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Fiduciary Duties

"Fiduciary Obligations of Former Employees in the Oil & Gas Industry"

Sector: - Oil & Gas

Two lawyers at Blakes have published a memorandum that addresses "Fiduciary Obligations of Former Employees in the Oil & Gas Industry". The memo is undated but appears to have been written in 2007 or later, based on the cases cited.

"Employees Obligations to Their Employers"

Lauren M. Bernardi has written an article on, "Employees Obligations to Their Employers" (undated).

Ms. Bernardi is a a lawyer and human resource advisor with the Mississauga firm of Bernardi Human Resource Law.

Relationships that give rise to fiduciary obligations

In a previous post, I mentioned that Justice Rothstein of the Supreme Court of Canada spoke about fiduciary duties in the employment context at the "10th Annual Employment Summit" in Toronto.

Specifically, he referred to recent cases before the Court in which fiduciary duties had been alleged: RBC Dominion Securities Inc. v. Merrill Lynch Canada Inc., 2008 SCC 54 and Galambos v. Perez, 2009 SCC 48.

What type of relationships will give rise to fiduciary duties?

In the leading case of Lac Minerals Ltd. v. International Corona Resources Ltd., [1989] 2 S.C.R. 574, which is not an employment law case, the Supreme Court of Canada stated that relationships in which a fiduciary duties have been imposed generally, although not always, share three general characteristics:  read more »

Ontario's "10th Annual Employment Law Summit"

I attended the Law Society of Upper Canada's "10th Annual Employment Law Summit" in Toronto today.

The keynote speaker was the Honourable Mr. Justice Marshall Rothstein of the Supreme Court of Canada. He focused his comments on two recent cases in which the SCC has addressed fiduciary duties in the employment context:  read more »

"Fiduciary Duties: Obligations of Departing Employees"

Jurisdiction: - Alberta

Tina Giesbrecht, a lawyer at McCarthy Tetrault LLP in Calgary, has written a paper on, "Fiduciary Duties: Obligations of Departing Employees" (March 2009). The paper was prepared for the Legal Education Society of Alberta. 

Discoveries must occur before defendants get particulars of claim involving confidential info, breach of fiduciary duty

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

Mr. McKay resigned from the plaintiff VSM in September 2007 after 19 years of employment.

Before leaving VSM, he signed a release in which he acknowledged that he owed a fiduciary duty to VSM and that VSM would suffer irreparable harm if its confidential or unique information was disclosed without authorization.

Mr. McKay then commenced employment with VSM's competitor, Elekta.

VSM subsequently sued Mr. McKay and Elekta, alleging that they conspired to use confidential information to obtain an unfair competitive advantage and that Mr. McKay breached his fiduciary duty.

In response to the 54-paragraph Statement of Claim, the defendants filed a one paragraph Statement of Defence and then brought a motion seeking "particulars" of the claim. The Defendants' position was that they needed the particulars to file a responsive Defence and to delineate the issues at trial.

The court, agreeing with the plaintiff, ruled that the defendants' motion should be adjourned until the plaintiffs had conducted its Examinations for Discovery. If the defendants still wanted particulars at that time, they would be at liberty to re-apply.  read more »

Court discusses duties owed by financial advisors when they switch brokerage houses

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

In Stenner v. ScotiaMcleod  2007 BCSC 1377, the court discussed the duties owed by employees in the financial services industry when they switch brokerage houses.


The plaintiff was a financial consultant and investment advisor who had gained some prominence through a radio show.

He had moved his "book of business" (i.e., client accounts) to what is now Merril Lynch in 1995 and then to National Bank Financial ("NFB") in 2000.

One of the individual defendants was the plaintiff's daughter. She had started working for her father in 1991, had followed him when he changed brokerage houses, and continued to acquire a greater role in growing and managing the plaintiff's "book of business" as the years went by.

The other individual defendants were the daughter's husband and an administrative employee.

The plaintiff and the individual defendants were all employees of NBF at the time in question, and each received a salary and employee benefits from NBF.  read more »