Author Archives: Connal McNamara

EKB Welcomes Entertainment Lawyer Lori Massini to the Firm

We are pleased to welcome Lori Massini to our firm as associate counsel.

An experienced entertainment lawyer, Lori Massini guides clients through the business and legal processes of media production in Canada, from early development and financing to the final distribution of the completed production. She has acted as production legal and legal counsel for more than 65 films and 75 television series and has co-executive and associate producer credits on seven film and television productions.

Lori has acted as production counsel for original programming for networks such as Nickelodeon, Disney, the Food Network, and Discovery. She has extensive experience negotiating contracts for actors, directors, producers and crew, managing employment and labour issues, advising on corporate legal matters, and overseeing complex financing arrangements.

A dancer and musician, Lori is an active force in B.C.’s vibrant arts scene. We are pleased to announce that she will be heading our firm’s new entertainment law practice group.

Welcome to EKB, Lori!

Contact:
Lori Massini
Associate Counsel
604.661.1057
lmassini@ekb.com

In a milestone moment for cryptocurrency investments, the Purpose Bitcoin ETF—the world’s first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund—began trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol BTCC. The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) gave its go-ahead on February 18, 2021. Although Europe boasts Bitcoin exchange-traded products that are also accessible to retail investors, this is the first vehicle of its... READ MORE

EKB Webinar: What Landowners (and Others) Need to Know about the Land Owner Transparency Act

We invite you to join the business lawyers of EKB for a webinar that will provide practical, useful information regarding the impact of the Land Owner Transparency Act (“LOTA”).

Knowing how valuable your time is, this presentation will be 30 min., followed by a Q&A period with our lawyers.

Webinar Details

  • Date: February 17, 2021
  • Time: 9:00 am (PST)
  • Presentation: 30 minutes followed by Q&A
  • Presenters: David Allman, partner, & Allison Sharkey, associate
  • Deadline to register: Feb 8, 2021
  • A link to the webinar will be emailed to all registrants

EKB Webinar Video: What Landowners (and Others) Need to Know about the Land Owner Transparency Act

EKB Welcomes Riley Lalonde to the Firm’s Partnership

Effective January 1st, Riley Lalonde joins the firm’s partnership.

Riley Lalonde is a skilled business lawyer, assisting clients with a broad range of corporate and commercial matters including:

  • Corporate governance
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Joint ventures
  • Debt and equity financings and corporate restructurings
  • Purchase, sale, and leasing of commercial real estate

Riley has acted for domestic and multi-national companies in a variety of industries including commercial real estate, natural resources, professional services, commercial lending, and health-care. He also acts for entrepreneurs establishing new businesses and joint ventures. His clients depend on him for efficient, results-focused service.

After completing his J.D. at Queen’s University Faculty of Law, Riley completed his articles at EKB. In 2015 he joined the firm as an associate.

We welcome Riley to the partnership and look forward to his leadership and continued commitment to client service.

Riley Lalonde a business lawyer at the Vancouver law firm EKB

Contact:
Riley Lalonde
Partner
604.661.1016
rlalonde@ekb.com

EKB Welcomes Joyce Pong to the Firm as an Associate

We are pleased to welcome Associate Joyce Pong to the firm.

Joyce is a business lawyer, advising clients in a wide range of industries on general corporate law and transactional matters such as:

  • Corporate finance
  • Reorganizations and restructurings
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Commercial real estate

Joyce endeavours to understand her clients’ businesses and goals, providing them with legal advice that is both practical and efficient.

Joyce joins our team after completing her articles at a national firm.

Welcome to EKB, Joyce!

Joyce Pong, Lawyer

Contact:
Joyce Pong
Associate
604.661.1013
jpong@ekb.com

Laura Morrison Contributes to the CanLII Manual to British Columbia Civil Litigation

EKB Partner Laura C. Morrison has contributed as an author to The CanLII Manual to British Columbia Civil Litigation, a new online civil litigation guide. View The CanLII Manual to British Columbia Civil Litigation.

The Manual promotes access to justice by providing a guide to civil litigation in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal of British Columbia that is written in plain language and is accessible for free to all users. The Manual includes areas of law pathfinders, a guide to civil procedure, and annotations of the BC Supreme Court Civil Rules and Court of Appeal Rules.

Laura C. Morrison authored the annotations of Part 11 of the Supreme Court Civil Rules on expert witnesses and Part 3 of the Court of Appeal Rules on Notices of Appeal.

Read more about The CanLII Manual to British Columbia Civil Litigation in the CanLII blog.

Laura Morrison, business lawyer

Contact:
Laura Morrison
Partner
604.661.1021
lmorrison@ekb.com

Pharmacist Professional Discipline

We represent pharmacists in professional disciplinary matters before the College of Pharmacists of British Columbia. We have been successful in negotiating the resolution of disciplinary proceedings without the need for a formal hearing.

Cancelled Licence or Terminated Registration

We act for pharmacies whose licences are cancelled by the College of Pharmacists or whose registration is terminated by Pharmacare to assist them with being reinstated.

Best Lawyers in Canada 2021 Recognizes EKB Lawyers for Their Industry Knowledge and Legal Skill

EKB is immensely proud to announce that the following lawyers have been selected for inclusion in the 15th Edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada:

  • David Allman—“Mining Law”. David has been recognized by Best Lawyers as a preeminent lawyer in Mining Law since 2014.
  • Peter Brown—“Corporate Law”. A seasoned regulatory and business law solicitor, Peter advises commercial clients, financial institutions and regulators. He has also acted for over half of the credit unions in the B.C. credit union system.
  • William Hartley – “Mergers & Acquisitions Law”. A solicitor with considerable experience, Bill has been listed as a top lawyer in M&A consecutively since 2016.
  • Daniel Fetterly – “Aviation Law” and “Product Liability Law”. Dan has been named annually in Best Lawyers in Canada in Aviation Law since 2008. Dan was also named as the “Lawyer of the Year” in Aviation Law in the 2019 and 2017 editions.
  • Rodney Urquhart – “Administrative and Public Law” and “Corporate and Commercial Litigation”.  A highly experienced litigator, Rod has been listed for many consecutive years.

These recognitions attest to the skill of our lawyers, their deep reservoirs of industry knowledge, and, fundamentally, their ability to provide BC Businesses with exceptional legal service.

Best Lawyers employs a robust peer-review process to winnow down nominees and select lawyers for inclusion. Rod, Dan, Bill, Peter, and David were selected and vetted by leading lawyers in their respective legal practice areas who understand the complexities of the work and can recognize expertise. Learn more about Best Lawyers’ methodology.

