Business Litigation & Arbitration, Shareholder Oppression, Corporate Disputes
Free ConsultationCredit Cards
Law Firm OverviewEllyn Law LLP Business Litigation & Arbitration Lawyers is a boutique law firm in Toronto, Canada, established in 1973. Our expertise is focused on arbitration and litigation of complex shareholder disputes, director and corporate litigation, international and domestic commercial arbitration, real estate and construction litigation, wrongful dismissal and international judgment enforcement. We also have expertise in estate litigation and copyright litigation involving blank audio media.
In each of these areas, we provide strong advocacy based on carefully-considered strategy. We have extensive trial, arbitration and appellate experience. However, we recognize that our clients would like their dispute to be resolved as economically as possible. Strong advocacy includes expertise in negotiation and in the use of alternative dispute resolution.
Our experience touches many industries including software development, computer distribution, banking and financial services, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, securities and investment dealers, automobile dealers, insurance brokerage and reinsurance, farming, food processing, real estate development, waste management and mining equipment manufacturing.
Our expertise is enhanced by keeping up-to-date on the latest legal developments in our fields of practice. We do this not only by case-focused research and private study but also by published papers and speaking at legal conferences. Some of our papers posted below. We have also just written the Canada chapter of International Liability of Corporate Directors.
Ellyn Law LLP approaches every legal problem with our clients' interests foremost in mind. Our lawyers are knowledgeable and experienced. We are committed to providing sound advice, creative strategy, effective negotiations and experienced advocacy. Attention to detail and keeping our clients well-informed are key parts of our service. We are lawyers who are accustomed to "think out of the box" to find the best solutions for our client's legal problems.
Year this Office was Established: 1973
Languages: French; Romanian; Hebrew; German; Spanish; Armenian; English.
Areas of Law
- Agency & Distributorship
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Appellate Practice
- Banking & Finance
- Banking Law
- Business & Industry
- Business Law
- Business Litigation
- Civil Litigation
- Commercial Law
- Commercial Litigation
- Construction Law
- Consumer Law
- Corporate Law
- Corporate Litigation
- Credit & Mortgage
Areas of Law Description
Ellyn Law LLP Business Litigation & Arbitration Lawyers provides comprehensive legal services on the following areas of practice:
- Litigation Services
Sound advice, effective strategy and negotiations and experienced advocacy are the hallmarks of our approach to each case. We understand and apply ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) methods wherever possible to reduce the time and cost of obtaining the best possible result for our client. Our clients expect good results and our mission is to deliver. Canada’s judicial system has many levels. Cases which do not succeed before the first judge usually have a right of appeal on legal and procedural questions, and rarely on factual grounds. Our firm is experienced and knowledgeable in appellate advocacy.
- Business Litigation
Business litigation cases are the core of our firm’s practice. Our expertise extends to an in-depth knowledge of the procedure, strategy and process of dealing with complex business disputes --- the result of many years of “hands-on” experience. Our clients, who include, both individuals and corporations, have retained us in wide variety of business litigation matters, frequently on referral from other lawyers.
- Shareholder, Corporate and Partnership Disputes
Disputes among shareholders and directors of closely-held and medium size corporations are even more common than the corporate disputes that make the front pages of the Financial Post and the Report on Business. Canada is driven by small, closely-held and medium-sized businesses. Frequently, the “partners” have different interests and objectives and these will be in conflict. Canadian and Ontario law offer a broad range of remedies to deal with these matters, including but not limited to “oppression remedy” claims and derivative actions under the Ontario and Canada Business Corporations Acts (“OBCA and CBCA”). The OBCA and CBCA provide remedies for directors, officers and shareholders and comprise issues such as notices of shareholders and directors’ meetings, injunctions, auction of assets, winding up, interim costs, appointment of auditor or inspector. The Court has a broad discretion to grant relief in many forms on a preservation basis, in an interlocutory order or at trial. We are the authors of the Canada chapter of International Liability of Corporate Directors (Juris Publishing). We are also the authors of numerous articles on shareholders remedies.
