Litigation in Canada - YB Case 2024

Litigation in Canada

Litigation in Canada

Entrepreneurs planning to start litigation in Canada should initially familiarize themselves with the structure of the judicial system in this jurisdiction. It is important to note that here, each province has its own High Court, its own Court of Appeal and lower courts, so what the procedure will be depends on the location of the trial in Canada.

In each province, the superior courts have jurisdiction over the settlement of private and public law disputes in Canada, except where a matter is excluded by law from their jurisdiction. Some provinces have courts that handle specialized disputes in Canada. For example, insolvency disputes, shareholder conflicts, etc.

The federal court has jurisdiction over IP dispute resolution cases in Canada against the federal government.

The Supreme Court of Canada is the final court of appeal and hears appeals from all provincial courts and the Federal Court of Appeals.


If you are planning to start litigation in Canada, then, as we mentioned earlier, it is important in which province the process will take place. Many procedural issues depend on this, including the number of judges. However, as practice shows, usually the process is led by one judge. We also do not recommend relying heavily on witnesses in the process: their testimony is rarely heard in court, although sometimes judges ask them questions during hearings.

Terms of filing claims

Generally, the statute of limitations for civil claims in Canada is 2 years, but in some provinces it can be up to 6 years and the final statute of limitations can be up to 30 years.

Please note: Canadian civil dispute settlement assumes that the parties can agree to suspend time limits before or after filing a claim, or have the option to change the limitation period of their contract.

Start legal proceedings in Canada

Litigation in Canada usually begins by filing a claim with a court and notifying the defendant. Some provinces have other means of filing a case, such as statements or petitions. These procedures generally allow for an expedited approach to litigation, but can only be used in certain circumstances. For example, in cases concerning land payments.

If the parties wish to resolve the dispute sooner, then they can resort to private arbitration in Canada.

Start claiming commercial dispute in Canada: Procedure

Litigation usually consists of several stages:
  • adversarial (exchange of statements of claim, counterclaim and defense);
  • documentary production;
  • oral hearing;
  • trial.

Various motions are made after the claim is filed, but before the trial. These may include requests for immediate termination of proceedings. The parties can and should control the procedure themselves within the framework of the main restrictions. In some provinces, parties can apply to conduct a case.

NOTE: If you need assistance in resolving a financial dispute in Canada, in particular, in the preparation of petitions, please contact our experienced experts by filling out the application form below.

Temporary remedies

When resolving business disputes in Canada, courts may order injunctions to preserve or restore rights. Such a ban may be temporary pending trial or permanent.

The party requesting the injunction is obliged to compensate for the damage if it is subsequently found that the defendant wrongfully suffered damage as a result of the injunction. Bans can be issued without prior notice if the matter is urgent, for a strictly limited period.

By the way, the specialists of our company provide assistance in negotiations between the parties in disputes in Canada.

Read also: Canada

Public access

Before initiating litigation in Canada, it is helpful to know that litigation here is open. Hearings and court records are publicly available unless otherwise ordered by a court. Members of the public have the right to view any documents filed in civil proceedings. Access to materials will only be restricted where necessary to prevent a serious risk.

A publication ban that prevents the publication, broadcast or transmission of information in any other way is rather an exception to the general rule.

Initiate class-action in Canada

Class action lawsuits are permitted in all provinces of the given jurisdiction. To initiate a class-action lawsuit in Canada, the plaintiff's representative must file an application with a court.

Initiate legal proceedings in Canada: appeal

In the vast majority of cases in Canadian courts, the losing party can appeal the decision to a higher court. The Canadian appeal process includes several levels of courts of appeal. The party may need permission to appeal.

YB Case Services

If you need advice on the settlement of international disputes in Canada or you are interested in pre-trial dispute resolution in Canada, our specialists are ready to advise you in detail.

The list of our company services also includes consulting on the settlement of disputes by mediation in Canada. Reach out to us by filling out the application form below or use the contacts listed on the website.

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Tags: Canada