AREAS OF PRACTICE

The core of our practice is business litigation. 

We offer services comparable to those of a commercial litigation department in a large firm but in a more efficient and cost-effective manner with more attention to personal interaction with clients. 

Our clients include individual entrepreneurs, mid-size and large businesses and institutions. The efficiencies created by our boutique structure allows us to price our services so that they are affordable to individuals and small businesses. Our high ratio of support staff to lawyers and our use of cutting edge technology allow us to handle the complex litigation efficiently. 

We aggressively pursue our clients’ interests while remaining committed to practising with a high level of integrity. 

We have extensive civil and commercial litigation experience in:

An injunction is most commonly a court order that restrains a party to a lawsuit, or someone else, from doing something. A typical example in a commercial context is an injunction that restrains a departing employee from using confidential information gained in the course of employment to compete unfairly with his or her former employer. Another example would be an order that restrains a third party, such as a bank, from releasing funds or other assets held on account of a party to an action, effectively “freezing” the party’s financial assets. This latter type of order is commonly referred to as a “Mareva” injunction, and may be obtained in the early stages of litigation, sometimes even without notice, when it appears that there is a danger that a party may remove assets from the jurisdiction.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon has acted for clients requiring urgent injunctive relief on numerous occasions. Clients are often referred to us due to our expertise in this area. Recently, we obtained a Mareva injunction restraining the disposition in any fashion of the worldwide assets of two fraudsters who were subsequently charged under the Criminal Code of Canada. In the context of lengthy and complex arbitration between disputing shareholders, we recently obtained a number of injunctive orders relating to the operation of a large international company. We are regularly retained (at least several times each year) to seek orders restraining departing senior executives from competing unfairly with their former employers.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon has extensive experience acting for disputing shareholders and partners. We have acted for clients ranging from partners in a small business to shareholders in large international companies. While the end result of these types of disputes is usually that one of the disputing parties is “bought out” of their position in the business, there are many different legal theories and strategies for getting to that result. The appropriate legal framework and strategy depends on the size and nature of the organization, as well as on the degree of animosity between the parties. In some instances, where relations between the shareholders have completely broken down, urgent injunctive relief may be required to prevent damage to or destruction of the business by one of the shareholders, while in other cases the separation of the shareholders or sale of the business may proceed in a more organized fashion over a longer period of time, perhaps with the assistance of an arbitrator.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon has particular expertise in shareholder and partnership disputes, having acted in dozens, or perhaps hundreds, of such cases in the last 18 years. We recently commenced an action under the oppression remedy provisions of the Business Corporations Act, for an order, among other things, appointing a receiver and winding up a large, successful company. The shareholders thereafter agreed to proceed by way of private arbitration, where the processes of managing the business on an ongoing basis and ultimately selling it for the best price could be managed more effectively than in a formal court proceeding. The arbitration proceeded over many months and resulted in a very positive outcome for the shareholder client.

We are regularly retained to bring proceedings under the oppression and wind up propvisions of the Business Corporations Act and Partnerships Act. Given the sometimes urgent and usually complex nature of these proceedings, it is important to retain counsel with experience in these types of disputes and to employ a strategy that will be effective in the particular circumstances.

Franchising is an increasingly popular business model. The law with respect to franchising has developed very quickly over the last couple of decades, and has become a relatively complex and specialized area. Disputes between franchisors and franchisees are increasingly common, as are disputes between franchisors and landlords, banks and other franchisors.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon has acted as litigation counsel to some of the leading franchisors in the GTA for nearly 2 decades. We are undoubtedly among the few firms in the province with the greatest amount of experience and expertise in franchise-related litigation. We ask regularly in respect of the termination of franchisees, disputes with landlords and contractors, and collection of outstanding franchise accounts. We have also been involved in class action litigation involving franchisors of international scope.

Although the choice of counsel can make an enormous difference in the cost and speed at which disputes can be resolved through litigation, it would be hard to argue that litigation is anything if not expensive and slow. As a result, there is an increasing emphasis on the importance of alternative dispute resolution techniques such as mediation and arbitration. In fact, mediation is now a mandatory step in the litigation process in Ontario.

Mediation is the process by which the parties meet with a neutral “referee” who attempts to assist the parties in resolving their dispute. The mediator can make no binding decisions, although it is not at all unusual for the mediator to express an opinion as to the merits of the parties’ respective positions. Mediators are usually lawyers or retired judges, and are usually trained in dispute resolution techniques that increase the chances that a lawsuit can be resolved consensually. Mediations usually last a day, but can be scheduled for virtually any amount of time.

Arbitration, on the other hand, is a binding process. It can be much like the formal court process, although its advantage lies in the fact that the parties can set the rules themselves, and choose the arbitrator. As well, the process is usually much faster than the court process, because the parties are not waiting for dates in the backlogged court system. At the end of an arbitration process, the arbitrator renders a binding decision, just like a judge would in the regular court system.

The lawyers that Kramer Simaan Dhillon has conducted hundreds, perhaps thousands, of mediations in the last two decades, with much success. About half of our cases settle at mediation. This is quite a high ratio, and speaks to the fact that our lawyers possess the unique set of skills that are required to successfully represent clients at mediation. It is a different set of skills than are required to represent clients in a more adversarial context, such as a trial, and it pays to have counsel who has extensive experience in both arenas.

