A nationally recognized leader in cybersecurity, data protection and technology law, Charles brings deep understanding of disruptive technologies, providing practical advice to help clients fully exploit the promise of innovative solutions while managing risk.
Charles is the national co-leader of McCarthy Tétrault’s Cyber/Data Group and former leader of our Technology Law group. He is President of the International Technology Lawyers Association (iTechLaw).
Charles’ practice takes a 360-degree approach to data, helping clients extract the tremendous value inherent in data, while at the same time managing the associated risks. He is a recognized thought-leader on the responsible deployment of artificial intelligence. Charles regularly serves as "breach coach" for our clients in matters of enterprise-wide risk, including on three of the largest cyber incidents in Canadian history. Charles’ practice is focused on advising many of our firm’s largest clients on their most complex commercial transactions involving IT outsourcing, systems integration, cloud, financial technologies, data security, data monetization, privacy, licensing, e-commerce and telecommunications.
As ITechLaw President, Charles has developed a worldwide network of trusted correspondent counsel that allow him to provide seamless client service around the globe, alerting clients to new developments and helping them to manage risks worldwide. He was named Montréal’s Technology “Lawyer of the Year” in the current edition of Best Lawyers in Canada and is ranked a “Global Thought Leader” regarding Data in WWL Thought Leaders Global Elite 2020 – Data.
On his Cyber/Data expertise, Clients say:
Some of his recent experience includes:
Cybersecurity, Privacy and Data Governance
- Advising Canada’s largest financial services cooperative in the wake of the largest data breach in Canadian history in the financial services sector; advising on all aspects of privacy regulatory compliance in relation to the joint investigation by the federal and Quebec privacy commissioners, as well as its privacy and cybersecurity remediation plan.
- Advising a leading Canadian health services provider in the context of the largest data breach in Canadian history (regardless of sector), advising on all aspects of breach response including interactions with affected health authorities, privacy commissioners and other affected third parties.
- Acted as breach coach in response to ransomware and data extortion incidents in a variety of industries, including automotive, retail, public sector, “assisted living” residences for seniors.
- Assisting a retail innovation foundry with the implementation of privacy by design principles in relation to a consumer behavioural analysis project involving anonymous video analytics (AVA).
- Advising a leading pharmaceutical company on developing and implementing a responsible AI governance policy.
- Assisting a leading public sector utility in developing and implementing a data anonymization policy as part of a strategic data lake project.
- Assisting a multinational railway company in relation to data governance, IT security for critical infrastructure, risk disclosures regarding positive train control (PTC), drone and satellite regulation.
- Advising a leading Canadian insurance company on big data, artificial intelligence and recent developments on insurtech regulation.
- Advising rapid growth fintech startups regarding constraints on the use of personal information, including the management of risks related to screen-scraping and the use of API.
- Assisting a multinational retailer in implementing a novel program to facilitate direct communication between sales representatives and customers via social media.
- Assisting over 30 companies with their CASL (anti-spam law) compliance efforts, including constitutional and substantive defence of CompuFinder, the first Canadian company to receive a notice of violation under CASL.
- Assisting over a dozen Canadian companies in assessing the applicability of GDPR to their business operations and implementing compliance programs.
- Advising clients on implementation of cybersecurity response readiness policies and procedures.
On technology transactions, Clients say:
- Advising Bombardier Aerospace and Bombardier Transportation in a $700 million global outsourcing project, involving implementation in 47 countries worldwide.
- Advising a global engineering company in an outsourcing project implemented in over 20 countries worldwide.
- Advising National Bank of Canada in relation to their $150 million debt issuance (with JP Morgan) with a parallel simulation of issuance using blockchain technology.
- Advising a participant in the $250 million SCALE.AI supercluster initiative to bring artificial intelligence enhanced solutions to help solve complex supply chain management challenges.
- Advising a leading financial institution in relation to procuring AI-powered cloud solutions from market leading global service providers, helping to mitigate the associated privacy and IT security risks.
- Advising a leading Canadian financial institution in negotiating a joint venture related to a digital wallet and mobile payment solution.
- Advising telecommunications regulation authorities in over 10 countries worldwide on issues such as market liberalization for mobile telephony, universal service and net neutrality.
- Advising a leading national retailer in relation to the development of a new AI-enhanced, integrated e-commerce platform, warehousing (automated pick and pack) and logistics platform to serve third-party retailers.
- Representing a financial institution during the negotiation of a fibre network build and telecommunications services outsourcing agreement.
- Assisting a leading digital and print media company negotiate an IT outsourcing agreement.
- Assisting Salesforce with their $326 million acquisition of Radian6, a social media monitoring company.
- Negotiating an offshore call centre outsourcing agreement with a leading Québec-based broadcasting and telecommunications company on behalf of an Egypt-based service provider.
- Assisting Desjardins in relation to their acquisition of the State Farm Canada insurance business.
Charles is a regular conference speaker regarding novel and innovative marketplace trends, tying recent developments in the law and his direct experience navigating these issues to provide practical insights to clients and conference participants. He has recently been an invited speaker at technology law industry conferences in Hong Kong, Stockholm, Austin and Bangalore. He has also co-authored several books including Information Technology Law — E-mail (LexisNexis Canada, 2008), Halsbury’s Laws of Canada — Communications (LexisNexis Canada, reissue 2019), Responsible AI: A Global Policy Framework (ITechLaw, 2019) and Technology Governance in a Time of Crisis (Human Technology Foundation, 2020).
Charles is a member of the Quebec Autorité des marché financier’s Technological Innovation Advisory Committee. He is a board member of the Human Technology Foundation. He is also the President of board of directors of the contemporary dance company RUBBERBAND. Charles received his BCL/LLB in 1997 from McGill University and was admitted to the Québec Bar in 1998.
Leading Lawyer: Technology - Canada
Leading Lawyer: Information Technology
The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory
Leading Lawyer: Computer & IT law; Telecommunications; and Technology Transactions
The Legal 500 - Canada
Who’s Who Legal Canada
Leading Lawyer: Telecommunication, Media and Technology
Who's Who Legal: Thought Leaders Global Elite
Best Lawyers in Canada
Leading Lawyer: Information Technology Law, Privacy and Data Security Law, Technology Law
Lexpert Special Edition - Technology
Best Lawyers in Canada
"Lawyer of the Year" in the area of Information Technology Law (Montréal)