The judge presiding over the receivership of troubled asset manager Bridging Finance Inc. has tapped Bennett Jones LLP to represent investors in the case.
Acting on the recommendation of an independent reviewer that evaluated candidates to represent Bridging investors, Chief Justice Geoffrey Morawetz of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice awarded the Calgary-based firm the job.
The firm will advise Bridging investors on the possible sale of the firm and/or its funds; assess possible inter-fund allocation issues that may arise; and analyze possible legal claims against Bridging, its officers and directors.
The firm and its funds were placed into receivership by the court back in April at the request of the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), which was investigating transactions involving the funds that raised concerns about possible conflicts of interest.
The OSC has not brought any enforcement allegations in the case.
In the meantime, the firm’s receiver, PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc. (PwC), has been investigating the funds’ finances and has started a process to potentially sell some or all of its assets.
According to a report from Archibald Mediation and Arbitration Solutions Inc., which reviewed applications from the five firms vying to represent Bridging investors, all of the candidates were well qualified and the choice was difficult.
Bennett Jones stood out for its understanding of the case’s issues “with a view to maximizing recovery,” the report said.
The report also noted that the firm is sufficiently independent of the parties involved in the case, whereas some of the other applicants had conflicts, including existing relationships with investment firms that could end up facing legal action in the case.
Additionally, the report highlighted that Bennett Jones has expertise with Indigenous issues, which was important given Bridging’s extensive relationships with Indigenous communities, and that it’s committed to working with PwC.