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The Lawyer's Daily


Middle-income Ontarians may not qualify for legal aid, but if they have suffered a loss on the capital markets due to improper investment advice or fraud, they will now be able to seek free legal assistance from a student-staffed clinic that opened in September at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto.

The Investor Protection Clinic, the first of its kind in Canada, and the result of a collaboration between Osgoode Hall law professor Poonam Puri and FAIR Canada (the Canadian Foundation for Advancement of Investor Rights) aims to “fill the gap” for retail investors whose recourse up until now has either been to file a complaint with a regulatory body or retain a lawyer, according to Puri, a prolific scholar in corporate and securities law.

“Institutional investors can take care of themselves for the most part,” she said. “But most people are not going to have the funds to hire a lawyer when things go wrong with their investments, and a regulator like the Ontario Securities Commission can’t help everybody.”