Real Property Litigation
In addition to the real property litigation described below, Forrester & Company regularly acts in commercial lease disputes.
First Land and others v. Huang and others
Forrester & Company acted for the plaintiff against a defendant who refused to close an agreement of purchase and sale of a $6 million commercial property. We obtained a $400,000 garnishing order, which ultimately led to the closing of the transaction. Subsequently, the defendant defaulted upon a vendor take back mortgage, and Forrester & Company acted for the plaintiff in respect of a foreclosure proceeding in respect of the same property.
Wong v. BPP
Forrester & Company acts for the plaintiff in respect of a purchase of a luxury home with panoramic views of the Burrard inlet. The plaintiff alleges that the developer of the home, along with other parties and their agent, represented that the view would remain unobstructed. Soon after moving into the home, the plaintiff’s view was obstructed by another building constructed by the same developer. The plaintiff sued the developer and the other parties and their agent for damages. The trial of this matter is pending.
0832955 B.C. Ltd. v. 0387828 B.C. Ltd. and others
Forrester & Company is counsel for the plaintiff in respect of a large commercial development in downtown Richmond, B.C. The plaintiff purchased numerous adjacent commercial properties for the purposes of redevelopment. Well into the transaction, the plaintiff learned that an anchor tenant of one of the properties had a 20 year lease. Litigation was commenced, resulting in the termination of the lease, and the successful resale of the properties for redevelopment. Portions of the litigation continue against certain parties, pertaining to damages suffered by the plaintiff arising from the existence of the lease.
Osaka Investments v. Centro Minoru
Forrester & Company acted for the plaintiff purchaser in a claim for an alleged misrepresentation involving the purchase of a $5 million commercial property in Richmond, British Columbia. We registered a certificate of pending litigation against the property to preserve the plaintiff’s interest in the property, which included a $500,000 deposit held by the defendant. The litigation was settled, with the plaintiff and defendant completing the transaction terms renegotiated through Forrester & counsel for the defendants.
Abdollah v. Pai et al.
Our firm acts for the vendors in a purchase and sale dispute where the purchaser alleges fraudulent misrepresentation with respect to the use of the property as a marijuana grow operation and an ancillary claim for breach of contract. The purchaser relies on a property disclosure statement, which it says was incorporated into the purchase and sale contract. It was a term of the purchase and sale contract that the property disclosure statement would be incorporated into the contract upon approval by the purchaser, and it was a further term of the contract that the sale was subject to an inspection being conducted by the purchaser, for his sole benefit. The vendors say they had no knowledge of the alleged use of the property and that the purchaser has failed to show the requisite fraudulent intention. Furthermore, the purchaser incorporated the property disclosure statement into the contract and removed subjects without conducting an inspection. Forrester & Company has made an application to the Court on behalf of the vendors for a summary trial of this issue with a hearing set in March 2015. The proceeding involves several claims against multiple defendants and is being set for a ten day trial. The property in dispute was purchased for $563,000 in 2006.
Mareva Orders, Injunctions and Attachment Remedies
At Forrester & Company, we are particularly experienced in obtaining Mareva Orders and other interim injunctive relief for the preservation of assets pending litigation. We have established protocols to immediately notify Canadian financial institutions of these orders once they are obtained, and register them on title against the interest of real property assets of each defendant.
In addition, we have also acted on behalf of defendants to set aside injunctions and other preservation orders that were improperly obtained.
0805652 B.C. Ltd and others v. D&E Investments and others
We are counsel for the plaintiffs in this matter, who are investors in a purported commercial real estate development project in Alberta. The land is held as a bare trust, which is administered by the plaintiffs on behalf of the defendants as shareholders. In breach of a bare trust agreement, certain of the defendants mortgaged the development property, and the plaintiffs allege that the defendants fraudulently used the funds from the mortgage for their own benefit.
In a without notice application before the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, the plaintiffs applied for and obtained a Mareva Order, restraining the defendants from dealing with assets up to the amount of $1.65 million. The litigation remains before the Court.
Attorney General of British Columbia v. Malik
Forrester & Company represents one of the defendants in the civil fraud proceedings commenced by the Province of British Columbia in respect of expenses claimed by one of the defendants in the Air India trial. A Mareva Order has been made in that proceeding, and Mr. Forrester was successful in his submission that secured debts of his client should be discharged upon sale of a property owned by certain of the other defendants.