We are currently involved in an arbitration concerning a large international company, which arbitration has been in progress for several months and has required dozens of appearances before the arbitrator.

An Anton Piller order (so named after a famous English case) is a court order that provides the right to search premises and to seize evidence without prior warning or notice. It is designed to prevent the destruction of relevant evidence, and is very common in intellectual-property litigation. It is also fairly common in cases involving departing employees, where it is alleged that the departing employee has taken confidential information and is using it to compete unfairly with the employer. It can be an extremely effective remedy, given that warning or notice to the departing employee would likely result in the destruction of the evidence before it can be seized.

Just as important as obtaining such an order is responding to one. Anton Piller orders are usually obtained without notice, and can have a dramatic and disruptive effect on the organization that is the subject of the order. It is extremely important that the process be controlled so that the disruptive impact is minimized. Kramer Simaan Dhillon has represented companies against which such an order has been made on a number of occasions.

Given the unique legal characteristics of condominiums, special expertise is required in disputes involving them. Condominium corporations, on the one hand, are unlike any other legal entity; and the bundle of rights that come with ownership of a condominium unit are distinct from those attached to any other kind of property, real or personal. Accordingly, condominium law has become a highly specialized area.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon is one of the leading condominium litigation law firms in Ontario. In the early 1990s, the firm was retained by a number of the largest condominium developers in the Province to enforce agreements of purchase and sale for hundreds of condominiums that had been purchased by speculators. Very few of the purchasers raised defences that were found to be legitimate, with the result that the developers were, in most cases, able to prevent recalcitrant purchasers from resiling from their agreements following the crash of the real estate market.

We have also been involved in many other types of condominium disputes, from internal governance disputes to municipal issues to property disputes between adjacent condominium buildings. We have successfully defended many condominium developers from claims of negligent construction. While condominium litigation involves principles of law that are applicable in other contexts, the unique nature of condominiums and the complex laws that have in developed in relation to them make condominium law and litigation areas requiring specialized expertise.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon has acted for some of the largest landlords and tenants in the Province, in the hundreds of lease disputes. On the landlord side, we have acted for commercial and industrial landlords and developers enforcing leases both large and small. On the tenant side, we have acted for large industrial tenants in disputes with their landlords, and we act on a regular basis for multilocation tenants, such as franchisors, which, purely as a result of the number of leases involved, have ongoing tenancy issues.

Notwithstanding the important principles of competition upon which our economic system is built, a person is generally not entitled to intentionally induce one party to a contract to breach it. Interfering in business or contractual relations between other parties with the intent of inducing one or more of the parties to terminate those relations is known as intentional interference with economic relations. If damage to the non-defaulting party results, that party may have a claim against the interfering party.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon has considerable experience in commercial torts. We are currently prosecuting a case against a senior executive of a large technology company who is alleged to have induced the company to breach a long-standing contract with a supplier. This tort is also a common cause of action in cases of departing employees, where the employee seeks to induce customers of the former employer to terminate their business arrangements with the employer and to instead do business with the employee.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon has an extensive appellate practice. We have brought proceedings in every level of appeal court in Ontario, including the Supreme Court of Canada. We appear regularly in the Divisional Court and the Court of Appeal for Ontario. We are often retained by other counsel to conduct appeals on their behalf.

Environmental Law has many facets; in a commercial context, it most often involves prosecuting or defending claims of environmental contamination, which are usually framed in negligence, nuisance and/or strict liability as per Rylands v. Fletcher.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon has extensive experience prosecuting and defending environmental claims. For example, we successfully extricated a client from a multimillion dollar case involving many large corporate parties and allegations that a large part of an industrial park in Scarborough, Ontario had been severely contaminated with carcinogenic chemicals. After several years of complex litigation, we were able to negotiate a very favorable resolution for our client, which avoided tens of millions of dollars of potential liability and included an indemnity against future claims of any kind.

Condominium and real estate litigation is very common in the Province of Ontario. Property disputes may concern agreements of purchase and sale, often to determine whether an agreement is enforceable or whether a purchaser can get out of a deal and obtain his or her deposit back; mortgages or other lending arrangements secured by land; commercial tenancies; construction projects; land development agreements; or any other circumstance in which real property is at issue.

We have extensive experience in real estate litigation and in dealing with property disputes. Kramer Simaan Dhillon regularly acts for buyers, sellers, developers, and governmental entities in a wide variety of real estate disputes in Toronto and throughout the Province of Ontario, including:

  • Real property acquisitions
  • Acquisition due diligence
  • Lease negotiations and disputes
  • Sales
  • Real estate contract litigation
  • Boundary and access disputes
  • Mortgage disputes
  • Adverse possession proceedings

Our property lawyers have also handled a broad range of projects such as:

  • Land acquisitions and development
  • Mixed-use projects
  • Public/private projects
  • Industrial properties
  • Commercial centers
  • Hotels
  • Office buildings
  • Apartments
  • Condominiums

We have represented numerous private and public clients including vendors, purchasers, owners, builders, contractors, sub-contractors, lenders, borrowers and guarantors in litigation arising from property disputes.

Our expertise includes obtaining interim court orders when necessary to tie up a property by way of a certificate of pending litigation or an injunction, or some other court intervention.

We appear regularly in the Divisional Court and the Court of Appeal for Ontario. We are often retained by other counsel to conduct appeals on their behalf.

