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: Tekmira picks up OnCore, Chorus Aviation, Interfor
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 Chorus Aviation's $80-million acquisition of Voyageur Airways.
In our closed deals section, we look at the legal players behind the merger of Tekmira Pharmaceuticals and hepatitis B drug maker OnCore Biopharma, the purchase of four U.S. sawmills by Interfor Corp. and the sale of Newalta's industrial waste division to Birch Hill equity partners.
Volatile mining market demands risk-sharing
Contracts in the mining industry are becoming less about transferring risk and more about sharing it, as big infrastructure projects are increasingly using the engineering, procurement and construction management model and variations of it to get projects done. Lawyers say this model can save money and get projects started sooner.
OSC exemption helps juniors raise capital
Small and mid-sized issuers struggling to raise capital got some good news recently. The Ontario Securities Commission implemented an exemption that allows companies to issue shares to existing stockholders without a new prospectus. Now a reporting public issuer in Ontario can avoid the cost entirely and appeal straight to its existing shareholder base.
Provincial pipeline conditions change the game
Time was, any project offering hundreds or thousands of jobs could count on the unwavering support of every politician in sight. Today that's just not the case for major oil pipeline proposals. Survey after survey shows Canadians have little interest in accepting assured jobs and tax revenue if they come with any potential for pipeline leaks. Rather, provinces, municipalities, First Nations and environmental groups are one-upping each other in the race to throw barriers in the way of multi-billion-dollar projects.
Pricing Legal Services: the alternative fee arrangement tipping point
While some critics who want wholesale reform of the legal profession believe hourly billing is set for extinction, the reality is a bit more nuanced. The true revolution in legal fees is more about control. As in-house law departments deal with budgeting pressures, fees are no longer "set" by the external lawyers; nowadays, they tend to be the product of negotiation and consultation, with hourly billing a part of the mix.
How Canadian companies can avoid the sanctions snare
An Alberta company pleaded guilty last year to shipping about $15 of industrial equipment to Iran, which was found to be prohibited under Canada's sanctions regulations. This was a wakeup call for Canadian companies about the risks falling under the sanctions snare. Legal experts explain that Canadian enforcement agencies are ramping up enforcement, yet the government provides little guidance on how to comply.
Oil Crash Dealmaking: the best time for energy M&A
In this month's accounting column, Deloitte LLP's Jamie Avey argues that, with an uncertain price outlook for crude and challenging capital markets, it will be critical for energy companies to maintain liquidity through cost reductions, operational efficiencies or M&A.