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.
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.
Acting for various institutions and corporations in connection with investigations and charges relating to white-collar crime and regulatory offences.
Estate of Paul G. Desmarais
Acted for the estate of 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 on a challenge of search warrants and communication orders issued by a judge and executed in multiple locations by the Agence du revenu du Québec as part of the Permanent Anti-Corruption Unit of Québec.
Acting on behalf of Canadian interests in an international cross-border, white collar investigation leading to multiple charges.
Acting on behalf of confidential clients in a challenge of multiple search warrants executed in multiple locations by the Québec's Revenue Agency.
Acting for a confidential client, as an innocent third party in an investigation, led by the Québec's permanent anti-corruption unit (PACU).
Acting for various confidential clients in the context of criminal charges for tax evasion.
Acting for various confidential clients in the context of penal prosecutions under tax Acts.
Acted for a large Canadian-based international company in the context of a federal criminal investigation on allegations of tax evasion and a tax investigation.
Tax Fraud Charges: Jordan Stay of Proceedings Ordered Due to Unreasonable Delay
Sept. 04, 2019 - In a recent decision, the Court of Québec (Court) held that section 11b of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees that any person charged with an offence has the right to be tried within a reasonable time, had been infringed.1 It ordered a stay of proceedings in...
Revenu Québec May Seize Records Relating to Accounts Held Outside Québec by Banks Operating in Québec
July 09, 2019 - The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed the appeal of 1068754 Alberta Ltd. (Alberta Ltd.) against a judgment rendered by the Court of Appeal of Québec, which in turn had upheld the decision rendered by the Superior Court. The appeal originated from Alberta Ltd. ’s contestation of a formal demand...
Search Warrants: Misleading the Court Compromises the Integrity of the Process
May 02, 2019 - The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) in Agence du revenu du Québec v 9229-0188 Québec inc. has dismissed an application for leave to appeal filed by Revenu Québec (RQ), acting as part of the Permanent Anti-Corruption Unit of Québec. In doing so, the SCC leaves intact the action brought by...
Search Warrants: Investigators’ Good Faith Cannot Always Be Presumed
Apr. 25, 2019 - In Demers c R, 2019 QCCA 518, the Court of Appeal of Québec acquitted the appellant, who had previously been convicted by the Court of Québec on the basis of evidence obtained as a result of an illegal search and seizure. The Court of Appeal held that, when the affidavit filed to support...
OECD Report Highlights Use of Non-Trial Resolutions to Combat Foreign Bribery Cases
Apr. 11, 2019 - The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recently released a report titled “Resolving Foreign Bribery Cases with Non-Trial Resolutions” at its annual Global Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum in Paris. According to the report, non-trial resolution mechanisms have become...
Canadian Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act: Two Additional Convictions in the Cryptometrics Saga
Mar. 27, 2019 - Two individuals were recently sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment after being convicted of agreeing to bribe a foreign public official, under the Canadian Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (Act).1 These are the second and third convictions under the Act following a trial. In all...
Court of Appeal Expands the Range of Fundamental Rights of Legal Persons
Mar. 18, 2019 - In a judgment rendered on March 4, 2019 in 9147-0732 Québec Inc. c. Directeur des poursuites criminelles, 2019 QCCA 373, the Court of Appeal of Québec ruled for the first time on whether legal persons can avail themselves of the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment...
Québec Proposes Better Protection for Whistleblowers – Are We Allowing Disclosure in the Media to Get Out of Hand?
Dec. 07, 2015 - On December 2, 2015, one week after the final report of the Commission of Inquiry on the Awarding and Management of Public Contracts in the Construction Industry (commonly known as the “Charbonneau Commission”) was tabled, the National Assembly introduced Bill 87, titled An Act to facilitate...
Québec’s New Code of Civil Procedure – Highlights and Preliminary Comments
Feb. 21, 2014 - On February 20, 2014, the Québec National Assembly unanimously adopted Bill 28 establishing the new Code of Civil Procedure, which will eventually replace the current Code. The Bill, introduced on April 30, 2013, is the result of extensive reform initiated almost 15 years ago by...
Canadian Association of Paralegals, 2012 annual conference, “Code of Civil Procedure Reform”; Montréal, QC
June 15, 2012