The practice area of securities litigation lawyers includes litigation and broader dispute resolution and settlement on issues including insider trading; oppression remedies; shareholder disputes generally; contested merger and acquisition bid and defence work; proxy contests; amalgamations, reorganizations and restructurings; corporate governance disputes; director, officer, issuer and investment dealer disclosure and liability matters; and other such non-compliance matters generally.
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A securities litigation lawyer provides a wide range of services to its clients, not only during litigation, but also even mediations and arbitrations which may occur before a litigation.
When issuers have, or is allegedly, misrepresented itself through the mandatory disclosures the law requires of them, civil actions for damages may be instituted in the form of investor class actions. Here, investors, as a class, sues the reporting issuer for any misrepresentations made either in the disclosure documents, such as in the prospectus, or in the other continuous disclosure of material changes as required by securities laws.
However, for Quebec, the governing law on misrepresentations would be its Civil Code. In a class suit, a securities litigation lawyer may represent either the investors as the plaintiffs, or the reporting issuers as a defending party.
There are also civil actions for damages that investors can institute individually, since class suits may not be a proper action for the determination of these damages. These claims for damages may be from negligent or fraudulent misrepresentations and breach of contract of reporting issuers. It is best to ask help from a securities litigation lawyer below to determine the best course of action for an investor (and even a defence for reporting issuers charged with such allegations).
Before, or as an alternative to litigation, a securities litigation lawyer may also assist clients either as a mediator, or an arbitrator, or as representatives or to provide legal assistance during mediation or arbitration proceeding.
As of the moment, Canada has no federal law regulating securities and its sector. This specific task of securities regulation is under the jurisdiction of the provinces and territories. For example, in Ontario, the provincial securities regulating agency is the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), whose mandate is derived from the Securities Commission Act, 2021. The OSC enforces several laws such as Ontario’s Securities Act, and Ontario’s Commodity Futures Act, along with the Regulations drawn based on these laws. Similarly, the other provinces and territories have the same set-up as to regulating the securities that is under their jurisdiction.
this is why it is important, when you look at the list of the best securities litigation lawyers in Canada below, that you choose one from the appropriate province for your needs.
Generally, the respective provincial and territorial securities laws have the same provisions as to regulating securities, and the purposes of which are to protect the public interest and investors from any improper practices; ensure stability of the securities sector; and, to penalise erring participants, such as those who violated the specific requirements imposed to them, those who engaged themselves in fraudulent transactions, or those who committed gross violations of these securities laws.
Below are some of the common provisions of these provincial and territorial securities law in Canada, among others.
Under the law, a reporting issuer is required to continuously and timely disclose obligations, and proxy solicitation and information circular requirements. For this requirement, a “reporting issuer” is commonly defined as an issuer who:
This is addition to other impositions based on the specific industry or sector that the reporting issuer works under.
A “prospectus” is a disclosure required by law which contains all information regarding the securities being offered, including about the issuer, their business, and other relevant information. This prospectus must be provided to each prospective investor. Hence, a prospectus must be filed with the appropriate securities commission or regulator and any issuance by an issuer of securities, or other trades in securities, must be made in accordance with the said prospectus.
In addition, the said issuance must be accompanied with a receipt, as evidence that the prospectus was reviewed by the securities commission or regulator.
Because securities regulation is lodged under each of the Canadian provinces and territories, there are currently 13 securities regulators, or entities which have an equivalent authority, whose jurisdiction is limited to the province or territory it serves. The establishment of these securities regulators, including its powers and the specific provisions it must enforce, emanates from the securities law of these provinces and territories.
Through these securities laws, the securities regulators are also empowered to promulgate their own rules and regulations in the implementation of said securities laws. For example, under the Ontario’s Securities Act, various Regulations are enacted for its implementation.
In lieu of a federal securities agency, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) is a national organisation formed by all 13 securities regulators from the 10 provinces and 3 territories of Canada. However, the handling of complaints and enforcement of securities regulations are still with the provincial and territorial securities regulators, and the CSA works only to collaborate efforts among these regulators. In addition, the CSA releases annual reports on securities regulations available for the public.
The CSA and its members, except for Ontario, adopted a “passport” system in a collaborative effort to provide market participants with an efficient and organised access to capital markets. These market participants referred to may be any of the public and private entities engaged in the business of issuing, regulating, recording, trading, storing, buying, or selling of securities.
Through the passport system, a market participant, even though they have only registered in the province or territory where they operate, would have access to other markets in the other provinces and territories. Although, for a market participant not registered in Ontario, it would have to access the resources provided by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC).
Interested in pursuing litigation with regards to securities regulation? Consult with a securities litigation lawyer by scrolling down below to know more about the strength and the weaknesses of your case, and rest easy knowing that those below are all Lexpert Ranked.