PRACTICE AREAS

Litigation
Bisceglia & Associates Professional Corporation represents clients in difficult and complex commercial disputes of every kind. We are counsel on cases in corporate, commercial, construction, debt and mortgage enforcement, product liability claims, insolvency, real estate, mortgage, shareholder disputes and banking, to name just some of our practice areas.

We pride ourselves in providing excellent advocacy, practical results and professionalism. Our firm’s approach to dispute resolution focuses on understanding a client’s business and goals, and providing effective yet cost-effective advice and representation. We explore all alternatives to litigation but do not hesitate to litigate vigorously.

Our areas of litigation include the following:

  • Creditors’ rights and claims to enforce real and personal property securities, including mortgages, guarantees, pledges and general security agreements
  • Corporate, shareholder and partnership disputes, including proceedings for oppression claims, shareholder remedies, winding-up, and derivative actions
  • Commercial disputes, including claims for breach of contract, damages, injunctions, breach of fiduciary duties, specific performance, and injunctions
  • Construction law proceedings
  • Product liability claims involving a variety of products
  • Real property disputes, including actions with respect to failed real estate transactions, nuisance, surveys and boundaries, condominium disputes, and mortgage remedies
  • Professional negligence claims involving solicitors, accountants, engineers, architects, health care professionals, contractors, and others
  • Employment contracts and wrongful dismissal claims
  • Bankruptcy and insolvency, receiverships, fraudulent conveyances, corporate rearrangements, and settlements
  • Ontario Alcohol and Gaming Commission matters involving license suspensions, Notice of Proposals and various applications
  • Landlord and tenant disputes and lease remedies such as lease breaches, termination of leases, forfeiture, possession, distress, and claims for damages
  • Insurance claims, including property damage, personal injury, personal liability of directors and officers and environmental claims
  • Estate litigation, challenging wills, and dependants relief applications

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Bankruptcy and Insolvency
Our practice includes dealing with bankruptcy and insolvency issues. Cases in this area demand informed, considered and comprehensive responses. Our services in this area focus on meeting the goals of the client in difficult circumstances. We regularly represent both debtors as well as creditors. We represent parties in formal bankruptcy proceedings, and in out-of-court workouts or clients involving litigation. We can advise clients regarding secured and unsecured creditor protection matters and other facets of insolvency litigation.
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Construction Law
Our firm’s construction law litigators are experienced in all matters relating to the construction process. This includes: disputes that arise out of the tendering process; contract negotiations and performance; project financing and syndication; design changes and defective products; professional liability claims; claims for extras; trust claims; claims under construction bonds and related insurance policies and construction liens. Our firm represents developers, suppliers, general contractors, subcontractors, and owners during all phases of a construction project. Our lawyers have extensive experience in all forms of dispute resolution, including references, trials, appeals, mediations and arbitrations. Our firm’s lawyers have also appeared in all levels of courts.

Construction law can be a complex area for litigation requiring an ability to act quickly and expertly, but guided by a practical judgment focused on achieving the needs of the client. That is what we try to provide.
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Debt Enforcement

We represent creditors and debtors in collection cases involving outstanding accounts, mortgages, contracts, guarantees, foreign judgments and promissory notes. In representing creditors, we know the importance of debt collection to the ongoing operations of successful businesses. Whether dealing with business or consumer debts, our firm can assist parties to recover their losses in a timely and cost-efficient manner.



Our debt collection representation includes the following:

  • Negotiation, mediation and arbitration
  • Trial litigation
  • Pre-judgment collections including enforcing security so as to obtain collateral before judgment proceedings
  • Post-judgment collections to pursue a debtor's assets after a judgment has been rendered



Employment Law

Our practice includes providing legal services with respect to employment matters. We represent both employers and employees. These claims range from negotiating an appropriate severance package to initiating and defending wrongful dismissal cases up to and throughout trial. We realize that parties to employment disputes appreciate achieving a resolution at an early stage.

