Mark Morrison
Partner | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9726

Mark advises and defends clients with respect to white-collar crime, anti-corruption, competition and commercial litigation. He has substantial trial experience and has also directed numerous multi-jurisdictional internal investigations for public and private companies.

Mark has defended large corporate clients on charges under criminal, anti-corruption, competition, occupational health and safety, securities and environmental legislation. He also conducts independent investigations on sophisticated white-collar, anti-corruption and competition matters, and advises clients in responding to regulatory and criminal search warrants and investigations.

Mark regularly advises Canadian and multinational corporate clients on compliance with domestic and international anti-corruption legislation (including the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA)), and has conducted numerous CFPOA internal investigations. He also assists clients with CFPOA/Foreign Corrupt Practices Act due diligence during mergers and acquisitions.

Mark's commercial litigation experience includes class action product liability and large property damage claims.

Mark is Co-Practice Group Leader of the Firm's Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance Group.

SELECT EXPERIENCE

White Collar Crime

  • Numerous successful acquittals, including defence of a large U.S. company, and its Canadian subsidiary, against a number of Criminal Code charges alleging bribery of public officials

  • Responded to a number of search and seizures, including successfully defending a Canadian corporation and its principal against a 50-count indictment alleging a cross-border conspiracy to smuggle goods into Canada

Anticorruption

  • Conducted international anticorruption investigations for a number of multinational clients in relation to allegations of improper payments to government officials in South America, Central America, Africa and Asia

  • Counsel to the Board of Directors of a Canadian energy company in relation to an investigation into improper payments to foreign government officials, ultimately resulting in a resolution of CFPOA charges

Competition

  • Successful resolution of numerous Competition Bureau bid-rigging, price-fixing and misleading advertising cases, including responding to a search warrant and defending the Canadian subsidiary of a large U.S. energy trader against a Competition Bureau investigation into allegations of bid-rigging

  • Conducted a complex multi-jurisdictional investigation of bid-rigging and conspiracy allegations for a large U.S. and Canadian issuer

Occupational Health and Safety

  • Defended numerous clients faced with investigations and prosecutions arising from fatalities and serious workplace injuries

Securities Litigation

  • Defended numerous clients in responding to Alberta Securities Commission investigations, and in defending Securities Act charges, including complex fraud allegations

Commercial Litigation

  • Acted as counsel for a major energy company in a three-month trial of a complex pipeline construction dispute

Class Actions

  • Defended financial institutions named in a C$110-million claim arising from a Ponzi scheme, as well as a number of product liability class actions

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Mark was nominated as White Collar Crime Lawyer of the Year at the Benchmark Canada Awards 2018. He is also recognized as a leading Canadian lawyer in the most recent editions of the following publications:

  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business (White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations: Canada, Band 2)

  • Legal Media Group's Guide to the World's Leading White Collar Crime Lawyers

  • Who's Who Legal Investigations

  • Who's Who Legal: Canada (Business Crime Defence, Investigations)

  • Who's Who Legal Business Crime Defence (Corporate, Individuals)

  • Acritas Stars: Independently Rated Lawyers (Nominated as a stand-out lawyer)

  • Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys (Litigation Star - White Collar Crime)

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada (Product Liability Law)

