Practice Areas

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Class Actions
Members of our firm act on some of Canada’s largest class actions. We have acted on class proceedings involving alleged primary and secondary market disclosure, accounting irregularities and auditor’s negligence, competition/anti-trust, products liability, franchising, professional negligence and syndicated debt. We know how to deal with the legal, logistical and procedural complexities presented by these types of cases.

Notable Briefs

  • Smith v. Sino-Forest Corporation, a securities class action in which we act for Sino-Forest’s former CFO.
  • Trillium Motor World v. General Motors of Canada Limited, in which we act for approximately seventy lawyers alleged to have provided negligent independent legal advice to GM dealers that were being terminated.
  • Sue-Tang v. Baja Mining Corp., a securities class action in which we act for Baja Mining’s former CEO, CFO and Corporate Secretary.
  • Snelgrove v. Cathay Forest Products Corp., a securities class action in which we act for two former directors alleged to have authorized the release of allegedly misleading financial statements.
  • Prince v. Air Canada, where we are co-counsel to the plaintiff in a proposed class action which challenges Air Canada’s collection of U.S. transportation taxes from its customers.

Corporate Commercial Litigation

Our firm is recognized by LEXPERT for its work in corporate commercial litigation. Our practice encompasses a broad spectrum of business disputes, including breach of contract, negligence, shareholder and partnership disputes, derivative actions, oppression remedy cases, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, competition, real estate development and trade secrets.
A significant amount of our work has an international element. We’re at home in cross-border cases with experience dealing with issues of jurisdiction, forum selection and enforcing arbitration and venue selection clauses.

Notable Briefs

  • CBS Canada Holdings Co. (c.o.b. CBS Outdoor Canada) v. All Vision Canada Co., in which we successfully resisted an injunction sought by CBS in a dispute about advertising rights over hundreds of billboards across Canada.
  • Ellins et al. v. Coventree Inc. et al, in which we successfully moved for an interim finding of oppression.
  • Reach M.D. v. Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Assn. of Canada, a leading case on intentional interference with economic relations.

Securities Litigation & Enforcement

The firm is highly experienced in securities litigation and enforcement matters, highlighted by Peter Wardle’s Best Lawyers and LEXPERT rankings for his expertise in the field.
We act in class actions alleging both primary and secondary market disclosure. We also litigate shareholder and partnership disputes, derivative actions, oppression remedy cases, retail brokerage disputes and director and officer’s liability cases. Members of our firm also have experience in mergers and acquisitions litigation and plans of arrangement.
Our securities enforcement experience includes:

  • Representing market participants from allegations of insider trading, misleading disclosure and illegal distributions
  • Representing registrants before regulatory tribunals, including the Ontario Securities Commission, IIROC and the MFDA.
  • Prosecuting cases on behalf of Staff of the Ontario Securities Commission

In addition, the firm participates in the OSC’s Litigation Assistance Program. The program, which was founded by a member of our firm, provides volunteer legal counsel to unrepresented Respondents appearing in enforcement proceedings before the Ontario Securities Commission.

Notable Briefs

  • Re Sino-Forest Corporation, in which Peter Wardle and Simon Bieber act for Sino Forest’s former Chief Financial Officer who is alleged to have violated Ontario’s securities laws by participating in the release of allegedly misleading disclosure documents.
  • Re Lewis et al., in which Helen Daley represented Staff of the Ontario Securities Commission in enforcement proceedings before the Commission and obtained administrative penalties of $2.25 million and disgorgement orders of $5.52 million against the respondents and had them permanently banned from acting as directors or officers of any public company or trading securities.
  • Re Portus Asset Management et al., in which Simon Bieber acted for the former Chief Compliance Officer of Portus who was alleged to have failed to act in the public interest in that role.
  • Re Finkelstein et al., in which Simon Bieber acts for one of the respondents alleged to have been part of an insider trading scheme.
  • Berry v. Ontario (Securities Commission), in which Peter Wardle and Daniel Bernstein successfully represented TSX Inc. in challenges to the enforceability of securities regulations following the demutualization of the TSE.
  • Canaccord v. Roscoe, in which Helen Daley successfully represented Canaccord in a case challenging its ability to claim indemnity from a former registered salesperson.

Directors & Officers Liability

We act for directors and officers in class actions, derivative actions, proceedings by Securities Commissions, corporate disputes and other complex litigation. The firm also advises directors and officers on how to fulfill their duties in contentious (but not yet litigious) circumstances and those conducting or responding to internal corporate investigations.
Peter Wardle has been recognized by Best Lawyers and LEXPERT for his expertise in this area. The firm prepares a monthly newsletter, Directors & Officers Liability Update, and Peter Wardle chairs the Law Society of Upper Canada’s directors and officers symposium.

Notable Briefs

  • Re Unique Broadband Systems Inc., in which Peter Wardle and Simon Bieber acted for three members of UBS’s board of directors and successfully opposed their removal from the board.
  • Smith v. Sino-Forest Corporation, in which we act for the company’s former CFO, who is alleged to, among other things, have certified financial statements which are alleged to have contained misrepresentations.
  • Snelgrove v. Cathay Forest Products Corp., in which we act for two former directors alleged to have authorized the release of allegedly misleading financial statements.
  • Re Portus Asset Management et al., in which Simon Bieber acted for the former Chief Compliance Officer of Portus who was alleged to have failed to act in the public interest in that role.

Professional Liability and Discipline

Our firm is recognized by LEXPERT for its work in professional liability litigation.
We have represented hundreds of lawyers against claims of negligence and breach of fiduciary duty, primarily relating to commercial law issues.
On behalf of the Law Society, we obtain injunctions restraining the unauthorized practice of law.
We also represent accountants, architects and other professionals against claims of negligence and in professional discipline proceedings.
Our firm is routinely engaged to prosecute cases for professional bodies and regulators, including the Law Society of Upper Canada, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and the Ontario Securities Commission.

Notable Briefs

  • Trillium Motor World v. General Motors of Canada Limited, in which we act for approximately seventy lawyers alleged to have provided negligent independent legal advice to GM dealers.
  • Law Society of Upper Canada v. Feldman, in which Helen Daley and Simon Bieber act for the Law Society of Upper Canada and were successful in opposing a challenge to the constitutionality of the Law Society Act.

Public Interest Cases

Our firm also has a keen interest in acting in cases of broader public interest and importance.
We have represented interveners, stakeholders in public inquiries, and parties to other proceedings with important public dimensions.

Notable Briefs

  • Members of the firm have acted in several recent public inquiries, including the Goudge Inquiry into Pediatric Forensic Pathology and the Cornwall Public Inquiry.
  • Reynolds v. Kingston (City) Police Services Board, in which Peter Wardle and Daniel Bernstein represented Louise Reynolds in her action against disgraced pathologist Charles Smith, including successfully resisting a motion to strike her claim in the Court of Appeal on the basis of witness immunity.
  • Peel (Police) v. Ontario (Special Investigations Unit), in which Peter Wardle recently successfully represented the Director of the Special Investigations Unit (a civilian agency which investigates police misconduct) in the Ontario Court of Appeal.
  • Berry v. Ontario (Securities Commission), in which Peter Wardle and Daniel Bernstein successfully represented TSX Inc. in challenges to the enforceability of securities regulations following the demutualization of the TSE.
  • Law Society of Upper Canada v. Feldman, in which Helen Daley and Simon Bieber act for the Law Society of Upper Canada and were successful in opposing a challenge to the constitutionality of the Law Society Act.