News & Publications Results

Title Date
Lawyer as Escrow Agent – Is it Worth It?

Acting as an escrow agent is a common task of lawyers in British Columbia, especially, the solicitor, as a component of transactions. The duties of an escrow agent are primarily contractual and the escrow agent must carry out the duties accordingly, in a non-negligent fashion and without misconduct. Lawyers must take care not to agree as escrow agent to duties that are in conflict with their duties as counsel, but there are additional considerations.

Corporate Secretary: Practising Law?

The position of Corporate Secretary has evolved over the years. For some organizations, gone are the days when the Corporate Secretary was a mere corporate record custodian, certifier of corporate organizational facts and note-taker. Bylaws, board mandates, shareholder agreements and other governance documents, not to mention job descriptions, may or may not fully describe the expectations that now often go with the role. This article examines the role of the Corporate Secretary.

US Canada Cross-Border Tax: Getting out of Canada

With the U.S. economy not as robust as it once was, it seems that Americans are currently more interested in selling their Canadian assets, particularly recreational property, than buying Canadian assets. It is therefore useful to consider the issues that arise when a U.S. person sells Canadian real estate.

The following points are relevant:

- The U.S. person will be required to prepay tax on any gain arising from the Canadian real estate; and

- If the real estate has been rented, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will require the U.S. person to catch up on any unpaid tax on the rental revenue.

Hydraulic Fracturing – A Balancing of Interests

This article looks at the United State's Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) concern about the potential environmental and human health impacts of hydraulic fracturing in the United States and how the Canadian federal government appears content to delegate regulation of hydraulic fracturing to the various provincial governments and their regulatory agencies.

Restructuring Employee Benefits: Options and Restrictions

Financial pressures often prompt an employer to review the benefits provided to employees and former employees in order to determine whether changes can be made that would decrease the cost of those benefits. Other times an employer will make changes to the benefits it offers in order to attract new employees or to better respond to the demographics of its workforce. This paper explores some of the more common changes employers make in respect of the benefits they offer to active and retired employees and highlights the more significant restrictions on an employer’s ability to implement those changes.

Chris Sanderson and Keith Bergner Receive the Premier's Collaboration Award (NWT)

On May 18, 2011, Chris Sanderson and Keith Bergner received the Premier's Collaboration Award (NWT) for their work on the Mackenzie Gas Project.

Supreme Court of Canada Weighs in on Disclosure Standard in Relation to Real Estate Developments in British Columbia

On May 11, 2011, the Supreme Court of Canada released its reasons for judgment in Sharbern Holding Inc. v. Vancouver Airport Centre Ltd, 2011 SCC 23.

While the case was decided under the now repealed Real Estate Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 397, the findings are nonetheless of interest to real estate developers governed by the Real Estate Development Marketing Act, S.B.C. 2004, c. 41 (“REDMA”). Much of the Court’s analysis should apply in the context real estate developments and disclosure statements governed by REDMA despite some content differences between the repealed and current statute. In addition, the decision has relevance to other statutory disclosure regimes based on the concept of materiality, such as securities law regimes.

Pre-Sale Law Critical to BC Development Industry in any Real Estate Market

BC’s Real Estate Development and Marketing Act (REDMA) and its associated regulations and policies is an essential piece of legislation that allows the multi-family, new home market to operate. An understanding of its function is critical for both developers and property buyers in BC.

To Fund or Not to Fund for Solvency - Who Gets the Breaks?

During difficult economic times, sponsors of defined benefit pension plans have had to deal with plan deficits. This paper compares how the Canadian federal government and different provinces deal with solvency funding relief, jurisdiction by jurisdiction.

Labour & Employment Bulletin: Federal Elections – Employee Voting Time Entitlement and Company Computers and the Employee’s Expectation of Privacy

This bulletin contains information on employee voting time entitement during federal elections. Also discussed is whether employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy over their computer data.

Lawson Lundell establishes the Lawson Lundell LLP Entrance Scholarship at the UBC Law School

Lawson Lundell is pleased to announce a commitment of $15,000 annually to establish the Lawson Lundell LLP Entrance Scholarship at the UBC Law School, the first full-tuition scholarship supported by a law firm.

US Canada Cross-Border Tax: When to Worry About Canada

These days many US businesses are looking north to Canada for new markets. This paper discusses when a US business needs to worry about the Canadian tax system. The short answer comes from some of the oldest provisions in the Income Tax Act. US businesses need to worry about Canadian tax when they have a physical presence in Canada.

Labour & Employment Bulletin: Minimum Wage Increase and Changes to Temporary Foreign Worker Regulations

This bulletin provides details on the recent minimum wage announcement in BC. This bulletin also discusses the recent changes to temporary foreign worker regulations that come into force on April 1, 2011.

Western Canada Legal Updates: British Columbia Legislative Changes and a Review of Case Law

This paper provides an overview of legislative changes and it reviews case law before the Property Assessment Appeal Board and Courts. This paper was presented at the Canadian Property Tax Association Western Chapter 2011 Education Seminar.

Creditors' Issues: Forbearance Agreements and Settlement Agreements

Creditors and debtors often enter into agreements with respect to the repayment of indebtedness. These forbearance agreements or “standstill agreements” are useful tools whereby both creditors and debtors can work together to reach a common goal without the immediate need for realization of assets in a formal insolvency proceeding.

In contrast, a settlement agreement is designed to bring finality to all or some part of the credit arrangement with the debtor. As such, particular care has to be taken under a settlement agreement to insure that what is being settled and released does not affect other parties or other issues that are not being resolved under the agreement.

Canada Takes on Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act

The Federal government’s legislation to control spam and other ills of the electronic age with An Act to promote the efficiency and adaptability of the Canadian economy by regulating certain activities that discourage reliance on electronic means of carrying out commercial activities, and to amend the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Act, the Competition Act, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and the Telecommunications Act, was passed in mid-December, 2010. This newly passed legislation was Bill C-28, otherwise known as the Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act ("FISA").

Lawson Lundell establishes the Lawson Lundell LLP Entrance Scholarship at the UVic Faculty of Law

Lawson Lundell LLP is pleased to announce the establishment of a $15,000 annual entrance scholarship at the UVic Faculty of Law.

Competition Update: Waste Not, Want Not... Canadian Competition Bureau Challenges Merger

On January 24, 2011, the Commissioner of Competition (Canada) filed a notice of application with the Competition Tribunal for dissolution of a merger (or divestiture of assets or control) resulting from the completed merger of CCS Corporation and Complete Environmental Inc., the latter of which owns Babkirk Land Services Inc.

Energy (Electricity) Recent Developments of Importance

This paper discusses electricity sector developments in Alberta and British Columbia that continue to break new ground particularly in view of the recent prominence of renewable energy, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions issues and export market development initiatives for the export of electricity from clean or renewable sources.

3rd International Symposium on Energy Engineering, Economics and Policy: EEEP 2011 01.1.11