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Babin Bessner Spry LLP


185 Frederick Street
Suite 101
Toronto, ON M5A 4L4​
(416) 637 - 3244



Principal Contacts

Ellen Bessner
(416) 408 - 3999

Michael Bookman
(416) 637-2604

About Us

Babin Bessner Spry LLP is not just a litigation law firm that defends its advisor/PM and dealer clients aggressively, effectively, and economically; it partners with PMs and firms to understand their model, values, and their people to proactively reduce risk. From our deep understanding of this industry, we know better than most how litigation and regulatory risks will significantly impact registrants’ reputations. To avoid or reduce this risk, Babin Bessner Spry LLP offers a support system that compliments compliance and legal teams beyond what is offered by other litigation lawyers.


PMs are almost always entrepreneurs. With their focus on growth, they do not always have a natural sense of the threat of regulatory and litigation risk. Our keen understanding and diligent investigation of underlying causes of risk to PMs and their firms, we have developed programming and tools geared to proactively reduce regulatory and litigation risk. These are designed with PMs’ compliance and supervisory teams to complement their existing programs:

  • Coaching and training to ensure PMs, assistants, and supervisors identify compliance risks (systemic or otherwise) in their branches and develop compliant practices to reduce that risk.
  • Ensuring compliance remains on the radar for every PM and every firm across Canada.
  • Reviewing team activities to ensure processes are in place so that audits go more smoothly; Babin Bessner Spry LLP offers solicitor and client privilege in all communication to permit the resolution of problems before the compliance team discovers them and must report to IIROC or the OSC.
  • Personal and team coaching of PMs to support compliance efforts; Babin Bessner Spry LLP prepares written materials, including cheat sheets and step-by-step tools, to assist with daily processes.
  • “Ellen 911” – this service is offered for urgent situations that arise raising amber flags that if mismanaged can lead to future client complaints or problematic regulatory audits that risk sanction by regulators. The intention is to sensitize PMs and their supervisors, so they identify trouble before it turns into a complaint or a bad report card from a regulator. Very often compliance officers need additional support to unwrap the legal and regulatory issues to design a response that reduces risk. Most recently, issues commonly arise with my PM clients concerning instructions received from others who surround clients pursuant to power of attorney documents. Instructions communicated by someone other than the client must be reviewed to ensure any steps taken are compliant and properly documented.
  • Employment advice concerning recruiting efforts: agreements vary as do the clauses that survive termination. We know the securities industry and the reported cases. Together we can manage the transfer of clients’ assets with the least amount of risk to the hiring firms and the PMs being recruited. We are regularly consulted to advise on dealer employment terms to assist in risk associated with onboarding.


  • Defence of PMs and their firms before Ontario regulators: while we have the expertise to appear before IIROC across Canada, and the Ontario Securities Commission, we recommend that you retain local counsel for other provincial securities commission matters.
  • Litigation defence in Ontario courts: our main experience is defending PMs and their firms when they are sued by their clients. We have defended many claims against clients of all ages, including seniors and their successors.