We can assist employers or employees regarding all aspects of the employment relationship, from hiring to termination. We can provide advice on termination issues, including the preparation and review of termination packages. We also represent parties in litigation involving breach of employment agreements and non-solicitation and non-compete agreements.
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Estates and Trusts

Our lawyers can provide advice on the resolution of disputes in the context of trusts and estates. They also regularly represent parties in court in estate litigation. These types of disputes include challenges to the validity of wills on behalf of both claimants and estate trustees, interpretation of wills and trusts, as well as issues arising from the administration of estates, motions for the advice and direction of the court, and the passing of accounts.

Our firm provides a professional approach to estate litigation that is sensitive to personal issues at stake. In dealing with estate disputes, we understand that clients need competent legal counsel who can provide a realistic assessment and cost benefit analysis of their options.
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Franchise Law

Our lawyers act for both franchisors and franchisees. This is an area of law that involves complex issues of disclosure, contract rights, rescission, tenancy issues, royalties and damages. We represent clients in disputes involving defaults, termination of agreements, security enforcement and interlocutory injunction proceedings. We can also assist in providing advice with respect to the complex disclosure requirements of the Ontario franchise legislation. In short, we have experience and knowledge of the many facets of franchise law.
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Product Liability

Our lawyers can provide advice to clients on product liability issues. We can provide representation to persons who have suffered injury or other loss as a result of defective or misrepresented products. The firm has been retained in cases involving a variety of products and various levels of complexity. We offer effective and cost effective representation.
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Professional Negligence

We act on behalf of clients seeking damages as a result of professional negligence.
Our firm represents parties in professional negligence claims including with respect to architects, engineers, accountants, lawyers, health care professionals and other professionals. We will employ experts to evaluate your claim so that you can make a determination as to how to proceed, whether that involves negotiating or commencing legal proceedings.
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Insurance Law
Insurance law is a broad area that deals with issues such as damage to or loss of property, denial of benefits, injury claims, and damage caused by fire and vandalism. While most people or companies have insurance, they are not certain what their insurance policy covers; and, more importantly, what their rights are if they suffer a loss or damage. Insurance companies are typically aggressive in defending claims, and dealing with a difficult insurance adjuster can often be as stressful as dealing with the loss itself.

Our lawyers are experienced in providing advice on insurance policies and negotiating with insurance adjusters. In keeping with the desire of clients to minimize legal expenses, Bisceglia & Associates offers imaginative, creative, and practical advice aimed at achieving an early and satisfactory resolution to the dispute.

Where the matter cannot be resolved, our lawyers are experienced and prepared to litigate vigorously on your behalf to ensure that you recover your losses in a timely and cost-effective manner. In keeping with our desire to provide cost-effective results to our clients, Bisceglia & Associates, in most cases, will not bill for their fees until the matter has been settled or determined at trial.

Our areas of insurance litigation include:

• Property Damage or Loss
If you have suffered damage to or loss of your property as a result of flood, fire or other causes, our lawyers can provide advice on your rights under your policy and represent you in negotiations with the insurance company. Failing settlement, we are prepared to litigate vigorously on your behalf.

• Commercial Insurance Claims
Commercial general liability insurance claims involve claims with respect to your business in the event that you are sued. It is often used to cover claims against your business for injury or property damage.

• Business Interruption Claims
Business interruption insurance claims involve claims that a person or company can make if there is a loss or damage suffered to their business. For example, if a fire damaged your building and all your inventory was destroyed, this insurance would cover your loss of earnings until the building was restored and you were back in business.

• Environmental Claims
If you have a claim arising out of an environmental issue, our lawyers are experienced to provide you advice on your rights and your options.

• Disability Claim Disputes
We have successfully represented clients who have been denied their long term disability benefits under a group policy or a private policy. These policies may be difficult to understand and getting the advice you need quickly is important.

Your initial consultation with our lawyers is absolutely free, with no continuing obligation on your part.

When people suffer loss, this can result in enormous financial stress. That is why we offer to our clients a contingency fee arrangement in cases involving insurance. A contingency fee involves payment of legal fees based on a percentage of recovery. The percentage and particulars that applies to your case depends on the type of case. This information will be explained to you from the beginning before you decide to retain us and will form part of our retainer agreement with you. Under this arrangement, the client is not required to pay any legal fees unless the case is successful. For some cases, the client would be asked to pay at least part of the disbursements. If the client does not recover any monies from the lawsuit, there will be no legal fees. In short, you will not pay any legal fees until your case is settled.
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Expropriation
As a landowner in Ontario, having your property expropriated can be quite stressful and complicated. Our firm is ready to assist from the moment you find out that your property might be expropriated, and provide our clients with the strategic guidance they need to navigate the expropriation process. We provide completely free consultation to prospective clients to help ensure they are well informed about their rights as landowners and the options available to them.