Congratulations to everyone for this impressive achievement!

Daniel Fetterly a business litigation lawyer at the Vancouver law firm EKB

Daniel Fetterly

David Allman a business lawyer at the Vancouver law firm EKB

David Allman

rodney urquhart vancouver business litigation lawyer profile picrure

Rod Urquhart

William Hartley a business lawyer at the Vancouver law firm EKB

William Hartley

Peter Brown, lawyer

Peter Brown

Pacific Blue Cross Audit

We assisted a pharmacy with responding to a Pacific Blue Cross audit and were successful in reducing the audit recovery sought by the insurer.

Pharmacare Audits

We have represented numerous pharmacies with their response to Pharmacare Audits. These audits frequently seek recoveries in the range of several hundred thousand dollars to a million dollars or more. We provide advice to pharmacies on the legal requirements related to the errors alleged in the audit and assist the pharmacy with preparing their response. Our goal is always to minimize the audit recovery as much as possible.

EKB Articled Student Lauren Frederick Named 2020 Law Society Gold Medalist for the University of Victoria

We are proud to announce that Lauren Frederick, an articled student at EKB, has been named the 2020 Law Society Gold Medalist for the University of Victoria.

Each year, the Law Society of British Columbia awards gold medals to top graduating students at the province’s law schools: the University of British Columbia, the University of Victoria, and Thompson Rivers University. Recipients, like Lauren, merit the medal by achieving the highest cumulative grade point average over their respective three-year programs.

This award speaks to Lauren’s scholarly dedication and skill, qualities that she has also been putting to good use in her articling work at our firm.

Congratulations, Lauren!

Lauren Frederick, law student at EKB

Contact:
Lauren Frederick
Articled Student
 604.661.1027
 lfrederick@ekb.com

COVID-19 Update – Our Commitment to Safety and Service

As an essential business, EKB continues to closely monitor daily public health updates and guidelines surrounding COVID-19. The health and safety of our clients, employees, families and the community are the most important considerations during this unprecedented time. EKB is committed to observing the best practices published by WorkSafe BC and the advice of the Provincial Health Officer to ensure the protection and health of our employees and to provide uninterrupted service to our clients.

We have developed a Safety Plan which includes limiting employees on site, visitors to the office, enhanced cleaning and personal health protocols and social distancing following the WorkSafe BC requirements. This plan will be updated as necessary.

We want to assure you that EKB is taking the necessary precautions while continuing to provide you with the excellent service you have come to expect.

D. Rodney Urquhart
Managing Partner

rodney urquhart vancouver business litigation lawyer profile picrure

Contact:
Rodney Urquhart
Managing Partner
604.661.1041
rurquhart@ekb.com

Allison Sharkey Joins EKB as an Associate

EKB is pleased to announce that Allison Sharkey has joined the firm as an associate.

Allison is a member of both EKB’s civil litigation group and EKB’s estate planning group and has experience working with a broad array of clients. She is committed to providing clients with practical advice in an efficient manner.

Previously, Allison articled with EKB, demonstrating her ability to deliver solutions for our clients. She studied law at the University of British Columbia, gaining experience as a volunteer with the Centre for Feminist Legal Studies and as a clinician with the UBC chapter of the Innocence Project. As a law student, she was awarded the Hilda Janzen Award in Feminist Legal Studies.

Welcome to EKB, Allison!

Allison Sharkey, a law student

Contact:
Allison Sharkey
Associate
604.661.1011
asharkey@ekb.com

Simon Pinsky Appointed Co-Chair and President of Lawn Summer Nights

EKB is pleased to announce that Simon Pinsky has been appointed as Co-Chair and President of Lawn Summer Nights (“LSN”).

Every summer, LSN hosts lawn-bowling tournaments in cities across Canada to raise funds and awareness for Cystic Fibrosis Canada. Simon began volunteering with LSN in 2012 and led the Vancouver event from 2013 – 2016. He was elected to LSN’s national board of directors in March of 2018 and appointed as Co-Chair and President of the organization in March of 2020.

Simon’s involvement with LSN is inspired by his sister Rina, who lives with cystic fibrosis.

Simon Pinsky, a business lawyer at EKBContact:
Simon Pinsky
Associate
604.661.1057
spinsky@ekb.com

EKB Supports Odd Society Spirits in Producing Hand Sanitizer for Non-Profits

EKB is proud to support its client Odd Society Spirits in producing hand sanitizer to be donated to Downtown Eastside not-for-profit organizations.

This financial contribution by EKB and its staff and lawyers will fund the production of approximately 50 litres of hand sanitizer to be donated to a number of Downtown Eastside non-profit organizations, including Union Gospel Mission and the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre. Produced by Odd Society Spirits at cost, this donation will be used in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

A true craft distillery, Odd Society Spirits is the maker of numerous award-winning spirits. Yet, when they saw the need, they took it upon themselves to use their expertise and facilities to produce much-needed hand sanitizer, using a recipe that is in keeping with World Health Organization guidelines. To date, they have donated more than 400 litres to community non-profits and produced 400 litres more for organizations and workers on the frontline. They are working hard to scale up production for both essential services and non-profits.

We are proud to have clients as community-minded as Odd Society Spirits. For our part, our lawyers are working hard to provide timely updates and analysis on the business impacts and legal implications of COVID.

We’re all in this together.

David Allman a business lawyer at the Vancouver law firm EKB

Contact:
David Allman
Partner
604.661.1071
dallman@ekb.com

David Allman will be speaking again this year at the 2020 Mining and Land Resources Institute

David Allman will be speaking again this year at the 2020 Mining and Land Resources Institute on March 11, 2020, in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

The Institute is organized by the American Association of Professional Landmen. David will be presenting on the topic of option and earn-in agreements in mining transactions.

Learn more about the 2020 Mining and Land Resources Institute.

David Allman a business lawyer at the Vancouver law firm EKB

Contact:
David Allman
Partner
604.661.1071
dallman@ekb.com

EKB Is Pleased to Welcome Laura Morrison to the Firm’s Partnership

Effective January 1st, Laura Morrison has joined the firm’s partnership.

Laura Morrison is a skilled lawyer with a broad civil litigation practice, focusing on commercial litigation, pharmacy law, and administrative law. She has represented clients at the BC Court of Appeal, the Provincial Court, and the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

Laura has represented clients across a range of industries, including:

  • Pharmacies in disputes with PharmaCare and the College of Pharmacists
  • Owners and contractors in prosecuting and defending builders liens and construction claims
  • Debtors and creditors in collection matters

For Laura, identifying the legal problem is only step one. Understanding how that problem affects the client is key to finding a resolution. Laura works to understand how each of her clients defines value; she then adjusts her approach as necessary.

