Topic: Class actions

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When you know, you know: Kaynes v BP p.l.c, 2021 ONCA 36 confirms how discoverability operates in fraudulent misrepresentation claims

In Kaynes v BP p.l.c, 2021 ONCA 36, the Ontario Court of Appeal clarified when a claim for fraudulent misrepresentation is discoverable under the Limitations Act, 2002, S.O. 2002, c. 24, Sched. B (Limitations Act), and in what circumstances it is appropriate for a limitation issue to be decided on a Rule. 21.01(1)(a) motion. Facts: … Continue reading

British Columbia (Securities Commission) v. BridgeMark Financial Corp.: The Open Court Principle Applies in Hearings of Securities Regulators

In British Columbia (Securities Commission) v. BridgeMark Financial Corp, 2020 BCCA 301, the British Columbia Court of Appeal upheld a decision of the British Columbia Securities Commission (Commission) to release documents obtained during an investigation and filed as evidence at a hearing to consider whether to extend a temporary cease trade order. A firm of … Continue reading

The Context of Materiality in Secondary Market Misrepresentation Claims: Miller v. FSD Pharma Inc. Securities Class Action

In Miller v. FSD Pharma Inc. (Miller), a decision released June 23, 2020, Morgan J. of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice granted leave to proceed with a putative secondary market securities class action under s. 138.3 of Part XXIII.1 of the Ontario Securities Act (OSA) against FSD Pharma Inc. (FSD), a new entrant into … Continue reading

Investor Protection Law Clinics Benefit from Cy-près Distribution of Settlement Funds: Makris v Endo International PLC

Makris v Endo International PLC On October 1, 2020 the Ontario Superior Court approved a securities class action settlement agreement in the amount of $700,000 and a plan of allocation  providing for the distribution of the settlement amount, net of legal fees, disbursements and taxes, to two investor protection legal clinics. The Cy-près Distribution of … Continue reading

Wright v Horizons ETFS Management (Canada) Inc.: Exchange-traded funds may attract statutory cause of action under section 130 of Securities Act

The recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in Wright v. Horizons ETFS Management (Canada) Inc. (2020 ONCA 337) is significant for two reasons. First, it recognizes the existence of a duty of care owed by a fund manager to purchasers of units of the fund in relation to the allegedly negligent design of … Continue reading

Managing Securities Litigation Risks in the Age of Uncertainty

The price at which securities of many Canadian issuers are trading has been significantly affected by the global coronavirus pandemic. This will almost certainly impact their risk of litigation arising from the accuracy their public disclosures. For companies that are dual listed in the United States, the risks are likely enhanced. These risks appear to … Continue reading

Directors and officers face increased liability risk due to climate change

Climate change has been a focus in the United States for quite some time now, and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published interpretive guidance on climate change disclosures a decade ago. However, the times are changing—and the potential liability for directors and officers has never been higher. Climate change disclosures have been debated … Continue reading

Proposed Changes to the Ontario Class Proceedings Act, 1992 Would Benefit Defendants and Their Insurers in Securities Class Actions

The Ontario government’s recent announcement of proposed changes to Ontario’s class proceedings legislation bodes well for defendants and their insurers. If the amendments become law, they would provide greater latitude to defendants seeking to narrow or dismiss claims prior to certification, make certification a somewhat steeper hill for class counsel to climb, and provide mechanisms … Continue reading

Clearing the Way: “Ice Breaker” Settlements in Class Actions

In a recent class action settlement approval hearing, Justice Belobaba of the Ontario Superior Court affirmed the value of early “ice breaker” settlements in complex class actions involving multiple defendants. In such a settlement, one defendant settles ahead of the rest for what may be viewed as a “token” amount, along with a pledge to … Continue reading

US Second Circuit rules Issuer’s statements concerning regulatory compliance too generic to constitute material misstatements

On March 5, 2019, the United States Court of Appeal for the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a class action claim alleging securities fraud based on purportedly misleading statements made by an Issuer regarding its regulatory compliance efforts. The Second Circuit concluded that the Issuer’s statements were too generic to cause a reasonable investor … Continue reading

Alberta Securities Commission Declines to Stay Enforcement Proceedings In Face of Parallel Class Actions

In February 2019, the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) declined to stay the hearing of pending ASC enforcement proceedings on the basis of the existence of parallel, pending class action proceedings. Background In June 2018, Staff of the ASC issued a notice of hearing against Alberta divisions of the Lutheran Church-Canada and several of their former … Continue reading

Motion Judge Erred in Law by Approving Class Counsel’s Fees

The Court of Appeal for Ontario recently set aside a decision approving the legal fees of class counsel on the condition that counsel would donate 40% of the approved fees to charity. The appeal provides useful guidance for practitioners on fee approval motions in class actions. The Settlement Agreement Welsh v. Ontario, 2019 ONCA 41 … Continue reading

A tough break for third party litigation funding in Ontario? Not so fast.