Employment litigation concerns disputes in the workplace, most often when an employee is terminated. Employees are generally entitled to reasonable notice before they can be terminated or monetary compensation in lieu thereof.

We represent both employers and employees with respect to dispute in the workplace and in wrongful dismissal actions. We have handled hundreds of lawsuits in the employment area through to successful settlements or trial judgments. Our lawyers often advise employers or employees prior to an actual termination where either the employer is planning to terminate an employee or an employee believes that they are about to be terminated. We have prosecuted and defended many cases involving constructive dismissal.

Employment law disputes often include allegations of breach of a non-competition agreement, non-solicitation agreement or disclosure of trade secrets or other confidential information or breach of fiduciary duty. Kramer Simaan Dhillon has successfully litigated many cases involving these issues, both on behalf of employers seeking to enforce them and for departed employees defending such actions.

Lawsuits against professionals � lawyers, doctors, engineers, dentists, surveyors, real estate appraisers, mortgage brokers, real estate agents etc. � are part of the law of negligence. If a professional has not provided his or her services in a reasonably competent manner, they may be liable to their client for the damages that has thereby been caused.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon has acted many times for plaintiffs who have received negligent service from a professional. We have occasionally been retained by insurers defending professionals who have been sued. We have a broad network of contacts within the professional liability field to whom we can turn for expert testimony, which is required in almost every lawsuit against a professional.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon has successfully litigated many professional liability cases to settlement or through to trial and appeal.

The oppression remedy permits court intervention to assist shareholders, creditors and other complainants with respect to corporate disputes. Typically, it permits minority shareholders to sue for relief from the oppressive conduct of majority shareholders. But it may also be used in other circumstances where a complainant alleges that he or she is the subject of oppressive corporate conduct. Once satisfied that oppressive conduct has taken place, the oppression remedy gives the court has the widest possible jurisdiction to fashion a remedy for the oppressed complainant.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon has long and deep experience with the oppression remedy. We have been involved in hundreds of oppression remedy cases, acting for both complainants and companies and individuals responding to oppression remedy proceedings. We regularly appear on the Commercial List in Toronto where most oppression remedy cases are argued. We are very familiar with the judges who usually sit on the Commercial List and the law relating to oppression remedy cases.

Oppression cases we have taken to court have resulted in buy-outs for minority shareholders, wind-ups of corporations, the appointment of receivers, the setting aside of impugned corporate acts and the payment of money to oppressed shareholders.

Bankruptcy is the ultimate commercial remedy for a creditor against a debtor. Insolvency is the state of being unable to pay ones debts and may lead to bankruptcy or some other remedy. Bankruptcy and insolvency matters are dealt with in Toronto by a specialized court which is staffed by judges and registrars with specific expertise. The law relating to bankruptcy and insolvency is broad and has a very long history. Navigating the law and choosing the appropriate and best legal proceeding and remedy requires skill, knowledge and experience on the part of the lawyers.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon are experts in the law of bankruptcy and insolvency. We regularly appear on bankruptcy and insolvency matters before the Commercial List and the registrars in bankruptcy. We act for creditors and debtors, secured lenders, trustees and others who may have an interest in a bankruptcy or insolvency proceeding.

We have had great success for clients using the bankruptcy process to ensure that a debtor does not hide his assets and avoid payment. We are currently pursuing two debtors after bankruptcy to recover assets which we believe have been fraudulently transferred by the bankrupts.

Receivers may be appointed privately under the terms of an agreement or by court order. Generally, receivers are appointed to protect a company or asset pending its orderly sale or pending the determination of rights with respect to the company or asset. Applications for the appointment of a receiver and all steps relating to a receivership are dealt with in Toronto on the Commercial List.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon regularly appears before the Commercial List on matters relating to receiverships. We act for creditors, debtors and others who are involved in receiverships and also act for receivers. In a recent case we fashioned an unusual “soft” receivership through the use of an arbitrator in order to maintain the value of a company notwithstanding the appointment of a receiver.

A guarantee is a promise by one person to be responsible for the legal obligation of someone else, generally in connection with a debt. The law has dealt with guarantees for hundreds of years and there are thousands of cases in the law books on guarantees. Many of the cases deal with actions to enforce guarantees. There are many defences that may be used by guarantors to attempt to be relieved of their obligations under the guarantee.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon has acted on many guarantees, both seeking to enforce the obligations of guarantors and seeking to avoid the effect of a guarantee. We have taken several cases relating to guarantees to trial and appeal, and on several occasions we have successfully avoided liability on behalf of a guarantor.

Non-competition clause restrains trade and the law generally looks with disfavour on the restraint of trade. For that reason, non-competition clauses will only be permitted in a few narrow circumstances � eg. a former employee or partner or in the case of the vendor of a business. Also, non-competition clauses are generally strictly construed to give them the narrowest scope in terms of geography, time and subject matter.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon regularly acts for parties either seeking to enforce a non-competition agreement or avoid it. We have taken many such cases to trial and appeal and have an expertise in successfully dealing with non-competition clauses. Among many others, in a case reported in the law books, we established the law relating to the Quebec Civil Code’s application to non-competition clauses employed in Ontario.