Laura obtained her J.D. from UBC’s Peter A. Allard School of Law. She joined EKB in 2014 after articling with the firm.

We welcome Laura to the firm’s partnership and look forward to her leadership and continued commitment to client service.

 

Laura Morrison, business lawyer

Contact:
Laura Morrison
Partner
604.661.1021
lmorrison@ekb.com

EKB Lawyers Represent Form Real Estate Advisors Inc. in Sale of Assets of Real Estate Brokerage Business to Leading American Brokerage Firm

EKB lawyers represented Form Real Estate Advisors Inc. in the sale of Form’s real estate brokerage to Marcus & Millichap Inc. (NYSE:MMI).  Business lawyers Fraser Hartley and Riley Lalonde led the EKB team acting for Form with assistance from Katie Gordon.

Founded in 2010, Form Real Estate Advisors has developed a highly respected brand and extensive real estate market presence in the retail segment. The sale is expected to expand Marcus & Millichap’s presence in Western Canada.

For over 40 years, EKB has represented companies in mergers and acquisitions in British Columbia, in Canada, and internationally. The firm’s lawyers are consistently recognized for their expertise in M&A law by leading directories including Chambers Global, Who’s Who Legal, Lexpert, and Best Lawyers.

Frazer Hartley a business lawyer at the Vancouver law firm EKBContact:
Fraser Hartley
Partner
604.661.1098
fhartley@ekb.com

Dave Turner Presents at Arthritis and Work Symposium on Employment Law

Arthritis is the most prevalent long-term health condition in Canada, affecting over 6 million people. That is more than the population of Toronto and Greater Vancouver combined.

Recently, Dave Turner, a partner at EKB, presented at the Arthritis Talks symposium, “Arthritis & Work”—part of a nationwide series of educational events being held by the Arthritis Society to help raise awareness of the condition’s impact in the workplace. During the event, health care experts and legal professionals shared insights for both employees and employers.

“The impact that arthritis has on the workforce is far greater than most people understand,” Dave said in an interview with Times Colonist. “Statistically, everyone knows someone who has arthritis; it just doesn’t seem that way because many working-age employees cover it up. Hopefully, some of my discussions will help employers recognize how to work with an employee living with arthritis.”

This chronic condition is not just a health care issue—it has serious ramifications for the Canadian economy. Arthritis is a leading cause of disability and work limitations in Canada. More than half of working-age Canadians with arthritis report that they are not in the workforce; this is twice the proportion of those without arthritis.

There are no easy answers to addressing arthritis in the workplace. The Arthritis Society offers an important source of information and support. Dave can provide legal guidance to employers and employees facing these issues.

Dave Turner and EKB are proud to continue to support the Arthritis Society, as it works to improve the lives of the millions of Canadians who live with arthritis.

david turner vancouver business litigation lawyer profile picture

David Turner
Partner, Business Litigation
604.661.1018
dturner@ekb.com

Best Lawyers in Canada Recognizes EKB Lawyers for Their Industry Knowledge & Legal Expertise

We are extremely pleased to announce that Best Lawyers in Canada has recognized the following EKB lawyers for their expertise in various practice areas:

  • David Allman – “Mining Law”. David has received this recognition every year since 2014.
  • William Hartley – “Mergers & Acquisitions Law”. Best Lawyers has named Bill as a leading lawyer in M&A consecutively since 2016.
  • Daniel Fetterly – “Aviation Law” and “Product Liability Law”. He has been recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada in the practice area of Aviation Law continuously from 2008. Daniel was also named as the “Lawyer of the Year” in Aviation Law in the 2019 and 2017 editions.
  • Rodney Urquhart – “Administrative and Public Law” and “Corporate and Commercial Litigation”.  Rod has been listed for many consecutive years.

Recognition by Best Lawyers is based on a peer-review process—David, Rod, Bill, and Daniel were selected by leading lawyers for their knowledge and expertise in their respective areas.

“Our methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.” – Best Lawyers

These recognitions attest to the skill of our lawyers and their ability to provide BC Businesses with exceptional legal service. Congratulations to everyone for this fantastic achievement!

 

Daniel Fetterly a business litigation lawyer at the Vancouver law firm EKB

Daniel Fetterly

David Allman a business lawyer at the Vancouver law firm EKB

David Allman

rodney urquhart vancouver business litigation lawyer profile picrure

Rod Urquhart

William Hartley a business lawyer at the Vancouver law firm EKB

William Hartley

EKB Lawyers Attend Globalaw Americas Regional Meeting 2019

Rodney Urquhart, Peter Brown, and Kelly Samuels are attending the Globalaw Americas Regional Meeting, taking place from June 27th– June 29th, in Santa Monica, California. This event is an opportunity to meet and share knowledge with our fellow lawyers and to learn from the perspective of general counsel and clients.

Peter is attending as a Director of Globalaw and the Chair of the Membership Committee. Kelly is participating in the Globalaw marketing professionals meeting as the chair of EKB’s marketing committee. Rod is speaking on the Americas Region Managing Partners panel discussing “Law Firms in Transition: Challenges Facing Law Firms.”

The Americas region of Globalaw includes member firms in Canada, the US, Caribbean, and Central and South America. Globalaw’s network of over 115 independent law firms provides EKB with a wide network of legal resources to assist our clients should their needs expand beyond British Columbia’s borders.

 

rodney urquhart vancouver business litigation lawyer profile picrure

Rod Urquhart

Kelly Samuels a business and fintech lawyer at the Vancouver law firm EKB

Kelly Samuels

Peter Brown

Geoff Sherrott Retires

An EKB lawyer for his entire legal career, Geoffrey Sherrott will be retiring at the end of June. After 26 years in the legal profession, his presence at our firm will be missed.

Geoffrey Sherrott a business lawyer at the Vancouver law firm EKBGeoff studied zoology and history at the University of British Columbia before obtaining his Bachelor of Laws from the University of Saskatchewan. He joined EKB as an articling student in 1993 and was called to the BC Bar in 1994. He became a partner in 2001.

During his legal career, Geoff’s focus has been on advising individuals and public and private companies on the full range of business issues they commonly, and uncommonly, encounter. He has advised many clients on the purchase and sale of land and businesses. He honed his expertise in environmental law and lead the firm’s Environmental Practice Group for many years. Geoff has been recognized for his expertise by Best Lawyers in Canada, which listed him in numerous editions for corporate law.

