Monthly Archives: July 2017

A few weeks ago the Bank of Canada raised its key lending rate for the first time in seven years by a quarter-percentage-point. Although a move like this signals a growing confidence in the Canadian economy, not everybody shares this excitement.

For lenders, it can make the business of lending a bit more enticing, but for borrowers, an interest rate increase is not news that makes you want to call home. With concerns that this increase could ultimately hurt consumers who are already stretched too thin, it is a good reminder for lenders and creditors to secure their loans to protect themselves against borrowers who are unable to pay off all or part of their debt.

In Ontario, the Personal Property Security Act (PPSA) is a statutory regime that governs the taking of and enforcement of security in the property of a borrower. If you are a lender, by registering with the Personal Property Security Registration (PPSR) system, it will help you secure your loan interests and help establish priorities between you and other lenders with competing interests in the same debtor property, to protect you in the event the borrower does not pay.

We always recommend our clients who are lenders to secure their interests using the PPSR system rather than risk being an unsecured lender with no protection to secure repayment of their loan. Please feel free to connect with us if you would like to learn more about this regime or if you would like help in becoming a secured creditor.

Michelle Eames, LL.B, LL.M.
Business Lawyer
meames@andriessen.ca

When I decided to go British Columbia for law school, I was met with excitement and congratulated for starting a new chapter in life. When I decided to article and work in BC, I was met with skepticism. Not because there is anything wrong with BC (I do prefer the city to the mountains but they both have their benefits) but because the requirements for the eventual transition back to practice in Ontario for most individuals were murky at best.

Prior to practicing in BC, I did research to ensure that my eventual transition home would be as smooth as possible and through the National Mobility Agreement, it was.

The National Mobility Agreement allows for lawyers from reciprocating jurisdictions to apply for permanent transfer to another province or territory.

In Ontario, lawyers from reciprocating jurisdictions who are in good standing and entitled to practice in their home jurisdiction may apply to be licensed in Ontario. These requirements may vary province to province but generally follow a similar outline.
An applicant must complete the application, read the required materials and then go through the licensing process. While waiting to be licensed a lawyer may practice in Ontario if they are licensed in their home jurisdiction, are in good standing, have liability insurance and receive a temporary permit to practice.

So, while the process of law school, articles, and working may seem daunting, transferring your license is not. So, if the opportunity to explore Canada through your legal profession presents itself, jump on it; even if it’s just to realize that mountains aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

Harman S. Toor JD
htoor@andriessen.ca

There is a lot written these days about failure to innovate in business being an invitation to the end of that business. There is a lot of truth in that, but that is not what this Blog is about. This Blog is about Business Law and in particular, Business Litigation. There are many things that are done because we’ve always done them that way and that is not a great reason for us to keep doing them.

I suppose there is a danger this Blog could quickly turn into a Rant. I seem to get more positive comments about my Rants, rather than the “informative” Blogs, so maybe I’ll just let it veer in that direction …. with that in mind, here are some things that need to change:

1. When lawyers, who have been on the file since the law suit started, meet at discovery, pre-trial, etc., there is no need to exchange business cards. All of our information is on the court documents. We’ve usually been in contact for months at that point. Your business card is not identification and it is not needed. When you give it to me in that situation, while I’ll take it, it’s going to be recycled pretty quickly.

2. Assignment Court. This is a step in a lawsuit that needs to be eliminated across the entire province. For non-lawyers, let me explain with this is: it is a day your lawyer goes to Court, must wear Robes (so you cannot send a student, who bills at a lower rate) and agrees with the other lawyer on a date for trial. Thankfully, many jurisdictions in Ontario have procedures in place that let lawyers try to agree on dates ahead of time and avoid Assignment Court, however, many don’t and it’s time to get rid of this expensive step completely.

3. Telling everyone to completely turn cell phones off in Court is not necessary. The reporting equipment has improved. We can leave phones on (on silent mode) while Court is in session. This particularly matters on a “Motions Court” day when a lawyer can be in the Court Room for four to five hours simply waiting to be heard. Let lawyers be productive when there is no reason to stop them from doing so.

4. Having a trial date that is “the week of” needs to end until the R. v. Jordan backup is resolved. That was really technical wasn’t it? Let me explain. R. v. Jordan is a Supreme Court of Canada decision that requires criminal charges to have a trial within two years (I think, I’m not a criminal lawyer, so I could be wrong). This has put a priority on criminal cases being heard. This means that one day civil matters, which are put on a the list to be heard during a specific week are often not heard, because the criminal cases take priority. I recently had one case adjourned for the second time (first from December, now from June) because it was on a list with criminal cases.
This backup is caused in large part because new Judges are not being appointed and we need them desperately.

I’ve got more, but then I’d have to write a Blog about Blogs that are Rants and just go on forever and make the writer sound like an old lady yelling at kids to get off her lawn. So I’ll stop now. You’re welcome.

Inga B. Andriessen JD
iandriessen@andriessen.ca

I’m not intending to trample any American pride by posting this ode to Canada but honestly, our country is awesome.

As a Business Law firm, we are able to point out when we disagree with the government and no one tramples our right to do this.

As advocates for our clients, we are able to argue before the courts in an environment where we know the judiciary is not corrupt.

As a firm made up of people from many ethnic backgrounds, religions and sexual orientations, we are able to get along and be ourselves without fear of persecution.

As an individual who enjoys wide open spaces, our parks, rivers and lakes are the best place to unwind we could ever ask for.

Oh Canada. You’re awesome !

Inga B. Andriessen JD
iandriessen@andriessen.ca