Chown Cairns Legal Advice Blog

Alternative dispute resolution and commercial agreements

Posted by Commercial Litigation Practice on Feb 23, 2017 10:51:07 AM

There are many types of commercial disputes that companies may be faced with over the course of doing business. When a business is facing a dispute in a commercial context, such as a breach of contract or a disagreement between shareholders, a commercial litigation lawyer will protect your interests and guide you through the resolution process.

Your lawyer, for instance, may advise you to include dispute resolution mechanisms within your commercial agreements. Provisions like mandatory mediation or binding arbitration offer an alternative way to settle business disputes than the pursuit of litigation.

Read More

Topics: Commercial Litigation

Can I avoid a criminal record?

Posted by Criminal Law Practice on Feb 21, 2017 3:06:42 PM

In Ontario, a criminal record can follow you for life. It may affect your ability to be employed and to travel outside of the country. When a person is convicted of a criminal charge, a criminal record is generated. There are a number of ways in which a lawyer can help an individual avoid a criminal charge, these are discussed below.

Read More

Topics: Criminal Law

When does a business need a shareholder agreement?

Posted by Business Law Practice on Feb 16, 2017 9:59:30 AM

When multiple people own a company, they often have their business lawyer draft a contract, known as a  shareholder agreement, to establish a set of rules and assign obligations to each individual. A shareholder agreement allows a company to establish a legal relationship between the owners of the corporation and creates a legal agreement for how business is conducted.

Read More

Topics: Business Law

Understanding conditional offers when purchasing a home

Posted by Real Estate Law Practice on Feb 14, 2017 11:29:00 AM

There are many reasons in which prospective homeowners may submit a conditional offer. The most common reason to do so is to protect the buyers in the case that the home inspection report reveals extensive renovation needs or if their financing does not come through.

Typically a conditional offer is structured with a deadline for expiry of each condition and the purchaser can give notice of either waiver or fulfillment of those conditions. If the conditions are not met the offer to purchase becomes void and the purchaser’s deposit is returned.

Read More

Topics: Real Estate and Land Law

The steps for divorce in Ontario

Posted by Family Law Practice on Feb 9, 2017 10:00:00 AM

If you want to file for divorce, have been served divorce papers or are simply considering divorce, you may have questions about what is involved. In order to dissolve a marriage in Ontario, you must prove in the Superior Court of Justice that you are legally married and that your marital relationship has broken down. The steps for divorce begin with preparing and filing an application with the court.

Read More

Topics: Family Law

How to plan to minimize estate planning taxes

Posted by Estates & Wills Practice on Feb 7, 2017 9:28:55 AM

In Canada, an estate planning tax is just one of the costs that your loved ones will incur upon your death. Others include funeral expenses and the payment of debts. The number of potential costs and their financial impact is why planning to minimize estate planning taxes is an important part of comprehensive estate planning.

Depending on the size of your estate, estate planning taxes (or “estate administration tax”) can be significant. In Ontario, for example, this tax (formerly known as probate fees) can equal 1.5 to 2% of the value of your estate. This tax is in addition to the taxes levied on your savings accounts and capital gains upon your death.

Read More

Topics: Wills & Estates Law

Protecting Your Business From Litigation, Are You Under-Insured?

Posted by Commercial Litigation Practice on Feb 2, 2017 3:40:02 PM

Litigation brought against a business can have serious financial consequences. For small businesses, one civil litigation claim may be enough to put the owner out of business. That is why insurance is so important to business owners; it helps protect them when paying out damages and sometimes it covers associated legal fees as well.

Read More

Topics: Commercial Litigation

Mandatory Mediation in Civil Litigation Cases

Posted by Civil Litigation Law Practice on Jan 31, 2017 12:39:32 PM


Ontario’s Mandatory Mediation Program in civil litigation was put into place in 1999 to help people settle their cases early in the litigation process in order to save money and time.

The program is used in Toronto, Ottawa and Windsor for certain civil litigation issues only. It is not used, for example, in family law cases.

Read More

Topics: Civil Litigation

How A Criminal Record Will Affect You in Ontario

Posted by Criminal Law Practice on Jan 26, 2017 2:46:23 PM

Committing a crime in Ontario can have a long-lasting impact that goes beyond the penalties assessed in the court of law. In fact, even being charged with a crime and not being convicted, can have a significant, negative impact on your life.

Your criminal record will be maintained in the RCMP’s database for all or nearly all your life (the record will stop being held when you turn 80, or for some serious offences, 100.)

Having a criminal record will affect you significantly in two key areas:

Read More

Topics: Criminal Law

Inclement Weather and Employer Obligations in Ontario

Posted by Labour and Employment Law Practice on Jan 24, 2017 1:37:38 PM

Living in Ontario, you are no stranger to the unpredictable and extreme whims of weather. Whether it is a blizzard, an ice storm, flooded roads or all of the above, you see it at all. Inclement weather is typically bad news for any business, which may lose the ability to perform their business, lose customers or have to account for the safety of its employees.

When it comes to inclement weather, it is important for businesses to be aware of its employer obligations.

Inclement weather and employer obligations overview:

Read More

Topics: Labour and Employment law