Geoff’s contributions to our firm are numerous. For many years he was in charge of the articling committee and also served on the firm’s management committee, including a term as managing partner. In particular, Geoff spent countless hours mentoring and teaching many of our lawyers during their junior years. His door was always open and he could always be counted on for sage and practical advice.  Our gratitude to him for this cannot be overstated.

In addition, Geoff has generously shared his time and knowledge with the legal community. For many years, he taught the real estate development course at Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC, for which he was awarded the Adam Albright Outstanding Adjunct Professor Award in 2014. He also served as the co-editor of the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia (CLEBC) publication, “Buying and Selling a Business – Annotated Precedents” and he has been a contributing author to several CLEBC publications including “Advising British Columbia Businesses”.

Geoff has continually given back to the wider community, serving as pro bono counsel to a local not-for-profit dedicated to supporting people with eating disorders. He also serves as pro bono counsel to a number of hospital auxiliaries.

Geoff’s daily presence will be missed by everyone at the firm. He brought a great deal to EKB, with his passion for excellent work, bright mind, and generosity. We wish him all the best in his retirement.

EKB Lawyers Represent Pembridge Resources plc in Acquisition of Minto Mine, Yukon

EKB lawyers represented Pembridge Resources plc (LON:PERE) in their acquisition of Minto Explorations Ltd., the owner of the Minto copper-gold-silver mine in Yukon, from Capstone Mining Corp (TSE:CS).

The consideration for the purchase consists of up to US$20 million in total payments due to Capstone payable out of future cash flows and based on certain hurdles linked to production levels at Minto as well as future copper prices.

EKB also represented Pembridge in connection with securing a US$10 million financing to fund the recommencement of operations at the Minto mine. Financing has been provided by Copper Holding LLC, a New York-based private equity group, and Cedro Holdings I LLC, an entity managed by Lion Point Capital L.P., a New York-based asset manager.

Pembridge expects to recommence commercial production at Minto during the fourth quarter of 2019. David Linsley, chief executive officer of Pembridge, described the acquisition of Minto as a “transformational opportunity for Pembridge and its shareholders”.

EKB business lawyers David Allman and Kelly Samuels led the EKB team acting for Pembridge, with assistance from Riley Lalonde, Katie Gordon, and Larissa Dziubenko. EKB managed the transaction on behalf of Pembridge, providing strategic and tactical advice and leading the negotiations of the legal documentation.

For over 40 years, EKB has represented exploration and mining companies at all stages of project development in British Columbia, in Canada, and internationally. The firm’s lawyers are consistently recognized for their expertise in mining law by leading directories including Chambers Global, Who’s Who Legal, Lexpert, and Best Lawyers.

David Allman a business lawyer at the Vancouver law firm EKB

David Allman

Kelly Samuels a business and fintech lawyer at the Vancouver law firm EKB

Kelly Samuels

EKB advises RentMoola on Series A Fundraising

EKB recently advised RentMoola Payment Solutions Inc. on its $3.5 million offering of Series A Preferred Shares. The offering, which was fully subscribed, was backstopped by Ayrshire Real Estate Management Inc. and conducted by way of private placement to accredited investors.

RentMoola is a Vancouver based fintech company that offers payment solutions to tenants and landlords.

The EKB team was led by Fraser Hartley and assisted by associate Ian van den Dolder and articling student Jake Schroeder. EKB provided RentMoola with legal advice regarding the offering and assisted in closing the offering and facilitating the special general meeting of shareholders needed to authorize the new Series A Preferred shares.

Frazer Hartley a business lawyer at the Vancouver law firm EKBContact:
Fraser Hartley
Partner
604.661.1098
fhartley@ekb.com

Dan Fetterly and Alan Monk Recognized in 2019 Edition of Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory

EKB is thrilled to announce that Alan Monk and Dan Fetterly have been recognized as preeminent lawyers by Lexpert, a leading directory.

Dan Fetterly was recognized in the area of Aviation (Regulation & Liability). Alan Monk was recognized for his expertise in Mining Law. Both lawyers have been listed as “repeatedly recommended” by the Directory.

Published since 1997, the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory is the product of an extensive peer survey process. This resource “profiles leading practitioners across Canada in over 60 practice areas and leading law firms in over 40 practice areas”.

Dan Fetterly’s primary focus is in acting as defence counsel on aviation-related litigation; he has practised in this area for his entire 26 years of practice. Numerous leading directories have recognized him for his expertise, including the Martindale-Hubbell International Law Directory and Best Lawyers in Canada.

Alan Monk has practised corporate/commercial law, securities/corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and mining law for over 20 years. He has taught mining law as an adjunct professor at UBC’s Peter A. Allard School of Law since 2009. In recent news, Alan published a paper in the Banking & Finance Law Review regarding an important Supreme Court of Canada decision that may pave the way for a more efficient national approach to securities regulation.

This recognition attests to the expertise of our commercial lawyers and their skill in providing clients with the highest quality of legal service.

Daniel Fetterly a business litigation lawyer at the Vancouver law firm EKB

Daniel Fetterly

Alan Monk a business lawyer at Vancouver law firm EKB

Alan Monk

The need for international fintech collaboration Explosive technological development within the financial services sector has left regulators struggling to keep pace with innovation. In many jurisdictions, financial regulators have sought to strike a balance between supporting fintech businesses and upholding their mandates of protecting consumers, regulating industry, and creating financial stability. Achieving that balance has proven a challenge. Regulators... READ MORE

EKB Represents the Sellers of Jet Global in a Merger with insightsoftware

EKB was the lead lawyers for the shareholders of Software Professionals, Inc., the parent of Jet Global Data Technologies, Inc., in the sale of the shares of Software Professionals to TA Associates Management LP and the merger of Jet Global and insightsoftware, a subsidiary of TA.

The letter of intent between Software Professionals and TA was entered into on February 25, 2019, and the sale and merger were completed on April 30, 2019. This was a quick close for a transaction of this size and complexity and was accomplished, in large part, by the focus and diligence of our clients and the lawyers at EKB.

TA acquired Jet Global to strengthen insightsoftware’s Excel-based reporting capabilities designed specifically for users of Microsoft Dynamics.

About Jet Global

Founded in 2002, Jet Global is headquartered in Portland, Oregon and has offices in 14 regions, across 24 time zones, and currently has over 14,000 companies using its products in 94 countries.

