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Roughly $360M in claims against Laurentian have been filed by around 1,500 creditors

Laurentian returns to court Dec. 20 to deal with several items
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Laurentian University. (Heidi Ulrichsen / Sudbury.com)

Court documents associated with Laurentian University’s insolvency released Dec. 16 reveal close to 1,500 claims totalling around $360 million have been filed by creditors against LU.

The university returns to court Dec. 20 to deal with several matters under its ongoing Companies Creditors’ Arrangement Act (CCAA) proceedings.

One of those matters is appointing three people as claims officers to determine disputed claims against Laurentian.

Those claims officers are the Honourable Clément Gascon, the Honourable J. Douglas Cunningham, Q.C., and W. Niels Ortved.

The court document said that since the beginning of the claims process against Laurentian in June, LU and Ernst & Young, the firm selected as the court-appointed monitor of LU’s insolvency restructuring, “have received close to 1,500 claims in the aggregate amount of approximately $360 million. 

“The monitor (Ernst & Young), with the assistance of the applicant (Laurentian), is diligently reviewing the claims filed against the applicant and its directors and officers.”

Many of these claims are “ordinary course unsecured claims filed by trade creditors and similar parties that are expected in most CCAA proceedings,” the court document said.

“Such claims are unlikely to require the involvement of a claims officer. However, there are a number of complex claims that will require the involvement of a claims officer to obtain a determination.”

Another matter set to be dealt with during the Dec. 20 court hearing is approving a grievance resolution process for all grievances filed by the Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) against LU before Oct. 14 and until LU’s emergence from the CCAA proceeding.

Laurentian proposes the appointment of Ken Rosenberg of Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP as the grievance resolution officer to “case manage and, if necessary, determine and resolve any issues arising as a result of the Grievance Resolution Process.”

The third matter to be dealt with in court Dec. 20 is Laurentian’s request to remove the cap on professional fees for independent counsel for LU’s board of governors, which is currently set at $500,000.

Laurentian president Robert Haché said in a related Dec. 13 affidavit that board counsel has reached the amount of its cap.

“Board counsel has been, and is expected to continue to be, extremely active throughout the CCAA proceedings,” said the court document.

“Having the benefit of experienced independent counsel representing the board as it navigates various issues in this precedent-setting CCAA proceeding has been helpful to the applicant (Laurentian) and the monitor (Ernst & Young), and has created efficiencies.

“The monitor supports the removal of the cap on the board counsel’s professional fees. The monitor has been reviewing the amount of professional fees incurred by the applicant, and will continue to do so and report to the court from time to time.”