Robertson Stromberg lawyers recognized in the 18th Edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada

Robertson Stromberg LLP proudly announces that 11 of its lawyers have been honoured and recognized in the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada! In addition, two lawyers have received the prestigious “Lawyer of the Year” designation – Misty S. Alexandre for her work in Construction Law and Leslie W. Prosser, K.C., for his work in Corporate Law.

Launched in 2006, The Best Lawyers in Canada™ highlights the best legal talent across Canada. For 18 editions, they’ve celebrated the extraordinary accomplishments of those in the legal profession through exhaustive peer-review surveys. Using the same trusted methodology that Best Lawyers has used for more than four decades, The Best Lawyers in Canada is a comprehensive guide to the most prestigious, gifted lawyers in the country.

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to all of our recipients and celebrate the contributions that each of them makes to our firm and community.

MISTY S. ALEXANDRE

Construction Law

 

M KIM ANDERSON, K.C.

Banking and Finance Law

Insolvency and Financial Restructuring Law

JARED D. EPP

Construction Law

CANDICE D. GRANT

Education Law

TIFFANY M. PAULSEN, K.C.

Family Law

Family Law Mediation

JENNIFER D. PEREIRA, K.C.

Corporate and Commercial Litigation

Insurance Law

LESLIE W. PROSSER, K.C.

Corporate Law

Mining Law

Natural Resources Law

Sean M. Sinclair

Administrative and Public Law

SCOTT D. WATERS, K.C.

Banking and Finance Law

Corporate Governance Practice

Corporate Law

Real Estate Law

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Case Summary: Workman Optometry Professional Corporation v. Certas Home and Auto Insurance Company, 2023 ONSC 3356

Recently, the Ontario Superior Court released its decision in Workman Optometry Professional Corporation v. Certas Home and Auto Insurance Company, 2023 ONSC 3356 (“Workman Optometry”). Workman Optometry is a national class action comprised of businesses alleged to have suffered business interruption losses due to COVID-19. The class action initially named 16 insurers as defendants.

The court determined that the presence of COVID-19 or an order of a civil authority that was made due to COVID-19 does not constitute physical loss within the meaning of the business interruption provisions of each defendant’s property insurance policy.

Of significance was the wording of the policies being considered: much of the decision turned on the specific language referring to “physical loss or damage to property”. The court explained that insurance policies must be read in their plain meaning and in the context of the insurance agreement. It was determined that the common understanding of the policy wording did not include viruses, rather it was in contemplation of damage that would, “alter the appearance, shape, colour, structure, or other material dimension of the property”.

This decision followed the precedent set by other cases decided in Canada and the United States that dealt with insurance claims following the advent of the COVID-19 Pandemic. In Workman Optometry, each plaintiff shared the common characteristic of relying on personal customer/client traffic in and out of their premises to generate sales of goods and services. The arrival of the pandemic and the subsequent global response affected the profits of the plaintiffs, and they sought coverage through their respective “all-risk” insurance policies for physical loss or damage to property.  However, the court did not agree that the losses incurred were the result of physical loss or damage to property. Penny, J. distinguished that viruses affect people, not inanimate surfaces [property]. It was also noted that the danger of COVID-19 is to people in close proximity to one another, not to the real property itself. The property at each business premises was never damaged in a physical sense. As such, the claim for physical damage or loss did not apply. Similarly, the plaintiffs’ secondary claim for loss of use of their property was not successful because the insurance policies were not in place to protect against loss of use, only physical loss or damage to property. Lastly, the claim regarding potential exclusions of the defendants’ property insurance that would result in coverage for such loss or damage was not addressed in the decision because it was only relevant if the judge had ruled in favour of the plaintiffs’ claim.

In sum, based on the wording of the policies, it was determined that the presence or threatened presence of COVID-19 does not fit the definition of physical loss or damage to the plaintiffs’ property. The entire reasons for the decision can be found here.