Jet Global provides solutions for executives, finance professionals, and managers by providing unparalleled, secure access to their data. Jet Global’s solutions are “cost effective, provide rapid time-to-value, and are built specifically for the needs of Microsoft Dynamics ERP users”.

“When we needed guidance, support, and expertise regarding something as important to us as the sale of our business, we turned to the team at EKB.  

EKB was recommended to us by a colleague that described Bill Hartley and his team as highly knowledgeable legally and in the software industry. We found both to be true and increasingly relied on the team for guidance and execution on legal projects.  The EKB team consistently listened, learned and delivered as promised.  Fraser Hartley, Larissa Dziubenko, and Jake Schroder did an amazing job when they were asked complete a big task in a short time. The team was really effective and we got the results that we needed at each milestone. I highly recommend EKB.” — Joe Little, CEO Jet Global (retired)

About TA Associates Management LP and the Merger

TA is a Boston based private equity firm with over 50 years of experience.

TA acquired Software Professionals as a strategic acquisition to merge Jet Reports with insighsoftware. In 2018, TA merged Global Software and Hubble, both ERP reporting businesses, to create insightsoftware. After creating insightsoftware, TA acquired Excel4apps and CXO, strengthening insightsoftware’s position in reporting software. The acquisition of Jet Reports will create a dominant ERP reporting company.

Our Team

The team from EKB was led by Bill Hartley, an experienced solicitor, and included business lawyers Fraser Hartley and Larissa Dziubenko, with assistance from articling student Jake Schroeder. EKB managed the transaction on behalf of the sellers, providing strategic and tactical advice and leading the negotiations of the legal documents.

EKB worked closely with Brent Jones and Alex Imas of the Seattle office of Garvey Schubert Barer, a Globalaw partner, and John Maragoudakis of the New York office of Anderson Tax. GSB provided advice on US law to the sellers.  Anderson provided tax advice to the sellers.

EKB provides clients with strategic advice on all aspects of local and cross-border mergers and acquisitions. Our focused M&A team is ready to respond efficiently to your transaction, regardless of timing, size, scope or complexity.

Frazer Hartley a business lawyer at the Vancouver law firm EKBContact:
Fraser Hartley
Partner
604.661.1098
fhartley@ekb.com

Toronto-based Ethoca to be acquired by Mastercard Mastercard has announced it will be acquiring Toronto-based fintech company Ethoca. Ethoca is a global provider of technology solutions which aids merchants and card issuers in identifying and dealing with fraud in digital commerce. Ethoca provides technology which identifies when a fraudulent transaction has occurred. When detected, information is sent to merchants... READ MORE

David Allman to Act as Moderator of Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Special Institute Panel Discussion

David Allman will be a moderator of a panel discussion at the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Special Institute on International Mining and Oil & Gas Law, Development, and Investment, taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on April 11, 2019.

The panel will consist of both inside and external legal counsel, and will discuss Mineral Royalty Agreements and Steaming Agreements. Topics will include:

  • Understanding the modern royalty company business model in order to understand the modern royalty structure
  • Key elements of the modern royalty structure
  • Setting the table for a future royalty transfer
  • Royalties under various real property and insolvency regimes
  • Effects on negotiation and enforcement (costs and benefits)

David Allman a business lawyer at the Vancouver law firm EKB

 

Contact:
David Allman
Partner
604.661.1071
dallman@ekb.com

Laura Nichols Joins “Souper” Charity Soup Sisters

Laura Nichols, a business lawyer at EKB, joined forces with Vancouver-based businesses to volunteer at local not-for-profit Soup Sisters.

Soup Sisters organizes groups of volunteers to prepare soups for local shelters. The intention is to provide “a hug in a bowl” to women, children, and youth “through the making, sharing and donating of soup”.

Although Soup Sisters has deep roots in the Vancouver community, it has spread its charitable actions across North America and now has locations across Laura Nichols and Soup Sisters volunteersCanada and the United States. Since March 2009, Soup Sisters has delivered a staggering 1.5 million nourishing bowls of soup to women’s shelters and programs for youth in crisis.

EKB is proud to have partnered with the local charity and encourages anyone interested in becoming a Souper Hero to reach out, donate, or pick up a ladle and organize their own Soup Sisters event.

Laura and EKB would like to thank the generous donations from the representatives of the following local businesses:

Katie Gordon & Allison Sharkey—Edwards, Kenny & Bray LLP
• Yuliya Lys — WestSKY Real Estate Group
• Richard Shum & Carmen So— TD Wealth Private Wealth Management
• Katherine Liu — Martin & Henry Chartered Accountants
• Peter Szeto — BMO Nesbitt Burns
• Devon Peck — Dives Harper & Stanger
• Sarah Peters & Kaitlyn Peters — Opus Hotel
• Justin Emilio — Justin Emilio Mortgage
• Alexander Holburn Beaudin + Lang LLP

Soup Sisters Volunteers, including Laura Nichols

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laura Nichols, a business lawyer practicing at EKB, a Vancouver Law Firm

 

Contact:
Laura Nichols
Associate
604.661.1023
lnichols@ekb.com

Blockchain and Crypto Presence down on Forbes Fintech top 50 Forbes, a leading American business and finance outlet, has become well known for publishing lists acknowledging the who’s who of various industries. On February 4, Forbes listed the top 50 most innovative Fintech companies for 2019. Interestingly, the list only contains 5 companies categorized as “crypto and blockchain”. This... READ MORE

Annual All-In-For-Arthritis Poker Gala, Co-Chaired by Dave Turner, Raises Donations to New Record

Recently, the Arthritis Society, BC & Yukon Division hosted an excellent evening of games, delicious food and drinks, and a competitive poker tournament.

EKB Partner Dave Turner reprised his role as co-chair of the event, along with HSBC Bank Canada’s Chris Vecsey.

Guests of the Texas Hold’em poker tournament held nothing back when it came to their charitable donations. David Porte, the founder of Cassie and Friends, a non-profit, and the father of a child with juvenile arthritis, matched donations up to $60,000.

Dave Turner, EKB business lawyer, with special guest Wanda Huynh, and Chris Vecsey

Co-chairs David Turner & Chris Vecsey with Wanda Huynh, the gala’s special guest.
Image credit: Fred Lee, The Province

The guests’ generosity resulted in a record amount being raised this year. According to The Province, a “reported $140,000 was collected, a new fundraising standard for the West Coast edition, posting $40,000 more than last year’s record haul.” It seems that not all card sharks are cold-blooded.

