Lawsuit Lawyer Raps SNC-Lavalin
The March 2012 edition of Lexpert, the business magazine for lawyers, includes an article which contains a number of interesting quotes by a partner of Siskinds LLP. Several weeks ago, the Quebec law firm of Siskinds, Desmeules launched a $250 million class action against SNC-Lavalin on behalf of investors over its dealings with the Libyan Gadhafi family.
The Lexpert article begins, “At first blush, SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.’s reaction to suggestions of corrupt foreign dealings in its construction division may appear to be appropriate in an era marked by a sharp domestic and international law-enforcement focus on shady dealings abroad. Lawyers suing the company on behalf of investors, however, say that SNC’s vague disclosures may have made matters worse.”
Siskins LLP partner Dimitri Lascaris is quoted in Lexpert as saying, “The corporate community should have known that certain dealings with foreign officials and governments are potentially criminal conduct, so the community should have been alerted starting many years ago.” Lascaris continued, “If the company was being transparent in a meaningful way, we would have learned a lot more than we did from the press releases, which were extraordinarily short of detail.”
The Lexpert article also indicates that “the RCMP had raided SNC’s Toronto-area offices in September 2011 as part of a corruption probe of the company’s construction activities in Bangladesh.”
SNC-Lavalin owns 100% of AltaLink and, together, they will be building the Heartland Transmission Project and the Western Alberta Transmission Line in Alberta. Both 500kV lines are extremely controversial. For example, the Heartland line is being strongly opposed by landowners, homeowners, landowner groups, homeowner groups, schools, municipal governments, industrial power consumer groups, many large and small Alberta businesses, Alberta Food Processors Association, all opposition parties in Alberta, and RETA.