Robert Staley's practice focuses on complex commercial and securities litigation and securities regulation. Rob has extensive experience in Canadian and cross-border securities regulatory and enforcement matters, class actions, takeover bid litigation, foreign corrupt practices, appraisal and share valuation remedies, derivative actions, arrangements and the oppression remedy. Rob regularly advises Boards of Directors, Audit Committees and Special Committees in connection with internal and regulatory investigations and in connection with transactions. Rob has a broad trial and appellate practice in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Ontario Court of Appeal, Federal Court of Canada, Federal Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Canada. Rob has appeared before the Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta Securities Commissions. Rob has served as Chair of the firm's Securities Litigation Practice Group, as Co-Chair of the firm's Litigation Department and as a member of the firm's Partnership Board.
Rob is listed in Chambers Global as one of the world's leading lawyers for dispute resolution. In its 2014 directory, Rob was commended as a brilliant lawyer - he's a real strategist, has the ability to see the big picture, and does a superb job... in court. In its 2012 directory, Chambers Global said Rob earns praise for his skilled handling of complex cases, and that he is absolutely first rate at examining and cross-examining witnesses. In 2011, Chambers Global commended Rob for his excellent courtroom presence and his ability to provide practical and concise advice. In 2010, Chambers Global described Rob as a masterful strategic thinker and a very proactive and determined advocate and, in 2009, as “an extremely able, tactical lawyer who always knows cases inside-out.” In 2014, Legal Media Group's Benchmark Canada, which has consistently recognized Rob in its rankings in securities litigation and class actions, conferred on Rob Benchmark's award as Canada's Securities Litigator of the Year. Rob is recognized by The Canadian Legal Expert Directory in the securities litigation, corporate and commercial litigation and directors' and officers' liability litigation categories. He is repeatedly recognized in the Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada in the securities litigation and corporate commercial litigation categories. Rob has served as a member of the board of directors of The Advocates' Society.
Significant mandates include:
•Representation of Osisko Mining Corporation in the successful defence of a hostile takeover bid by Goldcorp Inc., and in the subsequent plan of arrangement involving Osisko, Yamana Gold Inc. and Agnico Eagle Mines Limited.
•Representation of Osisko Mining Corporation in the successful defence of an application seeking injunctive relief brought by Abitibi Royalties Inc. in the Quebec Superior Court.
•Representation of the Audit Committee of Penn West Petroleum Ltd. in connection with a management-initiated, voluntary review of certain accounting practices, and in connection with the restatement of the company's previously filed financial statements arising from the review.
•Representation of Trinity Western University in connection with an application challenging the accreditation decision made by the Law Society of Upper Canada.
•Representation of Scorpio Mining Corporation in an application that successfully challenged the nomination by a shareholder of candidates for election at Scorpio's annual meeting.
•Representation of a third party lender in connection with the application by The Cash Store Financial Services Inc. under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act.
•Representation of a group of interveners in the Supreme Court of Canada in Canada (Attorney General) v. Bedford, in which the Court considered the constitutionality of anti-prostitution provisions in the Criminal Code.
•Representation of the Litigation Trustee of Sino-Forest Corporation in the prosecution of multiple litigation claims arising from the insolvency of Sino-Forest.
•Representation of Sino-Forest Corporation in its application under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act, in which a plan of arrangement was approved by creditors and by the court within nine months after filing.
•Representation of Sino-Forest Corporation in the Ontario and Quebec courts in defence of class actions, including claims asserted under Part XXIII.1 of the Ontario Securities Act, and in connection with investigations by securities regulatory authorities.
•Representation of the Special Committee of Research In Motion Limited in connection with the company's management initiated voluntary review of stock options granting practices and in connection with the company's settlements with the Ontario Securities Commission and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
•Representation of Research In Motion Limited and the Special Committee of Research In Motion Limited in the defence and resolution of shareholder claims arising from the company's management initiated voluntary review of stock options granting practices.
•Representation of members of the Asper family in connection with a successful effort to obtain recovery for shareholders from the estate of the insolvent Canwest Global Communications Corp., in circumstances where the creditors were not paid in full.
