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Name and Title
Laura Stairs
Partner
Associate
Year of Call

2017

Memberships
Publications
Description

Laura Stairs Head ShotDue diligence by a prospective buyer of a business could prevent serious problems in the future, Windsor corporate lawyer Laura Stairs tells AdvocateDaily.com.

Stairs, an associate with Shibley Righton LLP, advises clients that the first step in avoiding pitfalls is to get a copy of the corporate record of the target firm.

"We want to ensure the person the client is dealing with has the authority to make agreements and decisions with respect to the corporation," she says.

"The next thing we look at are the financial statements," Stairs says. "We want to know if this business is profitable, look at the liabilities and debts that are out there and determine whether it's worth investing in."

She says she encourages clients not to enter into any share purchase agreement before having an opportunity to review these types of documents.

"Instead, we often advise them to enter into a Letter of Intent," Stairs says. "This is a document that sets out the general terms, but it is not binding on the parties.

"You want to make sure that it specifically says it is a non-binding agreement, but it allows the potential buyer to undertake a due diligence review," she says. "As a seller, you would want to include a provision in the Letter of Intent that is binding, confirming that any information shared with the potential purchaser is confidential and won't be distributed or used outside the document's terms."

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.

Please click here to read the rest of the story.

Date_Published
2018-11-28
Description

Laura Stairs Head ShotIncreasing personal debt means more families will have to deal with insolvent estates following the deaths of loved ones, Windsor trusts and estates lawyer Laura Stairs tells AdvocateDaily.com.

Stairs, an associate with Shibley Righton LLP, says she has noticed a significant number of cases in which the testator’s liabilities exceed the value of their assets at the time of death.

Frequently she says the deceased is a middle-aged person whose death was unexpected, leaving them with little or no time to get their affairs in order.

“Insolvent estates seem to come up quite a bit,” Stairs says. “People have a pretty large reliance on credit these days, so when they pass away suddenly, it can be a problem.”

Depending on the individual circumstances of a case, Stairs says it can take some time to determine whether an estate is insolvent.

“If you have an individual who was living with the deceased, such as a child living with a parent, it may be obvious to them from the outset if they had no assets and a large credit card debt or car payments owing,” she explains. “But in others, it may take longer for the estate trustee to identify creditors if they don’t have knowledge of the individual circumstances of the deceased.”

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.

Please click here to read the rest of the story.

Date_Published
2018-10-29
Description

Laura Stairs Head ShotCHARLOTTETOWN — Prince Edward Island is scrapping a controversial business immigration program, which prompted federal investigations alleging hundreds of applicants never settled on the Island.

The provincial government said Wednesday it will no longer accept applications from immigrants looking to set up a business on the Island in the entrepreneur stream of the Provincial Nominee Program.

The immigration program has faced criticism for granting permanent residency status — a coveted step towards full citizenship — before businesses were set up and people actually moved to P.E.I.

Under the program, the applicants provide the Island government with a $200,000 refundable deposit and commit to invest $150,000 and manage a firm.

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.

Please click here to read the rest of the story.

Date_Published
2018-09-14
Description

Laura Stairs Head ShotParties in a landlord-tenant agreement must be clear with their intentions and expectations as they approach negotiations to renew the lease, says Windsor corporate lawyer Laura Stairs.

Stairs, an associate with Shibley Righton LLP, cited a recent case where such a discussion resulted in the landlord unintentionally waiving some of their rights when negotiating with its corporate tenant after its 20-year lease expired.

"To avoid any misinterpretation that you waived your rights, both parties have to be very clear in communicating their expectations and how they intend to conduct themselves in accordance to the lease agreement, or outside the lease agreement if they’re agreeing to waive some of those provisions," she says.

"The lower court found that the landlord had revoked that waiver in an email, so it gave the tenant an opportunity to then initiate arbitration right away, which the tenant did not, but the Court of Appeal later decided the requirements of revocation had not been met in this instance," Stairs tells AdvocateDaily.com.

She says it’s important that all parties involved in negotiating a contract be very clear in expressing their positions and intentions.

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.

Please click here to read the rest of the story.

Date_Published
2018-08-03
Description

Laura Stairs Head ShotWindsor corporate lawyer Laura Stairs says she supports an Ontario Superior Court decision that quashes a long-standing Income Tax Act guideline limiting charities to using only 10 per cent of their resources for political activities.