Contacting a lawyer on this subject

For more information about insurance coverage issues, contact Jennifer D. Pereira, K.C. at 1-306-933-1320 or [email protected].

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Jared Epp Successfully Advances Claim at Court of Appeal

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Holding Taxpayers at Ransom

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Robertson Stromberg Well-Represented as Best Lawyers

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What To Do When You’re Sued

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Q&A: Hurt in a Car-Accident and someone needs to pay!

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National Volunteer Week 2023: Highlighting our Community Involvement

From April 16 to 22, Canadians celebrate National Volunteer Week (NVW2023). This year’s theme is Volunteering Weaves Us Together, highlighting the importance of volunteering in our communities through actions that connect us with one another and strengthening our relationships.

At Robertson Stromberg LLP, we believe that it is our duty to use our skills and resources to help those who need it most. We are proud of our community involvement and active participation as volunteers with the local non-profit organizations that help make Saskatoon a great place to live. 

Our community partnerships have three central components – volunteer Board memberships, sponsorships and donations, and community involvement.

Board Memberships

Non-profit organizations are essential for building an engaged and collaborative community. Our lawyers serve on Boards as a way to support our community and to build capacity within organizations that often have limited resources.

As Board members, Robertson Stromberg lawyers volunteer their time – and provide governance expertise and oversight – to some of our community’s most active non-profit organizations and charities.

Our Board memberships include Big Brothers Big Sisters of Saskatoon and Area, Dress for Success Saskatoon, the Law Foundation of Saskatchewan, READ Saskatoon, Remai Modern art gallery and Station 20 West community centre. These organizations address issues ranging from food security in the city’s core neighbourhoods to inclusiveness and economic empowerment.

As Board members, Robertson Stromberg lawyers volunteer their time – and provide governance expertise and oversight – to some of our community’s most active non-profit organizations and charities.

Sponsorships and Donations

Robertson Stromberg recognizes that the backbone of any charitable organization is its volunteers. That’s why we commit our sponsorship dollars to assist non-profit organizations in building capacity to support those individuals who give their time to make our community great.

Some examples of organizations we support through sponsorships and donations are the Okihtcitawak Patrol Group (OPG), Prairie Hospice Society, Hockey Day in Saskatchewan, and the Secret Santa Foundation. The OPG is an Indigenous created and led community-based patrol group that services Saskatoon’s core neighbourhoods. Prairie Hospice Society is a charitable, non-profit community organization working to ensure access to compassionate, community-based, end-of-life support in Saskatoon. Through the Hockey Day in Saskatchewan initiative, communities have a chance to celebrate their rinks – and to preserve them – so future generations can enjoy the same experiences. The Secret Santa Foundation’s mandate is to provide a complete Christmas to 600 less fortunate Saskatoon families with children under 12.

Community Involvement

As a community-minded full-service law firm, Robertson Stromberg lawyers provide pro bono legal services to individuals and organizations across the province. Through the Public Legal Education Association of Saskatchewan (PLEA), our lawyers offer legal advice clinics at the Saskatoon Public Library. We also participate with Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan (PBLS) to provide free legal services to low-income provincial residents.

We also give back to our community in other ways. RS Partner Misty Alexandre is currently serving a 3-year term as a Director of Sask. Sports Inc. Partner Kirsten Hnatuk volunteers as a literacy coach with READ Saskatoon’s literacy program. And, partner Siobhan Morgan serves on the ArtSpace YXE board, which is committed to securing a long-term affordable space for artists in our community.

Let’s celebrate Canada’s volunteers together. #NVW2023 #WeavingUsTogether

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8 Robertson Stromberg Lawyers recognized by their peers in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory for 2023

Congratulations to Misty S. Alexandre, M. Kim Anderson, K.C., Christopher J.H. Donald, K.C., Jared D. Epp, Tiffany M. Paulsen, K.C., Jennifer D. Pereira, K.C., Leslie W. Prosser, K.C., and Sean M. Sinclair, who have been recognized by their peers in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory for 2023.

