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Securities Litigation

Our firm is a leader in securities litigation. Our expertise is recognized as deep and varied, encompassing class actions, take-over disputes, shareholder litigation, regulatory proceedings and internal investigations.

Our litigators play a leading role in developing the law that applies to public issuers, special committees, and officers and directors. We act for a broad range of clients, including major Canadian and foreign banks, securities firms, public issuers, hedge funds, shareholders, and officers and directors in all manner of complex securities litigation, both in the courts and in the regulatory arena. The depth and breadth of this practice means our securities litigators are among the most experienced and respected in the area.

We have been at the forefront of defending public issuers faced with secondary market misrepresentation claims made possible through amendments to provincial securities legislation. In IMAX and Arctic Glacier, we acted as defence counsel in the first two major securities class actions in Canada. In addition, we are defending public issuers, chief executive officers, chief financial officers, directors and other officers and underwriters in these types of actions. As these engagements frequently involve parallel securities litigation in the United States, we are experienced in working with clients, U.S. counsel, and leading experts to solve the most complex issues affecting securities litigation on both sides of the border. We are also familiar with the leading plaintiff class action firms in Canada and the United States and have insight into their strategic priorities and approaches to securities class actions.

Our litigators also represent clients before provincial securities commissions and other regulators, such as the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC). This work ranges from defending clients in high-stakes enforcement proceedings to representing clients’ interests in contested take-overs, such as where a poison pill is in dispute. Regulatory investigations and enforcement cases frequently involve cross-border issues with parallel activity by the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission or other foreign regulators. We have decades of experience in defending regulatory proceedings involving complex issues of trading, market manipulation, tipping, insider trading and related securities offences. Because of our expertise, we are often engaged to conduct independent investigations for clients, working closely with in-house counsel, forensic and accounting experts, and responding to regulatory and law enforcement inquiries.

Recent major assignments include acting for major financial institutions in the collapse of the asset-backed commercial paper market; the successful defence of a securities dealer facing allegations of major market manipulation and proceedings involving tipping and insider trading; and successfully defending criminal fraud and misrepresentation allegations, including the recent acquittal of former Nortel Networks CEO, Frank Dunn, after a lengthy and complex trial.

Shareholder disputes — such as proxy contests, oppression claims and derivative litigation — are another speciality in which our litigators excel, acting either on behalf of responding corporations and their directors or on behalf of shareholders. Our counsel have been involved in most of the leading Canadian cases on the scope of the business judgment rule and the interpretation of key corporate legislation across the country. With the rise of shareholder activism, we have acted on a variety of mandates on behalf of boards of directors, special committees and shareholders.

We recognize that our clients frequently have significant expertise in securities litigation themselves, and we strive to work co-operatively to develop a strong team that draws on our clients’ capabilities. We also believe in a cross-disciplinary approach. Our litigators frequently work closely with our securities regulation and transactional specialists to achieve the best results for our clients. Our expertise extends beyond appearing before all levels of courts and administrative tribunals and includes pre-litigation advice, as well as alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation and arbitration.