Léon is a bold and tenacious trial lawyer who takes a creative approach to his clients’ cases.
Léon has appeared at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada. Clients retain Léon for complex and hybrid cases, which often involve a variety of legal ramifications, including civil, commercial, administrative, regulatory and criminal.
He is often called upon to challenge search warrants and wiretaps, to represent corporations and directors in domestic or multijurisdictional investigations or defend them in prosecutions and related civil suits, and to conduct internal investigations.
Léon regularly provides pro bono advice. He participated in an economic mission to Africa and received The Young Bar Association of Montréal’s 2015 Lawyer of the Year Award in litigation. Léon was also appointed amicus curiae of the Supreme Court by the Chief Justice of Canada in respect of an appeal involving both criminal and civil law, and obtained a unanimous judgment from the bench upholding his position.
Léon is a fellow of the International Academy of Financial Crime Litigators. He is also the practice coordinator for the Investigations & White Collar Defence team.
Amicus curiae of the Supreme Court of Canada
Appointed amicus curiae of the Supreme Court of Canada by the then-chief justice of Canada, Beverley McLachlin, in a case raising a question of criminal law applied in a civil context to insurance contracts rules (Desjardins Financial Security Life Assurance Company v Émond, 2017 SCC 19). The Supreme Court unanimously upheld the amicus curiae's position and dismissed the appeal from the bench.
The Federal Republic of Nigeria
Acting on behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Canadian proceedings involving the country's efforts to recover assets, including a private jet, from the key figure in the "Malabu Oil Scandal," one of Africa's biggest corruption cases.
Montréal Defence Lawyers Association
Represented the Montréal Defence Lawyers Association (AADM) before the Supreme Court of Canada in Attorney General of Quebec, et al. v. 9147-0732 Québec Inc., where the Court had to determine for the first time if the constitutional protection against "cruel and unusual treatment or punishment" applies to corporations and other legal persons.
Estate of Paul G. Desmarais
Acted for the estate of the late Paul G. Desmarais in connection with proceedings instituted by the late Louis R. Desmarais. The plaintiff claimed from the estate of his late brother, Paul G. Desmarais, the sum of $75 million on the basis of a promise allegedly made orally in the late 1970s to return shares of Power Corporation of Canada. On April 26, 2017, after the trial and while the case was under advisement, the plaintiff dropped the proceedings in their entirety.
Beauward Real Estate inc., Schokbeton Québec Inc. and Saramac
Acted successfully for Beauward Real Estate inc., Schokbeton Québec Inc. and Saramac before the Superior Court of Québec, the Court of Appeal of Québec and the Supreme Court of Canada on a challenge of search warrants and production orders issued by a judge and executed in multiple locations by the Québec Revenue Agency as part of the Permanent Anti-Corruption Unit of Québec.
Defended a leading Canadian retailer against criminal charges for tax fraud offences and successfully obtained a stay of the prosecution because of "serious, multiple and systemic" violations of constitutional rights that revealed "a longstanding and systemic misunderstanding of the applicable law, all of which was to the detriment of taxpayers generally, extending far beyond" the case at bar.
Acted for a franchisee in its defense to a prosecution regarding tax-related charges. Obtained a ground-breaking decision that sets new standards for electronic disclosure, adapting to the 21st century the prosecution's duty to disclose evidence to the accused. Obtained thereafter a stay of the prosecution affirming that the principles set out by the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Jordan regarding the fundamental right to be tried within a reasonable time apply with full force in matters of white collar crime and deciding that the prosecution cannot merely invoke the nature of the charges to seek to justify an unreasonable delay.
Acting on behalf of confidential clients in a challenge of multiple search warrants executed in multiple locations by the Québec's Revenue Agency in the context of an investigation being jointly conducted with the Sûreté du Québec, the provincial police force. The case was heard by the Superior Court of Québec, the Court of Appeal of Québec and is now before the Supreme Court of Canada.
Acting on behalf of Canadian interests in an international cross-border, white collar investigation leading to multiple serious criminal charges in Europe.
World Sikh Organization of Canada
Acting on a pro bono basis for the World Sikh Organization of Canada and its vice-president for Québec, Amrit Kaur, in their constitutional challenge of the Act respecting the laicity of the State, which prohibits the wearing of religious symbols by certain public sector employees.
Québec Court Stays Criminal Proceedings, Citing “Serious, Multiple and Systemic Violations” of Canadians’ Rights
Nov. 19, 2020 - In a recent decision, 1 the Court of Québec permanently stayed the prosecution of tax fraud charges made against a corporation and two related individuals after finding "serious, multiple and systemic" 2 violations of constitutional rights. The Court held that the violations revealed "a..."
Association des avocats de la défense de Montréal (AADM), 2020 Virtual Symposium, "Search Warrants: Execution and Pre-Accusatory Recourses"; Webinar
Nov. 11, 2020
Corporations Cannot Suffer Cruel and Unusual Treatment or Punishment
Nov. 06, 2020 - The Supreme Court of Canada (Supreme Court) yesterday handed down its highly awaited decision in Quebec (Attorney General) v 9147-0732 Québec inc. 1 For the first time, the Court decided that corporations cannot claim the protection of section 12 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and...
Moderator, Canadian Bar Association, “White Collar Crime: Corruption, Proceeds of Crime and Associated Risksˮ; Webinar
Oct. 28, 2020
Jordan Ceilings: Particular Application to White Collar Crime
Oct. 08, 2020 - In a case successfully argued by Davies, the Court of Québec concluded that the prosecution infringed the right of the accused to be tried within a reasonable time and, as a result, ordered (published in French) a stay of proceedings and charges. This is an important decision in that it deals with...
In the News
Léon Moubayed Talks to Canadian Lawyer InHouse About the Growing Threat of White-Collar Crime
Sept. 18, 2020 - In an article published this week in Canadian Lawyer InHouse, Davies partner Léon Moubayed gives his expert take on the growing prevalence of white collar crime amid the COVID-19 pandemic and on the steps that in-house counsel can take to protect their businesses. Léon points out that,...
Anti-Corruption: OECD Releases Practical Guidelines to Promote a Cultural Shift in Society and Businesses
May 27, 2020 - Preventing corruption is a day-to-day challenge that requires society as a whole to become aware of the necessity to foster a real cultural shift. Although legislation and internal policies remain essential, they are not sufficient to prevent corruption. They must be supplemented by a genuine...
Jordan Ceilings: Verdict Deliberation Time Not Included
Apr. 20, 2020 - In the landmark case of Jordan rendered in July 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) established ceilings beyond which delay from the charge to the actual or anticipated end of trial is presumed to be unreasonable and infringes section 11 (b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and...
The Quarantine Act: Beware of the Criminal Consequences for Corporations, Directors and Officers, co-author
Apr. 07, 2020 - Download this article.
Canadian Bar Association, “Search Warrants and Corporate Criminal Lawˮ; Montréal, QC
Feb. 05, 2020
Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business—White Collar Crime and Government Investigations
Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada’s Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys—40 and Under Hot List; Future Star
The Best Lawyers in Canada—Appellate Practice; Corporate and Commercial Litigation; Criminal Defence
Young Bar Association of Montréal—Civil and Commercial Litigation: Lawyer of the Year Award (2015)