•Representation of the Special Committee of Coventree Inc. in connection with an investigation by the Ontario Securities Commission into the Canadian asset-backed commercial paper market.
•Representation of Coventree Inc. in a 50 day hearing before the Ontario Securities Commission in relation to the Canadian asset-backed commercial paper market.
•Representation of Bank of America Corporation in defence of class actions commenced in the Ontario and British Columbia courts claiming $5 billion in damages in relation to interchange fees charged by the Visa and MasterCard credit card networks.
•Representation of the Special Committee of Hollinger International Inc. (now Sun-Times Media Group, Inc.) in connection with the Committee's investigation into the conduct of current and former directors and officers of Hollinger International. Representation of the members of the Special Committee in defence of defamation actions commenced by the former chairman and CEO of Hollinger International, including in an appeal in the Supreme Court of Canada.
•Representation of Hollinger International and the Special Committee of Hollinger International before the Ontario Securities Commission in its successful opposition to Ravelston's effort to privatize Hollinger Inc. Representation of Hollinger International in the ensuing insolvency proceedings of Ravelston and Hollinger Inc.
•Representation of Hollinger International in defence of class actions commenced in the Ontario, Saskatchewan and Quebec courts.
•Representation of the managers of the Vengrowth funds before the Ontario Securities Commission in connection with a successful application by the Special Committee of Vengrowth to cease trade a proxy solicitation by the GrowthWorks funds.
•Representation of Paramount Energy Trust before the Alberta Securities Commission in successfully resisting an application by ARC Energy Management to prevent certain private placement shares from being voted in connection with a shareholder meeting to approve an amalgamation between Paramount and Profound Energy Inc.
•Representation of TVI Pacific Inc. and its directors in defence of a class action commenced pursuant to Part XXIII.1 of the Ontario Securities Act.
•Representation of the former CEO of Timminco Limited in defence of a class action commenced pursuant to Part XXIII.1 of the Ontario Securities Act.
•Representation of Research In Motion Limited in connection with its acquisition of Certicom Corp. pursuant to a plan of arrangement and prior contested proceedings involving the same parties before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and Ontario Securities Commission.
•Representation of Health Care Property Investors Inc., in connection with its $1.4 billion offer to acquire all of the outstanding units of Sunrise Senior Living Real Estate Investment Trust.
•Representation of the bondholders of Aurelian Resources Inc. in connection with securities class action claims in Ontario and Alberta in relation to representations made to the company's bondholders.
•Representation of the bondholders of Crystallex International Corporation in connection with oppression and derivative action claims directed at the company's directors and senior officers.
•Representation of the senior bondholders of Stelco Inc. in proceedings under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act.
•Representation of the senior bondholders of Stelco in a successful claim, through the enforcement of subordination rights, to entitlement of the $90 million in “turnover proceeds” designated under Stelco's CCAA plan.
•Representation of Paulson & Co. Inc. in litigation surrounding a proxy contest initiated by Paulson in relation to Algoma Steel Inc.
•Representation of the former auditors of Buckingham Securities in defence of a class action claim and in defence of proceedings before the Ontario Securities Commission.
•Representation of the bondholders of Teleglobe Inc. in proceedings under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act and ancillary litigation arising from the insolvency of Teleglobe.
•Representation of one of the former auditors of Livent in successful defence of disciplinary proceedings before the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario.
•Representation of the bondholders of Rio Algom Limited in an oppression application against Rio Algom and Billiton plc. arising out of Billiton's 2000 takeover of Rio Algom.
•Representation of noteholders of Ivaco Rolling Mills and Ifastgroupe (steel), in connection with their $75 million note debt in restructuring/liquidation proceedings under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act.
•Representation of Yorkton Securities Inc. in connection with the OSC's 2000-2001 investigation into the conduct of Yorkton and certain of its senior officers, and in Yorkton's 2001 settlement with the OSC. Representation of Yorkton in connection with its 2001 settlement with the TSE.
