Advance Notice: LCO’s New Project

We will be posting news of our new project on our website shortly, but let me give Slawyers advance notice. The Board of Governors recently approved a project on joint and several liability, primarily considering whether the Ontario Business Corporations Act should be amended to eliminate or restrict the joint and several liability imposed on professionals. For example, auditors may be liable if there are misrepresentations or omissions in the financial materials and statements they prepare for their clients and if the other defendants are unable to pay damages awarded for their wrongdoing in the same case, the auditors may be fully liable for all damages and not only their share. We have undertaken this project because this concept appears to have negative consequences ranging from its impact on professionals to detrimentally affecting the business competitiveness of Canada and because the OBCA regime differs from that under the Ontario Securities Act and from that in other Canadian and foreign jurisdictions. We anticipate that we should be able to complete the project within a year, once we begin work on the initial consultation paper to release of the final report. This project illustrates the LCO’s efforts to maintain a balance of narrower, more technical “black letter” projects and larger, more complex and socially-oriented projects, as well as our desire to cover a range of areas of law. I’ll keep you informed of developments in this project.

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