Supreme Court of Canada

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Supreme Court of Canada dismisses Chamber’s motion for leave to intervene

August 27, 2014

U.S. Chamber seeks permission from Canada Supreme Court to file amicus curiae brief to address global forum shopping

July 29, 2014

On behalf of the interests of the broad business community, the U.S. Chamber filed a motion for leave to intervene in a case with significant implications for the growing trend of global forum shopping (sometimes referred to as “tort tourism”). A motion to intervene in the Supreme Court of Canada is similar to a motion for leave to file an amicus curiae brief in U.S. courts. This particular case addresses the question whether a Canadian court may exercise jurisdiction over a U.S. company - whose only connection with Canada is through its completely separate subsidiary - to enforce a foreign judgment against the U.S. company that a U.S. district court ruled was obtained in Ecuador through a vast fraud perpetrated by the plaintiffs and their attorneys.

However, the U.S. Chamber explained in its motion that this case is only one part of a much broader “global forum shopping” trend where plaintiffs search for vulnerable foreign courts to obtain questionable judgments and then seek to enforce those judgments in more legitimate foreign courts. The U.S. Chamber asked the Supreme Court of Canada for the opportunity to provide the Court with additional information on this global trend and how it could negatively impact foreign investment in Canada. In addition to providing information on how courts in the U.S. and across the globe approach the enforcement of foreign judgments, the U.S. Chamber also explained that it can provide the Supreme Court of Canada with a comparative perspective as to how U.S. courts answer threshold jurisdictional questions involving foreign defendants and their domestic subsidiaries.

The U.S. Chamber is represented by Jeffrey S. Leon, Ranjan K. Agarwal, and Christiaan A. Jordan of the law firm Bennett Jones LLP.

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