The Canadian Foundation for Advancement of Investor Rights (FAIR Canada), and York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School are joining forces to offer disgruntled investors free legal advice.
The Investor Protection Clinic at Osgoode Hall Law School is being launched to provide legal help to investors that may have suffered losses due to misconduct, or other failings, not market losses.
The clinic, which is funded by The Law Foundation of Ontario and has a community partnership with FAIR Canada, aims to assist investors with navigating the industry complaints process and the regulatory framework.
Among other things, the clinic will help investors with complaints, and possibly even represent them at hearings. The clinic’s services will be provided by teams of legal students that are paired up with practising lawyers.
It aims to help clients that have suffered losses, and cannot afford a lawyer to help pursue a remedy. The sorts of issues it expects to do with would be various forms of misconduct such as churning, overcharging, suitability, deficient disclosure and signature falsification. Investor eligibility for the service will be assessed based on various factors, including their income, net worth, and the substance of their complaint.
In addition to helping investors with specific complaints, the clinic will also collect anonymized data about the investor complaint process that will be used for research purposes.
The research the results will be published and aims to help policymakers, regulators, academics and others “by providing currently unavailable data on issues directly affecting investors,” says Marian Passmore, director of policy and COO, FAIR Canada.