"I was personally really excited about this ruling," says Stairs, an associate with Shibley Righton LLP.

“I enjoy working with charities and non-profits and think the provision restricting them from engaging in political activities reflects a very antiquated notion of charity,” she tells AdvocateDaily.com.

The decision was handed down July 16 by Justice Edward Morgan who heard a legal challenge by the Ottawa group Canada Without Poverty, one of 12 remaining in the 60 original charities under audit by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) that began in 2012.

CRA auditors claimed that 98.5 per cent of the group's work is political, violating Income Tax Act guidelines that restrict such activities, reports CBC.

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.

Please click here to read the rest of the story.

Date_Published
2018-07-31
Description

Laura Stairs Head ShotA lawsuit filed by eight Filipino migrant workers against a job recruiter and a farm in Ontario casts light on how easy it is for vulnerable people to be tricked into paying for jobs and denied the protections provided by Canadian law, says Windsor, Ont., corporate and immigration lawyer  Laura Stairs.

The Toronto Star reports eight seasonal agricultural workers are suing a Toronto-based company and a farm in East Gwillimbury, Ont., alleging they were charged thousands of dollars in fees for legal advice and Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA), which are prerequisites for obtaining most work permits, before being sent to work at the farm. In small claims court, the workers — who say they never received the work permits and admit they worked illegally on visitor visas — are seeking to have the money they paid refunded.

Stairs, an associate with Shibley Righton LLP, says it is important for all foreign workers to know that it is employers’ responsibility to conduct and pay for LMIA applications. These documents are required by the Canadian government to prove there is a need to bring in a foreign worker because there is no Canadian to do the job and employers are not permitted to pass these costs on to workers, she says.

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.

Please click here to read the rest of the story.

Date_Published
2018-06-20
Description

Laura Stairs Head ShotCommunity has always been important to Windsor corporate and immigration lawyer Laura Stairs.

An associate with Shibley Righton LLP, Stairs studied global development at Queen’s University and worked for the the Kingston Roundtable on Poverty Reduction while she lived in the city.

“I was very interested in local issues and community activism, and this was a great way to get involved and make a difference,” Stairs tells AdvocateDaily.com.

It was during that time that she first seriously considered the possibility of a legal career after working closely with a lawyer on the board of the roundtable

“I found the skills she had were particularly helpful in the work we were doing, which got me thinking that law was something I could do to have a positive impact on the community,” Stairs says.   

During a decorated spell at the University of Windsor’s law school, she received the Transnational Law and Justice Network Fellowship, allowing her to complete an extensive research project for Amnesty International focused on international criminal law, and was also awarded the Stitt Feld Handy Social Justice Fellowship, which resulted in a 10-week internship at the Legal Resources Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa.

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.

Please click here to read the rest of the story.

Date_Published
2018-06-04
Experience
More About
BIO

Laura is an associate at Shibley Righton LLP in the firm's Windsor office, practicing in the areas of corporate, wills and estates and business immigration law.  Laura articled with our firm and was called to the Ontario Bar in 2017. 

Laura obtained her law degree from the University of Windsor.  In law school, Laura gained diverse experience in a variety of areas of law. She was awarded the Stitt Feld Handy Social Justice Fellowship in Africa, completing an internship at the Legal Resources Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa in the area of constitutional litigation.  As a recipient of the Transnational Law and Justice Network Fellowship, Laura undertook an extensive research project for Amnesty International related to international criminal law.  Laura was acknowledged by her peers with the SLS Access to Justice Award for co-founding the Windsor Refugee Sponsorship Support Program and her clinic involvement throughout law school including acting as a legal case worker at Community Legal Aid, Legal Assistance of Windsor and the Family Law Program and sitting on the board of directors for the Association of Canadian Clinical Legal Education.  Laura has continued her involvement with Legal Assistance of Windsor where she currently acts as a member of the board. 

Prior to attending law school Laura left her hometown in New Brunswick to pursue an undergraduate degree in Global Development at Queen's University, attending the Bader International Study Center in Herstmonceux, United Kingdom for her first year.

In her spare time Laura enjoys travelling, reading and exploring Windsor's local restaurants.

Contact Information

T: 519.561.7447
F: 519.969.8045
E: laura.stairs@shibleyrighton.com

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Education

University of Windsor, J.D., 2016
Queen's University, B.A. (Hons), 2012

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