Benjamin M. Bathgate
Professional Experience Ben is a partner in the firm's Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group. His practice is focused on complex corporate and commercial litigation in the retail and the banking and financial services industries. He has experience in the areas of breach of contract, professional negligence, breach of trust and fiduciary duty, product liability, occupier's liability, economic torts, defamation, shareholder disputes, and insurance. Ben has expertise in several specialized areas of law, including commercial fraud, debt recovery, real estate and leasing disputes and franchise and distribution disputes.
Ben has built a diverse client base including both foreign and domestic companies, which spans various industries, including retail, franchising, automotive, marketing, banking and insurance. His clients include retailers, franchisors, manufacturers, professionals, consulates, embassies, Trustees, insurers and banking institutions. In addition to his Canadian clients, he represents U.S. and international clients that seek remedies or legal advice in Ontario and helps them navigate jurisdictional issues and the distinct types of rules and procedure that distinguish the Ontario court process from that of foreign courts.
Ben has both trial and appellate level experience and has appeared as counsel before various levels of Court. He has appeared as counsel before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Divisional Court and the Court of Appeal for Ontario. He has also acted as counsel in proceedings before and made written submissions to the Supreme Court of Canada. He has assisted clients in obtaining various forms of relief from the Courts, including damages, declaratory relief and injunctive relief.
Ben has acquired considerable experience in alternative dispute resolution, engaging in various complex, multi-party settlement negotiations, mediations and arbitrations with both domestic and foreign clients in a wide variety of areas of law.
Ben's writing on what is now the Ontario Apology Act has been considered in the Ontario Legislature and in legislative committees.
Ben is a member of the University College (University of Toronto) and the Bucerius Law School alumni associations and actively participates in various university mentorship programs.
- Represented numerous national banking and retail clients in claims against landlords seeking to enforce restrictive covenants (including injunctive relief), recover operating cost payments and obtain rent abatements;
- Represented a commercial restaurant tenant in enforcing an oral lease and an oral option to purchase land against a landlord;
- Defended numerous consumer electronics and household products manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and distributors from breach of contract, occupier liability and product liability claims;
- Defended a national home appliance manufacturer against numerous personal injury and product liability claims;
- Defended numerous franchisors and distributors from various claims, including claims: seeking rescission remedies for late or allegedly deficient disclosure; alleging failure to disclose material facts; alleging misrepresentations in the disclosure document or in the statement of material change; and for alleging breach of the obligation of fair dealing;
- Represented various foreign banks, national charter banks and a national merchant bank in navigating jurisdiction issues, unraveling complex fraud and enforcing substantial judgments and security in Ontario;
- Defended an internet advertising company and a large international insurer against oppression remedy and employment law claims brought by former managers and executives;
Representative Superior Court and Appellate Court Decisions
Thorne v. AXA Canada Inc. et. al., (2012) ONSC 2409 (Ont. S.C.J.) - successfully opposed a Divisional Court appeal seeking the right to examine the President and CEO of a large defendant insurer for discovery, upholding the earlier decision substituting a former employee of that insurer as the proper witness.
Lechuga 1 Ltd. v. Lettuce Eatery Development Inc., (2011) CarswellOnt 8213 (Ont. S.C.J.) – opposed an application brought by three franchisees under the Arthur Wishart Act (Franchise Disclosure) claiming rights of rescission for allegedly deficient disclosure and successfully obtained an order converting the application into an action and a hybrid trial process.
Sigrist v. McLean, (2011) CarswellOnt 14424 (Ont. S.C.J.) – successfully obtained a trial decision enforcing an oral option to purchase a commercial property under lease and obtained an award of various damages, including punitive damages, for that commercial client.
Batkov v. Starwood Industries Global Corp., (2010) CarswellOnt 10090 (Ont. S.C.J. Div. Crt.) – successfully opposed a Divisional Court appeal and upheld an order granting an administrative dismissal of an action brought against a merchant bank client, upholding a multi-million dollar share purchase transaction.
Sincies Chiementin S.p.A. (Trustee of) v. King (2010) CarswellOnt 8996 (Ont. S.C.J.) – defended an action and a summary judgment motion seeking to enforce a foreign judgment in Ontario on grounds of jurisdiction, natural justice and public policy.
R.S.W.H. Vegetable Farmers Inc. and 1427868 Ontario Ltd. v. Bayerische Landesbank Girozentrale and Ontario Peninsula Farms Ltd., 2010 CanLII 69207 (S.C.C.) – successfully opposed an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada with respect to a proceeding under the Farm Debt Mediation Act, which sought to render null and void the enforcement of a registered charge.
Strassle Informationssysteme Holding GmbH (Trustee of) v. Sieber, (2010) ONCA 604 (CanLII) (Ont. C.A.) – successfully defended a challenge to an Ontario Judgment enforcing a foreign banking client's award in Europe, and successfully opposed the subsequent appeal in the Court of Appeal for Ontario.
Bayerische Landesbank Gironzentrale v. Sieber, 2008 CanLII 28753 (ON S.C.) – successfully set aside an earlier dismissal of a complex fraudulent conveyance claim.
publications and presentations
- litigation and dispute resolution
- alternative dispute resolution
- banking and financial services
- franchise and distribution
- product liability
- real estate and leasing disputes
- Canadian Bar Association
- Ontario Bar Association, The Franchise Law Section
- Canadian Franchise Association
- International Franchise Association
- The American Chamber of Commerce in Canada
- Advocates' Society
- Toronto Lawyers Association
Called to the Ontario bar
Dalhousie University, LLB
Bucerius Law School (Hamburg, Germany), International and Comparative Business Law Program
University of Toronto, BA (Hons. with High Distinction)