McCarthy Tétrault leads precedent-setting Supreme Court of Canada case in Canadian contract law

Toronto, November 13, 2014 – McCarthy Tétrault is pleased to announce that it successfully argued a precedent-setting judgment in Canadian contract law. This morning, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) released a judgment in Bhasin v. Hrynew, 2014 SCC 71, recognizing that there is a general duty of good faith in contracts throughout Canada for the first time.

The case is important for Canadian businesses going forward. All contracts throughout Canada are now subject to the duty of honesty, which the Court held cannot be excluded by the terms of an agreement. Businesses will need to consider whether they are discharging this duty when performing a contract. If a given course of action could be construed as deceptive, businesses should avoid pursuing it unless willing to assume the risk of litigation. New obligations under the overarching duty of good faith could be recognized in the future beyond the requirement for honest performance.

“We are very proud of this tremendous achievement for our client and the industry,said David Leonard, National Practice Group Lead, Litigation. “Our clients rely on us to deliver strong results. This case, which has both legal and strategic importance, is another example of our bench strength and strategic approach to solving complex matters.”

McCarthy Tétrault's team assisting Bhasin & Associates was led by Neil Finkelstein and Brandon Kain and included John McCamus and Stephen Moreau.

McCarthy Tétrault's National Appellate Litigation Group offers a comprehensive range of services and have argued nearly 1,350 appellate cases in 9 out of 10 provinces and one territory. These include 128 cases in the Supreme Court of Canada, 27 of which were decided in 2010-2014 alone. The group has represented clients throughout the country in a diverse range of industries, appearing in some of the most high-profile, precedent-setting cases in Canadian legal history.

About McCarthy Tétrault

McCarthy Tétrault LLP provides a broad range of legal services, advising on large and complex assignments for Canadian and international interests. The firm has substantial presence in Canada’s major commercial centres and in London, UK.

Built on an integrated approach to the practice of law and delivery of innovative client services, the firm brings its legal talent, industry insight and practice experience to help clients achieve the results that are important to them.