COVID-19 And The Law - Hummingbird Lawyers LLP

COVID-19 and the Law

COVID-19 and the Law

Welcome to the COVID-19 and The Law updates page of Hummingbird Lawyers LLP. Click on one of the yellow links to see the updates of each department.

Liability Waiver Update for Shared Residences

Standard liability waivers may not cover Covid-19 infections contracted while in an apartment, condominium or student residence.
Talk to Hummingbird Lawyers LLP for the latest advice on protecting your company against potential legal issues resulting from the Coronavirus.

Liability Waiver Update for Shared Residences

July 10, 2020 | Mitchell Singer

Commercial Rent Evictions To Be Banned For Small Businesses In Ontario

Ontario moratorium on commercial rent evictions may be coming soon to assist small businesses. Landlords are encouraged to apply for CECRA if eligible.

Read more

June 10, 2020 | Michael Taing

Where do I submit my Application to be appointed as an Estate Trustee?

In Ontario, pursuant to the Section 7 of the Estates Act R.S.O 1990 c. E.21 the Application for a Certificate of appointment of Estate Trustee with or without a Will must be filed with the Superior Court of Justice in the county or district in which the deceased resided at the time of death. During COVID-19 various Courts have various procedures in place. Please contact our Estates Team to guide you through this process during COVID-19.

April 28, 2020 | Ioulia Vinogradova

Commercial Rent Assistance For Small Business Tenants

While COVID-19 has impacted everyone in one way or another, small businesses on the hook on commercial leases are one of the hardest hit sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Friday April 24, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently announced a partnership with all provinces and territories to lower rent for small businesses affected by COVID-19 by 75 per cent. This government initiative is being implemented under a program referred to as the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses.

Based on the current information available at this time, it appears commercial landlords have the onus of applying for the CECRA program, which includes a forgivable loan to qualifying commercial landlords to cover 50% of rent payments for the months of April, May and June.

To qualify for CECRA, both commercial landlords and tenants need to meet pre-established conditions as set out by the government. Part of the government’s requirement is the need for a Rent Forgiveness Agreement between the commercial landlord and the small business tenant. More information on the details of the program are available here.

The CECRA program is expected to be operational by mid-May. As with other newly announced COVID-19 programs, there are a number of details that have yet to be addressed by the respective federal and provincial governments. Further details of the CECRA program are expected to be announced soon.

Contact our Business and Corporate lawyers to assist with navigating the new CECRA program or any other commercial landlord and tenant issues during these uncertain times.

April 27, 2020 | Michael Taing

Virtual Witnessing Of Wills And Powers Of Attorney - Counterparts

On April 7, 2020, the Province of Ontario allowed for virtual witnessing of Wills and Powers of Attorney during the COVID-19 emergency as long as one of the two witnesses is a lawyer or a paralegal.

On April 22, 2020, virtual witnessing of Wills and Powers of Attorney can be done in counterparts. This allows each witness and the maker of the Will and Powers of Attorney to sign a separate identical copy of the documents, which together form the complete Will and Power of Attorney.

In response to this news, we are actively working to stay current with the procedural guidelines as part of the Hummingbird Virtual Estate Planning process. To know more about our process, contact a Wills & Estates lawyer today. For your estate planning needs, fill out our Personal Intake Form For Estate Planning to get started today.

April 27, 2020 | Jonathan Kiang

FAQ About Dispute Litigation And COVID-19

With the continuing spread of COVID-19 and the uncertainty surrounding it, you may have questions about your legal rights and your ability to access the courts if you have a dispute that needs to be resolved by way of litigation.

These unprecedented times have disrupted the courts as we know them. Although the regular operation of courts in Ontario has been suspended, your claim is still important and requires attention.

If you are involved in a dispute and looking for a lawyer, Hummingbird Lawyers is here to assist you. Whether it be through litigation in the courts or guiding you through a negotiated dispute settlement, the Hummingbird Litigation team has got you covered.

Please contact our Litigation Department, to arrange a consultation with an experienced Hummingbird Litigator. You can also reach a lawyer in this department by contacting info@hummingbirdlaw.com. Hummingbird Lawyers is committed to serving you during these exceptional circumstances. We look forward to assisting you soon. Together we can get through this.

see FAQ About Dispute Litigation During COVID-19.

April 23, 2020 | Jonathan Barr

How Do Market Fluctuations From COVID-19 Affect Net Family Property (NFP) Calculations?

