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In a decision released on June 26, 2020, Uber Technologies Inc. v. Heller 2020 SCC 16, the Supreme Court of Canada (the “SCC”) found invalid the arbitration clause in Uber’s standard form service agreement with its drivers in Canada, requiring that they arbitrate their disputes in the Netherlands. This decision paves the way for Uber’s drivers to proceed with a ...

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With the onset of the COVID-19 virus, the oil price war, and the resulting economic fallout from both events, the commercial environment has significantly changed. That change in the commercial environment has caused businesses and individuals to mitigate against risk and loss.

The commercial situation in which parties entered into contracts before the economic ...

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In 1974, B.C. passed what is now the Frustrated Contract Act (FCA), to resolve uncertainty left when a contract was deemed frustrated (where performance has become impossible or radically different due to supervening events). Since then, the FCA has received little judicial consideration. It has been called “badly drafted and haphazard”. Most practitioners are ...

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The recent decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal in Chriscan Enterprises Ltd. v. St. Pierre, 2016 BCCA 442, reminds those who elect to resolve their business disputes through arbitration that decisions of the arbitrator, even those touching on the fairness of procedures, will generally be final and not subject to review by the courts. As the Court noted, the ...

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Posted in Commercial

On November 13, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada released its much anticipated decision in Bhasin v. Hrynew, 2014 SCC 71.  In its decision, the Supreme Court of Canada for the first time expressly recognized “good faith” as an organizing principle in the operation of contract law in Canadian common law provinces.  This is a significant alteration to the law of contracts in ...

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Posted in Commercial

Frequently, sales contracts contain exclusion clauses that insulate a seller from responsibility for the condition of the goods being sold. The buyer gets a product they think is of a certain quality and, when they find out it is not, these clauses prevent any recourse against the seller. However, if the purchaser can establish that the nature of the defect was serious or that ...

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Posted in Commercial, Fraud

What is an illegal contract and is it enforceable?  If an illegal contract is unenforceable, does the party who received its benefit get to keep that windfall?  The short answer to the first question is that a contract is illegal when it is either contrary to a statute or is contrary to public policy.  Generally, illegal contracts are not enforceable.  The answer to the second ...

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Posted in Real Estate

The Supreme Court of Canada released its decision today in Southcott Estates Inc. v. Toronto Catholic District School Board, 2012 SCC 51 which addressed a number of thorny issues relevant to commercial real estate disputes including whether a Plaintiff must mitigate its damages where it has made a claim for specific performance of a real estate contract.  The decision has ...

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In June 2012, my colleague, Craig Ferris wrote about the B.C. Court of Appeal decision in 229 Burrard Residential Limited Partnership v. Essolat where the Court endorsed a strict application of the terms of the B.C. Real Estate Development Marketing Act (“REDMA”).  There, the Court set aside a pre-construction sales contract and ordered the return of the purchase ...

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Based on a recent B.C. Court of Appeal decision, Greater Vancouver Water District v. North American Pipe & Steel Ltd., the answer is yes. This case serves as a clear direction to the construction community that the courts will hold contractors to the specifications and warranties they give about the services and products they intend to supply to purchasers. This is good news ...

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This blog is authored by members of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department. We follow new and interesting issues emerging in the legal and business communities. The wide range of experience among the members of our litigation group will provide a diverse and insightful examination of current legal trends and topics. Our goal is to provide a source of valuable information and insight on a wide variety of matters for our readers.

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