As is the case with most legal fields, commercial law (regulations, application) falls under federal and provincial jurisdiction. The main differences between provinces are related to the sources of this law. In Quebec, they stem from the French Civil Code, while the other provinces draw most of their laws from English law, differing only in their scope of application, government contract practices and securities law. The Sale of Goods Act is one of the common denominators of English-speaking provinces.
Legal provisions evolve based on societal practices. Accordingly, manufacturers are increasingly liable for their products, while the responsibility of retailers has declined.
Commercial law includes the following legal services:
- Purchase and sale of companies
- Commercial transactions and contracts
- Outsourcing contracts
- Technology transfer
- Partnership agreements and strategic alliances
- Distribution agreements, franchises
- Advertising and entertainment law
- Risk capital
- Shareholder agreements
- Employee profit sharing
- Private financing via debt and equity
- Formation of joint stock companies, partnerships and trusts
- Turnkey incorporation services
- Compliance and regulations
- Financing and financial services
- Lotteries and promotional contests
- Commercial law attorneys in a law firm advise companies, guide them through the purchase, sales or merger/acquisition process and can act as negotiators (e.g. new contracts, private investments).
- Legal advisors most often work for a company, in the legal department or providing its management with additional support. When they are self employed, they act as consultants and advise companies on their commercial strategy.
COMMERCIAL LAW ATTORNEYS
“Intervening before a situation becomes a problem”
Kevin Jaques, Jaques Law Office, in Regina, Saskatchewan.