Sim & McBurney v Aird & McBurney LP, 2016 ONSC 4063


Read full decision. Summary prepared by Alan Macek:

"This is a motion brought by the defendants to disqualify counsel for the plaintiff from representing the plaintiff further in this proceeding. The action arises from the decision of four dissident (now former) partners of the plaintiff to change firms. Between late July and September 2015, these four (former) partners held discussions with the law firm now representing the plaintiff, Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP, about the possibility of moving their practice to that firm. The plaintiff advances a variety of claims including breach of fiduciary duty, bad faith and inducing breach of contract arising from that move. The defendants object to Gowlings representing the plaintiff in this action on the grounds that Gowlings possesses confidential information that could be used to their detriment in this proceeding and that partners of Gowlings are likely material witnesses on matters central to the claim whose testimony would be needed at trial. ... The plaintiff has scheduled an injunction motion for August 17, 2016 seeking to restrain alleged breaches of trade-mark and passing off associated with the use of similar trade names. ... For the reasons that follow, I am granting the motion and order that Gowlings should be disqualified from representing the plaintiff in respect of this claim."


Canadian Intellectual Property