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AGB lawyers successfully defend motion for permanent stay following alleged failure to disclose litigation landscape-changing settlement

Simon Bieber and Jocelyn Howell successfully defended a motion for a permanent stay of proceedings sought based on an alleged failure by a settling party to immediately disclose a partial settlement alleged to have changed the litigation landscape for the remaining parties. 

The moving party relied on a recent line of cases from the Court of Appeal for Ontario holding that, although a permanent stay of proceedings is a harsh remedy, any failure to disclose immediately a litigation landscape-changing agreement amounts to an abuse of process and must therefore result in consequences of the most serious nature.

AGB lawyers argued that this line of cases was distinguishable and that a stay was not warranted, at least in part because (i) the non-settling party was immediately aware of the settlement, if not its details, (ii) the non-disclosure was wholly inadvertent; and (iii) the settlement had not actually changed the landscape of the litigation, and the non-disclosure had caused the moving party no prejudice. The motion judge agreed, holding that "the facts of the case before me put it into that appropriately rare category of cases in which a stay is not warranted".