Public or Judicial inquiries are called by governments to investigate a specific matter of public importance. Commissioners undertaking the inquiries have the powers of a court to subpoena witnesses and documents. Persons who are summoned to an inquiry generally need legal representation and often the terms of appointment of the inquiry will permit that the lawyers to be paid as part of the cost of the inquiry.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon have been involved public inquiries on behalf of witnesses. We are familiar with the inquiry processes able to assist witnesses to get funding, prepare them and represent them at the inquiry hearings.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon represented two important witnesses at the Toronto Computer Leasing Inquiry and established in both cases that those witnesses were not responsible for any improper conduct.

A civil claim for fraud addresses conduct that reasonable people would consider to be “dishonest dealing”. Dishonest dealing is quite broad and can include more than just false representations. It may also include non-disclosure of important facts and other misconduct. Unlike a criminal fraud charge, civil fraud need only be proven on the balance of probabilities.

The firm has been involved in a large number of fraud cases on behalf of aggrieved plaintiffs. We have successfully obtained judgments in a number of investment related frauds, franchise frauds and frauds involving other business relationships. In addition to obtaining judgments covering the losses stemming from the frauds, we have been successful in obtaining hundreds of thousands of dollars in punitive damages awards on behalf of our clients.

A construction lien registered on title to property gives the claimant protection for unpaid services or materials that were supplied to an improvement of the property. The lien can only be discharged by order of the court, often on terms protecting the claimant, or by agreement of the parties.

The firm has experience acting for property owners, general contractors and trades on lien claims. On behalf of property owners we have successfully challenged the validity of liens as well as the timing of registration of liens. We have also obtained recovery for trades and contractors who have had to register liens to compel payment of their outstanding accounts.

Defamation is an intentionally false communication, either published in writing or spoken, that injures the reputation or good name of the subject. Internet defamation, whether it be in published articles on-line, in blogs or e-mails is now the subject of a great deal of defamation actions in the courts.

The firm has been involved in litigation on behalf of aggrieved plaintiffs who are the subject of defamatory statements as well as on behalf of defendants who are accused of defamation. We are also experienced in acting on injunctions brought to restrain defamatory conduct and to compel the removal of defamatory materials from the internet and print.

Our skilled lawyers work closely with our clients, giving them one-on-one legal advice and a straightforward assessment of their options. With our firm’s extensive wills and estate background, we ensure that the estate administration process goes as seamlessly as possible.  Our lawyers to work closely with executors and/or beneficiaries to ensure that the testator’s wishes are respected.

We also have extensive experience dealing with disputes created by intestacies (i.e. where no valid will was prepared by the deceased) as well as power of attorney disputes in both the care and financial management of an incapable person.

Our past work has related to all aspects of wills, trust and estate litigation including:

  • Trust and probate litigation
  • Contesting of wills
  • Improper transferring of assets
  • The appointment of estate trustees,
  • Removal of trustees,
  • Compelling the passing of accounts,
  • Demands for accounting of assets,
  • Tracing of assets,
  • Recovery of estate property, etc.

Our firm has regularly acted in a variety of wills, probate and estate disputes involving all of the above mentioned issues. To discuss your options with a knowledgeable estate and probate lawyer, contact our firm today.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon is regularly retained to enforce judgments obtained by clients in other jurisdictions as well as to oppose the enforcement of such foreign judgments in Ontario.

Generally, the courts in Ontario will enforce a foreign judgment if the foreign jurisdiction had a real and substantial connection to the case. The factors the court considers in determining whether a real and substantial connection exist are varied and changed as recently as in 2010. There are few defences to the recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment in Ontario. Such defences include a lack of natural justice in the foreign jurisdiction (for example, failure to be served with the claim), fraud, etc.

Very often, litigation lawyers are needed to enforce a mortgagee’s rights and to defend a property owner against mortgage enforcement and the loss of his or her property. Our firm regularly acts for mortgagees and mortgagors in such matters, including most recently and successfully in the Court of Appeal for Ontario.

Upon default of a mortgage, the mortgagee will want to ensure that in addition to any notice of sale, it commences legal proceedings to obtain possession of the property and judgment for the outstanding debt. The mortgagee will also want to consider whether a judgment for foreclosure is appropriate in the circumstances. In contrast, a property owner may require additional time to refinance debts or to sell the property and may therefore need to defend against any legal proceedings brought by a mortgagee.

Administrative law is a very broad area. It includes the practice and proceedings and the exercise of powers by regulatory bodies and agencies. There are a large number of such bodies in Ontario. They are generally created by statute to protect the public and regulate their members, and they have their own rules and regulations that apply to what they do and how they conduct themselves.

Lawyers at Kramer Simaan Dhillon have represented clients before such regulatory bodies as the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, the Real Estate Council of Ontario, the Ontario College of Pharmacists, and others. We have also had dealings with the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, Professional Engineers Ontario, the Ontario Securities Commission, and others.

Complainants often name directors and officers of corporations in lawsuits. However, it is only legally justified in relatively narrow circumstances the most common of which include oppression and fraud. Directors and officers may also face personal liability for certain debts of a corporation including some types of tax debts and, in some circumstances, unpaid wages.

Our firm regularly acts for and against directors and officers of corporations. We have successfully held directors and officers liable in oppression and other claims including most recently before the Court of Appeal of Ontario. We have also successfully acted for directors and officers in defending personal claims and in having such claims struck out early in proceedings.

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120 Adelaide St. West, Suite 2100
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5H 1T1

Telephone: 416.601.6820
Fax: 416.601.0712
Email: info@kramersimaan.com

AREAS OF PRACTICE

The core of our practice is business litigation. 

