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Top Legal Risks to Watch in 2018

As the economy becomes increasingly complex and unpredictable, businesses continue to face serious legal risks. According to a report from Borden Ladner Gervais, Top 10 Legal Risks for Business in 2018, this year is no exception. The following are a few risks highlighted in the report that organizations should be aware of:

  1. Cyber compliance. In 2017, the government published proposed regulations regarding the reporting of privacy breaches under the Digital Privacy Act, which amended the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act in 2015. Among other strict rules, the regulations require companies to create and maintain a record of every personal information security breach, and provide those records to the Privacy Commissioner on request. Non-compliance with these rules could result in fines. These regulations are expected to be finalized in 2018.
  2. Cannabis Act enforcement. The Cannabis Act is expected to come into force by July 2018, creating a number of highly disruptive and uncertain changes. Employers must meet with their legal counsel and communicate their current workplace polices on drug and alcohol use to employees. Doing so will help employers better understand the implications of the Cannabis Act and how it will impact business as a whole.
  3. Tax rates. Increases to marginal income tax rates place businesses at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to attracting skilled labour and investing. In addition, recent proposals from the Department of Finance could adversely affect after-tax financial results for private companies.
  4. Sexual harassment. There were a number of high-profile sexual harassment cases in 2017. Because of this, in 2018, experts expect a continued focus on how employers address sexual harassment in the workplace. Above all, employers should review their harassment-related policies and procedures to ensure they meet applicable legal obligations.

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5 Legal Risks Facing Businesses

Top 10 legal risksBorden Ladner Gervais LLP, one of Canada’s preeminent law firms, recently published a report on the top 10 legal risks businesses may face in 2016. Learning what these risks are can help companies identify key trends and regulatory changes that could have serious legal implications for their business. Five of the major risks identified include the following:

  1. Climate Change: In order to combat climate change, there will likely be significant changes to Canada’s energy systems, with a heavier focus on green energy sources expected. As such, businesses will need to be aware of potential green initiatives in order to navigate complicated policies.
  2. Increased Tax Scrutiny: As the demand for greater tax transparency continues, businesses will need to be mindful as Canadian tax authorities pursue non-privileged information.
  3. Electronic Payment Fraud: With the increasing popularity of electronic payment methods, the need for effective policies and procedures to mitigate the risk of fraud has never been greater.
  4. Trade Agreements: The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) are primed to have a serious impact on Canadian businesses. The report says it’s important for companies to get a head start in investigating potential risks associated with these agreements.
  5. Anti-spam Law: Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL) creates regulations around unsolicited commercial electronic messages, unauthorized commercial installation and use of computer programs, and other forms of online fraud. If these regulations aren’t properly followed, companies could face serious penalties.

For more information and to read about all of potential 2016 legal risks, click here.


© Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.



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