Supreme Court of Canada weighs in on Henson trusts

4 February 2019

A Henson trust, named after an Ontario court decision from the 1980s, is an estate planning tool by which property can be held in trust for a disabled beneficiary such that it is not an asset of the beneficiary, thereby preserving and maximizing the beneficiary’s entitlement to government means-tested social programs. It is frequently employed […]

The Latest Word from the Supreme Court of Canada on Unjust Enrichment

27 November 2018

This is an important decision for everyone who comes across equitable relief in their practice. In March 2017 a divided panel of the Ontario Court of Appeal in Moore v. Sweet overturned a finding of unjust enrichment on the ground there was a “juristic reason” for the enrichment. The decision was appealed. On 23 November […]

Ontario Court of Appeal clarifies requirements for releasing unknown claims

24 May 2017

The Ontario Court of Appeal has clarified that “exceptionally comprehensive” language may not be required to release claims that were unknown at the time the release was signed. A release of a category of claims arising prior to a certain date, does not need to say unknown claims in that category are being released.  There […]

UK Supreme Court re-visits testamentary freedom

20 March 2017

In a decision released on 15 March 2017 , overturning the Court  of Appeal, the UKSC reminds courts that when considering claims for financial support from the estate of a deceased, the test is not whether the deceased behaved unreasonably in leaving the will they did. The right question for the court is: did the […]

KPMG v. Minister of National Revenue – Limits on accountants’ duty of confidentiality

2 March 2017

On 18 February 2013 the Minister of national Revenue moved ex parte for an order under section 231.2(3) of the Income Tax Act, authorizing him to impose on KPMG LLP a requirement to provide information relating to certain of its unnamed clients, including their identities, and documentation relating to their participation in an offshore company tax structure. […]

Tweaking mediation

21 February 2017

Civil justice resources should be deployed so that there is a gravity-assisted, downhill run to the courtroom where disputes will promptly be determined by a judge, if mediation fails. Unless the parties decide otherwise, failed mediation and the judicial determination step should be linked. There can be no doubt that promotion of the settlement of […]

“Mediation? The most expensive sandwiches I’ve ever eaten”

17 October 2016

This was the eye-catching title of an evening symposium held at a London UK barristers’ chambers earlier this year. Anyone facing litigation – whether in business, or private life – is confronted with an awful trilogy: unpredicatable expense, with an uncertain outcome, lasting a period of time that cannot be determined. Mediation arose because of […]