Focus On


  • Ruling on obligations of bankrupt companies coming
    Nader Hasan says when orphan wells aren’t cleaned up, those costs will eventually be passed on to Canadian taxpayers.

    Ruling on obligations of bankrupt companies coming

    In the spring, the Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments in Orphan Well Association, et al. v. Grant Thornton Limited, et al., regarding the obligations that trustees or receivers of bankrupt companies have when it comes to cleaning up contaminated sites they have acquired.

  • Change in provincial government impacts clients
    Laura Zizzo says lawyers should be factoring in considerations around climate-related risk as part of the due diligence process.

    Change in provincial government impacts clients

    With the Ontario government having repealed the province’s Green Energy Act, cancelling the provincial cap-and-trade regime and legislating that proponents cannot sue for certain cancelled projects, lawyers say they need to help their clients manage the political risk of doing business in the current political climate in Ontario.

  • Opting out of class action can have its rewards
    Samaneh Hosseini says there are cases in which a lawyer representing an individual seeks to opt out and not be part of the class in a class action, deciding instead to launch their own action.

    Opting out of class action can have its rewards

    The opportunity to opt out of a class action is offered in all Ontario class-action proceedings, but lawyers say there are some fact situations in which pursuing individual claims makes more sense than being part of a class.

  • Privacy-breach class actions may see an uptick
    Molly Reynolds says new reporting obligations around privacy breaches could increase the volume of class actions because class-action lawyers will be aware of more incidents that pose a risk of harm to Canadians.

    Privacy-breach class actions may see an uptick

    Some lawyers are expecting that new mandatory breach reporting under Canada’s privacy legislation may result in an increase in the number of privacy class actions, which are still in their relative infancy and continue to evolve.

  • Review underway of Class Proceedings Act
    Craig Lockwood says there is room to improve the Class Proceedings Act to make it more efficient and effective.

    Review underway of Class Proceedings Act

    Lawyers say Ontario’s class actions process, which is currently being reviewed, could benefit from some streamlining and efficiencies to move cases along more quickly and avoid duplicate litigation in other jurisdictions.

  • Pre-certification motion can be efficient
    Paul Davis says that, recently, courts ‘have been open to dealing with some matters prior to certification where it can have the effect of actually increasing efficiency.’

    Pre-certification motion can be efficient

    Launching a pre-certification motion in a proposed class action is a tough nut to crack, but it can be worth the effort in certain circumstances and may also help to narrow the issues, say lawyers.

  • Pressure to find missing beneficiaries
    Suzana Popovic-Montag says the extent of a search for the beneficiary of an estate really needs to be in proportion to the size of the estate and the bequest left to the person who is missing.

    Pressure to find missing beneficiaries

    When a beneficiary of an estate is missing, it puts pressure on the executor to do what is reasonable to find them before seeking relief through the courts to ensure that the executor or estate trustee is not liable.

  • Importance of preparing will be emphasized
    Marcia Green says if a person dies without a will, family members may find themselves saddled with a burden they may not be prepared or willing to take on.

    Importance of preparing will be emphasized

    When a person dies without a will, a complicated legal process can ensue, say lawyers.

  • Factor digital assets into estate planning
    Matthew Urback says people may want to consider appointing an estate trustee to be in charge of their digital assets.

    Factor digital assets into estate planning

    Digital accounts and digital assets for communication, relationships, entertainment and media are now commonplace for many people, and some of that, including wealth, could be lost without proper estate planning, say lawyers.

  • Clarity needed in estates after divorce
    Jacob Kaufman says lawyers sometimes encounter estates involving couples who have separated but not divorced.

    Clarity needed in estates after divorce

    The failure to clarify spousal status following divorce and update a will can create confusion and may lead to conflict when it comes to the distribution of assets following death.

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