One of the most concerning issues in family law, arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, is the anticipated sharp decline in the value of assets since the date of separation. In Ontario, married spouses equally share the wealth they have accumulated during their marriage. The wealth accumulated during the marriage by each spouse is called “net family property” (NFP). In order to calculate the NFP for each spouse, we look at the value of assets and debts, as crystallized on the date of separation. In very simple terms, and subject to some exceptions, the spouse who has a higher NFP (meaning, who has accumulated more wealth) is required to pay one-half of the difference between the parties’ respective NFPs to the spouse with a lower NFP.

Now imagine a case where the parties separated last July and they are trying to calculate the equalization payment using the value of their assets then. For jointly owned assets, both parties equally share the decline in the value of a property. However, that is not the case for solely owned assets. For instance, if the matrimonial home is the wife’s name alone, which was worth $1,000,000 in July 2019 but it is now valued at $850,000, then does that mean the husband receives one half of the value on the date of separation (that is, $500,000) or one half of the current date ($425,000)? It would seem unfair if the wife alone had to incur the loss in the value of her property, while the husband benefited from the pre-COVID valuation of the same property, wouldn’t it?

Luckily, section 5(6) of Ontario’s Family Law Act provides for unequal division of property in exceptional circumstances, such as unforeseeable fluctuations in the market after separation. However, for this section to apply, the asset owner (the wife in our example above), will have to meet a very high threshold test for an unequal division her NFP. The Ontario Court of Appeal has stated that the circumstances of the case must be so that an equal division of the net family properties would “shock the conscience of the court.” Section 5(6) was applied successfully in the case of Serra v. Serra after the 2008 market decline, which had significantly reduced the value of the husband’s textile business.

If you are currently considering a property settlement in your family law matter, make sure you consult with experts, such as evaluators, to understand the effects of the ongoing and future market fluctuation on the value of your assets. Also, speak with your family law lawyer to see if you can come up with creative solutions in how to structure a property settlement that can address your financial needs now, but also protect you from making a bad deal.

April 22, 2020 | Ella Aiaseh

Layoff in the times of COVID-19 and what it means for you

The economic impact of COVID-19 has forced many employers in Ontario to temporarily layoff their employees. How will courts treat this situation?

Read the article: Layoff In The Times Of COVID-19 And What It Means For You

April 21, 2020 | Amiri Dear

What Happens If I Am The Support Payor And I Lose My Job Due To COVID-19?

With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting an individual’s employment and earning ability, there has been a rise in discussions surrounding the variation of the support obligations for separated spouses who have an existing agreement or court order for child and/or spousal support. In most cases, a support payor or recipient is entitled to seek a variation to support based on a material change in circumstances. A loss of employment or a considerable decrease in income is considered a ‘material change in circumstances’ (unless expressly stated otherwise), allowing the support payor to seek a reduction in his or her monthly support obligation.

If you are a support payor who has experienced a loss of employment or a substantial decrease in income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, make sure you review your existing agreement or court order with your family law lawyer to see if a variation to the existing support payable is appropriate in your case. It will be helpful to ensure that you have all the relevant documentation regarding your loss of employment or reduction in income, as well as the documentation relating to any governmental funding you have applied for or received. Having such documentation prepared will allow your lawyer to engage in meaningful negotiations with your previous spouse (or his/her lawyer).

April 21, 2020 | Ella Aiaseh

Applying for a Certificate of Appointment as Estate Trustee during COVID-19

Safety procedures put in place in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 have suspended many of the day-to-day activities. However, the natural order of things, for the most part, remains. Mothers continue to birth children, the days, and with them the seasons, continue to pass, and some die. The death of a loved one is never easy. During the current unprecedented times we live in, restrictions on social interaction may make the loss of a loved additionally hard.

If you are a relative, or a friend, of someone who died and have been named as an Estate Trustee in their Will, or if you wish to be named the Estate Trustee of an Estate, the Courts continue to accept applications for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee with or without a Will during COVID-19.

Please contact our Estates Team to guide you through this process during COVID-19.

April 18, 2020 | Ioulia Vinogradova
Click a department to view the latest updates.

Thank you for reading. Your health is important to us. At Hummingbird Lawyers LLP, we are committed to the quarantine and social distancing measures currently in place. We continue to be fully operational during this time as our entire firm is able to work remotely (including phone, fax, and email). Our staff have been working around the clock to ensure Canadians have access to our legal services from the comfort of their own homes. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, or if you need assistance with your legal matter.

Disclaimer - The information provided herein is for general informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. The information contained herein may not be applicable in all situations and may not, after the date of its presentation, even reflect the most current authority. Nothing contained herein should be relied or acted upon without the benefit of legal advice based upon the particular facts and circumstances presented, and nothing herein should be construed otherwise.