We offer services comparable to those of a commercial litigation department in a large firm but in a more efficient and cost-effective manner with more attention to personal interaction with clients. 

Our clients include individual entrepreneurs, mid-size and large businesses and institutions. The efficiencies created by our boutique structure allows us to price our services so that they are affordable to individuals and small businesses. Our high ratio of support staff to lawyers and our use of cutting edge technology allow us to handle the complex litigation efficiently. 

We aggressively pursue our clients’ interests while remaining committed to practising with a high level of integrity. 

We have extensive civil and commercial litigation experience in:

An injunction is most commonly a court order that restrains a party to a lawsuit, or someone else, from doing something. A typical example in a commercial context is an injunction that restrains a departing employee from using confidential information gained in the course of employment to compete unfairly with his or her former employer. Another example would be an order that restrains a third party, such as a bank, from releasing funds or other assets held on account of a party to an action, effectively “freezing” the party’s financial assets. This latter type of order is commonly referred to as a “Mareva” injunction, and may be obtained in the early stages of litigation, sometimes even without notice, when it appears that there is a danger that a party may remove assets from the jurisdiction.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon has acted for clients requiring urgent injunctive relief on numerous occasions. Clients are often referred to us due to our expertise in this area. Recently, we obtained a Mareva injunction restraining the disposition in any fashion of the worldwide assets of two fraudsters who were subsequently charged under the Criminal Code of Canada. In the context of lengthy and complex arbitration between disputing shareholders, we recently obtained a number of injunctive orders relating to the operation of a large international company. We are regularly retained (at least several times each year) to seek orders restraining departing senior executives from competing unfairly with their former employers.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon has extensive experience acting for disputing shareholders and partners. We have acted for clients ranging from partners in a small business to shareholders in large international companies. While the end result of these types of disputes is usually that one of the disputing parties is “bought out” of their position in the business, there are many different legal theories and strategies for getting to that result. The appropriate legal framework and strategy depends on the size and nature of the organization, as well as on the degree of animosity between the parties. In some instances, where relations between the shareholders have completely broken down, urgent injunctive relief may be required to prevent damage to or destruction of the business by one of the shareholders, while in other cases the separation of the shareholders or sale of the business may proceed in a more organized fashion over a longer period of time, perhaps with the assistance of an arbitrator.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon has particular expertise in shareholder and partnership disputes, having acted in dozens, or perhaps hundreds, of such cases in the last 18 years. We recently commenced an action under the oppression remedy provisions of the Business Corporations Act, for an order, among other things, appointing a receiver and winding up a large, successful company. The shareholders thereafter agreed to proceed by way of private arbitration, where the processes of managing the business on an ongoing basis and ultimately selling it for the best price could be managed more effectively than in a formal court proceeding. The arbitration proceeded over many months and resulted in a very positive outcome for the shareholder client.

We are regularly retained to bring proceedings under the oppression and wind up propvisions of the Business Corporations Act and Partnerships Act. Given the sometimes urgent and usually complex nature of these proceedings, it is important to retain counsel with experience in these types of disputes and to employ a strategy that will be effective in the particular circumstances.

Franchising is an increasingly popular business model. The law with respect to franchising has developed very quickly over the last couple of decades, and has become a relatively complex and specialized area. Disputes between franchisors and franchisees are increasingly common, as are disputes between franchisors and landlords, banks and other franchisors.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon has acted as litigation counsel to some of the leading franchisors in the GTA for nearly 2 decades. We are undoubtedly among the few firms in the province with the greatest amount of experience and expertise in franchise-related litigation. We ask regularly in respect of the termination of franchisees, disputes with landlords and contractors, and collection of outstanding franchise accounts. We have also been involved in class action litigation involving franchisors of international scope.

Although the choice of counsel can make an enormous difference in the cost and speed at which disputes can be resolved through litigation, it would be hard to argue that litigation is anything if not expensive and slow. As a result, there is an increasing emphasis on the importance of alternative dispute resolution techniques such as mediation and arbitration. In fact, mediation is now a mandatory step in the litigation process in Ontario.

Mediation is the process by which the parties meet with a neutral “referee” who attempts to assist the parties in resolving their dispute. The mediator can make no binding decisions, although it is not at all unusual for the mediator to express an opinion as to the merits of the parties’ respective positions. Mediators are usually lawyers or retired judges, and are usually trained in dispute resolution techniques that increase the chances that a lawsuit can be resolved consensually. Mediations usually last a day, but can be scheduled for virtually any amount of time.

Arbitration, on the other hand, is a binding process. It can be much like the formal court process, although its advantage lies in the fact that the parties can set the rules themselves, and choose the arbitrator. As well, the process is usually much faster than the court process, because the parties are not waiting for dates in the backlogged court system. At the end of an arbitration process, the arbitrator renders a binding decision, just like a judge would in the regular court system.

The lawyers that Kramer Simaan Dhillon has conducted hundreds, perhaps thousands, of mediations in the last two decades, with much success. About half of our cases settle at mediation. This is quite a high ratio, and speaks to the fact that our lawyers possess the unique set of skills that are required to successfully represent clients at mediation. It is a different set of skills than are required to represent clients in a more adversarial context, such as a trial, and it pays to have counsel who has extensive experience in both arenas.

