Category: Arbitration

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USMCA Eliminates Investor-State Arbitration for Canada – What It Means for Investors

October 4, 2018

On September 30, 2018, Canada, Mexico and the United States announced that they had reached an agreement on a new treaty, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that has been in force since 1994. While the trade provisions of the USMCA have been garnering the most attention, the USMCA contains notable changes…

EU Top Court Rules EU Investment Arbitration Tribunals Are Incompatible with EU Law: Implications for Investors

May 15, 2018

In Slovak Republic v. Achmea B.V. (Achmea), the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that the existence of an independent arbitral tribunal established under a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) between EU Member States is fundamentally incompatible with EU law. The decision may effectively invalidate the 196 BITs currently in force between EU Member States. For Canadian and other non-EU parties,…

Careless Whispers: Ex Parte Communications Lead to Overturned Arbitration Award

May 3, 2018

In its recent decision in Hunt v. The Owners, Strata Plan LMS 2556, the British Columbia Court of Appeal (BCCA) held that private communications between an arbitration panel and only one party to the arbitration can give rise to a reasonable apprehension of bias, rendering the arbitration award void and unenforceable.   BACKGROUND The arbitration was between the owners of a…

International Commercial Arbitration Act Amendments to Make B.C. Even More Arbitration-Friendly

April 10, 2018

On April 9, 2018, the Government of British Columbia introduced Bill 11, International Commercial Arbitration Amendment Act, to amend the International Commercial Arbitration Act (ICAA), which has been in effect since 1996. The amended ICAA will include new provisions that are designed to align the legislative regime in British Columbia with current international best practices and to make B.C. a more desirable venue for…

Two Recent Decisions Affirm International Arbitration Clauses Will Be Enforced

February 22, 2018

Two recent decisions reinforce the willingness of Ontario courts to enforce arbitration clauses, apply the competence-competence doctrine and refer any disputes regarding an arbitrator’s jurisdiction to the arbitrator for resolution. The competence-competence doctrine is an internationally recognized principle that an arbitral tribunal has the power to determine its own jurisdiction. In Ontario, the doctrine has been enacted into both section…

B.C. Supreme Court Extends Arbitration Agreement to Non-Signatories

November 29, 2017

In Northwestpharmacy.com Inc. v. Yates, the B.C. Supreme Court upheld an application by the defendants to stay legal proceedings in favour of arbitration, despite the fact that the defendants themselves were not signatories to the arbitration agreement. The decision demonstrates the generous approach taken by the courts to granting a stay in favour of arbitration, and confirms that although a…

CETA’s Impact on the Canadian Market

September 21, 2017

The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement is now in force, on a provisional basis, creating new opportunities for Canadian businesses. We will be releasing a number of resources to help you navigate this new landscape, including: A Primer on the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Also, please see the following articles: CETA Now in Force: Are…

A Primer on the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement

September 21, 2017

CETA is the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union (EU) and its member states. CETA comprises 30 chapters of rules respecting trade between Canada and the EU. The agreement was signed by Canadian and EU leaders on October 30, 2016. CETA will enter into force, on a provisional basis, on September 21, 2017.

The Art of Arbitration: Role of In-House Counsel

May 30, 2017

Arbitration has a number of advantages when resolving domestic or international commercial disputes. Are you equipped to play your part in successfully managing the conduct of arbitrations? This interactive discussion focuses on the role of in-house counsel in domestic and international arbitrations. The panel discusses the stages of an arbitration, decisions that need to be made at critical junctures and tips…

Ontario Introduces New International Commercial Arbitration Scheme

May 26, 2017

Effective March 22, 2017, Ontario enacted the International Commercial Arbitration Act, 2017 (ICAA), replacing a previous version of the law that had been in effect since 2006. The new ICAA includes changes which are designed to modernize international commercial arbitration in Ontario and to make Ontario a more desirable place to arbitrate such disputes. The ICAA applies to all international…

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