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

Ontario Court of Appeal upholds Partial Summary Judgment Decision in VP Auto Sales & Service Ltd v Ahmed2 Inc.

Harrison Neill-MorabitoCivil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

VP Auto Sales & Service Ltd. v Ahmed2 Inc., 2024 ONCA 507, saw the Ontario Court of Appeal (the “Court”) address a motion judge’s grant of partial summary judgment, with damages being reserved for trial. The Court, in one of its rare decisions on partial summary judgment, agreed with Motion judge’s ruling. The respondent entered an Agreement of Purchase and Sale (the “Agreement”) with the appellant. Before the closing, the appellant raised concerns about the price being too high and requested a discount, which was refused by the respondent. On the scheduled closing date, the appellant did not proceed with the transaction, citing a breach of the Agreement by the respondent. This resulted in the property remaining unsold, prompting the respondent to seek summary judgment against the appellant for the purchase price of $4,750,000. The motion judge granted summary judgment on liability, finding the appellant accountable for the failure to … 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

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

Recognition of Foreign Judgments – Judgment is Enforceable Regardless of Pending Appeal

Gilbertson Davis LLPAppeals, Civil Liability, Civil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Enforcement of Foreign Judgments0 Comments

In the recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (“ONSC”), Acteon v. Verona Medical Group, 2023 ONSC 5140, the plaintiff was successful in obtaining the recognition of a judgment issued by a court in France, the Commercial Court of Bordeaux (the “Summary Proceeding Judgment”), albeit the ONSC stayed the plaintiff’s ability to enforce the Summary Proceeding Judgment in Ontario pending the defendants’ appeal of a related judgment (the “Merits Proceeding Judgment”) in France. The main contentious issue in this recognition proceeding was the defendants’ position that the plaintiff’s Summary Proceeding Judgment was not “final” because of the defendants’ appeal of the Merits Proceeding Judgment in France. The plaintiff’s legal expert advised the ONSC that though the Summary Proceeding Judgment was a “provisional award”, it was still “final, valid, binding and fully enforceable”. The defendants’ legal expert disagreed, positing that the Summary Proceeding Judgment was only an interim decision … Read More

Bald and Unsubstantiated Allegations May Lift the Presumptive Limit on Costs of $50,000 in anti-SLAPP Motions

Gilbertson Davis LLPAppeals, Civil Liability, Civil Litigation0 Comments

We recently blogged on the Ontario Court of Appeal (“ONCA”) decision in Park Lawn Corporation v. Kahu Capital Partners Ltd., 2023 ONCA 129, where the ONCA advised that costs awards in motions brought under s. 137.1 of the Courts of Justice Act, a provision introduced in 2015 to prevent strategic lawsuits against public participation (“SLAPP”), should not generally exceed $50,000 on a full indemnity basis (as the procedure was meant to be “efficient and inexpensive”). In an even more recent decision of the ONCA, Boyer v. Callidus Capital Corporation, 2023 ONCA 311, the ONCA rejected the respondent’s submission that the successful appellant’s claim for costs of $273,111.22 on a full indemnity basis was excessive, citing to the Park Lawn decision referenced above. The ONCA opined that the statutory presumption under s. 137.1 of the Courts of Justice Act is that the successful moving party be awarded its full indemnity costs … Read More

Ontario Court of Appeal Says Costs on anti-SLAPP Motions Should not Generally Exceed $50,000

Gilbertson Davis LLPBusiness Defamation, Business Disputes, Civil Litigation, Cyber Libel, Defamation, Internet Defamation, Libel, Online Defamation, Slander0 Comments

In the recent decision, Park Lawn Corporation v. Kahu Capital Partners Ltd., 2023 ONCA 129, the Ontario Court of Appeal (“ONCA”) provides welcome guidance on s. 137.1 of the Courts of Justice Act, a provision introduced in 2015 to prevent strategic lawsuits against public participation (“SLAPP”). The decision under review by the ONCA is that of a judge’s dismissal of a motion brought by the appellants under s. 137.1 (“anti-SLAPP motion”). In particular, the appellants took issue with the motion judge’s conclusion that the plaintiff had proven sufficient harm caused by the defamatory statements. The appellants alleged that the motion judge failed to properly weigh the harm to the plaintiff against the public interest in protecting the appellants’ expression on matters of public interest. In dismissing the appeal, the ONCA found no reviewable error in the motion judge’s analysis, and advised that the motion judge “correctly described the legal principles … Read More

Failure To Close A Real Estate Transaction Can Be Very Costly

Gilbertson Davis LLPCivil Liability, Civil Litigation, Contract Disputes, Real Estate Arbitrator, Real Estate Litigation, Recreational Property Litigation0 Comments

