Romandale Farms Inc. successful in long-standing dispute surrounding ownership of 280 acres in Markham, Ontario

Date Closed

September 13, 2019

Lead Office

Toronto

On September 13, 2019, Justice Nancy Spies of the Ontario Superior Court issued a 104-page written decision on Fram Elign Mills 90 Inc. v. Romandale Farms Limited et al., 2019 ONSC 5322.

This litigation, part of a broader dispute that has been ongoing since 2007, was heard in a contested three-week trial in October 2018. The case covers multiple actions commenced against Romandale by two plaintiffs, Fram Elign Mills 90 Inc. (Fram) and Jeffrey Kerbel et al. (Kerbel), surrounding ownership of 280 acres of undeveloped land in Markham, Ontario. Fram and Kerbel are developers with minority ownership of the lands, while Romandale owns more than 90% of the lands in question, farmland properties known as the McGrisken Farm and the Snider Farm.

If successful, these actions would have required Romandale to sell its 90%+ interest in the lands at a significant discount of C$160,000 per acre and also pay up to C$60,000,000 in damages to Fram.

The parties argued, and Justice Spies considered, a large number of legal doctrines including among others: repudiation of contract, the duty of good faith, the existence of and breach of fiduciary duties between commercially sophisticated parties, specific performance, equitable damages in lieu of specific performance, mitigation, frustration, mistake and estoppel.

In her 104-page decision, Justice Spies dismissed all of the plaintiffs’ claims, making Romandale ultimately successful in this long and high-profile dispute.

McCarthy Tétrault has represented Romandale in this dispute since 2015, with a team made up of Sarit Batner, Kosta Kalogiros, and Avi Bourassa.

People