Class action was certified in Ontario on behalf of terminated dealerships by defendant GMCL as result of financial crisis and auto bailout in summer of 2009 as well as against Cassels Brock, who acted as counsel for Canadian Automobile Dealers Assn., for failing to provide appropriate legal advice regarding Winding-Down Agreements (agreements) presented by GMCL. It was found that agreements were sufficiently connected with tortious claim against out of province lawyers to raise presumption of real and substantial connection between subject matter and Ontario and Ontario was most appropriate and convenient forum. Challenge to Ontario’s jurisdiction was dismissed. Quebec law firms appealed to Supreme Court of Canada. Appeal dismissed. Dispute had sufficient connection to contract made in Ontario. Local lawyers’ provision of legal advice brought them within scope of contractual relationship between GMCL and dealers.
Lapointe Rosenstein Marchand Melançon LLP v. Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP (July 15, 2016, S.C.C., McLachlin C.J.C., Abella J., Cromwell J., Karakatsanis J., Wagner J., Gascon J., and Côté J., 36087) Decision at 242 A.C.W.S. (3d) 88 was affirmed. 267 A.C.W.S. (3d) 340.