News & Publications

Class Actions

Year in Review – Umbrella Purchasers

Written by on January 11, 2019.

Overview Over the last several years, the Ontario and British Columbia courts have grappled with significant issues affecting the scope and viability of price-fixing class actions. One of these issues is whether “umbrella purchasers” have a cause of action in a price-fixing conspiracy class action. Umbrella purchasers are people who purchased the relevant product from a company that was not involved in the alleged conspiracy. The theory behind the inclusion of umbrella purchasers is that...

ONCA holds that umbrella purchasers have a cause of action in a price-fixing class action

Written by on December 20, 2018.

Shah v LG Chem Ltd., 2018 ONCA 819 Background: In this class action, the plaintiffs allege that the defendants conspired to fix the prices of lithium-ion batteries (“LIBs”) in North America and elsewhere between January 2000 and December 2011. As a result, the plaintiffs paid higher prices for LIBs and products containing LIBs than they would have in a competitive market. The plaintiffs raised several causes of action, including unlawful means conspiracy and a statutory cause of actio...

2018 Year In Review For American and Canadian Whistleblower Programs

Written by on December 18, 2018.

Fiscal Year 2018 was a nice year for tippers to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) whistleblower program (“SEC program”), thanks to some misbehaving companies. The SEC made record-breaking payouts of about $168 million to 13 whistleblowers in 2018.   The SEC program was initiated to encourage specific, timely and credible tips to the SEC of corporate misconduct, such as insider trading and fraud. Since its creation in 2010, the SEC program has awarded over $326 million...

Rooney v ArcelorMittal: the Superior Court confirms the suitability of Oppression Claims for Certification

Written by on December 03, 2018.

In Rooney v ArcelorMittal[1], the Plaintiffs sought certification of a proposed shareholder class action arising out of the events leading up to the successful takeover of Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation (“BIM”). The key issue in dispute was certification of claims for relief from oppression pursuant to section 248 of Ontario’s Business Corporations Act[2]. Justice Rady, writing for the Superior Court, confirmed that oppression remedy claims were certifiable and certified the Plaintiffs...

TELUS v. Wellman – Siskinds lawyers represent consumer association in the Supreme Court of Canada

Written by on November 20, 2018.

On November 6, Siskinds represented the Intervener Consumers’ Association of Canada (“CAC”) in the Supreme Court’s hearing of TELUS v. Wellman. The Court’s decision could have major implications on Canadians’ access to the civil justice system. The Wellman appeal arose from a certified class proceeding directed at TELUS’s practice of “rounding-up” calls to the next minute for billing purposes. In 2014, TELUS brought a motion to stay the proceeding with respect to some claima...

Class Actions Team Ranked in Band 1 in Chambers Canada 2019

Written by on September 24, 2018.

The class actions team at Siskinds LLP has been ranked in the top band of the Chambers Canada 2019 guide, issued by international legal research organization, Chambers and Partners. Also of notable achievement was the inclusion of four partners who were recognized for their individual stature in the field of class actions. Commentary from the guide includes the following accolades for these partners: Charles Wright is considered one of the "most effective business people" in the Canadian p...

DIY investors fight back against trailer fees

Written by on September 17, 2018.

Trailing commissions (also known as trailer fees) are intended to compensate mutual fund dealers, such as discount brokers, for investment advice they provide to investors. However, discount brokers are prohibited from providing investment advice under the law. Siskinds LLP is pursuing claims on behalf of retail investors who have paid trailing commissions on mutual funds held in discount brokerage accounts. In this 3 minute CBC report, watch Steve Pozgaj’s story about paying almost $5,000 ...

Recent Developments in Securities Class Actions: Pre-Certification Jurisdictional Challenges

Written by on September 14, 2018.

Today, capital markets are essentially borderless. Stock exchanges with physical trading floors have become an anachronism. Electronic transactions are the norm. With the click of a button, Canadian investors can buy and sell securities of foreign companies on foreign stock exchanges. But what happens when a Canadian investor loses money on their investment because the foreign company did not give them proper disclosure of facts that impact the value of the company’s securities? Are they en...

Goodbye, Backlogs; Hello, Agency Class Actions

Written by on September 11, 2018.

Government agencies across Canada are struggling to process a growing backlog of claims.   Few agencies are immune.  In April 2018, an independent review concluded that Canada’s refugee determination system is dealing with a surge in claims that it is ill-equipped to manage.  In December 2017, the media reported on the skyrocketing volume of veterans disability claims waiting in queue. The usual fixes are proposed:  More time, more money, more staffing.  But a promising alternative ma...

Holding listed issuers to their word – for now anyway… Developments from the UK Court of Appeal on parent company liability for impacts abroad

Written by on July 13, 2018.

Last year I wrote about a feature of the decision of the English and Wales High Court of Justice in HRH Okpabi v Royal Dutch Shell Plc[i], a case where residents of the Niger Delta brought a claim in negligence against Royal Dutch Shell (RDS), an issuer incorporated in England and listed on the LSE, and its Nigerian operating subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd. (SPDC). The Nigerian plaintiffs sought damages for losses allegedly caused by oil spills from the defenda...