Arthritis is a serious disease, causing pain and restricting mobility. According to the Arthritis Society: “1 in 5 Canadians live every day with arthritis and there is no cure.”

The Society is working to change that. With events held across Canada, the annual All-In-For-Arthritis Poker Gala has helped fund important research, raising over $3.4 million in the last 12 years.

Dave Turner and EKB are proud to support the Arthritis Society, as it works to improve the lives of the millions of Canadians who live with arthritis.

EKB Represents SmartLynx Airlines SIA in $7.5 million Private Placement Investment with Canada Jetlines Ltd.

EKB’s Business Law team, led by Fraser Hartley and Riley Lalonde, and assisted by Larissa Dziubenko and Jake Schroeder, successfully acted for SmartLynx Airlines SIA in its $7.5 million private placement investment in Canada Jetlines Ltd.

With its investment, SmartLynx acquired subscription receipts that convert to shares and warrants of Canada Jetlines when certain conditions are met. With the closing of the initial $7.5 million investment, SmartLynx also received the option to acquire an additional $7.5 million in shares of Canada Jetlines.

In connection with its investment, SmartLynx also entered into agreements to provide ACMI (Aircraft-Crew-Maintenance-Insurance) and consulting services to Canada Jetlines.

SmartLynx Airlines SIA was founded in 1992 as a private airline. Today, it is the leading Airbus A320 ACMI provider in the EU. In 2019, SmartLynx’s fleet will consist of 20 aircraft, flying routes in Europe and Asia.

Canada Jetlines Ltd. (TSX-V: JET) is aiming to become Canada’s first true Ultra-Low-Cost Carrier (ULCC) airline, with plans to operate flights across Canada and provide non-stop service from Canada to the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Frazer Hartley a business lawyer at the Vancouver law firm EKBContact:
Fraser Hartley
Partner
604.661.1098
fhartley@ekb.com

EKB Represents Great Bear Resources Ltd. in $3.5 million Bought Deal Private Placement Financing

Members of EKB’s Business Law team, led by Alan Monk and assisted by Katie Gordon, were pleased to act for Great Bear Resources Ltd. in a bought deal private placement financing of 1,000,000 “flow-through” common shares at $3.50 per share for gross proceeds of $3,500,000.

Great Bear is currently engaged in a 30,000 metre, approximately 150 drill hole program at its flagship Dixie property located in Red Lake, Ontario, which is expected to continue through 2018 and 2019. Great Bear intends on using the gross proceeds of the financing on its exploration programs.

For over 40 years, EKB has represented exploration and mining companies at all stages of their development in respect of their projects in British Columbia, elsewhere in Canada and around the world.

Alan Monk a business lawyer at Vancouver law firm EKBContact:
Alan Monk
Associate Counsel
604.661.1055
amonk@ekb.com

Ontario Securities Commission launches cryptoasset educational initiatives for Financial Literacy Month  On Thursday, November 1, 2018, the Ontario Securities Commission (“OSC”) launched two cryptoasset educational initiatives as part of its activities for Financial Literacy Month. GetSmarterAboutCrypto.ca provides an overview of cryptoasset services and products, the OSC’s role in regulation, and tips for investors to exercise due diligence. The regulator... READ MORE

EKB Represents City Transfer Inc. and Augusta Recyclers Inc. in Comprehensive Refinancing Transaction.

Members of EKB’s Business Law team, led by Fraser Hartley and Larissa Dziubenko, acted for City Transfer Inc. and Augusta Recyclers Inc. in a comprehensive refinancing transaction.

As part of the transaction, EKB assisted City Transfer and Augusta Recyclers to:

  • Enter into new credit facilities;
  • Negotiate and enter into long-term agreements with service providers;
  • Retire indebtedness under City and Augusta’s existing mortgage and working capital loans.

Run by the Long family since 1947, City Transfer is a leading provider of freight transfers, transportation services and logistics for BC’s water-locked coastal communities. EKB provided City Transfer with strategic advice for structuring and executing on each component of the transaction.

Frazer Hartley a business lawyer at the Vancouver law firm EKBContact:
Fraser Hartley
Partner
604.661.1098
fhartley@ekb.com

EKB Lawyers Attend Globalaw Annual Members Meeting in Dallas

Four EKB lawyers are attending Globalaw’s 2018 Annual Members Meeting, held this year in Dallas, Texas. This event is an opportunity to meet and share knowledge with our fellow lawyers and to learn from the perspective of general counsel and clients.

All around the world, technological innovation is confronting businesses with both opportunity and risk, from the possibilities of blockchain to cybersecurity concerns. Many companies are also becoming more international in their focus and must meet regulatory regimes across multiple jurisdictions. Global challenges and opportunities call for a global legal network, committed to providing businesses with exceptional, personalized legal services. Over the course of this annual meeting, EKB will learn from experts in diverse areas so that we can continue to advise our clients from a position of in-depth knowledge.

We are also proud to share our own areas of expertise with fellow Globalaw members. Kelly Samuels, partner, will be sharing insights as a panelist during a talk titled: “Bitcoin and Beyond – The Impact of Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies on Business and the Law”.

Taking place on Friday, October 26th, this session will explore recent developments and legal implications of:

  • The broader adoption of cryptocurrencies
  • The continued development of smart contracts
  • Blockchain-based health data and medical records
  • Government adoption of blockchain for real estate title records and financing documents.
  • Blockchain use cases in the energy industry

Peter Brown, EKB partner, is also in attendance and serves on Globalaw’s board of directors and is the chair of the network’s membership committee. Riley LaLonde is participating in the 2018 Globalaw Leadership Program. Rod Urquhart is participating in a Managing Partners meeting. EKB is Globalaw’s sole representative in British Columbia.

Collaboration is a core value for our firm and for the more than 100 independent law firms that make up Globalaw’s international network. By working together, we are able to provide our clients with the highest quality of service. As Peter Brown observed: “By fostering ties with law firms internationally, EKB has represented clients from many countries and brought global legal services to our BC-based clients.”

 

Contact:
Peter Brown
Partner
604.661.1083
pbrown@ekb.com

EKB Represents Owners in Sale of Delta View Campus of Care

EKB’s Business Law team, led by Bill Hartley and assisted by Riley Lalonde, Ian van den Dolder, Aileen Busanic, and Fraser Hartley, successfully completed the sale of Delta View Campus of Care in a recent transaction which closed on September 14, 2018.

Delta View Campus of Care has provided assisted living, complex care, respite services, and dementia care for over 42 years under the Devji Group, and will continue to provide these services under the new owners.