The Ontario Superior Court (ONSC) issued two back-to-back decisions on acceptable litigation financing agreements, both involving the same third party funder.  While the ONSC continues to approve classic litigation financing arrangements, uncertainty remains as to whether third party financiers may profitably fund counsel fees in the context of class actions. Classic funding schemes continue to … Continue reading

Take Note: Class Action Defendants May be Ordered to Bear the Costs of Notice to Class Members

Justice Perell’s decision in Fantl v. ivari, teaches class action defendants an important lesson in being careful what they wish for.  In a rare decision, he ordered that a defendant contribute the majority of the costs of providing potential class members with notice of certification. Background When a class action is certified by a court, … Continue reading

The Importance of Materiality in Secondary Market Misrepresentation Claims: Paniccia v. MDC Partners Inc. Securities Class Action

In the recent decision of Paniccia v MDC Partners Inc., Perell J. refused to grant leave to proceed with a putative secondary market securities class action under Part XXIII.1 of the Ontario Securities Act (OSA) against MDC Partners Inc and certain of its officers on the basis that the alleged misrepresentations were not material.  The … Continue reading

US Supreme Court puts an end to untimely piggyback class actions

Companies confronting serial class actions won much needed relief from the US Supreme Court yesterday, in a decision that held that a class action tolls statutes of limitations only for putative class members’ individual claims, and not for later-filed class actions. A second class action must be filed within the limitations period, or it is … Continue reading

UPDATE: No Room for Double Talk: The Ontario Court of Appeal Addresses Restatements, the Reasonable Investigation Defence and the Test for Leave in Rahimi v. SouthGobi Resources Ltd.

On May 31, 2018, the Supreme Court of Canada denied SouthGobi Resources Ltd.’s application for leave to appeal the decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal, which I provided an update on October 7, 2018.  The Court of Appeal decision provides guidance concerning the availability of the defence of reasonable investigation to a claim under Part … Continue reading

Reforming Class Actions in Ontario – Your Input Please!

On March 9, 2018, the Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) released its Consultation Paper entitled “Class Actions: Objectives, Experiences and Reforms”. The Consultation Paper is the next phase of the LCO’s Class Actions Project which is set to conduct a general review of the class action landscape in Ontario, with a view to providing a … Continue reading

CBA Proposal for a Framework to Facilitate Court to Court Communication and Coordination of Overlapping Class Actions Clears the First Hurdle

(The author was a member of the CBA National Class Actions Task Force 2016-2017) At the CBA Annual Meeting on February 15, 2018, a resolution to approve, as best practices, a revised Canadian Judicial Protocol for the Management of Multi-Jurisdictional Class Actions was approved.  The resolution also urges Canadian courts that administer class actions to … Continue reading

Class actions come to the cryptocurrency markets

In the U.S. there has been an notable uptick in class action lawsuits launched against companies in the cryptocurrency market in late 2017. As public attention turned to the roller-coaster ride of cryptocurrency markets over the past year, it is not surprising that ambitious class counsel have jumped on the ride by issuing their first … Continue reading

Ontario Court confirms jurisdiction over claims of all Canadians who purchased shares on NASDAQ and TSX: Paniccia v. MDC Partners Inc. et al, 2017 ONSC 7298

Plaintiffs in class action claims for misrepresentation in the secondary market recently scored a victory when the Ontario Superior Court of Justice determined[1] that not only does it have jurisdiction over these claims brought by Canadians who purchased shares of a company registered in Canada on a foreign stock exchange, but that Canadian securities and … Continue reading

Leave to Appeal Denied in Wong v Pretium Resources

In a previous post, You Get it Right and it’s Still a Misrepresentation: the Paradox in Pretium, we reported on the decision of Justice Belobaba in Wong v Pretium Resources Inc. granting leave to the plaintiff to commence an action for secondary market misrepresentation under Part XXIII.1 of the Ontario Securities Act. On December 1, … Continue reading

Ontario Superior Court Grants Costs Exceeding $1 million to Successful Defendants in “Entrepreneurial” Class Action

The Yip v. HSBC Holdings plc[1] saga continues with the granting of a costs award in the amount to $1,000,455.22 to the successful defendants following a successful motion by the corporate defendant to stay the action on jurisdictional grounds and an unsuccessful cross-motion by the plaintiff for a declaration that the corporate defendant was a … Continue reading
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