  • Global Investigations Review's GIR 100

PUBLICATIONS
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Blakes Bulletin on Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance, June 6, 2018.
Blakes Bulletin on Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance, February 27, 2018.
Blakes Bulletin on Sanctions & Export Controls, November 7, 2017.
Blakes Bulletin on Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance, October 30, 2017.
The Investigations Review of the Americas 2018, Global Investigations Review, August 2017.
Co-author: Another Arrow in the Quiver? Consideration of a Deferred Prosecution Agreement Scheme in Canada
Transparency International Canada, July 2017.
Co-author: Growing Pains in the Evolution of Canadian Anti-Corruption Enforcement
The FCPA Report, Vol. 6, No. 4, March 1, 2017.
Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance, Blakes Business Class, December 6, 2016.
Co-author: Bribery & Corruption: Brief Overview of the Law and Enforcement Regime Global Legal Insights
4th Edition, November 16, 2016.
Co-author: Supreme Court of Canada Weighs in on International Corruption Investigations
The FCPA Report, Vol. 5, No 11, June 1, 2016.
Blakes Business Class on Business Crimes Investigations & Compliance, June 3, 2016.
Blakes Bulletin on Business Crimes Investigations & Compliance, and Litigation & Dispute Resolution, May 4, 2016.
Co-author: Internal Investigations, Reporting and Discipline
Designing an Anti-Corruption Program: A Guide for Canadian Business, Global Compact Network Canada, May 2016.
Blakes Bulletin on Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance, Construction, Construction Dispute Resolution, and Procurement, April 27, 2016.
Co-author: Conducting Business in Canada: Navigating Canada's Anti-Corruption Laws
Guide to the World's Leading White Collar Crime Lawyers, Expert Guides, Legal Media Group, March 2016.
Blakes Whitepaper on Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance, March 1, 2016.
Co-author: Cartels: Enforcement, Appeals & Damages Actions
Global Legal Insights, Fourth Edition, February 2016.
Author: Enterprise Risk Management
Corporate Counsel Magazine, November 2015.
Co-author: Mid-Year Review of Anti-Corruption Law North of The 49th Parallel
FCPA Professor, August 27, 2015.
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PROFESSIONAL APPEARANCES
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Witness: Bill C-74 Proposed Legislation Providing for Remediation Agreements for Resolution in White Collar Crime Cases
Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Ottawa, Ontario, May 30, 2018.
Moderator: White Collar Crime Enforcement
Transparency International Canada, 8th Annual Day of Dialogue, Spotlight on Corruption, Toronto, Ontario, May 17, 2018.
Panellist: Emerging Topics in Cyber Risk, Information Governance and Risk Assessments in the Mining & Metals Sector
Ernst & Young, Toronto, Ontario, February 26, 2018.
Presenter: Integrity Network Anti-Corruption and Fraud Risk Assessments
Blakes Business Class Seminar, Calgary, Alberta, February 7, 2018.
Moderator: Overcoming Compliance Challenges on the Front Line
7th Annual Day of Dialogue 2017: Spotlight on Corruption, Transparency International Canada, Toronto, Ontario, May 18, 2017.
Presenter: Latest Developments in International Anti-Corruption Laws
Blakes Business Class Seminar, Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia, February 12, 2017.
Panellist: Anti-Corruption Enforcement in Canada - How to Improve? (Chatham House Rule)
Nothing to Hide: Unmasking the Anonymous Owners of Canadian Companies and Trusts, Transparency International Canada, Vancouver, B.C., December 9, 2016.
Panellist: Global Investigations: Anti-corruption trends/Use of shell companies (Panama Papers)
2016 Calgary Corporate Fraud and Compliance Forum, Calgary, Alberta November 15, 2016.
Panellist: Analyzing and Managing Risk Workshop for In-House Lawyers
Blakes Business Class Seminar, Vancouver, British Columbia, November 3, 2016.
Speaker: From Calamity to Confidence: Best Practices for Effective Crisis Management
Blakes Business Class Seminar, Vancouver, British Columbia, September 19, 2016.
Speaker: From Calamity to Confidence: Best Practices for Effective Crisis Management
Blakes Business Class Seminar, Calgary, Alberta, September 18, 2016.
Speaker: Risky Business: A Fresh Look at Regulatory Compliance
Blakes Business Class Seminar, September 14, 2016, Toronto, Ontario.
Speaker: Internal Investigations, Reporting & Discipline
Global Compact Network Canada, July 13, 2016.
Moderator: Compliance Lessons: What the Oil and Gas Industry can Learn from the Mining Industry
Blakes Business Class Seminar, Calgary, Alberta, July 12, 2016.
Presenter: Regulatory Issues: Competition and Anti-Corruption Compliance
CBA Skilled Lawyer Series 2016, June 28, 2016.
Speaker: Staying Compliant in a Troubled Economy
Transparency International 6th Annual Day of Dialogue 2016: Spotlight on Corruption,Toronto, Ontario, May 10, 2016.
Speaker: Balancing Aboriginal Rights with the Regulatory State: Are We Closer to Never Land or Just Confusing Everybody?
ABA Section of International Law 2015 Fall Meeting, Montreal, Quebec, October 20-24, 2015.
Panel Moderator: Assessing the crucial factors to be considered when building, maintaining and updating a global compliance programme in the mining industry
Global Anti-Corruption & Compliance in Mining: Toronto, October 8-9, 2015.
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MEDIA APPEARANCES
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Quoted: Ottawa to consult on deferred prosecution agreements
Article by Nicolas Van Praet, The Globe and Mail, September 14, 2017.
Quoted: Does Canada need a deferred prosecution agreement process? (online)
Article by Jennifer Brown, Canadian Lawyer & Law Times, July 25, 2017.
Quoted: Joining a Global Movement, Canadian Group Recommends Adopting DPAs (online)
Article by Sue Reisinger. Corporate Counsel, July 14, 2017.
Quoted: How to get your daily dose of risk management
Canadian Lawyer Magazine (online), November 7, 2016.
Quoted: New anti-corruption policy could backfire: experts
The Lawyers Weekly, volume 36, No. 4, page 5, June 3, 2016.
Quoted: SCC Decisions a Win for Anti-Corruption, Top Court Upheld World Bank Immunities
Lexpert Magazine, June 2016.
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