Much has been written or said about the Supreme Court of Canada recent decisions in Infineon Technologies and Vivendi Canada with respect to the low threshold that is imposed on petitioners at the authorization (certification) stage of a class proceeding in Quebec.
Yet in the last two months, the Superior Court of Quebec has rejected two motions for authorization to bring a class action, in part because the petitioners had not sufficiently investigated the nature and composition of the class prior to filing their motions.
Wilkinson c. Coca-Cola Ltd, 2014 QCCS 2631
In Wilkinson, the Petitioner filed a motion for authorization against Coca-Cola, on behalf of all residents of Canada (excluding B.C.… Continue Reading
Cannon v. Funds for Canada Foundation, 2013 ONSC 7686
In this class action decision Justice Belobaba of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice set out new, generous guidelines for assessing contingency fee requests by class counsel in the context of a settlement of an action. Courts have adopted different methods for assessing whether contingency agreements should approved including the “lodestar” approach, the “multiplier” approach, combinations thereof and attempts to fix a notional “cap” on the percentage of a settlement amount. As a consequence, costs awards have been determined on an ad hoc basis leading to inconsistent results.
Justice Belobaba conducts a quick review of this sometimes tortured process and concludes that a single, simple, straightforward approach to contingency fee agreements should be adopted. … Continue Reading
While it may be the case in Canada that consumer protection legislation has foreclosed the possibility of resolving disputes under form consumer contracts via arbitration, it remains to be seen whether the policy rationale underlying these decisions will be similarly applied to franchise disputes. The question remains whether the arbitration vehicle in Canada will be considered by the courts to be sufficient to deal with these types of class-wide claims, but at least in principle the option remains open.
In Ontario the Arthur Wishart Act (“AWA”) entitles franchisees to associate with one another. It has been held by the Ontario Court of Appeal that this right cannot be contracted out of in a franchise agreement.… Continue Reading