EKB assisted the Devji Group with strategic advice regarding the sale, the legal due diligence, preparation and negotiation of the acquisition documents, and a tax reorganization.

 

Frazer Hartley a business lawyer at the Vancouver law firm EKBContact:
Fraser Hartley
Partner
604.661.1098
fhartley@ekb.com

Canadian Securities Regulators Announce Platform to Identify Market Abuse The Canadian Securities Administrators (“CSA”) announced it has selected a market analytics platform designed to identify, assess, and assist potential market abuse cases. Kx, a division of First Derivatives plc, was platform chosen as a result of a public bidding process. Kx is a division of First Derivatives plc, a... READ MORE

Fintech and Business in Vancouver: Fraser Hartley Joins Expert Panel to Share Insights

Last week, Fraser Hartley, partner and business lawyer at EKB, shared insights into the legal aspects of fintech as a member of a panel discussion hosted by Business in Vancouver (BIV). This discussion focused on helping small- and medium-sized business in BC make informed decisions in a rapidly changing landscape.

Along with Fraser, panellists included Pam Seale, Head of Marketing at Finn AI, and Blake Allan, Senior Manager at MNP. The panel’s discussion was moderated by Kirk LaPointe, BIV Editor-in-Chief.

Fraser Hartley, Pam Seale, Kirk LaPointe, Blake Allan

Fraser Hartley, Pam Seale, Kirk LaPointe, and Blake Allan – Photo by BIV

The term “fintech” encompasses a range of innovative technology that are disrupting the financial services industry. Fintech entrepreneurs aim to provide greater efficiency for both customers and businesses, reducing the cost associated with handling transactions, allowing for decentralized models, and creating new methods for securing business contracts.

Fraser Harley shares insights on Fintech – Photo by BIV

One such innovation, Initial coin offerings (ICO) have emerged as a crowdfunding method for startups that run on a blockchain. “Investors receive cryptographic ‘coins’ or ‘tokens’ in exchange for other established types of cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin or Ether, or for real dollars,” notes Fraser. As he pointed out during the BIV Business Excellence event: “There’s a lot of advantages to the ICO structure. It’s just a matter of balancing those advantages with making sure people don’t lose their shirt.”

The fintech industry is experiencing explosive growth, receiving $17.4 billion in investment last year alone. At the same time, fintech’s goal of “disrupting” the financial services industry has drawn the attention of regulators globally, who are struggling to keep pace with the new tech without smothering innovation.

Fraser Hartley and his fellow business lawyers at EKB remain committed to following these developments. To learn more about fintech, the law, and the ramifications for business in BC, follow the EKB Fintech Blog.

 

 

Frazer Hartley a business lawyer at the Vancouver law firm EKBContact:
Fraser Hartley
Partner
604.661.1098
fhartley@ekb.com

EKB Lawyers Recognized in Best Lawyers and Who’s Who Legal Canada for Their Expertise

EKB is proud to announce that four of our business lawyers have been recognized by leading legal publications for their expertise: David Allman, Rod Urquhart, William Hartley, and Daniel Fetterly.

Best Lawyers, 2019:

David Allman has been named in the category of Mining Law: David has received this recognition continuously since 2014.

Rod Urquhart has been named in two categories: Administrative & Public Law and Corporate & Commercial Litigation. Rod has been listed in Best Lawyers for many years running.

William Hartley has been named in the category of Mergers & Acquisitions Law. Bill has previously been listed in Best Lawyers in Canada as a leading lawyer in this area.

Daniel Fetterly has been named “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers for Aviation Law, Vancouver. Daniel has been recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada in the practice area of Aviation Law continuously from 2008.

Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review—David, Rod, Bill, and Daniel were selected by leading lawyers for their knowledge and expertise in these areas.

Who’s Who Legal Canada, 2018:

Daniel Fetterly has been recognized in the category of Aviation.

David Allman has been named in the category of Mining Law. David has received recognition in Who’s Who Legal Canada (mining) every year since 2012.

“Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide.”— Who’s Who Legal

These recognitions attest to the skill of our lawyers and their ability to provide businesses in BC with the highest quality of legal service.

 

David Allman a business lawyer at the Vancouver law firm EKB

David Allman

rodney urquhart vancouver business litigation lawyer profile picrure

Rod Urquhart

William Hartley a business lawyer at the Vancouver law firm EKB

William Hartley

Daniel Fetterly a business litigation lawyer at the Vancouver law firm EKB

Daniel Fetterly

In these heady days of cryptocurrency investment, the market can seem like a gold rush: offering promise, but at the expense of predictability. The taxation of cryptocurrencies is no different. In this article, a collaboration between the Fintech Team at EKB and Alexander Demner at Thorsteinssons LLP, we consider the tax implications for cryptocurrency investment in Canada. “In this... READ MORE

Fraser Hartley Shares Insights on Impact of Recreational Marijuana on Canadian Alcohol Market

Recently, the Senate passed the Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) which means that Canadians will be able to purchase and use cannabis for recreational purposes as of October 17th.

What effect will this development have on the alcohol and tobacco markets? Business Chief reached out to EKB Partner Fraser Hartley for his insights on the subject. Their article was also re-published by the European Centre for Monitoring Alcohol Marketing (EUCAM).

“Industry participants are of the view that legalisation will accelerate recreational adoption even further, with some predicting the recreational cannabis market will be comparable in size to markets for other recreational products such as wine and spirits by 2021,” Fraser observed. “It is likely that growth in the cannabis sector will come at some expense to the market for alcohol as millennials, in particular, have shown that they view marijuana as a substitute for alcohol in many circumstances.”

Business Chief pointed to a report from the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), which predicts that the legal recreational cannabis market could be as worth as much as $6.5bn by 2020. That would put the market for cannabis ahead of the current domestic market for alcoholic spirits, $5.1 billion in 2017. Although this is still substantially less than the $9.2 billion Canadians spent on beer this past year.

“Given the potential opportunity, it is no surprise that a flurry of activity has occurred as production, processing and distribution prepare to move from small-scale underground operations to commercial scale businesses,” Fraser noted.

EKB will be following these developments closely including the implications for business owners and employers. If you have questions about how legalized marijuana might impact your business, get in touch with the business lawyers at EKB.