We are currently involved in an arbitration concerning a large international company, which arbitration has been in progress for several months and has required dozens of appearances before the arbitrator.

An Anton Piller order (so named after a famous English case) is a court order that provides the right to search premises and to seize evidence without prior warning or notice. It is designed to prevent the destruction of relevant evidence, and is very common in intellectual-property litigation. It is also fairly common in cases involving departing employees, where it is alleged that the departing employee has taken confidential information and is using it to compete unfairly with the employer. It can be an extremely effective remedy, given that warning or notice to the departing employee would likely result in the destruction of the evidence before it can be seized.

Just as important as obtaining such an order is responding to one. Anton Piller orders are usually obtained without notice, and can have a dramatic and disruptive effect on the organization that is the subject of the order. It is extremely important that the process be controlled so that the disruptive impact is minimized. Kramer Simaan Dhillon has represented companies against which such an order has been made on a number of occasions.

Given the unique legal characteristics of condominiums, special expertise is required in disputes involving them. Condominium corporations, on the one hand, are unlike any other legal entity; and the bundle of rights that come with ownership of a condominium unit are distinct from those attached to any other kind of property, real or personal. Accordingly, condominium law has become a highly specialized area.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon is one of the leading condominium litigation law firms in Ontario. In the early 1990s, the firm was retained by a number of the largest condominium developers in the Province to enforce agreements of purchase and sale for hundreds of condominiums that had been purchased by speculators. Very few of the purchasers raised defences that were found to be legitimate, with the result that the developers were, in most cases, able to prevent recalcitrant purchasers from resiling from their agreements following the crash of the real estate market.

We have also been involved in many other types of condominium disputes, from internal governance disputes to municipal issues to property disputes between adjacent condominium buildings. We have successfully defended many condominium developers from claims of negligent construction. While condominium litigation involves principles of law that are applicable in other contexts, the unique nature of condominiums and the complex laws that have in developed in relation to them make condominium law and litigation areas requiring specialized expertise.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon has acted for some of the largest landlords and tenants in the Province, in the hundreds of lease disputes. On the landlord side, we have acted for commercial and industrial landlords and developers enforcing leases both large and small. On the tenant side, we have acted for large industrial tenants in disputes with their landlords, and we act on a regular basis for multilocation tenants, such as franchisors, which, purely as a result of the number of leases involved, have ongoing tenancy issues.

Notwithstanding the important principles of competition upon which our economic system is built, a person is generally not entitled to intentionally induce one party to a contract to breach it. Interfering in business or contractual relations between other parties with the intent of inducing one or more of the parties to terminate those relations is known as intentional interference with economic relations. If damage to the non-defaulting party results, that party may have a claim against the interfering party.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon has considerable experience in commercial torts. We are currently prosecuting a case against a senior executive of a large technology company who is alleged to have induced the company to breach a long-standing contract with a supplier. This tort is also a common cause of action in cases of departing employees, where the employee seeks to induce customers of the former employer to terminate their business arrangements with the employer and to instead do business with the employee.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon has an extensive appellate practice. We have brought proceedings in every level of appeal court in Ontario, including the Supreme Court of Canada. We appear regularly in the Divisional Court and the Court of Appeal for Ontario. We are often retained by other counsel to conduct appeals on their behalf.

Environmental Law has many facets; in a commercial context, it most often involves prosecuting or defending claims of environmental contamination, which are usually framed in negligence, nuisance and/or strict liability as per Rylands v. Fletcher.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon has extensive experience prosecuting and defending environmental claims. For example, we successfully extricated a client from a multimillion dollar case involving many large corporate parties and allegations that a large part of an industrial park in Scarborough, Ontario had been severely contaminated with carcinogenic chemicals. After several years of complex litigation, we were able to negotiate a very favorable resolution for our client, which avoided tens of millions of dollars of potential liability and included an indemnity against future claims of any kind.

Condominium and real estate litigation is very common in the Province of Ontario. Property disputes may concern agreements of purchase and sale, often to determine whether an agreement is enforceable or whether a purchaser can get out of a deal and obtain his or her deposit back; mortgages or other lending arrangements secured by land; commercial tenancies; construction projects; land development agreements; or any other circumstance in which real property is at issue.

We have extensive experience in real estate litigation and in dealing with property disputes. Kramer Simaan Dhillon regularly acts for buyers, sellers, developers, and governmental entities in a wide variety of real estate disputes in Toronto and throughout the Province of Ontario, including:

  • Real property acquisitions
  • Acquisition due diligence
  • Lease negotiations and disputes
  • Sales
  • Real estate contract litigation
  • Boundary and access disputes
  • Mortgage disputes
  • Adverse possession proceedings

Our property lawyers have also handled a broad range of projects such as:

  • Land acquisitions and development
  • Mixed-use projects
  • Public/private projects
  • Industrial properties
  • Commercial centers
  • Hotels
  • Office buildings
  • Apartments
  • Condominiums

We have represented numerous private and public clients including vendors, purchasers, owners, builders, contractors, sub-contractors, lenders, borrowers and guarantors in litigation arising from property disputes.

Our expertise includes obtaining interim court orders when necessary to tie up a property by way of a certificate of pending litigation or an injunction, or some other court intervention.

We appear regularly in the Divisional Court and the Court of Appeal for Ontario. We are often retained by other counsel to conduct appeals on their behalf.

