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Who We Are

At Aird & Berlis, we provide strategic legal and business advice in all principal areas of corporate commercial law, including corporate finance, banking, insolvency and restructuring, energy, environmental, infrastructure/P3, technology and intellectual property, litigation, labour and employment, municipal and land use planning, real estate and tax. 

We focus on your legal issues, so you can focus on your business.

Recent Developments

Events
Managing Absenteeism in the Workplace Lorenzo Lisi, Meghan A. Cowan, Fiona Brown and Michael F. Horvat Mar 26, 2019 An employee’s intentional or regular absence from work can decrease productivity and impact company morale and finances. There are a number of critical steps employers must take to avoid absenteeism in the workplace, and methods to manage absenteeism when it happens.  Join Aird & ...
Publications Article
Highlights of the 2019 Federal Budget Mar 19, 2019 On March 19, 2019 ("Budget Day"), the Department of Finance (Canada) tabled Canada's federal budget for 2019 ("Budget 2019"). The highlights include proposals (or intentions to proceed with proposals) to: Extend the foreign affiliate dumping rules so as to also apply to any corporation resid...
Publications Article
Workplace Accidents To Give Notice or Not to Give Notice – That’s Only One of the Questions… David S. Reiter Mar 18, 2019 Nobody wants workplace accidents to happen. Businesses want their workers to go home at the end of the day and for their workplaces to stay safe. Unfortunately though, accidents do happen. And when they do, the Ontario Ministry of Labour shifts into a reactive mode by investigating, issuing Order...
Publications Article
Employers’ Dilemma – Did Misconduct at Work Feed the Addiction or Did the Addiction Blind the Employee to Her Actions? Michael F. Horvat Mar 18, 2019 A recent arbitration case continues to exemplify the difficulty faced by employers who must manage safety-sensitive workplaces and apply strict workplace practices in circumstances where an employee’s addiction and disability is connected to serious misconduct. In Regional Municipality of Waterlo...
Representative Matters
Allied Properties REIT Completes $230 Million Public Equity Offering Margaret T. Nelligan, Sherri M. Altshuler, Anne E. Miatello, Melanie Cole, Liam Tracey-Raymont, Amy Marcen-Gaudaur, Michael D. Smith, Neill Kalvin and Barbara Worndl Mar 11, 2019 Allied Properties Real Estate Investment Trust (“Allied”), a leading owner, manager and developer of urban office environments operating in Canada’s major cities, recently completed a $230 million public equity offering of units.
Publications Article
The Latest Court of Appeal Decision on Jail and Occupational Health & Safety Act Offences Are jail sentences about to become more common, and what can businesses do about it? David S. Reiter Feb 28, 2019 There have been thousands of Occupational Health and Safety Act convictions in Ontario, but less than two dozen jail sentences. Historically, jail has been reserved for repeat offenders who do not show remorse, and experience indicates that courts have looked to that practice as a sentencing prin...
Publications Article
When You Become Dependent on Independent Contractors: The Risk to Employers Michael F. Horvat Feb 28, 2019 A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court is a reminder to all employers of the liability associated with engaging individuals as contractors in circumstances where the practical, day-to-day nature of the economic relationship is that of an employee. This can become particularly tricky to m...
Insights EnergyInsider
Ontario Announces “Made-in-Ontario” Emissions Standards Zoë Thoms Feb 22, 2019 The Ontario government announced new emission reduction standards as part of its plan to address climate change without imposing a carbon tax. The province developed the Emissions Performance Standards as an alternative to the federal Output-Based Pricing System.
Insights TheSpotlight
“Privacy is Not an All-or-Nothing Concept”: The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in R. v. Jarvis Donald B. Johnston and Brandon Carter Feb 20, 2019 On February 14, 2019, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in R. v. Jarvis, a case that centered on determining when and where a person will be criminally liable for observing or recording others, without their knowledge, for sexual gratification.
Insights TheSpotlight
Data Breaches – What Will Cost You and What Will Save You Money Paige Backman Feb 11, 2019 For the last number of years, Ponemon Institute has published reports on data breaches. The latest report, “2018 Cost of a Data Breach Study: Global Overview”, is worth the read. It explores not just the cost in dollars and organization expended (direct and indirect costs), but also which element...
Insights EnergyInsider
All’s “Well” That Ends “Well” The Supreme Court of Canada’s Decision in Orphan Well Association v. Grant Thornton Ltd. David Stevens, Jeremy Nemers and Brandon Carter Feb 07, 2019 On January 31, 2019, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered its decision in Orphan Well Association v. Grant Thornton Ltd. The majority of the SCC held that end-of-life environmental remediation costs mandated by specific Alberta legislation against a bankrupt oil and gas company must be satisfied ...
