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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 in 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: Pharma M&A abounds, Chorus-Voyager merger, Slate expands

The Lexpert DealsWire (subscribe here) documents facts, figures and key legal players behind recent deals. This week's announced deal spotlight features the key players and figures in the acquisition of 14 commercial properties in Atlantic Canada by Slate Office REIT.

In our closed deals section, we look at two pharmaceutical deals: Concordia Healthcare acquiring 18 products from Swiss drug-maker Covis; and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International acquiring Salix Pharmaceuticals.

We also look at the players behind Chorus Aviation's acquisition of Voyager Airways, as well as the joint venture between Centerra Gold and Premier Gold Mines to explore and develop Premier's Trans-Canada Property in Northern Ontario.

Ontario wades into cap-and-trade

As Ontario prepares to implement a cap-and-trade system to curb greenhouse gas emissions, businesses have expressed concern about lingering uncertainties related to the new regime. "What are the legal characteristics of that thing that I'm buying and selling? Is it a security? Is it a commodity? Is it a derivative instrument? How is it regulated?"

Regulating patent trolls

Patent trolling – wherein a business entity holds a patent for the sole purpose of extracting a licensing fee or settlement from an operating business – is apparently much despised by the Canadian federal government, which is seeking to arm the Competition Bureau to fend off any potential proliferation of trolls in this country.

The duty of good faith: Clear or confusing?

For the first time in common-law Canada, Canada's top court recognized early this year that contracting parties have a legal duty to perform their contractual obligations honestly and with regard to the legitimate expectations of the other parties. But if this sounds like common sense, figuring out how to apply the legal duty is anything but, as top litigators are discovering.

Anti-spam legislation hits business hard

The bald truth about Canada's anti-spam law (CASL) is that it has significantly narrowed the digital landscape for business. In fact, according to some legal experts that Lexpert interviewed in an in-depth feature, CASL has actually had the perverse effect of encouraging businesses to rely more on telemarketing and direct mail to reach their customers. But there are silver linings too – many businesses have cleaned up their customer relationship management databases by getting rid of the dead wood.

Solicitor-client privilege won't protect clients

In this month's legal accounting column, Dominic Jaar, a lawyer at KPMG Canada, writes about the frustrations lawyers face in trying to protect client information, given continual revelations about electronic surveillance, industrial spying and criminal hacking.

The legal weather forecast

A legal demand forecast can help to alleviate the burden placed on internal law departments from ceaseless requests for basic legal work. In his monthly law departments column, consultant Richard Stock offers five steps that chief legal officers can use to put one of these together.