Uber Decision Provides New Grounds for Challenging Arbitration Agreements

13 October 2020

By Aaron Gold

Arbitration clauses are a common feature of commercial contracts. Arbitration offers the potential for expeditious and cost-effective dispute resolution. 

Despite their popularity, arbitration clauses are not without controversy.

The Supreme Court of Canada’s recent decision in Uber Technologies Inc v. Heller marks a new, broader approach for determining the potential unconscionability of arbitration agreements.

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Ontario Court of Appeal Holds that the Creator of an Exchange-Traded Fund May Owe Duty of Care to Investors

2 July 2020

By Zachary Pringle

In its recent decision Wright v. Horizons ETFS Management (Canada) Inc.1, the Court of Appeal for Ontario set aside the dismissal of the plaintiff’s motion for certification on the basis that it disclosed no reasonable cause of action pursuant to section 5(1)(a) of the Class Proceedings Act, 1992. This decision may expand the scope of recovery for claims made for pure economic loss for the negligent performance of a service.

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How to Not be Tone Deaf: A Brief Guide to Being an Ally to Black People

19 June 2020

By Chasidy Palmer

Author's Note:  Although I am comfortable with educating people about race, not all Black people feel the same way. Many of the resources available are free and widely accessible to use to educate yourself and others about race. Take the initiative to use the resources available to you.

In early June, our firm posted a tweet regarding our stance and our support for Black lives. It is important to recognize that we must take action to supplement our stance. It is critical to be sensitive to the experiences of Black people, and to acknowledge their struggles without being patronizing or disingenuous. This includes making strides toward being an ally to the cause. We understand that allyship requires long-term commitment. We are taking a break from our regularly scheduled content to and instead using this platform to educate and provide resources for those who want to be better allies.

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Support from a Distance - How Babin Bessner Spry Is Adapting to the COVID-19 Pandemic (Part 2)

23 April 2020


the BBS Team

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on the way we all live and work. In this week’s blog, our law clerks and support staff share some of the challenges – and rewards – of supporting a law firm virtually and working from home.

Last week, we featured the perspective of our lawyers. For part 1, "Lawyers in a Dangerous Time," click here.

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Lawyers in a Dangerous Time - How Babin Bessner Spry Is Adapting to the COVID-19 Pandemic (Part 1)

14 April 2020


the BBS Team

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on the way we all live and work. In this week’s blog, our lawyers share some of the challenges – and rewards – of conducting a law practice virtually and working from home.  For part 2, "Support from a Distance", featuring the perspective of our law clerks and support staff, click here. 

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New Standard of Review: Great for Lawyers, Bad for Current Law Students

2 March 2020

By Daniel Babin

On December 19th, 2019, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) handed down its judgments in the Bell-NFL-Vavilov trilogy of cases (“Vavilov”)1 that significantly altered the approach to judicial review of administrative decisions. The majority provided much needed clarity and simplification to the method of determining the applicable degree of judicial deference when an administrative decision is appealed to a court, commonly known as the “standard of review”.  The majority also provided additional guidance for reviewing courts to follow when conducting reasonableness review.

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Don’t Be “Frustrated”: Ontario Court of Appeal upholds damages award against home buyer after province announced tax on non-residents

19 December 2019

By Brendan Monahan

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently considered the doctrine of frustration in the context of a real estate transaction in Perkins v. Sheikhtavi, 2019 ONCA 925 (“Perkins”). In this case, the Court upheld the motion judge’s finding that the Ontario government’s announcement of a new tax on non-resident home buyers did not “frustrate” the relevant agreement between the parties. The Court therefore upheld the motion judge’s award of damages against the appellant resulting from the failure to close the purchase of a home.

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Court of Appeal Finds that Legal Aid Ontario has no Obligation to Assess the Merits of its Cases

6 August 2019

By Uri Snir

In its recent decision in Hunt v. Worrod,1 the Ontario Court of Appeal set aside an order for costs against Legal Aid Ontario (“LAO”). The Court found that, as a government sponsored funder of legal aid, LAO is not required to assess the merits of the cases it funds.

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Ontario Court of Appeal Reminds Contracting Parties of their Options upon Contract Repudiation

2 August 2019

By Michael Bookman

In its recent decision Hurst v. Hancock1, the Court of Appeal for Ontario reminds contracting parties of their options when faced with an anticipatory breach of contract or repudiation.  When one contracting party repudiates its contractual obligations, the other contracting party may accept the repudiation and sue or it may wait until performance of the contract is due and fails to materialize before bringing a claim. This choice featured prominently in the underlying issues on the appeal.  

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Alberta Court Denies Certification of Investor Class Action

4 July 2019

By Uri Snir

In a recent decision of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, the Court denied certification of a proposed class action by a group of investors who suffered losses allegedly caused by their financial advisor. The Court held that the Plaintiffs were unable to establish an identifiable class, and that a class action was not the preferable procedure for litigating the claims.

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