Insights TheSpotlight
Come On, They’re Children! Paige Backman Feb 04, 2019 A few days ago, a friend forwarded on the Slashdot story about Facebook paying individuals, ages 13-35, $20/month to essentially spy on them. The story is all over the Internet, apparently.
Insights TheSpotlight
“BIG MAC” Attack! Brandon Carter and Ken Clark Jan 31, 2019 McDonald’s no longer owns the “BIG MAC” trademark in Europe in the wake of the European Union Intellectual Property Office’s decision on a cancellation proceeding filed by Irish fast-food restaurant chain, Supermac.
News Firm News
Aird & Berlis Announces New Partners Meghan A. Cowan, Marni Pernica and Vedran Simkic Jan 29, 2019 Aird & Berlis LLP is proud to announce that Meghan Cowan, Marni Pernica and Vedran Simkic have become partners of the firm. Meghan Cowan is a member of the firm's Litigation & Dispute Resolution Group, Workplace Law Group and Privacy & Data Security Group. She advises on a variety of ...
Publications Article
Court Confirms Multiple Wills As Valid Probate Planning Device Ed Esposto Jan 25, 2019 For months now, estate planning lawyers in Ontario have been dealing with the uncertainty caused by the decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Re Milne Estate. To the great relief of many lawyers, yesterday a panel of three judges of the Divisional Court of the Ontario Superior Cour...
Publications Article
You Asked, We Answered: Top Workplace Law Issues Michael F. Horvat Jan 24, 2019 We recently held our Top Workplace Law Issues of 2018 webinar, where we took a look back and are preparing for the year ahead. A few recurring themes arose in the questions our audience asked. Here we answer some of your most frequently-asked questions.
Publications Article
When Compliance Isn’t Enough: Ensuring Compliance Through Alternative Methods Under the OHSA David S. Reiter Jan 24, 2019 An interesting case from the Court of Appeal makes it clear that simply complying with OHSA regulations isn’t always enough. The regulations don’t provide prescriptive certainty, and employers must meet the higher standard of taking all reasonable precautions to protect their workers.
Publications Article
Clarity in Appeal Procedures: The BIA Prevails Steven L. Graff, Miranda Spence, Kyle B. Plunkett and Monica Carinci Jan 23, 2019 A recent decision of Justice Watt of the Ontario Court of Appeal definitively answers the question of which appeal procedure must be followed in appeals of Orders made in proceedings constituted under both the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Courts of Justice Act.
Insights EnergyInsider
OEB Launches “Innovation Sandbox” David Stevens Jan 23, 2019 On January 16, 2019, the Ontario Energy Board announced that its "Innovation Sandbox" is open for business. The goal of this initiative is to provide advice and support to project proponents seeking to advance “innovative projects related to electricity or natural gas service.”
Insights EnergyInsider
Top Energy Insider Posts of 2018 Zoë Thoms Jan 21, 2019 2018 saw many interesting developments in the energy sector, both in Ontario and across Canada. The topic that got the most reads on Energy Insider in 2018 was the changes implemented by Ontario’s new provincial government. Other widely-read topics included developments at the Ontario Energy Boar...
Publications Article
Province Releases Proposals to Change Growth Plan for Greater Golden Horseshoe Changes Aim to Increase Housing Supply and Stimulate Economic Growth Hon. Peter Van Loan Jan 18, 2019 On January 15, 2019, the Minister of Municipal Affairs posted proposed changes to the Provincial Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry. The province is now receiving comments on the proposed changes for 45 days.
News
Patricia Foran and Patrick Harrington Author Book Focused on Planning Legislation Reform in Ontario Patricia A. Foran and Patrick Harrington Jan 11, 2019 Patricia Foran and Patrick Harrington have written Ontario Planning Legislation & Commentary, 2019 Edition, published by LexisNexis Canada.
News
Ron Clark's Latest Book Focuses on Municipally-Owned Corporations in Ontario Ron W. Clark Jan 07, 2019 Ron Clark, a corporate/commercial and energy lawyer at Aird & Berlis, has written Regulation and Governance of Municipally-Owned Corporations in Ontario, published in January 2019 by LexisNexis Canada.
Publications Article
Ontario Cannabis Retail: Just Painful Jeremy D. Burke and Gobind Ahuja Dec 19, 2018 On December 13, 2018, the Government of Ontario announced that it is taking a phased approach to the licensing of brick-and-mortar retail cannabis stores. Citing cannabis product supply shortages, Ontario will now initially limit the number of retail licences to 25. Such limited number of stores ...