D. N. v. L. B.
Counsel for Canada Post and a franchisee in respect of a successful application to set aside an injunction made without notice. The injunction was for the seizure of Canada Post equipment, along with the entirety of the franchisee’s business equipment and inventory. Mr. Forrester argued to set aside the injunction on the grounds that the respondent, when obtaining the injunction without notice to the applicants, failed to make full and frank disclosure of all material facts in issue.
The Court found that the respondent had failed to disclose material facts and set aside the injunction, the effect of which was the release of inventory and equipment belonging to Canada Post and the franchisee.
Huang v. Li
Counsel for the plaintiff in a fraud proceeding where the plaintiff alleges he was defrauded of over $1 million USD. The funds were known to have been placed in California California bank account, and the defendant allegedly had fled to Vancouver. Mr. Forrester applied on an urgent basis for a worldwide Mareva Order to freeze the funds. The Supreme Court of British Columbia Mareva Order was obtained the first business day after Forrester & Company was retained, long before a similar order could be obtained in California. While the litigation in both California and British Columbia is ongoing, it appears that the majority of the allegedly defrauded funds in the California bank account were frozen pursuant to the British Columbia Mareva Order.
This case is particularly interesting and unusual because it appears that Forrester & Company correctly predicted that the California bank would cooperate with a Mareva Order made by the Supreme Court of British Columbia. The British Columbia Mareva Order appears to have been an effective interim “stop-gap” measure, to preserve the funds and “buy time” for a similar order to be made in California (by a court in that jurisdiction which could legally require compliance by a California bank.
Ecology and Environment Inc. v. Finavera Wind Energy Inc.
Forrester & Company successfully applied to set aside a garnishing order against the defendant for unpaid invoices in the sum of $861,000. The garnishing order froze the sum of $621,000 in the bank account of the defendant, a TSX Venture Exchange company. The funds amounted to the entirety of the defendant’s operating funds. Mr. Forrester applied on an urgent basis to set aside the garnishing order. The primary grounds for the application were technical: the garnishing order was void because the $861,000 claimed by the defendant exceeded an agreed to $700,000 “cap” that the plaintiff could invoice the plaintiff. While the “cap” amount in fact exceeded the amount ultimately garnished, Mr. Forrester successfully argued that the order should be void because the amount garnishable exceeded the amount claimable pursuant to the agreed upon cap. The Court agreed with that submission, voided the garnishing order, and ordered the entire sum of $621,000 to be released to the defendant.
Liang v. Qian et. al. and Liang v. Q. Sogood et. al.
Forrester & Company acts for the plaintiff in Supreme Court of British Columbia proceedings where the plaintiff, a Chinese resident, alleges that he was defrauded of $5 million by the defendants in respect of a development project in the City of Hefei, Anhui Province, People’s Republic of China. Mr. Forrester and Forrester & Company paralegal/translator Salina Fan traveled to Hefei to obtain evidence in support of a Mareva Order against the defendant Jun Qian. The Mareva Order and various other disclosure applications by Mr. Forrester ultimately led to the interim restraint of millions of dollars in real property assets in British Columbia. The litigation is ongoing.
Yang v. Lee
Forrester & Company applied on behalf of the plaintiff, a Chinese resident, and obtained a Mareva Order, where the defendant had defrauded the plaintiff of approximately $600,000. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant had forged letters by the Toronto Stock Exchange, a Canadian chartered bank and a Vancouver lawyer in a complex fraud scheme to fraudulently obtain funds from the plaintiff for a sham application to list a mining company on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The Mareva Order ultimately led to the recovery of the majority of the allegedly defrauded funds.
In the course of enforcing the Mareva Order, the defendant applied to access funds that the plaintiff alleged were part proceeds of fraud, from which to pay legal fees. Forrester & Company opposed the application on behalf of the plaintiff.
Fraser Valley Disposal Ltd. v. JPC and others
Forrester & Company applied on behalf of the plaintiff to obtain a Mareva Order against a former employee who allegedly defrauded the plaintiff, a waste transfer station. The Mareva Order was granted, leading to the seizure of assets belonging to two of the defendants, and ultimately the settlement of the litigation as against those defendants.
Le Soleil Hospitality v. Louie and others
Counsel for the defendants in respect of issues related to a Mareva Order against the defendants, in highly complex and lengthy commercial litigation. Mr. Forrester has numerous appearances both at the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of British Columbia
General Commercial Litigation: Contractual, Shareholder and other disputes
In addition to the below cases, we regularly act in disputes pertaining to employment relationships, restrictive covenants, non-solicitation clauses, and some insolvency, regulatory and construction related matters.
