White Collar Criminal Defence

White Collar Criminal Defence and Corporate Investigations

Criminal investigations, enforcement and regulatory proceedings are defining moments for individuals and organizations alike. That’s why you need the standout criminal trial and appellate experience of BLG’s white collar criminal defence and corporate investigations team.

We’ve been counsel in some of the most notable white collar cases in recent Canadian history, including the successful defence, on appeal, of R. v. Barra — called a “landmark bribery case” by the Globe and Mail. Our recent defence work includes Canada’s first publicized tax evasion investigation to arise from the leak of the Panama Papers, several major cartel investigations and many high-profile Ontario Securities Commission investigations and enforcement actions.

Our pedigree goes back more than four decades to icons like The Honourable Dennis O’Connor. Today’s superstars include Graeme Hamilton, who is described by Chambers Canada as “both a technician and a strategist” with “an impressive courtroom pedigree” and Caitlin Sainsbury, who has been recognized as a Litigation Star by Benchmark since 2018. The team has been ranked Band 3 by Chambers since 2020 for our “prominent” practice in securities, sanctions breaches, tax evasion, anti-corruption and defence of individuals.

Savvy crisis management, strategic preparation, speedy resolution and absolute discretion are the hallmarks of our approach. We work tirelessly to anticipate the issues and safeguard our clients’ interests and reputation.

Our white collar criminal defence and corporate investigations team has expertise in:

  • Accounting fraud
  • Asset forfeiture proceedings
  • Bribery
  • Contempt
  • Criminal appeals
  • Criminal Competition Act violations
  • Cybercrime
  • Debarment
  • Environmental violations
  • Export control and other customs violations
  • Health and safety violations
  • Health care fraud
  • Insider trading
  • Internal investigations
  • Market manipulation
  • Money laundering
  • Obstruction of justice
  • Public corruption
  • Sanctions violations
  • Securities fraud
  • Tax violations



  • Counsel to a leading cryptocurrency exchange in its constitutional challenge of the Ontario Securities Commission under Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This was one of the first challenges of its kind since the Securities Act was amended in Ontario and one of the highest profile white collar cases in Canada in 2023.
  • Successfully defended a U.K.-based national in a landmark prosecution (R. v Barra) that clarified the mens rea for bribery under Canada’s Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act. This six-year-long precedent-setting case, successfully defended on appeal, resulted in five reported CanLII decisions and was one of the first cases to test the Jordan threshold for delay in a white collar prosecution.
  • Counsel to an investment management company that had discovered that millions of dollars it invested on behalf of one of its clients could be considered proceeds of crime under the Criminal Code. This multijurisdictional case is likely the first instance of a financial services company applying to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice for direction on the ongoing handling of its funds.
  • Acted for a multinational defence contractor in a critical health and safety matter. Because the charges were withdrawn on the eve of trial, the case never hit the press.
  • Acted for the audit committee of a publicly listed technology company in an internal investigation.
  • Represented an individual target and various related closely held corporations in the first publicized tax evasion investigation to arise in Canada from the leak of the Panama Papers.
  • Conducted a two-year internal investigation for a mining company regarding insider trading and violations of the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act.
  • Successfully acted for high profile corporate defendants in multiple cartel investigations across diverse sectors, including defending a client in a Canadian Competition Bureau investigation concerning alleged price fixing in the Québec retail gas sector.
  • Counsel to a leading cryptocurrency exchange in a certiorari application by the Attorney General for Ontario to compel the Provincial Court to grant a previously denied general warrant to Durham Regional Police Service. Using the general warrant, the police had planned to seize cryptocurrency held on the exchange.
  • Represented six York Regional police officers, including the Chief of Police, facing a private prosecution for offences under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. For this case, we successfully applied for certiorari to challenge a disclosure order against our clients made by a Justice of the Peace before the charges were withdrawn.
  • Acted for an intervenor before the Supreme Court of Canada in World Bank Group v. Wallace, which pertained to compelled third party production in a Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act prosecution.
  • Represented a Canadian bank-owned securities dealer in an internal investigation and regulatory investigation into the collapse of the asset-backed commercial paper market.
  • Special counsel to the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada in relation to market manipulation proceedings.
  • Represented a Canadian bank-owned securities dealer in an internal investigation and subsequent OSC no-contest settlement regarding allegations of control and supervision inadequacies regarding customer fees.
  • Acted for the former CFO of Home Capital Group in Ontario Securities Commission enforcement proceedings and related class action proceedings.

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