- Commercial Lease Disputes
Our expertise in commercial leases includes an appreciation of the business of commercial leasing and the litigation and arbitration aspects of it. We have litigated or negotiated or considered disputes relating many aspects of the commercial lease and the Commercial Tenancies Act, including but not limited to: Right of First Refusal; Landlord’s Re-entry; Relief from Forfeiture; Non-Applicability of Residential Tenancies Act; Distress of Commercial Goods; Overholding and Penalty of Double; Landlord’s re-location of tenant to an inferior location; Right of Renewal and terms of exercise; Mortgagee’s Tenancy from Year to Year on Possession; Principles in Goodyear v. Burnamthorpe; Negotiation of rent increases and use of arbitration clause; Ground leases; Tenant’s early abandonment of premises; Enforcement of Guarantees and Personal Covenants; Assignment of Rights.
- Libel & Slander and Defamation
The spread of defamatory words is even easier now that the Internet is commonplace. In some circumstances, the Court will award damages in very large amounts for defamatory statements. In specific cases, an injunction might also be ordered to prevent from further defamation. The lawyers of Ellyn Law LLP understand the law and procedure in defamation and libel and slander cases. We act as counsel on cases involving defamatory statements against business, professional and personal reputations. If you or your business, professional association or other group have been defamed or libeled in a newspaper or broadcast or on the Internet you must act quickly as there are very short limitation periods in some cases. Failure to serve written notice of the intention to make a claim within six weeks of publication of the defamatory words may prevent your or business from pursuing its claim. Notice under the Libel and Slander Act takes time to prepare so an immediate reaction is required.
- E-Commerce & Electronic Copying
The development of cyberspace has created legal problems which did not exist a few years ago. Our rapidly-changing world requires lawyers to adapt to new legal principles. Our firm has accepted this challenge in the relation to the internet and electronic copying. We have represented clients in the following electronic commerce matters and continue to do so: Domain name dispute arbitration under UDRP (Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy) of ICANN; Negotiation of settlement of claim under Federal Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act; Defense of claims under private copying (blank audio media levy) provisions of Canada Copyright Act; Copyright litigation before Federal Court of Canada; and, Monitoring of private copying decisions and litigation before Canada Copyright Board.
- Construction Law
Construction litigation has many aspects, including litigation of construction disputes, claims under the Ontario New Home Warranty Plan (now TARION), construction lien claims, disputes between owners and subcontractors, arbitration between owners and general contractors, insurance claims. Our firm has acted on many such claims and has represented numerous owners, developers, contractors and also, purchasers in litigation and arbitration matters. Over the last 20 years, Igor Ellyn has been counsel on more than 200 cases involving contractors and builders.
- Employment Law
Many business disputes arise in the workplace. Our lawyers have extensive experience wrongful dismissal cases on behalf of both employers and employees. Our employer clients include manufacturing and distribution companies, automobile dealerships and other business. We have litigated, negotiated and mediated settlements for senior executives and other employees of small, medium and large corporations. We have also acted on complex matters involving non-competition agreements, breach of trade secrets, independent contracts, breach of fiduciary duty involving client lists and related matters. Igor Ellyn has been a speaker at professional conferences on employment law. Some of his articles dealing with employment law issues may be found in our Information Centre, where you will also find Barry Fisher's interesting article on wrongful dismissal mediation. Mr. Ellyn was also counsel on a precedent setting case which was one of cornerstones of the principle of "Wallace damages".
- Insurance Law
Our lawyers have experience in commercial insurance litigation on behalf of insurers and insured. We have acted as counsel on commercial casualty, professional negligence, construction negligence, fire claims, defamation and officers and directors' claims.
- Estates & Trusts Disputes
Igor Ellyn and Orie Niedzviecki act on estate disputes, including contested wills, will interpretation, undue influence, trust claims and other matters in the Estates Court. We have experience in advising on, litigating, negotiating and mediating complex estate disputes. Our experience includes disputes requiring variation of trusts, litigation among siblings, disputes over fictitious wills and mental competency of the testator. We have acted on disputes involving the heirs of the testator. Mr. Ellyn has acted in a dispute involving a will which limited payment to the residuary beneficiary only if she became a widow. As a result of the court procedure we adopted, our client received all of the multi-million dollar estate and an insurance fund was set up for contingent beneficiaries. Mr. Ellyn has also acted on disputes involving rest home operators, disputing siblings, residuary beneficiaries and charities. He has appeared in the Ontario Court of Appeal and in the Supreme Court of Canada in cases involving succession and family law issues. Our clients in estate cases have come from Canada, USA, Europe and Israel.
