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Supreme Court of Canada Establishes Duty of Honesty in Performance of Contracts

November 19, 2014

On November 13, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada (the “SCC”) released its decision in the case of Bhasin v. Hrynew which has implications for all persons who enter into and perform under contracts.  In its decision, the SCC established that good faith contractual performance is a general organizing principle of the common law of contract and, moreover, recognized that there exists a common law duty to act honestly in the performance of all contracts.

Facts

Canadian American Financial Corp. (Canada) Limited (“CAFC”) was in the business of marketing registered education savings plans through retail dealers, known as enrollment directors.  Harish Bhasin was an enrollment director for CAFC and built a successful business for which he received recognition from CACF as one of its top enrollment directors.  Mr. Bhasin’s agreement with CAFC provided that he was obliged to sell CAFC products exclusively and owed it a fiduciary duty.  In addition, Mr. Bhasin...

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