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Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance

Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance
Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance

As Canadian and international laws relating to business crimes strengthen, there is a corresponding move towards greater enforcement. Recent high-profile cases demonstrate the devastating impact that criminal and regulatory investigations and prosecutions can have on a company, its officers, directors, employees and shareholders.
Blakes has a leading Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance practice. We have significant experience defending white-collar crime enforcement actions, conducting multi-jurisdictional internal investigations, and designing and assessing sophisticated compliance programs.

Multinational and domestic corporations and individuals retain us to advise and defend them in respect of a wide range of white-collar criminal charges, including under the Criminal Code, Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA), Income Tax Act, Competition Act, Customs Act and provincial securities legislation. We also represent clients in pensions, environmental, tax and workplace safety matters.
Blakes white-collar-crime lawyers have extensive experience directing multi-jurisdictional internal investigations on sophisticated white-collar and anti-corruption matters. This allows us to quickly advise on complex matters relating to the structure and conduct of internal investigations, privilege protection strategies, corporate governance, and disclosure considerations and strategies for investigating sensitive matters discreetly, with minimal interruption to ongoing business operations. We also have considerable expertise in crisis response and management and regularly assist clients in dealing with the aftermath of major incidents resulting in internal and external investigations by regulatory and enforcement authorities.
Blakes has played a leading role in Canada’s most significant corruption enforcement actions to date. We regularly provide anti-corruption and compliance advice and have successfully defended clients charged with corruption and bribery of public officials. We are routinely engaged to conduct internal investigations, develop anti-corruption compliance programs, undertake detailed risk assessments and compliance program reviews and conduct detailed anti-corruption due diligence during transactions.
We have designed, implemented and assessed compliance programs for companies with operations on every continent (except Antarctica) across a wide range of industries. Prominent publicly traded companies regularly seek our advice in establishing anti-corruption and anti-bribery policies, compliance training and reviewing the legality of proposed business practices. Our compliance expertise extends to legal and regulatory requirements relating to anti-money laundering, prevention of terrorist financing and other dealings prohibited by sanctions legislation.
Blakes mobilizes teams on short notice to respond to urgent matters, including search warrants, production orders and compelled interviews. Our criminal and civil law expertise, extensive corporate and commercial litigation experience, and specialized national resources set us apart from other law firms when dealing with criminal and regulatory charges relating to businesses.

Recent Experience
  • Appointed as compliance monitor for SNC-Lavalin pursuant to the probation order imposed by the Quebec Court as part of its sentencing on charges of fraud in Libya.

  • Acted as counsel to the board of directors during the investigation of Canada’s largest CFPOA case to date.

  • Conducted internal 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.

  • Successfully defended institutional and individual clients in securities-related investigations and prosecutions by Canadian securities regulators and self-regulatory organizations.

  • Acted as counsel in a transnational investigation by the Ontario Securities Commission, United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and international law enforcement into alleged securities violations in numerous jurisdictions, including Canada, Israel and Europe.

  • Successfully defended a prominent U.S. issuer and its Canadian subsidiary against a number of criminal charges for alleged 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.

  • Undertook a large number of sophisticated internal investigation mandates on a variety of issues, including insider trading and tipping, conflicts of interest, harassment and bullying, fraud, price-fixing, occupational health and safety, environmental spills, sanctions, and a wide assortment of other white-collar or regulatory issues.

  • Acting as legal counsel to two law firms in connection with a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Operations and Financial Integrity Federal Serious and Organized Crime section of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

  • Conducted an internal investigation for a large public company triggered by an inquiry from the Québec anti-corruption police (UPAC).

  • Leading an internal investigation into allegations of alleged violations of Canadian and US sanction laws.

  • Representing a third-party supplier in a highly sensitive and complex internal investigation that also involved whistle-blowers and a variety of allegations of improper conduct.

  • Successfully defended a large publicly traded Canadian corporation against a number of environmental charges arising from Canada's largest inland oil spill.

  • Conducted thorough anti-corruption due diligence for M&A and capital market transactions involving companies or assets in emerging markets in South America, Central America, Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe.

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

  • Challenged search warrants and demands for information and documents under the Criminal Code, Customs Act, Competition Act, Income Tax Act and other statutes.

Awards & Recognition

Members of our Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance group are recognized as leaders in the most recent editions of the following publications:

  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business (White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations)
  • Benchmark Canada: White-Collar Crime/Enforcement Firm of the Year

  • Benchmark Litigation’s 40 & Under Hot List

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

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

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada (Criminal Defense)

  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada

  • The Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Litigation Lawyers in Canada 

  • Who’s Who Legal: Investigations

  • Who's Who Legal: Business Crimes Defence​

  • Global Investigation Review’s GIR 100