June 18th, 2018

LOLG Secures Victory In Complex Contractual Interpretation Case

In a complex case involving the interpretation of a rent review clause in a 99-year ground lease, LOLG successfully argued that the principles of issue estoppel prohibited the re-litigation of a valuation approach decided by an arbitral panel in 1990. LOLG’s client, the tenant, was represented by Jonathan Lisus, Shaun Laubman and Brad Vermeersch.  They also successfully argued that principles of modern contractual interpretation compelled an interpretation that would not destroy the economic viability of the rental apartment building owned by the client.  The landlord was arguing for an interpretation of the rent review clause that would have seen the land market value calculated based on the potential for condominium development despite the fact condos could not be built on the property due to the long-term ground lease.  The decision addressed the evolution of the case law in this area since the 1970s and rejected the landlord’s contention that cases interpreting similar contractual language were binding precedent.  The case was heard on the Commercial List.  The Court’s decision can be found here: 2018 06 15 – Reasons for Decision (Oct 31_18 & Apr 14_18 hearings)