- International and U.S. Judgment Enforcement
If you have a judgment of an American or other court outside Canada which must be enforced in Ontario or another province of Canada, we have special expertise in this field. We have experience in procedural and jurisdictional questions concerning the enforcement of judgments. We are currently counsel on international judgment enforcement matters in Canada. We have been listed in the Forwarders List directory. Our expertise in various aspects of the law of Ontario enables us to testify in US courts on the status of Canadian law as an expert witness. We also have expertise in the enforcement of arbitration awards, including international commercial arbitration awards under the New York convention. We are the authors of the Canada chapter of Enforcement of Money Judgments (Juris Publishing).
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
In addition to our work as litigation counsel, we provide a broad spectrum of ADR services. ADR, which stands for Alternative Dispute Resolution, is the process by which disputes are resolved without the necessity of trial in court. ADR can take several forms, some of which may precede others:
Mediation is a non-binding, confidential negotiation process in which a neutral third party - the mediator - assists the parties and their counsel to arrive at a complete settlement or at least, to narrow the issues in dispute so that the trial or arbitration will be shorter and less expensive. Mediation has become very popular and is mandatory in many court cases and produces a high ratio of settlements. We act as counsel on mediations in all of our fields of expertise.
Arbitration is a binding process which takes the place of a trial in court and leads to a final decision which resolves the dispute. The decision-maker - the arbitrator - is an experienced lawyer or a retired judge, who has been selected by the parties and conducts the hearing according to agreed upon rules of procedure. Arbitration is usually faster than a lawsuit and could be less expensive because the parties have better control of the process. We act as counsel in arbitrations in all our fields of expertise. We are the authors of several articles on commercial arbitration.
- International Network of Boutique Law Firms
- Canadian Chamber of Commerce International Arbitration Committee
- ADR Institute of Ontario Inc.
- Better Business Bureau of Central and Mid-Western Ontario Inc.
Igor Ellyn, QC, CS, FCIArb.
Agency and Distributorship, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Appellate Practice, Arbitration, Business Litigation
Mr. Orie H. Niedzviecki
Alternative Dispute Resolution, Appellate Practice, Arbitration, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation
Ms. Lauren Lackie
Alternative Dispute Resolution, Business Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Human Rights, International Arbitration
Ms. Evelyn Perez-Youssoufian
Alternative Dispute Resolution, Appellate Practice, Arbitration, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation
Ms. Belinda E. Schubert
Alternative Dispute Resolution, Appellate Practice, Arbitration, Business Litigation, Civil Rights
More Information on Ellyn Law LLPToronto, Ontario Business Litigation Lawyers
E-Commerce Law Firm in Toronto, Ontario
Toronto, Ontario Shareholder Dispute Lawyers
Estates Disputes Law Firm in Toronto, Ontario
Toronto, Ontario Commercial Lease Dispute Lawyer
Employment Law Firm in Toronto, Ontario
Toronto International Judgment Enforcement Lawyer
Ellyn Law LLP News and Publications
Articles Published by Ellyn Law LLP
Fraud Claims in Business Transaction Litigation - Canada
Fraud in business transactions is on the rise in the province of Ontario, Canada. Litigating business transaction claims involving fraud requires an understanding of complex aspects of legal procedure, contract and tort law. Igor Ellyn, QC, a senior Toronto litigation counsel, provides useful details on this topic.Read Article
Preparing for Cross-Examination and Discovery in Ontario Lawsuits: Tips, Pointers and Best Practices
These tips, pointers and information are intended for persons who must attend for cross-examination or examination for discovery in a civil proceeding in Ontario. There are some procedural differences between cross-examination and discovery but generally, preparation for the examination is the same.Read Article
Using Financial Expert Witnesses in Business Litigation
In business litigation, the quality, independence and acceptability of the expert evidence can make or break the case. This article discusses the law of Canada affecting the use of financial experts and best practices to make their evidence most effective. This presentation was prepared for a legal conference which took place in Toronto on May 30, 2013. The contents are not legal advice. Please contact the authors if you have any questions.Read Article
Liability of Directors in Canada - An Excerpt
