If the claim is being brought in Canada, the short answer is no. Canadian courts are very welcoming and foreign plaintiffs are essentially treated on the same footing as local ones. However, Canadian defendants can avail themselves of certain procedures in order to “attack” the jurisdiction of the Canadian court, either by demonstrating that the court does not have jurisdiction over the case or that another court, perhaps in the plaintiff’s own country, is better suited to hear it. Also, in most provinces, a motion can be brought to force the plaintiff to post security, a move which can discourage plaintiffs from pursuing their claim or stall the proceedings while settlement efforts are pursued.

On the other hand, if the claim is being brought abroad, a Canadian defendant may be somewhat more tempted to ignore it on the basis that the defendant does not have assets or business interests in the foreign jurisdiction. Yielding to such temptation may be a bad idea since a determined plaintiff will proceed with its action (all the more easily if it is undefended) and then seek enforcement of the judgment in Canada. At this stage, it can be very difficult, and sometimes impossible, to prevent this from occurring. This is why in many cases it will make sense for the Canadian party to appear before the foreign court if only to contest its jurisdiction.

While any legal dispute can be a sticky matter, this is even more so when a foreign party is involved. Determining which law can be used most advantageously in a given situation, properly serving a foreign party, conducting discovery, and ensuring that a judgment is enforceable all require the type of expert handling that HazloLaw – Business Lawyers can provide.