Canadian Lawyer

June 2020

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 23 of 51

22 FEATURE TOP CIVIL LITIGATION AND CRIMINAL BOUTIQUES from complex commercial litigation and class actions to professional discipline and labour relations. It also represents other law firms and acts as appellate counsel. On Feb. 28, a decision was rendered in a 14-year class action litigation in which the firm acted for around 200,000 Bank of Montreal subsidiary account holders. The claim alleged three BMO subsidiaries charged approxi- mately $102.9 million worth of undisclosed fees in connection with currency conversions. At summary judgment, the motion judge found the BMO subsidiaries breached fidu- ciary duty and engaged in breach of trust. The case is currently under appeal. "It was a big win for the firm," says Tina Lie, a partner at the firm. "It shows that patience and perseverance really do pay off. You just carry on and you continue to push the ball forward, and ultimately you get there." "It was a big win for not just this class of 200,000 account holders but also class actions more generally. It shows that class actions can be an important and effective way to hold institutions and other entities to account when there are these kinds of systemic breaches." Stockwoods LLP Barristers Toronto Stockwoods LLP represents clients in commercial, civil, criminal and regulatory litigation. The firm's 22 lawyers repre- sent a broad spectrum of clients including business entities and executives, financial institutions, government organizations, Indigenous groups, police services, judges, regulated professionals and professional regulators, as well as corporate and indi- vidual defendants in white collar and other serious criminal prosecutions. Stockwoods' commercial litigation practice includes both commercial and corporate disputes, fraud actions and securities and competition law class proceedings. Recent work includes Nader Hasan's acting for the Criminal Lawyers' Association, an intervenor in the Supreme Court of Canada case R v S.H, which dealt with Canada's Evidence Act provisions on the authentication of digital evidence. Stockwoods' Nader Hasan, Justin Safayeni and Spencer Bass — in partnership with environmental law charity Ecojustice — also recently launched a constitutional challenge against Ontario for failure to take action on climate change. Woods LLP Montréal Woods LLP is a boutique firm specializing in litigation, arbitration and insolvency. Its lawyers are bilingual, trained in civil and common law and called to the bar in various jurisdictions in Canada, the U.S., France and England. In April, the firm announced former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Clément Gascon — whose pre-bench career consisted of civil and commercial litigation and labour law — had joined as senior counsel. Lawyer Caroline Biron says that, in recent years, the firm has steadily grown its inter- national arbitration practice. Ten years ago, when Stephen Drymer joined the firm, he was the sole lawyer working in that area, she says. The firm now has seven lawyers working in international arbitration. Bolstering the group is another significant addition to the firm. Last September, Woods welcomed Haig Oghigian from Squire Patton Boggs in Tokyo, Japan. Oghigian spent 20 years devel- oping a practice in Asia, but his legal career was preceded by a stint as a diplomat with the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo. Biron says Oghigian is "very highly regarded" and adds valuable exposure in the Asian market. "It's really good to have him with us, to add this expertise to our international arbitration practice," Biron says.

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