Frazer Hartley a business lawyer at the Vancouver law firm EKBContact:
Fraser Hartley
Partner
604.661.1098
fhartley@ekb.com

Canadian Securities Administrators Provide Additional Guidance on Securities Law Implications for Offerings of Tokens June 11, 2018: The Canadian Securities Administrators (“CSA”) published CSA Staff Notice 46-308 Securities Law Implications for Offerings of Tokens, which provides additional guidance on the applicability of securities laws to offerings of coins or tokens, including those that industry stakeholders commonly refer to as “utility... READ MORE
U.S. Justice Department Launches Criminal Probe into Crypto Price Manipulation May 24, 2018 – According to a Bloomberg report, the Justice Department has allegedly launched an investigation on Bitcoin/cryptocurrency price manipulation. Bloomberg reports that the investigation is focussed on “illegal practices that can influence prices”, such as “flooding the market with fake orders to trick other investors into buying... READ MORE

I Declare: This Mortgage is Unenforceable

Angela Folino and Laura Morrison recently succeeded in obtaining a declaration that a mortgage was unenforceable and an order paying out funds that had been paid into court to secure the mortgage’s discharge.

The Mortgage

In Chan v. 0975713 B.C. Ltd., 2018 BCSC 872, the (now deceased) mortgagor entered into the mortgage at issue in lieu of providing a cash deposit as security for a commercial lease. Justin Chan, now deceased, was one of a group of seven tenants who each leased one commercial unit in a building in Richmond, BC. The tenant group paid a cash deposit as security for the leases, but soon into the lease term the landlord demanded a further deposit of $40,000, which the tenant group could not provide. Instead, Mr. Chan agreed to a mortgage in favour of the respondent numbered company over his condominium.

Although the mortgage itself appeared to be a standard mortgage in the principal amount of $40,000 with interest payable at 12% per annum payable on demand, it was not disputed by the respondent mortgagee that no money was ever advanced under the mortgage and that its purpose was to secure the collateral obligations of Mr. Chan and the rest of the tenant group under their leases.

The Lease

The tenants only ever occupied two of the seven units, one for two months and one for three months. They moved into the units in October and November 2013 and moved out at the end of December 2013, before the six-month lease term expired. The landlord never made any claims against the tenants for breach of lease for either unpaid rent or physical damage to the units.

The Respondent’s Refusal to Discharge the Mortgage

Some time later, when attempting to obtain financing for an unrelated business venture, Mr. Chan attempted to secure the discharge of the mortgage, since the lease had been terminated and the mortgage no longer had a valid purpose. The respondent repeatedly refused to voluntarily discharge the mortgage, even after Mr. Chan’s death and following attempts by lawyers engaged by the estate to do so.

The Court Proceedings and the Decision

In the petition, Mrs. Chan sought to have the mortgage declared unenforceable and an order that funds that she had paid into court to secure the discharge of the mortgage (in order to allow the sale of Mr. Chan’s condominium to complete) be paid out to her.

The court agreed with each of the petitioner’s three arguments, which were:

1. The limitation period for the enforcement of the mortgage as collateral security started to run at the same time as the limitation period of the underlying obligation. In other words, since the mortgage was security for the tenants’ obligations under the leases, the limitation period started to run when the leases were terminated, assuming that such termination was a breach of the leases. The limitation period started to run at the end of December 2013 (when the tenants moved out) and expired at the end of December 2015. Therefore, the respondent was out of time to enforce the mortgage;

2. Even if the landlord had a valid claim, the respondent failed to provide any evidence of a debt owing by the tenant, or of the cost of any physical damage that the tenants caused that would allow the respondent to enforce the mortgage, despite having had many years to do so in response to multiple requests by Mr. Chan or his representatives; and

3. Since the respondent company had been dissolved for more than two years, all of its assets, including the mortgage, had escheated to the government and the respondent therefore no longer owned them. Further, the respondent’s representatives had taken no steps to restore the company such that it could take the mortgage back from the government. That being the case, and since the government advised the petitioner that it would not participate in the proceedings, the respondent had no right to enforce the mortgage.

Conclusion

In the result, the court granted the relief sought and made a declaration that the mortgage was unenforceable, with alternative declarations that the mortgage had been satisfied in whole or that the respondent had no interest in the mortgage. The court also ordered that the funds that had been paid into court, plus accrued interest, would be paid to Mrs. Chan, and that Mrs. Chan was awarded her costs of the proceeding against the respondent.

 

Laura Morrison a business litigtaion lawyer at the Vancouver law firm EKBContact:
Laura Morrison
Associate
604.661.1021
lmorrison@ekb.com

B.C. Securities Commission Crackdown on Unregistered Securities Offerings: Kelly Samuels Interviewed by Vancouver Sun

In many ways, it’s still the Wild West when it comes to investing in cryptocurrencies. Beware the snake oil salesman, promising high gains and fast money.

But the regulators are moving to crack down on fraudulent Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency-related investment products. On May 22nd, the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) joined forces with watchdogs in the U.S. in what is being called “Operation Cryptosweep”. The task force will be headed by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) in concert with state and provincial regulators.

The Vancouver Sun reached out to Kelly Samuels, an EKB business lawyer with expertise in financial technology (fintech), about this new development for crypto-markets.

Samuels observed that a “surge in interest around cryptocurrencies has made a relatively new market ripe for fraud.”

Regarding ICO’s, Samuels noted that: “It’s a new reality that we have this different tool companies can use to raise money, whether legitimately or fraudulently,” she said. “Regulators are rightly pointing out that investors need to be aware. Because it’s difficult to police the whole internet.”

Both the NASAA and BCSC are actively engaged in investigations and inquiries. The target of Operation Cryptosweep is primarily unregistered securities offerings. As Samuels pointed out to Vancouver Sun, investors aren’t directly subject to crackdown or punishments but regulations get murkier once investors resell their coins from a purchase that was not in compliance with B.C. law.

Similar concerns about opportunistic and deceptive practices lead to Google, Facebook, and Twitter banning cryptocurrency and Initial Coin Offering (ICO) advertising from their platforms early this year.

While there are legitimate uses for ICOs—and for fintech more generally—anyone looking to invest in this market should do their research, proceed with extreme caution, and understand the current legal landscape.

As always, we will be following these developments closely in the EKB Fintech Blog.

 

Kelly Samuels a business lawyer at the Vancouver law firm EKBContact:
Kelly Samuels
Partner
604.661.1003
ksamuels@ekb.com

Revolutionary changes to complex systems often have humble beginnings. Double-entry-bookkeeping, for instance, grew from a minor section of a Franciscan monk’s mathematics encyclopedia in 15th-century Venice to the foundation of modern accounting. Now, blockchain, a system which allows connected computers to maintain a single updated ledger, seems poised to restructure stock exchanges, the core infrastructure of capital markets. Blockchain,... READ MORE