Insights EnergyInsider
OEB Takes Next Steps to Implement Changes to Utility Customer Service Rules David Stevens Dec 19, 2018 On December 18, 2018, the Ontario Energy Board issued a Notice setting out next steps to implement the findings in the Report on the Review of Customer Service Rules for Utilities.
Insights TheSpotlight
The Press Freedom Paradox in R. v. Vice Media: the Supreme Court of Canada’s Review of Press Freedoms Versus the Investigative Powers of Police Paige Backman and Brandon Carter Dec 13, 2018 On November 30, 2018, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered its decision in R. v. Vice Media Canada Inc., a case many describe as pitting press freedoms against the investigative powers of police.
Insights EnergyInsider
BCUC Report Finds No Need For Regulation of Public EV Charging Stations David Stevens Dec 12, 2018 On November 26, 2018, the British Columbia Utilities Commission issued its Phase I Report from its Inquiry into the Regulation of Electric Vehicle Charging Service. In this Report, the BCUC found that the public EV charging market does not exhibit monopoly characteristics and economic regulation ...
Publications Article
Government of Ontario Announces Proposed Changes to the Planning Act Patricia A. Foran, Tom Halinski and Matthew Helfand Dec 07, 2018 On December 6, 2018, the Government of Ontario announced that Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018, had undergone first reading by the Legislature. If it becomes law, Bill 66 will introduce sweeping amendments to a wide variety of statutes.
Publications Article
Ford Government Launches First Salvo in War on Red Tape Hon. Peter Van Loan Dec 07, 2018 Premier Ford launched his first advance on this deregulatory agenda on December 6, 2018, with the introduction of a bill entitled “An Act to Restore Ontario’s Competitiveness by Amending and Repealing Certain Regulations.” This red tape reduction legislation aims to eliminate barriers to job crea...
Publications Article
Additional Changes to Ontario Employment Standards – Hours of Work and Overtime Averaging Michael F. Horvat Dec 07, 2018 The Ontario government introduced omnibus legislation on December 6, 2018, that, when passed, will amend multiple statutes which the Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade stated were designed to “reduce red tape and regulatory burden” as part of the Provincial government’s Open...
Publications Article
Don’t Leave Workplace Safety out in the Cold Three Steps That Every Employer Should Be Taking to Protect Their Workers This Winter David S. Reiter Dec 07, 2018 Winter weather is once again upon us. With it comes the joy of the season, but also an increased risk to worker safety. That increased risk imposes special obligations on employers under the Occupational Health & Safety Act (OHSA). Some of the obligations are addressed in the OHSA’s Regulations....
Insights EnergyInsider
Ontario Government Files Arguments in Federal Carbon Pricing Challenge Zoë Thoms Dec 07, 2018 The Ontario government recently filed a factum setting out its argument against the federal government’s carbon pricing legislation as unconstitutional. The factum expands on the arguments outlined in the statement of particulars previously filed by the Attorney General of Ontario.
Insights EnergyInsider
Ontario Releases Its New Environment Plan David Stevens Dec 06, 2018 On November 29, 2018, the Ontario government released its promised plan to address climate change, titled Preserving and Protecting our Environment for Future Generations: A Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan. The Environment Plan addresses four main topics: protecting air and water; addressing cli...
Insights EnergyInsider
OEB Increases Service Charges From Distributors to Energy Retailers and Customers David Stevens Dec 06, 2018 On November 29, 2018, the Ontario Energy Board issued its Report on Energy Retailer Service Charges. The OEB concluded that the current retail service charges from electricity distributors to electricity retailers and their customers need to be increased so that all of the distributors’ costs are...
News
Postal Strike Alert Nov 28, 2018 As reported through multiple media outlets, Canada Post may undergo strike or lockout conditions as early as September 26, with Canadians seeing disruptions to their postal service before the end of September. Please note that invoices and cheques sent to and from Aird & Berlis LLP/Aird & McBurne...
Representative Matters
Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies Successful at Board of Review Hearing David S. Reiter Nov 20, 2018 The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, the Minister responsible for Canada Post Corporation, has issued a final prohibitory order that will prevent the delivery of the publication Your Ward News, or any substantially similar material developed by its authors, through Canada Post’s unaddressed bulk mail.
Representative Matters
Township of King Successful in Enforcement of Bylaw Compliance John J. Longo and Patrick Copeland Mar 03, 2018 The landowner wished to create a large berm on its property adjacent to Highway 400. The Township of King took the position that this was regulated by its fill control bylaw, while the landowner argued that this was “landscaping” and therefore exempt from regulation under that bylaw.