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Lexpert identifies and reports on emerging business issues and practice areas in the business of law. Whether online, in our magazine or the DealsWire e-newsletter, we chronicle deals and lawsuits of interest, and cover issues of broad concern to the legal profession and those who purchase legal services. We hope you enjoy this sample of our latest content.

From the DealsWire: Extendicare, Orbcomm, PrairieSky, Sprague Resources

The Lexpert DealsWire (subscribe here) documents facts, figures and key legal players behind recent deals. This week's announced deal spotlight focuses on Extendicare Inc.'s $83-million acquisition of Revera Home Health, a home care provider with 227 locations across Canada and the U.S.

In our closed deals section, we look at Orbcomm's acquisition of SkyWave in a high-tech deal valued at $130-million (U.S.); the PrairieSky Royalty Ltd. purchase of Range Royalty for $699-million, in PrairieSky's first pick-up since it was created last year; and the Sprague Resources acquisition of Kildair Service, for $175-million (U.S.).

Creative dealmaking to boost oil M&A

Don't expect deals in the oil space to flounder just because prices are at their lowest in several years. In fact, lawyers out of Alberta are suggesting the opposite – an overall increase in M&A activity in 2015 that will surpass even the highly energized 2014. It's activity that will be driven by desperate times that will force companies to be prudent and come up with their most creative solutions to weather the storm.

Northern investment in Quebec faces vague "social acceptability" test

Quebec's rank in the world for mining development continues to slide after Strateco filed suit against the province late last year for blocking a uranium exploration project. The government used the lack of "social acceptability" argument as a reason for the block, despite it not being a principle in law. What is social acceptability, and why is it ruffling the feathers of potential investors? The legal experts share their answers.

Lexpert's Top Ten Deals and Cases of 2014

Every year Lexpert magazine looks back at the deals and court decisions that had the biggest impact on the legal and business community in Canada. We consult with the top corporate and litigation practitioners and narrow it down to the top ten. This year, our top deal was Loblaw's acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart, which underwent an extensive regulatory review, and our top case was the Supreme Court of Canada's endorsement of a relaxed test for summary judgment as an alternative to a full-blown trial in Hryniak v. Mauldin.

Columns: The Patent Deficit

In his technology column, McCarthy Tétrault LLP's George Takach lays out the dismal state of patent-filing in Canada and backs it up with hard numbers. Just how bad is Canada's patent deficit? The Koreans are beating us – the North Koreans.