This an excerpt of the Canada chapter of International Liability of Corporate Directors, 2nd ed., Juris Publishing, Feb. 2013. Parts of the full chapter are excluded, including, offering corporations, corporate reporting, role of securities commissions, insider trading, prospectus violations, loans and liability insurance and indemnification. Please consult the full chapter. Information only not legal advice.Read Article
Civil Litigation Procedures in Ontario, Canada
This summary of Civil Litigation Procedures was prepared on the on the occasion of the 2012 Annual Conference of the International Network of Boutique Law Firms in Rancho Palos Verde, CA on Oct 12-14, 2012. The law and procedure are similar but not identical in the Canadian common provinces and territories but differs in Quebec which has a Civil Code. This summary is not exhaustive and is not intended as legal advice.Read Article
Effective Advocacy in Commercial Arbitration
With the proliferation of international commercial arbitration and business arbitrations locally, a large body of rules, protocols, laws and conventions - formal and informal -- have developed. Litigation lawyers cannot assume they know the ins and outs of arbitration without learning how the details. This article reproduces the power point slides of a presentation made by the author at an Arbitration Advocacy seminar in October 2012. They are for information only and not legal advice.Read Article
The Role of Arbitration in International Business
International commercial arbitration is the most common method for resolving disputes arising from agreements between businesses from different countries. In this presentation, the author describes the systems and procedures applicable to international commercial arbitration and helps business people understand what to expect.Read Article
Orders and Awards in Commercial Arbitration and Related Court Proceedings - Canada
The authors discuss the impact of an important decision of the Ontario Superior Court concerning an arbitrator’s jurisdiction to make orders affecting non-parties and related matters. Also discussed is the enforcement of an award under section 50 of the Arbitration Act.Read Article
How to Make In-Trial Objections Less Objectionable
Persuasive advocacy involves juggling many balls at the same time. Counsel must develop a plausible theory of the case. S/he must consider what evidence is available and how it should be led. Argument about inferences to be drawn from the evidence and law must be crafted to present the client’s case persuasively. In this informative article, litigation counsel Igor Ellyn and Belinda Schubert explain how this is most effectively done.Read Article
Canadian Arbitrator Lacks Jurisdiction to Make Orders Affecting Rights of Third Parties
In a recent decision, Justice Perell of Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice, ruled that an arbitrator lacks jurisdiction to affect rights of non-parties. The arbitrator also lacked jurisdiction to grant an ex parte protective injunction. The arbitrator’s order was unenforceable.Read Article
Canadian Litigants Battle over Scope of Arbitration Clauses
In Canadian courts, arbitration agreements are broadly interpreted and if a dispute could arguably fall within the scope of an arbitration clause, the court should refer the parties to arbitration. Courts should permit the arbitrator to determine if the claim falls within the scope of the arbitration clause. However, that doesn't mean there is no litigation over arbitration clauses.Read Article
Shareholders' Remedies in Canada in 2010
When advising business clients about doing business in Canada, lawyers must turn their minds not only to the kinds of corporate vehicles which Canadian law permits but also the vailable remedies if disputes arise. This paper highlights the remedies available in common law jurisdictions of Canada to protect shareholders and others from abusive corporate action, including oppression remedy, derivative actions, court-ordered meeting, investigations and winding up.Read Article
Litigating in the Enlightened Age of Mediation in Ontario, Canada: Drafting Pleadings
In the enlightened age of mediation, more than of 90% of all lawsuits eventually settle. Good counsel must now see the pleadings in a different light. The Statement of Claim or Complaint is a very useful marketing tool. If drafted with its audiences in mind, it can go a long way to help achieve a good settlement. The authors are experience business litigation lawyers in Toronto, Canada.Read Article
The Standard of Appellate Review in Ontario Canada: High Hurdles to Right Wrongs
Assessing the prospects of success on appeal and winning on appeal are among the most difficult aspects of an advocate’s role. Losing party’s counsel is confronted with human and analytical challenges which can be more complicated than the events which led to the unsatisfactory trial judgment, jury verdict, arbitral award or tribunal decision. Winning counsel has to deal with the possibility of reversal.Read Article
