Canadian businesses are coming under increasing scrutiny both at home and abroad to ensure that their domestic and foreign operations comply with anti-corruption and anti-bribery legislation. As a result, it is essential for Canadian businesses to have clear guidance regarding anti-corruption and anti-bribery regimes, establish and enforce effective anti-corruption policies and conduct appropriate and thorough due diligence when entering into transactions with businesses that operate in foreign operations.
In the face of increased enforcement of Canada’s Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA), the potential for exposure to significant criminal and civil liability for rule violations and of possible significant reputational damage is realistic. Blakes has a well-recognized International Trade team that has provided advice to Canadian businesses operating abroad in all aspects of foreign anti-corruption and anti-bribery matters.
We regularly provide risk avoidance and compliance advice and have successfully defended clients charged with corruption and bribery of foreign public officials. Additionally, in conjunction with our White Collar Crimes and Financial Services groups, we provide advice and analysis regarding Canadian laws and international agreements prohibiting bribery of public officials, possession of proceeds of bribery and laundering of proceeds of bribery.
Clients frequently engage us to review contract terms with foreign agents and joint venture partners and to conduct bribery and corruption due diligence investigations in merger and acquisition situations and internal investigation scenarios. They also regularly seek our advice on establishing and enforcing anti-corruption and anti-bribery policies and compliance programs and for guidance on interpretation of Canada’s CFPOA.
- Providing a premier energy company with advice regarding anti-corruption compliance pertaining to their distributors.
- Advised one of the world's leading manufacturers of construction and mining equipment on appropriate language relating to anti-corruption for a purchase and sale agreement.
- Provided advice regarding CFPOA compliance to an operating company with oil and gas interests in Colombia proposing to pursue an initial public offering.
- Conducted a preliminary anti-bribery/export control/sanctions audit for a global provider of helicopter transportation services to assess possible gaps and recommend changes to current compliance functions.
- Drafted the business code of conduct provisions of a Canadian lumber company with extensive operations throughout Canada to reflect compliance with Canadian anti-bribery/foreign corrupt practices law.