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Legal Year in Review

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Legal Year in Review

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

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Legal Year in Review provides detailed observations from the legal experts at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP on the most significant legal and business developments from 2021 and their implications for 2022. With 32 informative and in-depth articles covering a wide variety of topics, we help you stay informed.
 
The Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life After Show recaps, reviews and discusses episodes of Netflix's Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life. Show Summary: Set in a storybook Connecticut town populated by an eclectic mix of dreamers, artists and everyday folk, this multigenerational drama about family and friendship centers around Lorelai Gilmore and her daughter, Rory. Lorelai owns the town's bed-and-breakfast, the Dragonfly Inn, with best friend/chef Sookie, and contends with weekly dinners with ...
 
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Welcome to Osler’s Legal Year in Review. In our introduction, we share important insights on significant legal developments in 2021, and their implications for Canadian business. The highlights covered here are further explored in the 32 articles that make up this year’s report. Legal Year in Review is brought to you by Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP…
 
In this article – “Tax planning developments: Important international tax changes” – we review such factors as the proposed changes for international taxation in Canada in 2021; Canada’s continuing work with the OECD, G20 and a number of other countries on significant international tax reform proposals; proposed new limits on interest deductibility…
 
In this article – “Carbon capture and hydrogen development central to Western Canada’s energy transition” – we discuss how Canada’s goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2050 has contributed to a transition in the country’s energy sector toward new technologies and processes like carbon capture and blue hydrogen, and the anticipat…
 
In this article – “Supreme Court ends uncertainty over constitutionality of federal carbon pricing framework” – we review Canada’s federal carbon pricing regime and the history of its constitutional challenges through courts in Saskatchewan, Ontario, Alberta and eventually the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court’s final decision, which provides much-n…
 
In this article – “Decoding crypto – Providing regulatory clarity to cryptoasset businesses” – we review such factors as the adoption of a clear registration regime for cryptoassets trading platforms (CTPs); regulatory guidance with regard to the advertising and marketing practices of custodial CTPs; new anti-money laundering requirements relating …
 
In this article – “M&A: A look back at 2021 and ahead to 2022” – we examine the remarkable volume of deal-making activity in Canada in 2021, a massive increase over the unpredictability of 2020, and the factors driving this to continue in 2022. We review “busted deal” litigation ensuing from the COVID-19 pandemic, including a pending decision that …
 
In this article – “The second year of COVID-19: A rapidly changing health landscape” – we review the difficult tasks management teams faced in 2021 as industry standards, government restrictions and guidance, and scientific knowledge pertaining to COVID-19 continued to evolve at a rapid pace. When suddenly politicized vaccines rolled out to the Can…
 
In this article – “Government of Québec proposes stricter French language law” – we review aspects of An Act Respecting French, the Official and Common Language of Québec, which proposes the most significant changes to the Charter of the French Language since its enactment in 1977. We have highlighted the most significant considerations that may ap…
 
In this article – “The latest in Canadian health clinic acquisitions” – we review the current landscape of Canada’s health industry, including the factors leading to the flurry of M&A activity in the sector since the COVID-19 pandemic began, like. Though Canada’s health industry had long been seen as a difficult one for investors to enter, we look …
 
In this article – “Trade Regulation in 2021: A year of evolution and the ‘new normal’” – we review such factors as the evolution of trade law as businesses and governments continue to adapt and learn to operate post-pandemic; how the frameworks for Canada’s trade relationships with its largest partners have become increasingly embedded; and how gov…
 
In this article – “People, planet and performance: Embracing ESG” – we review such factors as the greater attention being paid to ESG considerations in 2021; demands on corporations for more rigorous disclosure and achievements regarding ESG matters; the push by regulators for greater diversity disclosure; increased focus on climate-related financi…
 
In this article – “Progressive changes in a historic year for capital markets activity” – we review such factors as the continuing push to modernize Canadian securities regulation and reduce regulatory burdens; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on issuers and investors; the significant interest in ESG from the investment community and from securi…
 
In this article – “Extraordinary first day relief, EFC guidance, good faith and more: Notable themes in CCAA restructurings” – we review such factors as the extraordinary relief that takes effect during the first 10 days of a filing when the specific and unique circumstances faced by the debtor justify it; how regulatory stay can preserve the debto…
 
In this article – “Securities class actions leave: More than a speedbump, not the Matterhorn” – we review such factors as how the courts are becoming increasingly interventionist in their role as gatekeepers, particularly in the context of unmeritorious secondary market claims; how an action from secondary market misrepresentation under the Ontario…
 
In this article – “Spotlight on statutory interpretation and tax avoidance: Three key decisions in 2021” – we examine two cases decided by the Supreme Court of Canada this year involving the permissible limits of international tax planning. The decisions clarify and provide important guidance on the principles of statutory interpretation in the tax…
 