The lawyers at Bisceglia & Associates possess a comprehensive expertise in assisting landowners in matters relating to the expropriation of lands by expropriating authorities. Our extensive experience in the areas of construction, municipal, and development law allow us to provide complete access to experts and a full range of services to our clients in any expropriation matter.

WHAT IS “EXPROPRIATION”?

Expropriation describes the process where a landowner is forced to lose ownership of their property to an “expropriating authority,” for government use or where the government authorizes it. A landowner must be compensated for any property that is taken, but disputes can arise about the value of that property and the amount of compensation that the owner is entitled to.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT

- Our team is ready to help at any stage in the process.

As a landowner, you can expect to initially be contacted by an “expropriating authority,” in order to try to negotiate some settlement that is agreeable to the owner, where the owner voluntarily gives up their property in exchange for compensation. If a settlement is not reached, the formal expropriation process begins.

The next step is for the Authority to formally serve the owner with a “Notice of Intention for Approval to Expropriate,” and also publish the Notice in the local newspaper for 3 weeks. Once you are served, or the publication is made, you will have up to 30 days to request an inquiry as to whether the intended expropriation should happen. A hearing will follow and a decision will be made about whether or not the expropriation should proceed.

If the decision is made to proceed with an expropriation, an “Expropriation Plan” will be registered on title to the subject property. At this point the Authority will also serve the owner with official Notices of Expropriation, Possession, and Election stating that the expropriation has taken place, showing the date the property is required by, and, providing the owner an opportunity to select a date for the expropriation that the compensation will be based on.

Finally, the Authority will send an appraiser to the property to establish its value and produce an appraisal report. The Authority will then prepare an offer for compensation. As an owner you may accept the offer or choose to pursue additional compensation through negotiation, arbitration at the Ontario Municipal Board, or both.

WHO IS AFFECTED BY EXPROPRIATION?

The term landowner, or “owner,” includes registered property owners, tenants, trustees, guardians, executors, mortgagees, or any person otherwise entitled to an interest in the property. Check with us to see if you might be entitled to compensation from an expropriation.

COMPENSATION

If your property or lands are subject to an expropriation, you are entitled to compensation. In Ontario, the Expropriations Act, provides 4 bases of compensation that are used to determine how much compensation should be provided. These categories are:

1. The Fair Market Value of the property being expropriated

This is the price the property could be sold for on the open market by a willing seller to a willing buyer. If for some reason there would be no demand for such a property, the fair market value is determined by establishing the cost of relocating to similar premises. If only part of an owner’s property is subject to expropriation, the fair market value is determined by establishing the fair market value for the entire property, and deducting the estimated value of the property after the expropriation has taken place.

2. Damages attributable to any disturbances resulting from the expropriation

These damages are calculated by considering the inconvenience and costs of finding and / or moving to a new location; any improvements made to the expropriated property that are not reflected in the market value; costs related to tenant and / or security holder disturbances and relocation; and, if the property is a business, business losses and goodwill.

3. Damages for “injurious affection”

Owners are also entitled to compensation for consequential damages, or damages caused as a result of expropriation but not directly attributable to the value of the property being expropriated. Even if it is not owner’s property being expropriated, if they are negatively impacted by the expropriation they are able to recover the costs, or loss of value, incurred as a result of an expropriation. Some examples of injurious affection are circumstances where an owner suffers a loss of access to their driveway or entrance, loss of access to public utilities, business losses, noise issues, safety or traffic impairments, etc.

4. Special damages related to relocation

This category allows for extra consideration of special circumstances that may give rise to additional costs if an owner is forced to relocate, or find some other property to replace that which is being expropriated.

- As the owner of property that is subject to expropriation, you may be entitled to compensation under any, or all, of the above categories.

WHAT WE CAN DO FOR YOU

  • EVALUATION
  • INFORMATION
  • NEGOTIATION
  • STRATEGY
  • REPRESENTATION

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