Chevron's Views
And Opinions On
The Ecuador Lawsuit.

Chevron’s statement with regard to the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in the Chevron Corp. v. Yaiguaje case

Date: Sep 8, 2015

“Today’s decision has no bearing on the legitimacy or enforceability of the fraudulent Ecuadorian judgment. Instead, the Supreme Court of Canada has simply decided that the Ontario trial court has jurisdiction to entertain further proceedings in the action, including examination of several legal reasons why the effort to bring this fraudulent judgment to Canada should be stopped early in those proceedings. The facts remain, as Chevron Corp. established in the United States, that the Ecuadorian judgment is the product of fraud and other misconduct, and is therefore illegitimate and unenforceable.”

Note this paragraph from the court’s decision:
“The establishment of jurisdiction does not mean that the plaintiffs will necessarily succeed in having the Ecuadorian judgment recognized and enforced. A finding of jurisdiction does nothing more than afford the plaintiffs the opportunity to seek recognition and enforcement of the Ecuadorian judgment. Once past the jurisdictional stage, Chevron and Chevron Canada can use the available procedural tools to try to dispose of the plaintiffs’ allegations. This possibility is foreign to and remote from the questions that must be resolved on this appeal. Further, the conclusion that the Ontario courts have jurisdiction in this case should not be understood to prejudice future arguments with respect to the distinct corporate personalities of Chevron and Chevron Canada or whether Chevron Canada’s shares or assets will be available to satisfy Chevron’s debt.”

Also note paragraphs 77, 94 and 95:
Paragraph 77: “In closing on this first issue, I wish to emphasize that when jurisdiction is found to exist, it does not necessarily follow that it will or should be exercised: A. Briggs, The Conflict of Laws (3rd ed. 2013), at pp. 52-53; see also Van Breda, at para. 101. Establishing jurisdiction merely means that the alleged debt merits the assistance and attention of the Ontario courts. Once the parties move past the jurisdictional phase, it may still be open to the defendant to argue any or all of the following, whether by way of preliminary motions or at trial: that the proper use of Ontario judicial resources justifies a stay under the circumstances; that the Ontario courts should decline to exercise jurisdiction on the basis of forum non conveniens; that any one of the available defences to recognition and enforcement (i.e. fraud, denial of natural justice, or public policy) should be accepted in the circumstances; or that a motion under either Rule 20 (summary judgment) or Rule 21 (determination of an issue before trial) of the Rules should be granted. The availability of these potential arguments, however, does not oust the jurisdiction of the Ontario courts over the plaintiffs’ action for recognition and enforcement.”

Paragraph 94: “Chevron Canada was served in juris, in accordance with Rule 16.02(1)(c), at a place of business it operates in Mississauga, Ontario. Traditional, presence-based jurisdiction is satisfied. Jurisdiction is thus established with respect to it. As indicated for Chevron, the establishment of jurisdiction does not mean that the plaintiffs will necessarily succeed in having the Ecuadorian judgment recognized and enforced against Chevron Canada. A finding of jurisdiction does nothing more than afford the plaintiffs the opportunity to seek recognition and enforcement of the Ecuadorian judgment. Once past the jurisdictional stage, Chevron Canada, like Chevron, can use the available procedural tools to try to dispose of the plaintiffs’ allegations. This possibility is foreign to and remote from the questions that must be resolved on this appeal.”

Paragraph 95: “Further, my conclusion that the Ontario courts have jurisdiction in this case should not be understood to prejudice future arguments with respect to the distinct corporate personalities of Chevron and Chevron Canada. I take no position on whether Chevron Canada can properly be considered a judgment-debtor to the Ecuadorian judgment. Similarly, should the judgment be recognized and enforced against Chevron, it does not automatically follow that Chevron Canada’s shares or assets will be available to satisfy Chevron’s debt. For instance, shares in a subsidiary belong to the shareholder, not to the subsidiary itself. Only those shares whose ownership is ultimately attributable to the judgment debtor could be the valid target of a recognition and enforcement action. It is not at the early stage of assessing jurisdiction that courts should determine whether the shares or assets of Chevron Canada are available to satisfy Chevron’s debt. As such, contrary to the appellants’ submissions, this is not a case in which the Court is called upon to alter the fundamental principle of corporate separateness as reiterated in BCE Inc. v. 1976 Debentureholders, 2008 SCC 69, [2008] 3 S.C.R. 560, at least not at this juncture. In that regard, the deference allegedly owed to the motion judge’s findings concerning the separate corporate personalities of the appellants and the absence of a valid foundation for the Ontario courts’ exercise of jurisdiction is misplaced. These findings were reached in the context of the s. 106 stay. As I stated above, the Court of Appeal reversed that stay, and this issue is not on appeal before us.”