Securities Litigation

Our Securities Litigation Group has extensive experience advocating on behalf of market participants including issuers, advisors, directors, officers and shareholders in high stakes civil and regulatory disputes. Our versatile team of litigators have been recognized by Lexpert, Chambers Global, Best Lawyers in Canada and Martindale-Hubbell, and are complemented by leading practitioners from our corporate securities group.

Our Securities Litigation lawyers have acted in numerous leading Canadian securities cases and represent clients in many different areas including:

  • Proxy battles, takeover bids and other change of control litigation
  • Securities class actions
  • Enforcement proceedings before various Canadian regulators, the SEC, IIROC, MFDA and other regulatory tribunals
  • Cross-border investigations and prosecutions
  • Oppression remedy claims and shareholder disputes
  • Court-ordered plans of arrangement for public companies and income trusts
  • Investment advisor and dealer negligence claims

We also provide strategic advice on managing risk and avoiding litigation and regulatory proceedings, recognizing that the best resolution for our clients is often a negotiated resolution.

Shareholder Activism and Proxy Contests

Shareholders typically engage in shareholder activism when they believe that change in the leadership or strategic direction of a company can improve the company’s economic performance or spur environmental, social and governance (ESG) change. To pursue change, activists may employ a variety of tactics, including proxy contests.

In recent years, the focus of the shareholder activism has shifted to ESG-related concerns, and the number of proxy contests in Canada has continued to increase. The Securities Litigation team at Cassels understands the objectives and strategies that motivate both shareholder activism and issuer response, and we have the experience required to assist clients with proxy contests and ensuing votes.

White Collar Crime & Regulatory Response

To effectively mitigate the business, legal, and reputational risks arising from heightened scrutiny, corporations must be in a position to understand the evolving technical legal requirements, the current enforcement regime and methods used by regulators and law enforcement agencies, and any jurisdictional and cross-border issues, as well as related practical concerns. More importantly, early assessment of potential compliance risks and implementation of best practices policies and protocols will provide the best opportunity to prevent, detect, avoid, or respond to a crisis. As an experienced and trusted advisor, Cassels is ideally situated to assist organizations of all sizes to effectively and efficiently handle all manner of corporate liability issues.

Risk Management

Ensuring company policies meet or exceed current best practice standards is a critical component in mitigating compliance risks and avoiding external scrutiny and litigation. Our team frequently and comprehensively assists clients in the development of proactive risk management strategies, including risk assessment, compliance policies, programs, training, and controls. In collaboration with our clients’ legal, compliance, and operation groups, as necessary, we assist with:

  • Development of compliance policies, programs, and controls
  • Advising boards of directors and independent committees on development of best practices and crisis response plans
  • Advising on and conducting compliance risk assessments
  • Conducting litigation risk assessments
  • Advising on evolving regulatory requirements and regimes
  • Advising on, managing, and coordinating internal and external investigations, including establishing privilege protocols, documentary preservation and review, witness interviews, and reporting

Crisis Response

Our integrated team works together with the client to develop a comprehensive tailored response strategy to navigate to the best, most effective, and practical resolution and to implement any necessary remedial action. Our team has significant expertise and practical experience in managing domestic and parallel cross-border enforcement investigations and proceedings, related class actions or other litigation, and external and internal response strategies. In addition, our team has developed strong working relationships with senior personnel at numerous regulatory and law enforcement agencies and significant experience liaising and negotiating with such agencies. We advise clients on crisis response in a number of areas, including:

  • Securities and capital market enforcement, including disclosure violations, fraud, insider trading and tipping, and securities class actions
  • Foreign or domestic bribery and anti-corruption charges
  • Corporate fraud and embezzlement
  • Competition and anti-trust
  • Workplace injuries and disasters
  • Product liability, including consumer class actions
  • Anti-money laundering
  • Computer fraud, privacy, and data security
  • Tax fraud
  • Whistleblower allegations