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John Pirie leads Baker McKenzie's Canadian litigation and government enforcement group and is a member of the North American group's Steering Committee. A Chambers ranked trial lawyer, he handles complex business disputes, investigations and white-collar matters, particularly those with multi-jurisdictional aspects. John's focus includes a significant fraud and financial recovery component, having pursued and defended a range of leading cases in the area. He has deep experience with emergency relief measures, including global asset freeze orders and remedies available in bankruptcy and receivership. John has acted for governments, banks, investors, multinational corporations, officers and directors, a stock exchange, a securities regulator, members of the judiciary and an array of professionals. Clients interviewed by Chambers Global say: "John Pirie has an excellent command of the law and clients' needs and expectations" and "he is an experienced courtroom advocate who is particularly well regarded for his civil fraud expertise."

Dividing up a shortfall from a Ponzi scheme was first posed before the United States Supreme Court in 1924. The infamous case of Cunningham v. Brown dealt with the original Ponzi scheme of Charles Ponzi and distributing remaining funds back to victims when his investment scheme was finally unravelled, but left victims with only a fraction of their original investments. Unraveling a Ponzi scheme to return a shortfall of money back among its victims is akin to untangling the noodles in a half-eaten bowl of spaghetti at a buffet and trying to determine who cooked each strand. Where multiple chefs (all using the same recipe) all had their spaghetti thrown in one giant pot, it would be a seemingly impossible task to untangle the half-eaten bowl to see which chefs’ spaghetti was still in that bowl.
Continue Reading How should a Court divide a shortfall of money among victims of a Ponzi Scheme