Société financière Manuvie c. D’Alessandro, 2014 QCCA 2332

In a decision released on December 19, 2014, the Québec Court of Appeal (“Court”) affirmed a lower Court’s decision requiring, the appellant to produce in a class action, confidential documents that it had exchanged with the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (“OFSI”) pursuant to the Supervisory Information (Insurance Companies) Regulations (SOR/2001-56) (“Supervisory Regulations”) despite strict statutory prohibitions on disclosure.

The Court held that while the Supervisory Regulations were enacted to limit the communication of information provided to OFSI pursuant to its provisions, they did not amount to an absolute prohibition on disclosure in litigation. The documents were found to be relevant and producible. The Court did however state that a confidentiality agreement between the parties could prevent confidential documents from being viewed by the wider public.

These findings may have a direct impact on how confidential documents provided to regulators at large are treated in the context of litigation.

A copy of the original French decision can be found here.