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White Collar Defence and Investigations

We assist companies and individuals in managing regulatory and criminal risk through all stages - identification, mitigation and investigation, through to reporting, remediation and litigation when necessary. 

Our multidisciplinary teams deliver deep expertise in responding to regulatory and criminal risks arising in diverse areas including securities, anti-corruption, economic sanctions, export and technology transfer controls, anti-money laundering, tax, environment, and trust theft.

Addressing such risks requires seasoned investigation and litigation counsel, and specialized advisors with industry knowledge and advanced regulatory insight.

We have successfully litigated some of the most complex white-collar crime and regulatory matters in Canada. While we are known for our zealous advocacy in court and before administrative tribunals, many of our most high stakes investigations remain out of the public realm. 

With extensive experience in international matters, a national platform, and specialists in all key practice areas, we have the experience, depth and sophistication to handle the most difficult and complicated investigations. Our teams and mandates are tailored to our clients’ specific needs. We ensure that our approach is right-sized.

Through MT❯3 – our leading in-house e-discovery platform – we deliver the efficiency of cutting edge technology and a trusted data review team. By leveraging AI/machine learning tools, MT❯3 empowers us to analyse large volumes of evidence to identify critical insights quickly and reliably.  Where appropriate, our capabilities can also be efficiently leveraged through another firm innovation, MT❯Align.

" McCarthy Tétrault possesses a market-leading litigation team which is well known for its involvement in white-collar cases, particularly in its Toronto and Montréal offices. The firm's white-collar defense and investigations team is recognized for the strength of its client portfolio and for the depth of its bench, and is identified for its prevalence in anti-corruption and securities-related issues, as well as criminal competition matters, foreign corrupt practices, economic sanctions, tax evasion and insurance fraud. Its lawyers are frequently credited as a dominant force in professional discipline defense and prosecution, and known for their international reach and multi-jurisdictional capabilities. The firm's client list includes notable individuals and corporations in the finance sector, in addition to a number of Crown corporations. "

We collaborate across offices, specializations and industries to enable nimble, practical responses to clients’ needs. We frequently work closely with counsel in other jurisdictions in sensitive cross-border matters.  We have deep experience in achieving best results with Canadian authorities, and making judgments regarding clients’ best interests within the context of complex international matters. 

Recent representative matters include: 

  • Internal investigations on behalf of a diverse range of companies: a marijuana company which, beginning in 2019, has faced securities and regulatory inquiries in Canada and the U.S.; a multinational corporation addressing corruption and securities issues in relation to an asset in Africa beginning in 2017; a major financial institution responding to tax authorities, and conducting a global review, as a result of the 2016 Panama Papers; and an aerospace company with corruption exposure in Eastern Europe in 2015.
  • Successful criminal defence: in 2016 a stay of proceedings in favour of our client Benjamin Ahdoot in one of the largest insider trading cases in Canadian history; a stay of criminal price-fixing charges against our client in 2015; in 2013, the acquittal of our client Frank Dunn, the former CEO of Nortel in the most complex accounting fraud case in Canadian history.
  • Achieving results for clients before administrative tribunals, such as provincial securities commissions and professional disciplinary bodies.
  • Advice on compliance and ethics: in 2019 an independent review of compliance and ethic policies and procedures of a public company on behalf of Export Development Canada; and since 2019, advising a financial institution in connection with an international money laundering investigation.
  • Fraud investigation and recovery, and other urgent relief: frequently securing Mareva (freeze), Anton Piller (search), and Norwich (pre-claim discovery) orders on behalf of aggrieved clients, including in an anti-hacking case for Tesla Motors.