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Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance

Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance
Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance
Expertise / Practices / Litigation & Dispute Resolution / 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 robust national Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance practice. We have extensive experience investigating, advising on and successfully defending clients in criminal, quasi-criminal, anti-corruption, regulatory and compliance matters. Multinational and domestic corporations and individuals subject to Canadian law 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, including preparing for audits, responding to regulatory inquiries and defending regulatory charges.

In addition, we have significant experience directing multi-jurisdictional independent investigations on sophisticated white-collar, anti-corruption and competition 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 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, review contract terms with foreign agents and joint venture partners, and conduct detailed anti-corruption due diligence during transactions. 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

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Recent Experience
  • Counsel to a Canadian energy company’s board of directors in relation to an investigation into improper payments to foreign government officials, ultimately resulting in resolution of CFPOA charges.

  • Successful defence of a prominent U.S. issuer and its Canadian subsidiary against a number of criminal charges for alleged bribery of public officials.

  • Successful defence of a major international fraud prosecution stemming from the Airbus affair.

  • Numerous successful defences and resolutions for large public issuers facing investigations and prosecutions for conspiracy, price-fixing and bid-rigging offences.

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

  • Numerous international investigations for multinational clients in relation to allegations of improper payments to government officials in South America, Central America, Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia. 

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

  • 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.

  • Successful defence of institutional and individual clients in securities-related investigations and prosecutions by Canadian securities regulators and self-regulatory organizations.

  • Conducting multi-jurisdictional anti-corruption and fraud risk assessments for various operations in South America, Africa and Eastern Europe.

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

  • Challenge of 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:

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

  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business – White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations 

  • 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​