•Representation of WIC Western International Communications Ltd. before the Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia Securities Commissions and in the Ontario courts in the successful defence of litigation in relation to a $1 billion takeover bid by CanWest subsidiary CW Shareholdings Inc. Representation of WIC in subsequent oppression claim by CW in the B.C. Supreme Court.
•Representation of the principal subject of an investigation by Regulation Services into possible high closing of certain securities. Following an investigation, RS elected not to proceed with charges.
•Representation of three traders investigated by the TSE in connection with the high closing of various securities by representatives of RT Capital Management.
•Representation of the bondholders of AT&T Canada Inc. in an oppression application against AT&T Canada and its directors.
•Representation of Middlefield Group in the successful defence of a $190 million claim in relation to a limited partnership.
•Representation of one of the subjects of the OSC's investigation into “manual pricing” of certain shares by Bonham & Co. Following an investigation the OSC elected not to proceed with charges against the firm's client.
•Representation of MDS Proteomics Inc. with its successful restructuring under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act.
•Representation of bondholder Deutsche Bank Canada in an oppression claim against Sherritt International Corporation in the New Brunswick Court of Queen's Bench.
•Representation of Air Canada in defence of an oppression claim and in subsequent arbitration to determine the fair value of certain of its regional connector airlines.
•Representation of certain parties before the OSC in connection with the OSC's investigation into Bre-X Minerals Ltd.
News & Events
• Bennett Jones Named Benchmark Alberta Firm of the Year
February 07, 2014
At the second annual Benchmark Canada Awards dinner last night, Bennett Jones was named Alberta Firm of the Year. Also being recognized was Rob Staley, a Partner with the Bennett Jones Litigation Group, as Securities Litigator of the Year.
• Robert Staley in the Financial Post on Bankruptcy Protection for Class Action Plaintiffs
November 20, 2013
In the Financial Post article by Mary Teresa Bitti, Bankruptcy Protection Can Be Silver Lining For Some Securities Class Actions, Robert Staley comments on an emerging trend in securities class actions where plaintiffs have been able to resolve claims through Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) proceedings.
• Robert Staley in Bloomberg on Shareholder Activism in Canada
February 13, 2013
In the Bloomberg article by Katia Dmitrieva and Sean B. Pasternak, Ackman-Like Activism Spurs Agrium, SNC Rallies , Robert Staley comments on the growing trend of shareholder activism in Canada.
• 2014, Canadian Lawyer Magazine: Top 25 Most Influential in the Justice System and Legal Profession in Canada
Robert W. Staley , nominated, Government/Non-Profit/Associations
•2014, Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory
Robert W. Staley , most frequently recommended, Litigation - Corporate Commercial
•2014, Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory
Robert W. Staley , consistently recommended, Litigation - Directors' & Officers' Liability
• U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Fraud on the Market Theory in Securities Class Actions
June 25, 2014
A much-anticipated decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc. was released on June 23, 2014. While the Supreme Court upheld the fraud on the market presumption of reliance which has made the U.S. a plaintiff-friendly jurisdiction for securities class actions, it provided defendants with a potentially powerful new tool for challenging the presumption at the certification stage.
• Canadian Court Certifies Visa/Mastercard Class Action
March 28, 2014
In reasons publicly released on Thursday March 27, 2014, Chief Justice Bauman certified two classes of Canadian merchants who allege a price-fixing conspiracy related to Visa and MasterCard interchange fees. As the first contested certification decision in a price-fixing case since a series of recent Supreme Court of Canada decisions, Watson v. Bank of America Corporation provides critical insight into how courts will decide contested certification motions in complicated price-fixing class actions.
• OSC Adopts New Initiatives to Strengthen Enforcement
March 26, 2014
On March 11, 2014, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) issued Staff Notice 15-702 - Revised Credit for Cooperation Program (Staff Notice 15-702). Staff Notice 15-702 carries forward various existing codified or informal practices, and adopts new initiatives previously proposed by OSC Staff (Staff). The stated intention of these initiatives is to: (i) resolve enforcement matters more efficiently by providing market participants with incentives to self-police, self-report and self-correct potential misconduct that may breach Ontario securities laws or otherwise be contrary to the public interest; and (ii) cooperate with Staff during its investigations.