In this article – “A dynamic year for capital markets enforcement” – we review such factors as capital markets enforcement activity in 2021; the announcement of a beneficial ownership registry; the use of early resolution offers to resolve enforcement cases more efficiently; the pandemic-induced transition to virtual regulation and enforcement; the…
 
In this article – “Financial services regulation in 2021: Back to business” – we review some of the significant developments in the sector over the past year. As the industry continues its rapid evolution, 2021 saw various reforms and initiatives looking to regulate discrete parts of the financial ecosystem that had previously been lightly regulate…
 
In this article – “Upping the ante: Ontario’s iGaming model will be industry game changer” – we review the significant developments in the Internet gaming sector in Canada in 2021, including the federal legalization of single-event sports betting and the proposed regulatory framework for Internet gaming in Ontario, which will provide private operat…
 
In this article, “Lawyers and the AI knowledge gap”, we review what artificial intelligence is, how it can be applied to legal work, such as contracts, and the benefits that can be realized from AI-supported contract assembly and review. We also examine the value proposition of AI in law to enable legal professionals to more quickly and accurately,…
 
In this article – “VC fund managers innovate to keep pace” – we review such factors as the three significant developments in the Canadian fund market over the last 12 months; how opportunity funds capitalize on opportunities that a fund manager may not have been able to previously pursue; how establishing a continuity fund provides flexibility to a…
 
In this article – “Canadian courts confirm significant limits on privacy class actions” – we review such factors as why a class action should not automatically follow from a data breach or incident; how plaintiffs must show evidence of actual harm to obtain certification; and how the courts have put a stop to privacy class actions that lack evidenc…
 
In this article – “White-collar defence: Increasing risks and enforcement activity” – we review such factors as increased compliance risks related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; significant updates to federal anti-money laundering legislation and to Canada’s remediation agreements regime; key legal and regulatory developments which continue to i…
 
In this article – “Canada’s freight train of privacy legislative reform continues” – we review legislative changes and efforts across several Canadian jurisdictions in the privacy space in 2021. Québec’s new privacy law exposes companies to significant risk and severe financial penalties, and amendments to private sector policy regimes across the c…
 
In this article – “Back to the office? New workplace norms expected to evolve in coming years” – we review such factors as the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on employers, including vaccine mandates, regular testing requirements and mask policies; new workplace norms following an unprecedented period of disruption; the employer focus on …
 
In this article – “Class actions in British Columbia: Go west, young plaintiffs, go west” – we review British Columbia’s long-held perception as a favourable forum for Canadian class proceedings, especially in light of recent legislative changes in Ontario, and whether and how that may be changing. We also a major B.C. decision from 2021 that signa…
 
In this article – “Executive compensation challenges, both new and old” we review some of the most important executive compensation issues of the year, including growing calls to tie executive compensation to the achievement of ESG goals, “say on pay” votes during the pandemic, compensation clawbacks, and an important court decision for employers. …
 
In this article, “Supply chain disruption in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic” we review the impact the pandemic has had on the global supply chain, what risks it has created for businesses, and the due diligence organizations should be conducting to ensure they are mitigating potential risks, including regulatory risks, business continuity and di…
 
In this article – “Speculating on the ‘new normal’” – we discuss the many ways the economy has evolved since the pandemic began. As vaccines roll out and industries rebound, supply chain issues are showing that it’s harder to restart an economy than to pause one. We also look at the reasons behind and the difference between rising prices and concer…
 
In this article – “Look before you leap: Impact of recent developments in Indigenous law”– we review such factors as important Indigenous law considerations affecting infrastructure and resource development; the cumulative effects of industrial development and treaty rights; the need to incorporate Indigenous considerations at the outset of project…
 
In this article – “Time to talk about ownership of AI-generated intellectual property assets” – we discuss how, as computers have become more powerful and they acquire higher-order brain function through machine-learning, they have developed the capacity for activity that humans would otherwise consider original or inventive, creating works worthy …
 
In this article, “Corporate governance in transition”, we review the highlights of key developments in corporate governance throughout 2021, including the broader acceptance of virtual shareholder meetings, the rise of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations, a continued push for diversity on boards and dual class share structures…
 
In this article – ‘Mining 2021 – Market windows and accessing capital” – we review such factors as the capital markets’ bias towards established issuers; the need for mining companies to maintain a current technical report; longer regulatory review times for public offerings due to the volume of transaction activity occurring at the same time; a pr…
 
In this article, “Acquiring an AI business – Not your typical tech transaction”, we examine why acquisitions of companies with AI-enabled solutions require new thinking as they raise unique risks for purchasers that differ from transactions involving traditional technology and software companies. That re-thinking includes legal due diligence and al…
 
