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At the root of appeals from judgments in commercial cases is the burning question: Does the result make sense from a business perspective? or put in more legally-eloquent language: Does this result meet the test of commercial reasonableness? “Commercial Reasonabless” is a concept Canadian courts address frequently to determine if business conduct or a result makes sense. This paper will show that in commercial appeals, the Court of Appeal generally operates on the principle of commercial reasonableness. If the relief sought is not commercially reasonable, then you are unlikely to achieve a successful result for your client. I hope to show that appellate courts in Ontario approach appeals involving commercial disputes by asking whether the trial judge’s decision was commercially reasonable. In short, The court will not adopt an interpretation that is clearly commercially absurd.

The author is a senior business litigation and arbitration lawyer in Toronto who has argued many business appeals in the Ontario Court of Appeal. He is also an experienced trial and arbitration counsel. Senior partner of Ellyn Law LLP Business Litigation & Arbitration Lawyers, Mr. Ellyn heads a team of competent litigation lawyer who are at the vanguard of developments of business litigation and arbitration in Ontario. Igor Ellyn is also the Chair of the Business Litigation & Arbitration Practice Group of INBLF.com, the International Network of Boutique Law Firms.