Davies

Investigations & White Collar Defence

White collar investigations or prosecutions involve unique facts and circumstances and regularly require integration with public or government relations plans, securities law disclosure obligations, and coordinating of related investigations in foreign jurisdictions. In addressing these issues, we draw on our broad experience across a range of statutes and jurisdictions with respect to both domestic and cross-border matters, having led both multinational matters and provided Canadian assistance as part of an international team.

Davies has extensive experience in the conduct of complex internal investigations with respect to alleged white collar crime. We have assisted our corporate clients in managing, complying with or challenging: searches and seizures, production orders, search warrants, wiretaps, mutual legal assistance with foreign authorities, and other criminal procedural matters. We also negotiate settlements (including immunity, leniency and non-prosecution resolutions) and defend clients facing prosecution in respect of a broad range of white collar criminal and regulatory matters.

Our team includes former senior government officials and Crown prosecutors and others with extensive experience advising and representing clients facing allegations, investigations or prosecution in respect of white collar offences under, among other laws: the Competition Act, the Income Tax Act, and provincial securities and environmental laws. We have also provided advice and conducted internal investigations for clients facing potential breaches of, among other laws, the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act and the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act. These matters often involve the need for urgent assessment of both the facts and strategic options to minimize potential adverse consequences for a company, and its officers and directors.

We also provide counselling and assistance in developing internal compliance programs with a view to minimizing these types of regulatory issues and reducing the potential consequences for a company, its officers and its directors in the event that individual employees fail to comply with corporate policies and legal requirements.

Our Experience

We have represented a broad range of Canadian and foreign-based corporations, boards of directors and certain individuals in both internal investigations into allegations of competition law offences and corruption, and defending, challenging and resolving numerous competition law criminal investigations and charges of alleged price-fixing and bid-rigging. Our team has successfully challenged search warrants and document production orders issued by various regulators.

Litigators on our team have extensive regulatory, criminal and penal trial and appellate experience at all levels of court across the country, including the Supreme Court of Canada.

Representative Work

  • Acting for a Québec-based gas retailer in connection with charges laid by the Competition Bureau for alleged price-fixing and related class actions. Davies has succeeded in obtaining a stay of the criminal proceedings against its client based on a breach of its constitutional rights. In the class action proceedings, Davies has obtained leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada on issues related to the use of wiretap evidence.
  • Acting for several clients with respect to investigations by the Charbonneau Commission (Commission of inquiry on the awarding and management of public contracts in the construction industry) in Québec.
  • Acted for a public company in the metals and chemicals sector by leading an international internal investigation in connection with allegations of wrongdoing against former owners of a company that our client had acquired.
  • Acted for a U.S.-based company active in the North American construction manufacturing sector and having worldwide operations by leading an internal investigation and advising the client in connection with a tax-related criminal investigation and allegations of corruption.
  • Acted for a Canadian clothing company by leading an internal investigation following allegations of wrongdoing and violation of customs regulations. This file involved acts committed in the United States, China and Mexico.
  • Acted for a parapublic institution in connection with a criminal and administrative investigation.
  • Acting for Mars Canada in defending charges relating to allegations of price-fixing under the Competition Act.
  • Acted for Sony BMG in connection with investigations by a number of prosecuting authorities in the United States, and parallel class actions in the U.S. and Canada relating to allegations that Sony had included illegal "spyware" in electronic products it had manufactured and sold.
  • Acting or acted for Canadian and foreign companies subject to inquiries by the Competition Bureau into alleged price-fixing, bid-rigging and other offences under the Canadian Competition Act in relation to automotive parts, carbonless paper, thermal fax paper, compressors, air cargo, passenger air fares, and other products.

Recognition

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

Benchmark Canada—Investigations & White Collar Defence

Who's Who Legal: Canada—Investigations

Recent Work

  • Conducting for the audit committee of a public company an external investigation into employee malfeasance and company controls issues
  • Proceedings to declare an administrative act by Revenue Quebec ultra vires

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Key Contacts

George Addy George N. Addy
Partner
Toronto
416.863.5588
Stéphane Eljarrat Stéphane Eljarrat
Partner
Montréal, Toronto
514.841.6439 / 416.863.6407

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