With the continuing expansion of global trade and investment, we are witnessing an increase in domestic and international arbitration, mediation, neutral evaluation and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) cases. There are a number of factors that help explain this growing trend: the high costs and extensive delays of the court system, the confidentiality inherent to a parallel and parties-driven process, the lack of adverse publicity, limited discovery, and the preservation of good business relationships between the parties.
Heenan Blaikie has been at the forefront of this trend. Our ADR lawyers are recognized for their invaluable arbitration and mediation qualities, including their comprehensive knowledge of the process, their ability to enhance communication between disputing parties, their ethics, their excellent listening skills, their capacity to withhold judgment, and their patience. Our ADR group has assisted numerous clients in these non-traditional dispute resolution mechanisms, providing flawless representation while also defining the most cost-effective procedures. Members of our group have made their reputation as arbitrators and mediators, capable of settling disputes promptly and efficiently, on both domestic and international fronts.
Our Domestic ADR Practice
Heenan Blaikie’s domestic ADR team provides advice to Canadian companies and organizations of all sizes in both the public and private sectors in connection with:
- Corporate and commercial matters – contractual disputes, product liability, forensic technology solutions, corporate investigations, white-collar crime (corporate and occupational), insolvency and restructuring disputes
- Labour and employment law – wrongful dismissal, grievance arbitration, collective bargaining, wage recovery, discrimination and harassment
- Government relations – arbitration and mediation agreements; analysis of legislative approaches to dispute resolution; review of court cases involving government departments, boards and agencies; examination of arbitration and dispute resolution provisions entrenched in the legislation such as the Canada Commercial Arbitration Act and statutes adopted by several provinces based on the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration
Our International ADR Practice
Heenan Blaikie provides a full scope of international arbitration and dispute settlement services to clients that range in size from start-ups and SMEs to large public companies and institutions, including governments.
We advise companies engaged in cross-border investment disputes with foreign companies or nations as well as countries seeking to resolve disputes with neighboring states. Our in-depth experience gives us the ability to navigate through these types of disputes, which have become increasingly critical as global investment grows. In fact, these kinds of actions are supplanting trade disputes as the main focus of legal actions.
Our international team offers experienced, practical and high-quality problem-solving based on unprecedented private- and public-sector experience. Heenan Blaikie’s international arbitration practice is led by very senior practitioners supported by a young dynamic team of lawyers who have already accumulated world class experience. For instance, all members of the team have been “battle tested” in some of the largest NAFTA Chapter 11 cases to date as well as in investor-state disputes.
- Trade – in-depth and senior experience in all forms of international dispute resolution, including investor treaty disputes under bilateral and multilateral agreements and international commercial arbitration
- International business – arbitration of investor-state disputes, maintenance of valuable relationships between business partners, enforcement of foreign arbitration awards, cross-border M&A disputes, breach of contract claims, joint venture disputes
- Resolution of maritime boundary disputes involving overlapping claims to sovereignty and natural resources in offshore areas
- Counsel on major NAFTA Chapter 11 and other investor-state and international commercial arbitrations
- Expertise with the rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL),the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and other international commercial arbitration rules and procedures
- Hands-on advice on negotiations and contractual issues with respect to the inclusion of the appropriate arbitration clauses
Several of our lawyers are active in various domestic and international arbitration and dispute resolution associations and organizations, including the following:
- American College of Trial Lawyers
- ADR Institute of Ontario
- American Arbitration Association
- International Council for Commercial Arbitration
- Association of Defense Trial Attorneys (United States)
- The Advocates’ Society
- Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice
- International Commission of Jurists
- International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
- Canadian Chamber of Commerce
- Young Canadian Arbitration Practitioners
- Ottawa International ArbitrationAssociation
The members of our domestic and international teams are constantly busy guiding our clients through a wide range of bilateral, regional and multilateral disputes. Their goal is to find the right solutions and achieve the best possible results through negotiations and litigation. In short, when it comes to ADR, Heenan Blaikie is committed to finding better ways by using better means.