Employment litigation concerns disputes in the workplace, most often when an employee is terminated. Employees are generally entitled to reasonable notice before they can be terminated or monetary compensation in lieu thereof.

We represent both employers and employees with respect to dispute in the workplace and in wrongful dismissal actions. We have handled hundreds of lawsuits in the employment area through to successful settlements or trial judgments. Our lawyers often advise employers or employees prior to an actual termination where either the employer is planning to terminate an employee or an employee believes that they are about to be terminated. We have prosecuted and defended many cases involving constructive dismissal.

Employment law disputes often include allegations of breach of a non-competition agreement, non-solicitation agreement or disclosure of trade secrets or other confidential information or breach of fiduciary duty. Kramer Simaan Dhillon has successfully litigated many cases involving these issues, both on behalf of employers seeking to enforce them and for departed employees defending such actions.

Lawsuits against professionals � lawyers, doctors, engineers, dentists, surveyors, real estate appraisers, mortgage brokers, real estate agents etc. � are part of the law of negligence. If a professional has not provided his or her services in a reasonably competent manner, they may be liable to their client for the damages that has thereby been caused.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon has acted many times for plaintiffs who have received negligent service from a professional. We have occasionally been retained by insurers defending professionals who have been sued. We have a broad network of contacts within the professional liability field to whom we can turn for expert testimony, which is required in almost every lawsuit against a professional.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon has successfully litigated many professional liability cases to settlement or through to trial and appeal.

The oppression remedy permits court intervention to assist shareholders, creditors and other complainants with respect to corporate disputes. Typically, it permits minority shareholders to sue for relief from the oppressive conduct of majority shareholders. But it may also be used in other circumstances where a complainant alleges that he or she is the subject of oppressive corporate conduct. Once satisfied that oppressive conduct has taken place, the oppression remedy gives the court has the widest possible jurisdiction to fashion a remedy for the oppressed complainant.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon has long and deep experience with the oppression remedy. We have been involved in hundreds of oppression remedy cases, acting for both complainants and companies and individuals responding to oppression remedy proceedings. We regularly appear on the Commercial List in Toronto where most oppression remedy cases are argued. We are very familiar with the judges who usually sit on the Commercial List and the law relating to oppression remedy cases.

Oppression cases we have taken to court have resulted in buy-outs for minority shareholders, wind-ups of corporations, the appointment of receivers, the setting aside of impugned corporate acts and the payment of money to oppressed shareholders.

Bankruptcy is the ultimate commercial remedy for a creditor against a debtor. Insolvency is the state of being unable to pay ones debts and may lead to bankruptcy or some other remedy. Bankruptcy and insolvency matters are dealt with in Toronto by a specialized court which is staffed by judges and registrars with specific expertise. The law relating to bankruptcy and insolvency is broad and has a very long history. Navigating the law and choosing the appropriate and best legal proceeding and remedy requires skill, knowledge and experience on the part of the lawyers.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon are experts in the law of bankruptcy and insolvency. We regularly appear on bankruptcy and insolvency matters before the Commercial List and the registrars in bankruptcy. We act for creditors and debtors, secured lenders, trustees and others who may have an interest in a bankruptcy or insolvency proceeding.

We have had great success for clients using the bankruptcy process to ensure that a debtor does not hide his assets and avoid payment. We are currently pursuing two debtors after bankruptcy to recover assets which we believe have been fraudulently transferred by the bankrupts.

Receivers may be appointed privately under the terms of an agreement or by court order. Generally, receivers are appointed to protect a company or asset pending its orderly sale or pending the determination of rights with respect to the company or asset. Applications for the appointment of a receiver and all steps relating to a receivership are dealt with in Toronto on the Commercial List.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon regularly appears before the Commercial List on matters relating to receiverships. We act for creditors, debtors and others who are involved in receiverships and also act for receivers. In a recent case we fashioned an unusual “soft” receivership through the use of an arbitrator in order to maintain the value of a company notwithstanding the appointment of a receiver.

A guarantee is a promise by one person to be responsible for the legal obligation of someone else, generally in connection with a debt. The law has dealt with guarantees for hundreds of years and there are thousands of cases in the law books on guarantees. Many of the cases deal with actions to enforce guarantees. There are many defences that may be used by guarantors to attempt to be relieved of their obligations under the guarantee.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon has acted on many guarantees, both seeking to enforce the obligations of guarantors and seeking to avoid the effect of a guarantee. We have taken several cases relating to guarantees to trial and appeal, and on several occasions we have successfully avoided liability on behalf of a guarantor.

Non-competition clause restrains trade and the law generally looks with disfavour on the restraint of trade. For that reason, non-competition clauses will only be permitted in a few narrow circumstances � eg. a former employee or partner or in the case of the vendor of a business. Also, non-competition clauses are generally strictly construed to give them the narrowest scope in terms of geography, time and subject matter.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon regularly acts for parties either seeking to enforce a non-competition agreement or avoid it. We have taken many such cases to trial and appeal and have an expertise in successfully dealing with non-competition clauses. Among many others, in a case reported in the law books, we established the law relating to the Quebec Civil Code’s application to non-competition clauses employed in Ontario.

