Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG), a Toronto-based law firm focusing on business law, commercial litigation and arbitration, and IP, has released its annual list of top ten legal risks for businesses in 2017.
Overall, the report is meant to provide Canadian businesses with deeper insight into key trends and regulatory changes that will have legal implications in the year ahead. The risks were organized under categories like market concerns, technology transformations, and public debates.
The technology transformations section noted that FinTech regulation and disruption was of particular concern; as FinTech companies disrupt the status quo, financial regulators should be ensuring that consumer protection and market integrity standards are met. “The Canadian regulatory framework is an uneven, fragmented, divergent and overlapping patchwork when it comes to FinTech,” the report says.
While financial institutions are regulated extensively, “FinTech companies are only lightly regulated under provincial privacy and consumer protection laws and to some degree under federal privacy, anti-spam, anti-money laundering and competition laws,” the report says.
“Wearable technologies and related apps and services, which can use sensors to collect environmental, behavioural, and social data from consumers or employees are gaining in popularity. With the Internet of Things, seemingly mundane everyday devices are fitted with microchips, sensors, and wireless communication capabilities,” the report says.
“The success of BLG is dependent on the strength of our partnership with our clients, and our ability to help them achieve their business objectives based on what defines success in their industry,” said Sean Weir, national managing partner and CEO of BLG. “We continue to develop and expand this report because legal issues should not be keeping you up at night. We aim to help our clients focus on and seize the business opportunities stemming from these complex and evolving trends.”
The report also said that Canadian businesses should be mindful of shareholder activism, securities regulators, Read the full report here.