Published In

Alberta Law Review

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2010

Subjects

Canada; Securities law; Class actions; Comparative law; Director liability; Director & Officer Insurance

Abstract

The article explores securities class actions involving Canadian issuers since the provinces added secondary market class action provisions to their securities legislation. It examines the development of civil liability provisions, and class proceedings legislation and their effect on one another. Through analyses of the substance and framework of the statutory provisions, the article presents an empirical and comparative examination of cases involving Canadian issuers in both Canada and the United States. In addition, it explores how both the availability and pricing of director and officer insurance have been affected by the potential for secondary market class action liability. The article suggests that although overall litigation exposure for Canadian companies remains relatively low when compared to their U.S. counterparts, Canadian issuers that have listed their shares in the U.S. face considerable uncertainty as to the extent of their exposure to securities class actions. Through analysis of case law in both jurisdictions, the article highlights the crucial role of liability caps relating to costs in the decision of which jurisdiction to file suit.

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