Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Conflicts Clashes -- Law Firm Sues 150 Lawyers/Firms

Fascinating conflicts news from The Globe and Mail in Canada: "Law firm Cassels Brock sues 150 lawyers" --
  • "Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP is suing close to 150 law firms and lawyers across Canada as it faces conflict-of-interest allegations in a closely watched lawsuit. The suit alleges that Cassels advised both the auto dealers’ association and the Canadian government on the matter, as Ottawa was allegedly pressuring GM to cut its number of dealerships to receive a bailout and avoid bankruptcy. The allegations have not been proven in court."
  • "In response, Cassels has filed a claim against almost 150 lawyers and law firms across Canada."
  • "Cassels' claim targets the lawyers from whom the individual GM dealers were required to seek independent advice when they were given just six days, over the Victoria Day weekend in May, 2009, to accept their "wind-down agreements" from General Motors."
  • "The way the profession deals with conflicts has been a source of contention for years, especially as law firms merge into larger entities more likely to end up with clients with opposing interests. David Sterns, a Toronto class-action lawyer with Sotos LLP acting for the GM dealers in their lawsuit, calls Cassels’ move to sue nearly 150 lawyers unprecedented."
See the full story for additional background and detail.

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