Without access to justice there was no possibility of deterring future conduct by defendant

Ontario civil | Civil Practice and Procedure | Class and representative proceedings | Representative or class proceedings under class proceedings legislation

Third-party funding arrangement. Plaintiffs were coffee shop franchisees and defendant was franchisor. Each action had been brought as potential class action but neither action reached certification stage. Plaintiffs entered into litigation funding agreement and funding agreement budget with New York based litigation funding company. Agreement provided that company would pay class counsel’s fees and disbursements on pay as you go, non-recourse basis in accordance with terms set out in budget. Plaintiffs brought motion for approval of third-party litigation funding arrangement. Motion granted. Agreement was fair and reasonable arrangement that facilitated access to justice at same as it protected defendant’s interests. Third party funding appeared necessary in order to ensure that plaintiffs and class of franchisees were able to achieve justice. Without access to justice there was no possibility of deterring future conduct by defendant, which was important goal of Class Proceedings Act. Agreement placed appropriate obligations on company to support all aspects of case, maintained plaintiffs’ right to instruct counsel, was accompanied by budget and also acknowledged it must be flexible to meet exigencies of litigation. Company was not overcompensated.

JB & M Walker Ltd / 1523428 Ontario Inc. v. TDL Group (2019), 2019 CarswellOnt 1750, 2019 ONSC 999, E.M. Morgan J. (Ont. S.C.J.).

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