The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, published since 1997, is based on an extensive peer survey process. It includes profiles of leading practitioners across Canada in more than 60 practice areas and leading law firms in more than 40 practice areas.

Misty S. Alexandre

M Kim Anderson, K.C.

Christopher J.H. Donald, K.C.

Jared D. Epp

Tiffany M. Paulsen, K.C.

Jennifer D. Pereira, K.C.

Leslie W. Prosser, K.C.

Sean M. Sinclair

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Robertson Stromberg Celebrates International Women’s Day 2023 on March 8

On March 8, International Women’s Day (IWD2023) is celebrated around the world as a time to recognize and appreciate the achievements of women.

The theme for this year’s celebration is DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality, which aims to highlight the role that digital technologies have played and continue to play in the empowerment of women.

At Robertson Stromberg LLP, we are committed to promoting gender equality at our firm, which we believe is essential to achieving a more inclusive workplace that benefits everyone. We strive to foster an environment where all employees feel respected, valued and encouraged to reach their full potential.

With seven female partners out of our 14, Robertson Stromberg is among the most gender-diverse law firms in Saskatchewan.

Candice D. Grant

Kirsten M. Hnatuk

Tiffany M. Paulsen, K.C.

“Robertson Stromberg strives to create a welcoming workplace for all employees. We believe that increasing the number of women in leadership positions will benefit the firm, our clients and the community at large.”

– Tiffany M. Paulsen, K.C.

Tiffany M. Paulsen, K.C.

“Robertson Stromberg strives to create a welcoming workplace for all employees. We believe that increasing the number of women in leadership positions will benefit the firm, our clients and the community at large.”

– Tiffany M. Paulsen, K.C.

“Robertson Stromberg strives to create a welcoming workplace for all employees. We believe that increasing the number of women in leadership positions will benefit the firm, our clients and the community at large.”

Robertson Stromberg’s female lawyers practice in a variety of areas, including construction and transportation law, commercial litigation, insurance and professional liability law, family law, residential real estate and mediation.

Join us as we celebrate the achievements of women who have chosen careers in law.

Siobhan H. Morgan

Darlene N. Wingerak

#IWD2023

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Jennifer Pereira, K.C. receives Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal (Saskatchewan)

Robertson Stromberg LLP is proud to announce that Jennifer D. Pereira, K.C. is a recipient of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal (Saskatchewan).

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal (Saskatchewan) celebrates the 70th anniversary of Her Majesty’s accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada. This award honours those who have made a positive impact on our province.

Jenn was recognized for her outstanding contributions to the community. Jenn is presently a director on the Remai Modern Foundation, whose purpose is to support the mission and activities of Remai Modern. She also sits as a trustee for the Canadian Museum of History and the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. She is a Past President of the Persephone Theatre Board of Directors, and her work for that organization garnered her recognition as a Tourism Leader by Tourism Saskatoon. Jenn has also served on the board of TCU Place in Saskatoon and acted as chair.

Jenn was a long-time volunteer host with the community radio station in Saskatoon CFCR, 90.5 FM. She has also sat on the boards of MOSOFest, the Open Door Society, the Saskatoon Community Radio Society and the Saskatoon Branch of the Osteoporosis Society. Jenn also sat as a non-board volunteer on the governance committee of The Children’s Discovery Museum of Saskatchewan.

Jennifer is a past Senator of the University of Saskatchewan and a volunteer with the United Way.

She is involved in policy and board governance development for various political agencies and non-profits and has participated in several forums on democracy, the environment, and gender equity in support of that work.

RS congratulates Jenn on this significant achievement.

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Whether it’s personal or business, we handle cases ranging from wills to overseeing complex business deals, and everything in between. Our success comes as a result of our collective effort. Combining the experience of your lawyer together with the resources of our team, you can put your trust in us to handle your case with confidence.

LawyersJennifer D Pereira