A 'very valuable painting' by Gerhard Richter hung in the Toronto home of Nahum Gelber (who spends most of his time in Monaco). Gelber had agreed to sell the picture to Alexandre Van Damme, a Belgian national, under a contract governed by New York law (this is beginning to sound like a law-school exam). Van Damme obtained judgment in New York requiring delivery of the painting, and then sought to enforce the New York court's order for specific performance in Ontario. The motion judge was prepared to do so, and has been upheld by the Ontario Court of Appeal in Van Damme v Gelber, 2013 ONCA 388.

Doherty JA held that Gelber had, by going beyond a challenge to the jurisdiction of the New York court and actually litigating the merits of Van Damme's claim in that state, attorned to the jurisdiction of the New York courts. This provided a basis on which an Ontario court could properly recognise the New York judgment -- even though it was not a money judgment but an order for specific performance. (The principles for the enforcement of non-monetary judgments set out in Pro Swing Inc v Elta Golf Inc, 2006 SCC 52 not being, shall we say, the clearest.) The argument that the motion judge should have exercised his discretion and refused to enforce the New York order also failed. The motion judge was, in fact, not asked to exercise that discretion on the basis that specific performance would not have been an appropriate remedy had the claim been brought in Ontario, so 'failure to consider a factor not put forward by either party' did not 'constitute an error in the exercise of that discretion'. In any event, specific performance would have been an appropriate remedy had the claim been brought in Ontario, in light of the nature of the property, Gelber's contractual obligations and the 'ready availability' of the painting in Ontario.