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Simon Shields, LLB

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Since 2005

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Torts - Unlawful Interference with Economic Relations

A.I. Enterprises Ltd. v. Bram Enterprises Ltd. (SCC, 2014)

In this case, the Supreme Court of Canada took the oppourtunity to clarify and expound on the elements of the tort of 'unlawful interference with economic relations', the context being allegations that a minority shareholder in a corporation that owned an apartment building wrongfully interfered with the contractual right of majority shareholders to sell it. At trial the court awarded damages equal to the potential purchase price of the building minus what the defendant minority shareholder bought it for. This ruling was upheld at the Ontario Court of Appeal, and at the Supreme Court (on the alternative ground that the director of the defendant had breached their fiduciary duties to the corporation despite this not being pled). At paras 23-87 the court discusses and sets out the elements of the tort of wrongful interference with economic relations, including an extensive review of common law case law on the tort. The case is essential reading for anyone involved in a situation involving such elements.
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