Public or Judicial inquiries are called by governments to investigate a specific matter of public importance. Commissioners undertaking the inquiries have the powers of a court to subpoena witnesses and documents. Persons who are summoned to an inquiry generally need legal representation and often the terms of appointment of the inquiry will permit that the lawyers to be paid as part of the cost of the inquiry.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon have been involved public inquiries on behalf of witnesses. We are familiar with the inquiry processes able to assist witnesses to get funding, prepare them and represent them at the inquiry hearings.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon represented two important witnesses at the Toronto Computer Leasing Inquiry and established in both cases that those witnesses were not responsible for any improper conduct.

A civil claim for fraud addresses conduct that reasonable people would consider to be “dishonest dealing”. Dishonest dealing is quite broad and can include more than just false representations. It may also include non-disclosure of important facts and other misconduct. Unlike a criminal fraud charge, civil fraud need only be proven on the balance of probabilities.

The firm has been involved in a large number of fraud cases on behalf of aggrieved plaintiffs. We have successfully obtained judgments in a number of investment related frauds, franchise frauds and frauds involving other business relationships. In addition to obtaining judgments covering the losses stemming from the frauds, we have been successful in obtaining hundreds of thousands of dollars in punitive damages awards on behalf of our clients.

A construction lien registered on title to property gives the claimant protection for unpaid services or materials that were supplied to an improvement of the property. The lien can only be discharged by order of the court, often on terms protecting the claimant, or by agreement of the parties.

The firm has experience acting for property owners, general contractors and trades on lien claims. On behalf of property owners we have successfully challenged the validity of liens as well as the timing of registration of liens. We have also obtained recovery for trades and contractors who have had to register liens to compel payment of their outstanding accounts.

Defamation is an intentionally false communication, either published in writing or spoken, that injures the reputation or good name of the subject. Internet defamation, whether it be in published articles on-line, in blogs or e-mails is now the subject of a great deal of defamation actions in the courts.

The firm has been involved in litigation on behalf of aggrieved plaintiffs who are the subject of defamatory statements as well as on behalf of defendants who are accused of defamation. We are also experienced in acting on injunctions brought to restrain defamatory conduct and to compel the removal of defamatory materials from the internet and print.

Our skilled lawyers work closely with our clients, giving them one-on-one legal advice and a straightforward assessment of their options. With our firm’s extensive wills and estate background, we ensure that the estate administration process goes as seamlessly as possible.  Our lawyers to work closely with executors and/or beneficiaries to ensure that the testator’s wishes are respected.

We also have extensive experience dealing with disputes created by intestacies (i.e. where no valid will was prepared by the deceased) as well as power of attorney disputes in both the care and financial management of an incapable person.

Our past work has related to all aspects of wills, trust and estate litigation including:

  • Trust and probate litigation
  • Contesting of wills
  • Improper transferring of assets
  • The appointment of estate trustees,
  • Removal of trustees,
  • Compelling the passing of accounts,
  • Demands for accounting of assets,
  • Tracing of assets,
  • Recovery of estate property, etc.

Our firm has regularly acted in a variety of wills, probate and estate disputes involving all of the above mentioned issues. To discuss your options with a knowledgeable estate and probate lawyer, contact our firm today.

Kramer Simaan Dhillon is regularly retained to enforce judgments obtained by clients in other jurisdictions as well as to oppose the enforcement of such foreign judgments in Ontario.

Generally, the courts in Ontario will enforce a foreign judgment if the foreign jurisdiction had a real and substantial connection to the case. The factors the court considers in determining whether a real and substantial connection exist are varied and changed as recently as in 2010. There are few defences to the recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment in Ontario. Such defences include a lack of natural justice in the foreign jurisdiction (for example, failure to be served with the claim), fraud, etc.

Very often, litigation lawyers are needed to enforce a mortgagee’s rights and to defend a property owner against mortgage enforcement and the loss of his or her property. Our firm regularly acts for mortgagees and mortgagors in such matters, including most recently and successfully in the Court of Appeal for Ontario.

Upon default of a mortgage, the mortgagee will want to ensure that in addition to any notice of sale, it commences legal proceedings to obtain possession of the property and judgment for the outstanding debt. The mortgagee will also want to consider whether a judgment for foreclosure is appropriate in the circumstances. In contrast, a property owner may require additional time to refinance debts or to sell the property and may therefore need to defend against any legal proceedings brought by a mortgagee.

Administrative law is a very broad area. It includes the practice and proceedings and the exercise of powers by regulatory bodies and agencies. There are a large number of such bodies in Ontario. They are generally created by statute to protect the public and regulate their members, and they have their own rules and regulations that apply to what they do and how they conduct themselves.

Lawyers at Kramer Simaan Dhillon have represented clients before such regulatory bodies as the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, the Real Estate Council of Ontario, the Ontario College of Pharmacists, and others. We have also had dealings with the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, Professional Engineers Ontario, the Ontario Securities Commission, and others.

Complainants often name directors and officers of corporations in lawsuits. However, it is only legally justified in relatively narrow circumstances the most common of which include oppression and fraud. Directors and officers may also face personal liability for certain debts of a corporation including some types of tax debts and, in some circumstances, unpaid wages.

Our firm regularly acts for and against directors and officers of corporations. We have successfully held directors and officers liable in oppression and other claims including most recently before the Court of Appeal of Ontario. We have also successfully acted for directors and officers in defending personal claims and in having such claims struck out early in proceedings.

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120 Adelaide St. West, Suite 2100
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5H 1T1

Telephone: 416.601.6820
Fax: 416.601.0712
Email: info@kramersimaan.com