Although parts of CETA have been provisionally applied since 21 September 2017, the parts not subject to provisional application – including the investment chapter (CETA’s Chapter Eight) which covers investment protection and dispute resolution – are still pending domestic ratification procedures in 10 EU Member States. In parallel, CETA’s framework for investment protection and dispute…

In 2023, Canadian courts were called to rule on a multitude of fascinating issues, including distinguishing arbitration from expert determination (Clearspring Capital Partners II v. Logistik Unicorp Holdings), exercising their inherent powers to appoint a notable international arbitration law firm as amicus curiae (Hypertec Real Estate Inc. v. Equinix Canada Ltd.), and holding that a…

This Part 2 continues reflections on key arbitration-related developments in Canada during 2023. Whereas Part 1 addressed the courts’ approaches to arbitrator independence and impartiality and the unconscionability of arbitration agreements, this Part 2 shines light on different takes on procedural fairness and “fresh evidence” in post-award proceedings.   What is “Proper Notice”? The past…

On the first day of the 2023 Seoul ADR Festival, Secretariat Advisors hosted a double feature of panels relating to arbitration costs. The first panel focusing on the recovery of arbitration costs featured James Chun (foreign attorney, Kim & Chang), Inkoo Lee (manager, Secretariat), and Bruno Savoie (foreign attorney, City-Yuwa Partners). Messrs. Lee and Savoie…

Over two hundred registrants convened on the historic trading floor of the Toronto Stock Exchange on October 19 for the ICC Canada Conference to explore forces and technologies driving change in the practice of international dispute resolution. The conference kicked-off with Myriam Seers’ (ICC Canada Chair, Agora) introduction to a video address from Claudia Salomon…

On October 18, 2023, during the 2023 Canadian Arbitration Week, members of the Young Canadian Arbitration Practitioners (“YCAP“) gathered at Arbitration Place in Toronto, Canada, to discuss the role of tribunal secretaries. Moderator Philippe Boisvert (BLG) and four distinguished panelists – Anne-Marie Lacoste (Quinn Emanuel), Annie Lespérance (Jus Mundi), Kevin Nash (SIAC), and Elsa Sardinha…

Practitioners from Canada and around the world gathered in Toronto from October 16-18, 2023, for the fourth iteration of CanArb Week. The week opened with a keynote address from Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations, the Hon. Robert Rae, who invoked Blaise Pascal with a reminder that “law without force is powerless, but force without…

How strong a scent of a conflict will a court tolerate before setting aside an international commercial arbitration award on procedural grounds? In Aroma Franchise Company Inc. et al v. Aroma Espresso Bar Canada Inc. et al, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice set aside a $10 million award as a result of an undisclosed…

Enforcing awards against third parties is a perennial issue in international arbitration circles. In Air India Ltd c CC/Devas (Mauritius) Ltd, the Court of Appeal of Quebec considered an award creditor’s ability to seize assets belonging to an award debtor’s alter ego under Quebec law. This case offers significant insight for award creditors wishing to…

The pending NAFTA-based investor-State dispute settlement case Einarsson v. Canada has been noteworthy for matters of both procedure and substance. The claimants are a father and two sons, all holding US citizenship, and their Canadian-incorporated company, Geophysical Services Incorporated (GSI). They claim that by violating copyright and trade secret protections of GSI’s seismic data, which…

On June 30, 2020, an era of international investment law and dispute resolution came to an end as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) concluded its 27-year tenure with the entry into force of United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement (USMCA). Three years later, a further milestone is now marked: today, Canada, which…

On an exceptionally sunny day in Vancouver, Canada, Vancouver International Arbitration Centre (VanIAC) and International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) hosted a joint conference entitled “Energy Infrastructure Disputes and Arbitration: Today and Tomorrow”. The one-day conference kicked off with a traditional welcome by Wilson Williams (Sxwíxwtn) of the Squamish Nation on June 2, 2023. After…

During the first days of June, the scenic Canadian city of Vancouver hosted several events of interest to the arbitration community. The biggest of these was the June 2 joint conference organized by the Vancouver International Arbitration Centre (“VanIAC”) and the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (“ICCA”), which will be discussed in a separate blog…

Few people can pride themselves with a career as rich and impactful as that of the Honorable L. Yves Fortier, PC CC, OQ, KC, Ad. E., LLD and no summary will do it justice. Counsel, negotiator, arbitrator, diplomat, thought leader – these are just some of the hats Mr. Fortier has worn over the years….

In 2022, Canadian courts revisited some old issues, like the timeframe for recognizing foreign arbitral awards, but also faced new dilemmas, such as the impact of sanctions on recognition and enforcement. Fostering Canada’s pro-arbitration standing, courts were generally adamant about referring commercial parties to arbitration, although a few exceptions that arose in insolvency contexts are…

The past year has seen several victories for Canada on the ISDS front, a conclusion of a decade-long NAFTA arbitration, and much more. If 2022 is any indication, readers will have many more developments to look forward to during 2023.   Canada comes out of 2022 mostly on top in ISDS Of the cases surveyed,…

On November 10, 2022, the Supreme Court of Canada issued its decision in Peace River v Petrowest. Insolvency and arbitration practitioners alike eagerly anticipated the decision, hoping it would provide clarity on how to resolve challenges that arise when these two specialist areas of practice come together in one case.  In this post, we review…

Over the last few years, arbitrator independence and impartiality have been under heightened scrutiny by courts and tribunals. This is not unexpected. The importance of the rule against bias is best explained by Lord Denning’s dictum in Metropolitan Properties Co (FGC) Ltd v Lannon [1969] 1 QB 577 where he held that “[j]ustice must be…

On the third and final day of CanArb Week 2022, the ICC Canada Arbitration Committee held its annual conference titled The New World. The conference sessions were bookended by opening and closing remarks by Professor Janet Walker (Chair, ICC Canada, Atkin Chambers, Full Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School) and Myriam Seers (Vice-Chair, ICC Canada, Partner,…

The third edition of CanArb Week took place in Montréal from October 19 to 21, 2022. Speakers from all walks of arbitration life (academics, arbitrators, counsel, experts, leaders of arbitral institutions, and third party funders), as well as justices of the Supreme Court of Canada, gathered in the “Paris of North America”, to the delight of…

Not so long ago, as a lawyer you started your career at the same firm from which you would later retire. Today, the opposite is true. Ambitious young lawyers and sometimes even entire practice groups move to new firms. Counsel switch between in-house and law firm positions, between public and private employers, and occasionally between…

This question of first impression under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) has been brought to the fore with the spring 2022 publication of the Request for Arbitration (“Request”) submitted by TC Energy Corporation and TransCanada PipeLines Limited against United States (dated November 22, 2021) and the Notice of Intent (“Notice”) submitted by Alberta Petroleum Marketing…

Canada’s west coast has long welcomed arbitration as a means of dispute resolution and provided a venue for arbitrations of all kinds. The Vancouver International Arbitration Centre (VanIAC) – established in 1986 under the name British Columbia International Commercial Arbitration Centre (BCICAC) – has recently made further strides in providing parties with workable and efficient…

Aircraft seizures tend to come up at the enforcement stage, oftentimes in relation to investment arbitration awards (see, e.g., proceedings against Tanzania or Equatorial Guinea). In Specter Aviation v. Laprade, however, the seizure of the Beechcraft Super King Air 300 (the “Aircraft”) is what triggered proceedings before the courts of the Canadian province of Québec,…