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OSC Releases Decision in Tipping and Insider Trading Case

March-27-2015

Lawyer William (Bill) Gorman, Jason Wadden
Area Corporate and Commercial, Corporate Finance and Securities, Mergers and Acquisitions, Litigation, Private Equity

Summary

On March 25, 2015, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) released its decision in the closely watched administrative proceedings against a number of individuals including Mitchell Finkelstein, former partner of a downtown Toronto law firm, for contravening the tipping and insider trading prohibitions of the Ontario Securities Act.  Notably, the decision represents a successful action for tipping and insider trading based almost entirely on circumstantial evidence.  Historically, Canadian securities regulators have had limited success pursuing allegations of tipping and insider trading due to the lack of direct evidence of wrongdoing.  The decision is a significant victory for staff of the OSC and may embolden Canadian securities regulators in pursuing future tipping and insider trading actions with the decision serving as a template for such actions.  The decision also serves as a reminder to the “gatekeepers” of the public markets – including lawyers, accountants, investment bankers, officers and directors – of the importance of maintaining the confidentiality of material non-public information and the seriousness with which Canadian securities regulators will treat violations of the tipping and insider trading prohibitions.
 

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