The Five Most Significant Decisions of the Canadian Courts in 2008-2009
What the Courts decide affect the lives of many citizens. In this interesting article, the authors review the most important decisions decided by Canadian courts between September 2008 and August 2009.Read Article
Developments in the Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Canada
Courts in Ontario, Canada, where more than one-third of Canada’s population resides, are very receptive to the enforcement of final and conclusive foreign money judgments is subject to certain statutory exceptions and procedural requirements. The authors detail the law and procedure relating to the enforcement of foreign jdgments in Ontario, Canada.Read Article
Family Shareholder Fights Highlight Need for Formal Agreements
An article in Canadian Law Times discusses a hotly-contested shareholder dispute.Read Article
The Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Canada
This article is for information only and not legal advice. The author discusses the enforcement of foreign judgments in Canada. This article was originally presented in French at the Conference of the Association of French Speaking Lawyers of Ontario (AJEFO) in Niagara Falls, Ontario, June 4, 2004. It has been translated into English by the author. The content is still current to 2009.Read Article
Resolving Shareholder Disputes in Canada
This article discusses issues affecting disputes among shareholders of private corporations in Ontario, Canada. The authors are partners of a Toronto law firm which focuses on litigation, arbitration and resolution of shareholder and other business disputes.Read Article
The Tension between Choice of Law and Mandatory Rules in International Employment and Agency Arbitration
There is tension in international arbitration between party autonomy and mandatory laws of a jurisdiction connected to the dispute. Party autonomy may be trumped by mandatory laws of a particular jurisdiction. These slides were part of Igor Ellyn's presentation at a March 2008 legal conference in New York called “Perspectives on International Labor and Employment Law”, hosted by the New York State Bar Association and Cornell University, ILR School.Read Article
So your Business has a Legal Problem. . . 8 Useful Tips on what to Expect from your Lawyer
As a business owner, you are usually run off your feet with the challenges of operating your business. The last thing you need to worry about is a legal problem. Many business people put off dealing with a legal problem because they don’t know where to turn, don’t have the time, or most often, are afraid of how much it will cost and how much time it will take. The authors give tips on how to get legal advice efficiently.Read Article
The Business Legal Checkup: Preventive Advice for the Legal Health of your Business - Canada
The authors, explain how a Business Legal Checkup ("BLC") can be useful. BLC is a diagnostic tool small and medium size businesses can use to verify if legal aspects of their operation comply with law and to minimize risk, litigation and expense. When the BLC is completed, the business owner receives a lawyer’s report red-flagging matters which need correction, improvement or further legal advice. Contact the authors for more information.Read Article
Canadian Litigants Battle over Scope of Arbitration Clauses Seeking Juridical Advantages
In Canadian courts, arbitration agreements are broadly interpreted. If a dispute could fall within the scope of an arbitration clause, courts refer the parties to arbitration. Despite judicial clarity, a plethora of litigation over the scope of arbitration clauses exists. The author, a senior business litigation and arbitration counsel in Toronto, Canada and a chartered arbitrator discusses the current state of the law.Read Article
Shareholders' Remedies in Canada
When doing business in Canada, remedies to resolve shareholder disputes re very important.Read Article
Toward a "Global" Village Approach in The Enforcement Of Foreign Judgments in Canada
Enforcement of Judgments across international borders is an important element in international commerce. In this article discuss the state of the law in Canada In Beals v. Saldanha, 2003 SCC 72, the majority of the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the "real and substantial connection" test applied to the enforcement of judgments from jurisdictions outside Canada.Read Article
Winning Business Appeals and the Concept of Commercial Reasonableness
The authors are commercial litigation appellate lawyers in Toronto, Canada. Relying on experience and anecdotal research in commercial appeals, they conclude that at the root of appeals from judgments in commercial cases is the burning question, "Does the result make sense from a business perspective?” The paper demonstrates that in commercial appeals, the Ontario Court of Appeal generally operates on the principle of “commercial reasonableness”.Read Article