June 2020.  Further details of the program are expected to be released soon and the program will be administered by the provincial and territorial governments. Although the Ontario Superior Court of Justice had issued an Order on March 19, 2020 suspending the eviction of residents from their homes (unless ordered otherwise under an urgent motion), there was no similar protection against evictions for commercial tenants which included many small business owners. Commercial rent payments are typically the second largest operating expense for most small businesses after payroll … Read More

COVID-19 / Coronavirus: How to Schedule an Urgent Civil or Commercial List Hearing

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Business Disputes, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Law, Commercial Leasing, Commercial List Matters, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Injunction & Specific Performance, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

On March 15, 2020, the Chief Justice of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice released a Notice to the Profession advising that all scheduled civil hearings were adjourned until further notice.  The Notice to the Profession provides a procedure to schedule urgent and time-sensitive motions and applications where immediate and significant financial repercussions may result without a hearing.  When motion or application materials are filed, by email to the appropriate courthouse, seeking an urgent hearing, the triage judge will determine whether or not the matter is urgent and should be scheduled for a hearing. There have been a few recent endorsements reported in respect to the scheduling of urgent commercial lease matters. Urgent Motion – Relief From Forfeiture In Oppong v. Desoro Holdings Inc., 2020 ONSC 1697, the applicant sought relief from forfeiture to set aside the landlord’s termination of the lease.  Although the application was brought promptly and scheduled to be … Read More

Andrew Ottaway Writes Article on CISG for Law Times

Andrew Ottaway, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.Civil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Law, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Cross-Border Litigation, Gilbertson Davis LLP News, International Litigation, International Sale of Goods, UNCITRAL0 Comments

The Law Times recently published an article by Andrew Ottaway on the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (the “CISG”). The article includes: a discussion of the recent case of Solea International BVBA v. Bassett & Walker International Inc., 2018 ONSC 4261 (CanLII), in which the Ontario Court applied the CISG; a discussion of the near total obscurity of the CISG in Ontario; examples of the notable differences between the CISG and the Ontario common law / Sale of Goods Act. The article can be read in its entirety here. The lawyers at Gilbertson Davis LLP have experience in commercial litigation, including cross-border litigation involving the CISG.  Contact us for an initial consultation.

Entire Agreement Clause Upheld in Manorgate Estates Inc. v. Kirkor Architects and Planners

Janice Perri, B.A. (Summa Cum Laude)Appeals, Appellate Advocacy, Business Torts | Economic Torts, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Law, Commercial Litigation, Construction | Builders, Construction Litigation, Contract Disputes, Misrepresentation, Negligence, Real Estate | Developers, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

Entire Agreement Clauses are meant to prevent negotiations that occurred prior to the contract being formed from influencing the Court’s interpretation of the terms set out in the final contract. In other words, past discussions are to have no bearing on the understanding of the contractual terms. In theory, a fully integrated agreement of this kind supplants any earlier oral or written agreements. There is competing jurisprudence in which Entire Agreement Clauses have been both effective and ineffective. However, Manograte Estates Inc. v. Kirkor Architects and Planners is a recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision where an Entire Agreement Clause was effective. In Manograte Estates Inc. v. Kirkor Architects and Planners, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld the Motion Judge’s decision that the Entire Agreement Clause in the relevant agreement, regarding architectural consulting for a construction project, operated as a complete defence to the appellants’ claim of alleged negligent misrepresentation. The Entire Agreement Clause … Read More

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

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.