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U of T takes top spot in Davies moot

|Written By Robert Todd

The University of Toronto beat out the University of Western Ontario to take top spot in the Davies 2007 Corporate/Securities Law Moot after both schools rose to the top of a group of 10 teams from schools across Canada that presented arguments for a case similar to the controversial 2006 Sears Canada.

University of Toronto students Brian Duong, Adam Hirsh, Mark Myhre, and Andrew Parley beat out the Western team of Maureen Armstrong, Will Buchner, Sonia Cappe, Matt Hawkins, and James Mangan in the final round of the competition.

Queen’s University placed third, as judged by a five-member panel made up of justices John Laskin, Kathryn Feldman, and Robert Blair of the Ontario Court of Appeal, along with David Brown, the former chair and CEO of the Ontario Securities Commission who is now with Davies’ Toronto office, and Paul Moore, the former vice chairman of the OSC.

University of Windsor student Faran Umar-Khitab was named top oralist.

Sears Canada is considered the most talked-about decision of the OSC in 2006. The case generated much discussion among lawyers, with some siding with the OSC’s decision to intervene in a flagrantly abusive insider bid. Others, however, said the OSC overstepped by treating normal support agreements with significant shareholders as collateral agreements providing “consideration of greater value” contrary to the takeover bid aspects of the Securities Act.

Another legal issue was added to the Sears Canada case for use in the March 2 to March 3 moot, as developed by Michael Disney of Davies: If a corporation undergoes an amalgamation, does it have 18 months from the amalgamation before it needs to hold its next annual shareholders meeting?

Students were tested for written advocacy skills via a factum delivered before the competition, as well as oral advocacy. Sixty lawyers donated time to judge the preliminary moot rounds, while Julia Dublin of Aylesworth LLP and Naizam Kanji of the OSC reviewed and graded the schools’ factums.