For many reasons, an agreement of purchase and sale to buy real estate may be breached by either the seller or the purchaser. The innocent party may be entitled to significant compensation. For instance, in the recent Ontario Court of Appeal (ONCA) decision, Rosehaven Homes Limited v. Aluko, 2022 ONCA 817, the ONCA upheld a lower court decision granting summary judgment requiring the appellants to pay damages to the respondent arising from the appellants’ failure to complete an agreement of purchase and sale for the purchase of a home. In that case, the appellants were unable to complete the transaction because they could not obtain sufficient financing. However, the agreement was not conditional on them obtaining financing. The respondent ultimately sold the property at a loss (compared to the sale price agreed to between the parties). The lower court awarded $331,922.27 to the respondent (being the difference between the original … 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

Undocumented Trusts – No Requirement for Formal Trust Agreements

Gilbertson Davis LLPAppeals, Civil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Contract Disputes, Recreational Property Litigation, Trust Litigation0 Comments

In the recent decision from the Ontario Court of Appeal (“ONCA”), Corvello v. Colucci, 2022 ONCA 159, the ONCA confirmed that a trust can exist even where there is no written trust agreement. At issue in the case was the ownership of a land use permit which allowed the holder(s) of the permit to build on and use the land for recreational purposes. In the court of first instance, the appellant took the position that the permit belonged to him alone. However, the trial judge determined that the appellant actually held the permit “in trust for himself and the respondents as beneficial owners”. On appeal, the appellant argued that the trial judge erred in law and in fact by determining that an undocumented trust agreement existed. The ONCA advised that it is trite law that a valid trust requires “three certainties: certainty of intention to create a trust, certainty of … Read More

Are my Trademark Rights being Breached? Trademark Infringement and Passing Off Lawyers

Gilbertson Davis LLPBrand Protection, Business Disputes, Civil Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Copyright Infringement, Intellectual Property, Passing Off, Trademark Infringement0 Comments

In Subway IP LLC v. Budway, Cannabis & Wellness Store, 2021 FC 583, the Federal Court of Canada (“FC”) found that the respondents infringed on the applicant’s registered trademark contrary to section 20 of the Trademarks Act. The FC found that the use of the “BUDWAY” trademark amounted to the tort of passing off and depreciation of goodwill in the appellant’s trademark. As a result, the court granted the applicant, Subway, damages in the amount of $15,000 and an injunction against the respondents prohibiting them, among other things, from dealing in goods or services in association with the trademark or trade name “BUDWAY”. What is Considered a Breach of Trademark Rights? In the FC’s reasons for its decision, it advised generally that: A trademark registration grants the owner the exclusive right to use the mark throughout Canada in respect of the goods and services in the registration; The right to … Read More

Ontario Court Affirms “Generous and Liberal Approach” to the Recognition/Enforcement of Foreign Judgments

Gilbertson Davis LLPCross-Border Litigation, Debt and Enforcing Judgments, Enforcement of Foreign Judgments0 Comments

In the recent decision, M1 Florida Developments Inc. v. Ameristar Development Corporation, 2021 ONSC 6883 (CanLII), the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (“OSCJ”) granted the plaintiffs default judgment in Ontario for the registration and enforcement of a judgment that the plaintiffs obtained in the United States of America (the “Foreign Judgment”). The OSCJ advised that Canadian courts “have adopted a generous and liberal approach to the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments”. Further, the OSCJ opined that the purpose of an action for the recognition of a foreign judgment “is to assist in enforcing an already-adjudicated dispute” and is not “to evaluate or re-litigate the underlying claim”. The OSCJ was satisfied that the foreign court “properly assumed jurisdiction over the dispute” and noted that a Canadian court “will generally recognize and enforce a foreign judgment where the foreign court assumed jurisdiction on the same basis as the domestic court would”. … Read More

Recognition of Foreign Judgments – Supreme Court Leaves Determination of Enforceability of “Ricochet Judgments” for another day – Update on Previous Blog

Gilbertson Davis LLPAppeals, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Cross-Border Litigation, Debt and Enforcing Judgments, Enforcement of Foreign Judgments0 Comments

This is an update on our blog, Recognition of Foreign Judgments – The Ontario Courts will not Recognize Enforcement Orders (a.k.a. “Ricochet Judgments”), regarding the Superior Court decision in H.M.B. Holdings Ltd. v. Attorney General of Antigua and Barbuda, 2021 ONSC 2307 (CanLII). That decision has been appealed up to the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”), which has now also rendered its decision. In dismissing the appeal, the SCC agreed with the application judge, and with the Court of Appeal, that Ontario’s Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act (the “Act”) bars the plaintiff (appellant) from registering a default judgment that it obtained in British Columbia to enforce a judgment granted by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. The SCC advised that the Act only applies to (1) reciprocating jurisdictions, such as British Columbia, and (2) judgments or orders of a court in a civil proceeding where a sum of money … Read More