Gourdine v. Fairway Recognition Inc. et al.
Forrester & Company acted for the defendants and plaintiffs by way of counterclaim. The plaintiff and personal defendant were each 50% shareholders in the corporate defendant, until such time they entered into a restructure agreement. Pursuant to the restructure agreement, the plaintiff surrendered his interests in the company and the plaintiff and individual defendant agreed to split the client list. The restructure agreement contained a two year non-solicitation clause in this respect. Given that the plaintiff did not have his own facilities, the restructure agreement made provisions to allow him to resell products sourced from the corporate defendant. Outside of these terms, the parties were allowed to compete.
Following this split, the plaintiff incorporated a separate company and effectively assigned to it his right to purchase and resell products from the corporate defendants. The plaintiff conducted the new company’s business by allowing the corporate defendant to deal directly with customers on his list. The plaintiff’s new company failed to make payments to the corporate defendant and the corporate defendants contacted clients to collect on outstanding invoices. The plaintiff made a claim against the defendants for breach of the restructure agreement and for the unlawful interference with contractual relations. Forrester & Company successfully argued at trial that the doctrines of promissory estoppel and waiver apply and that the defendants conduct did not constitute unlawful interference with the plaintiff’s contractual relations. Our firm obtained an admission on a counterclaim for outstanding invoices, a dismissal of the plaintiff’s claim, and costs.
Wang v. EWM et al.
Forrester & Company acts for a petitioner in a shareholder oppression remedy regarding an insurance brokerage. The petitioner claims that his rights as a shareholder have been oppressed by the diversion of a business opportunity and misappropriation of insurance contracts and funds from the insurance brokerage by one of the shareholders, to a company in which the tortfeasor is the sole shareholder and director. The petitioner claims that although all the shareholders of the insurance brokerage have been adversely affected by the conduct, one shareholder has benefitted from the tort. Furthermore, the tortfeasor has forged the petitioner’s signature, has not allowed payments of commissions owed to the petitioner pursuant to an oral agreement, and refuses to release the petitioner from the terms of his agency agreement or from the non-competition provisions of the shareholder agreement. The petitioner is unable to rely on the dispute resolution and shotgun provisions existing in the shareholder agreement without suffering a further loss. Damages are to be assessed, pending a hearing of the petition to the Court, as the petitioner, although a director, has not been provided access to the company’s accounting records.
Morgan v. Dadi and others
Forrester & Company acted for the petitioner in respect of a shareholders dispute over a downtown nightclub business. The petitioner successfully claimed that his rights as a shareholder had been oppressed by the failure of the director and majority shareholder to properly account for money invested in the business. Furthermore, the petitioner was not provided with a right of first refusal over the purchase of the business by a third party. The court ordered a proper accounting, and ordered that the petitioner could exercise a right to purchase the business from the third party.
Crepes de France v. Mizani
Forrester & Company acted for the plaintiff in respect of the sale of a business to a defendant, who took possession of the business and then shortly thereafter walked away from the business without paying the purchase price. The Court initially set aside a garnishing order that had been obtained by the plaintiff’s prior counsel and had defects. Forrester & Company successfully brought a cross application for the purchase money to be held in the defendant’s solicitor’s trust account.
Having successfully preserved the funds, Forrester & Company proceeded to trial and obtained judgment on behalf of the plaintiff in respect of those funds.
A subsequent appeal was abandoned by the defendant.
EOS Transport v. Alta Pacific Transport
Glen Forrester of Forrester & Company successfully argued on behalf of the Plaintiff that this matter was not suitable for resolution by summary trial. The Court accepted the Plaintiff’s submissions that the evidence in this case is in direct conflict on most key issues and that a trial with viva voce evidence is likely the most economical method of resolution.
Able Fabric v. Li
Forrester & Company obtained judgment at trial on behalf of the defendant, a purchaser of a business who had been misled by misrepresentations made by the vendor. In particular, the misrepresentations pertained to the viability of the transaction as the subject matter of a successful application to immigrate to Canada pursuant to the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP). With the expert evidence of a well known Vancouver immigration lawyer, Forrester & Company proved at trial that the business was not capable of supporting such an application. Since the primary purpose of the purchase of the business was to immigrate pursuant to the BC PNP, the Court dismissed the claim of the plaintiff for damages as a result of the defendant’s refusal to complete the transaction.
A subsequent appeal by the plaintiff was stayed pending the posting of security for costs by the plaintiff, upon application to the Court of Appeal by Forrester & Company on behalf of the plaintiff.