In this article – titled “Acceleration in the adoption of innovative legal service delivery” – we note that the pandemic has provided a platform for conversations between lawyers and clients about innovative legal technologies, tools, processes and staffing models and has contributed to accelerating the pace of their adoption. In our article, we di…
 
In this article – “A year featuring a flurry of Canadian privacy legislative reform” – we examine how legislative reform activity is changing the Canadian privacy arena. This article is authored by Adam Kardash, partner in Osler’s Privacy and Data Management Group and National Lead for AccessPrivacy, and Natasha Anzik, associate in our Privacy and …
 
In this article – “A busy year for technology: From contracting during COVID to consumer-directed finance” – we note that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased consumer and business reliance on technological solutions and added a level of complexity to the delivery of services. We review the impact of the pandemic on commercial contracting, numerous …
 
In this article, “2020: A year of clarity for Canadian life sciences and software patents,” we discuss how guidance from the courts’ recent patent decisions should shape companies’ Canadian patent strategies, both during the pandemic and beyond. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the most important innovations have arisen in the life sciences and …
 
In this article – “From treaty shopping to FAPI and transfer pricing: Notable international tax cases” – we review the implications of three decisions of the Federal Court of Appeal that have caused renewed interest in certain fundamental aspects of Canada’s international tax system. Two of these decisions will be before the Supreme Court of Canada…
 
In this article – “Location, location, location replaced by COVID, COVID, COVID” – we examine how COVID-19 affected the retail, industrial and office sectors of the real estate market in different ways and for different reasons. This article is authored by Paul Morassutti, partner in Osler’s Real Estate Group. Legal Year in Review is brought to you…
 
In this article – “Force majeure clauses: Contractual risk allocation and the COVID-19 pandemic” – we provide an overview of certain legal principles related to force majeure and consider some issues engaged when interpreting a force majeure clause, including in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. This article is authored by Mark Gelowitz and Geo…
 
In this article – titled “Financial services regulation in 2020: Convergence, disruption and acceleration” – we note that 2020, an unpredictable and volatile year, can be divided into three distinct phases: pre-COVID-19 pandemic; the initial COVID-19 phase which was marked by short-term emergency measures; and finally a measured resumption of more …
 
In this article – “Enhanced foreign investment scrutiny and a busy year for the Competition Bureau” – we examine the Canadian government’s largely unchanged approach to reviews of foreign investment and competition matters during the COVID-19 pandemic. This article is authored by Shuli Rodal, a partner at Osler and chair of the firm’s Competition/A…
 
In this article –“Federal and provincial battles continue over climate change regulation” – we examine the continued fundamental disagreement between the provinces and the federal government about who has the constitutional authority to regulate the environment, and climate change in particular. This article is authored by Richard King, partner in …
 
In this article – “COVID-19 tax measures and proposed international tax reform” – we review two significant tax developments from 2020: Canada’s measures in response to COVID-19 and Canada’s participation with the OECD’s pursuit of international tax reform. This article is authored by Patrick Marley, partner and co-chair of Osler’s Taxation Group, …
 
In this article – “Representations and warranties insurance – An increasingly important tool for Canadian dealmakers” – we examine the growing use and significance of representations and warranties insurance in the Canadian private M&A market, and the impact of the pandemic on such policies. This article is authored by Michael Budabin McQuown, Mary…
 
In this article – titled “Evolving capital markets regulatory enforcement” – we review the ongoing changes to securities enforcement practices, from the modernization of the regulatory regime to the uptick in whistleblowing activity. This article is authored by Lawrence E. Ritchie, partner in Osler’s Litigation Group and chair of our Risk Managemen…
 
In this article – titled “Notable developments in insolvency law: Flexible tools for challenging times” – we review the increasing use of flexible and, in some cases new, tools to assist distressed companies in restructuring their operations. This article is authored by Marc Wasserman, partner and national chair of Osler’s Insolvency & Restructurin…
 
In this article – “Key developments in white-collar defence” – we note that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year was marked by uncertainty and increased risk for businesses. While white-collar enforcement activity in Canada remained limited in 2020, regulatory efforts to reform and enhance enforcement tools continued throughout the year.…
 
In this article, “Flexibility in the financial market in response to major changes,” we discuss how financial market participants have been subject to many unprecedented changes in 2020 that have forced them to show a great deal of flexibility. Our article explores two of these events: the cessation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (most common…
 
In this article – titled “New opportunities and new challenges for cryptoasset trading platforms” – we review the proposed new approaches to the regulation of cryptoasset platforms which present a potentially safer environment for Canadian investors looking to invest in these assets. This article is authored by Lori Stein who is a partner in Osler’…
 
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