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Monday, November 13, 2017 @ 9:18 AM

Parliament’s review of Canada’s anti-spam law: What we can expect

The House of Commons Industry Committee is currently wrapping up its expedited statutory review of Canada’s anti-spam law (CASL). The committee’s fast-tracking of this file is likely the result of attention earlier this year surrounding the projected coming into force (on July 1) of CASL’s private right of action (PRA) — and its suspension pending the review. ... [read more]

Monday, November 13, 2017 @ 9:16 AM

B.C. Court of Appeal confirms commitment to settlements in spousal support case

Out-of-court negotiation mechanisms must not prejudice a spouse’s right to court-ordered relief, the British Columbia Court of Appeal ruled in the recent case of Francis v. Francis. Parties caught up in family law disputes should be able to take their time and freely negotiate settlements without fear of losing their legal rights in court, if court is the only avenue to take. ... [read more]

Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 10:42 AM

Mortgage stress test expansion aimed at reducing sky-high household debt mortgage_teset_sm

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OFSI), which regulates banks and mortgage insurance companies, released further mortgage rules in a guideline titled Residential Mortgage Underwriting Practices and Procedures which will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2018. The purpose of this guideline is to ensure that federally regulated lenders adopt a stringent and rigorous approach to mortgage underwriting and to their internal risk protocols. ... [read more]

Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 9:43 AM

Quebec court treads carefully when considering disqualifying a law firm

A multidisciplinary law firm in Quebec was disqualified from a case due to the likelihood that one of its non-lawyer members, a notary, would be called upon to testify at the trial. The judge’s reasons in Coiffure Mégantic inc. v. Atelier Coiffure provide a thorough review of the complex rules applicable to motions to disqualify lawyers. ... [read more]

Thursday, November 09, 2017 @ 8:40 AM

Lawyers cautioned on the professional risks of syndicated mortgages

On October 24, 2017, the Law Society of Upper Canada issued a notice to lawyers concerning syndicated mortgages and syndicated mortgage investments. ... [read more]

Thursday, November 09, 2017 @ 8:23 AM

Lots of smoke and mirrors with release of Paradise Papers paradise_papers_sm

On November 5, a treasure trove of documents related to offshore investment activities of the wealthy – the Paradise Papers – was made public. The Paradise Papers involves a set of 13.4 million confidential documents which provide some insight into how the rich stash their money away in complicated offshore arrangements and avoid paying taxes. But is doing what you can to avoid paying taxes a bad thing? ... [read more]

Wednesday, November 08, 2017 @ 9:41 AM

Regulation, insurance — even litigation — in today's growing sharing economy

The growth of Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, VRBO and other ride-sharing or home-sharing platforms raises important questions about regulation and insurance. Existing regulations and traditional insurance products may not cover the “part-time” commercial activities offered by these platforms and, even where insurance coverage exists, it may be limited. ... [read more]

Wednesday, November 08, 2017 @ 8:51 AM

Franchisees’ right to associate: The good, the bad and the unanswered franchise_association_sm

All provincial franchise statutes afford franchisees the right to associate with other franchisees and form an organization of franchisees without interference or penalty from their franchisor, whether direct or indirect.  Franchisees have a right of action for damages if a franchisor breaches these rights. But while a franchisor must not interfere in any way with its franchisees’ right to associate and any franchisee organization that they form, a franchisor has a right to expect that its franchisees – no matter their involvement in a franchisee organization, even its leaders – comply with all their obligations under the franchise agreement. ... [read more]

Tuesday, November 07, 2017 @ 9:33 AM

Proposed changes to small business tax: What it means to lawyers, law firms business_tax_sm

The 2017 federal budget introduced new tax rules to the Canadian legislative framework. While many of us may understand the general sense of these changes, the impact they will have on lawyers and law firms may be less clear. In our practice as managers in our firm’s tax group, we have numerous clients who will be affected. With this article, we aim to clarify the impact of three particular changes on lawyers and law firms and provide guidance on the next steps legal professionals can take to meet the new compliance challenges. ... [read more]

Tuesday, November 07, 2017 @ 9:31 AM

Joint accounts continue to be the gift that keeps on giving (to estate litigators)

Ten years after the Supreme Court of Canada issued companion decisions on the ownership of joint accounts, the issue continues to divide families. Judges are now being asked to resolve more estate disputes than ever due to an aging population. ... [read more]