Canadian Lawyer InHouse

August/September 2020

Legal news and trends for Canadian in-house counsel and c-suite executives

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Page 30 of 43 29 says Vescio. Businesses entering into government agreements to retool their operations to produce health-care supplies also need to be aware that they may be subject to greater scrutiny for future foreign investment, according to Shawn Neylan, a partner in Stikeman Elliott LLP's competition and foreign investment group. "Obviously, it's important for the govern- ment to have supply, but being aware of the consequences of entering into certain types of relationships with the government is important," says Neylan. "In-house counsel need to think about this and not sleep-walk into a problem when they take on something and then realize it's going to cause them a big issue in M&A transactions down the road." Entering into such a government agreement may make it harder for companies to do transactions with non-Canadians. "It's basically another way to create a potential national security issue," says Neylan. mindful of as you push your technology out there for the good of society," says Courage. Many auto parts manufacturers jumped on the bandwagon to support the cause by pivoting operations to produce items such as face shields and parts for ventilators — giving rise to various liability issues, as well as distribution and commercial negotiation concerns. The Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association led an initiative to recruit and support auto manufacturers in their efforts to help the crisis, in partnership with governments. The APMA began by engaging in discus- sions with more than 70 companies before selecting the best partners. "You first have to be certified to make a part that's for medical use, and there is a whole regulatory rigour that you have to go through with Health Canada," says Gian Paolo Vescio, general counsel at the APMA, which represents all auto parts makers and suppliers throughout the country. "There are clear commercial terms on how a product will be handled and fitted in a vehicle. "Auto parts manufacturers work with very tight margins and tight timelines and make pretty complicated parts. They have tight business practices and are very efficient and nimble, so a lot of that skillset is on show when making these types of PPE products," "How you go about granting IP rights to other people is something you have to be mindful of as you push your technology out there for the good of society." Noel Courage, Bereskin & Parr LLP

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