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

Mark is the National Practice Group Leader of Blakes Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance group. He is widely regarded as one of the leading white-collar and investigations lawyers in Canada with a particularly strong anti-corruption practice. His practice focuses on white-collar crime defence, anti-corruption compliance and internal investigations. He regularly advises large corporate clients on compliance with criminal and regulatory legislation, and has defended clients on charges under a wide variety of criminal and regulatory statutes, including criminal, anti-corruption, competition, securities, environmental and occupational health and safety. A significant component of Mark’s practice involves conducting independent investigations on sophisticated white-collar and anti-corruption matters. He also 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 (FCPA) due diligence during mergers and acquisitions.

Mark has conducted investigations and risk assessments on five continents for numerous multinational companies. On a pro bono basis, he has provided training to prosecutors and enforcement officials in Zimbabwe, and also provided expert testimony to the Canadian Senate during hearings to consider Canada’s new Remediation Agreement legislation.

SELECT EXPERIENCE

Anticorruption

  • Counsel to the Board of Directors during the investigation and resolution of Canada’s largest CFPOA case to date

  • 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, Asia and Eastern Europe

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

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 2019. 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 2019 (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: Business Crime Defence 2019

  • Who's Who Legal Investigations - Most Highly Regarded

  • 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
Show Past:
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Co-author: Convictions, Clarity and Compliance: The Continued Evolution of Canadian Bribery Enforcement
Anti-Corruption Report, May 15, 2019.
Co-author: Financial Crime in Canada: Overview
Country Q&A, Practical Law, February 2019.
Co-author: Business Crime and Investigations in Canada
Country Q&A, Practical Law, February 2019.
Co-author: Canada Chapter, The Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Review - 7th Edition
The Law Reviews, December 2018.
Co-author: The Cutting Edge of Compliance: Best Practices and Recent Developments in Anticorruption, Investigations and Responding to Government Enforcement
Blakes Bulletin on Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance, November 15, 2018.
Blakes Bulletin on Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance, September 21, 2018.
The Anti-Corruption Report, Vol. 7, No. 14, July 11, 2018.
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.
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PROFESSIONAL APPEARANCES
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Speaker: Deferred Prosecutions and the New Remediation Agreements
CCCL 2019 Conference, Canadian College of Construction Lawyers, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, June 1, 2019.
Moderator: Remediation Agreements: What You Need to Know about the new made in Canada DPA Regime, Day of Dialogue
Transparency International, Toronto, Ontario, May 16, 2019.
Speaker: Bribery & Corruption in Canada: The Current State of Play
TRACE Webinar, TRACE International, Inc., April 30, 2019.
Speaker: Key Issues to Resolve in Cross-Border Investigations
FCPA and International Anti-Corruption Developments 2019, Practising Law Institute, New York, April 17, 2019.
Speaker: Internal Investigations: Digging Deeper
Association of Corporate Counsel Alberta, Calgary, Alberta, March 14, 2019.
Speaker: Integrity Network: Internal Investigations
Integrity Network and Transparency International Canada, Calgary, Alberta, March 12, 2019.
Speaker: The Cutting Edge of Compliance: Best Practices and Recent Developments in Anticorruption, Investigations and Responding to Government Enforcement
Blakes Business Class Seminar, Toronto, Ontario, November 15, 2018.
Speaker: From Incident to Informed Decision Making: Considerations for Initiating and Managing Internal Investigations
Association of Corporate Counsel Alberta, Calgary, Alberta, November 6, 2018.
Panellist: 2018 Lex Mundi Cross Border Investigations
Business Crimes & Compliance Global Meeting, Chicago, October 18-19, 2018.
Speaker and Course Leader: Identifying, Investigating and Preventing Economic Crime
Law Society of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe, September 25-27, 2018.
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.
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MEDIA APPEARANCES
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Quoted: Rough start for remediation agreements
Canadian Lawyer (online), April 30, 2019.
Quoted: Canadian graft ruling muddies water on government officials – analysis
PaRR-Global.com, April 1, 2019.
Quoted: Lawyers Part of Anti-Corruption Training
Law Times, October 15, 2018.
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.
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