white collar defence and government investigations  


Heightened scrutiny of corporate practices, and the increasing scope of government investigations and prosecutions are raising the importance of corporate compliance and risk management functions. McMillan’s White Collar Defence and Government Investigations group provides comprehensive support for clients seeking to prevent or responding to such investigations and prosecutions.

Our services include:

  • Representing corporations, other organizations and executives at all stages of criminal, quasi-criminal and regulatory investigations and prosecutions for all types of white collar offences including fraud, bribery and corruption, money laundering, cartels and price-fixing, insider-trading or other securities offences, economic sanctions, export/import controls and tax offences, as well as offences under health and safety, discrimination, immigration, financial services, energy, environmental and other regulatory regimes
  • Managing and defending against search warrants, inspection orders, interviews given under statutory compulsion, wiretapping orders, and other investigative actions
  • Conducting proactive internal investigations and audits into potential criminal and regulatory contraventions under the protection of solicitor-client privilege
  • Providing advice on risk management and regulatory compliance, including internal compliance systems, training, whistle-blowing, ethics  and media response-readiness programs
  • Conducting due diligence and advising on strategies to deal with foreign agents, intermediaries or other parties to commercial or M&A transactions
  • Providing advice on reputation management and defamation
  • Developing and executing government relations and communications strategies

Our team collectively has decades of investigation, enforcement, prosecution and defence experience. They include:

  • Former regulators and prosecutors, including a former General Counsel of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada who prosecuted Royal Canadian Mounted Police cases and cartels, and a former Chair of Ontario’s Market Surveillance Panel
  • Litigators with experience in criminal, civil, administrative tribunal and appellate proceedings across Canada
  • Specialists in anti-corruption, export controls, sanctions, anti-money laundering, cartels, securities, financial services, environmental, health and safety, discrimination and other regulatory regimes
  • Former senior government officials including cabinet ministers and deputy ministers with responsibilities for International Trade, Public Security, Labour, Treasury Board, Finance, and Environmental matters
  • Forensic specialists, including the current President of the Association of Certified Forensic Investigators of Canada

McMillan’s White Collar Investigations and Defence lawyers have been recognized in Chambers Canada and the Global Investigation Review’s Canadian survey. Where cross-border issues arise, we have working relationships with expert firms around the world to obtain the international assistance that our clients require.

To augment our legal services for clients facing urgent situations, McMillan has developed a full suite of Crisis Response Services:

  • Search Response Services — immediate, on-site responses to real-time investigative actions such as searches and seizures by police, the CBSA, the Competition Bureau or other authorities, as well as inspections by environmental, energy, employment and other authorities
  • Data Breach Crisis Service – rapid responses to cyber-security attacks and data breaches including dealings with regulatory agencies and other stakeholders
  • Product Recall and Regulatory Compliance Services – dealing with urgent product recall issues including regulatory requirements and other potential legal exposures
  • Document Preservation Service –  avoiding the unintentional destruction or alteration of critical records at the onset of an investigation or litigation
  • Fraud and Emergency Orders Service – isolating, assessing and alleviating acts of fraud, and initiating court applications to freeze assets (Mareva injunctions), protecting evidence (Anton Piller orders) and obtaining relevant third party documents (Norwich orders).
  • Crisis Communications Service – assisting companies with government, media and other external communications during government investigations and legal or regulatory proceedings

In addition, McMillan is uniquely positioned to provide clients under investigation with supporting government relations and communications advice and assistance through McMillan Vantage Policy Group, a national public affairs firm that assists organizations in communications with governments, regulators and the media.

  • Counsel for former officers and a director of Sino-Forest Corporation before the Ontario Securities Commission and the Ontario Divisional Court in one of Canada's largest ever securities fraud proceedings, spanning more than 180 hearing days and the related appeal
  • Defending a former officer from US $60 million in fraud and misrepresentation claims arising from a $560 million transaction in the aerospace industry
  • Representing multiple parties under investigation in, and following the Charbonneau Inquiry into private sector and government corruption and bid-rigging in the construction industry in Quebec
  • Representing a major agricultural company in settling a $33 million civil ascertained forfeiture order and criminal indictments for export permit violations for combined penalties of $50,000
  • Counsel to one of the defendants in the Competition Bureau’s investigation and prosecution of price-fixing in the chocolate confectionary industry
  • Assisting numerous US-headquartered companies and their Canadian subsidiaries with compliance issues and dealings with the Attorney General of Canada in respect of Foreign Extraterritorial Measures Act issues involving trade with Cuba
  • Legal counsel on an investigation of alleged breaches of the Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator ‘s Market Rules
  • Defending corporations and individuals faced with investigations and prosecutions arising from serious workplace injuries and fatalities
  • Reviewing and modernizing the anti-corruption compliance programs of Canadian subsidiaries of numerous large-scale, multinational corporations in various sectors, including the automotive and pharmaceuticals industries
  • Designing new global ethics and anti-corruption policies for a Canadian oil and gas company with extensive foreign operations in high risk areas
  • Charges relating to proceeds of crime, money laundering and failing to report pursuant to the Terrorist Financing Act
  • Representing clients that are under investigation by the RCMP for:
    • Alleged breaches of the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act;
    • Alleged dispositions of funds under the proceeds of crime, money-laundering and terrorist financing legislation;
  • Assisting clients to deal with debarment issues before federal and provincial procurement agencies
  • Acting as independent advisors to Public Services and Procurement Canada where a company faced suspension from government contracts as a result of corruption and fraud charges
  • Represented Volkswagen in an investigation by the Competition Bureau for fraudulent misrepresentation (settled with a consent agreement, without criminal charges being laid) and by Environment Canada and the Ontario Ministry of  Environment for alleged use of defeat devices to circumvent emissions regulation
  • Represented the mayor of a Quebec municipality who was being investigated by the Anti-Corruption Unit of the Quebec Provincial Police for fraud, bribery, collusion, and in subsequent proceedings  before the Commission of Inquiry on the Awarding and Management of Public Contracts in the Construction Industry (Charbonneau Commission)
  • Represented investors in tracing and recovering money that a fraudster took for the purposes of local development and used to improve other property in Florida, USA
  • Represented an individual who was being investigated for fraudulent representations on the internet and possession of proceeds of crime, including various matters linked to the execution of the search warrants and a successful constitutional challenge of section 11 of the Competition Act
  • Represented a Canadian mayor who was defrauded of $1.2 million by his lawyer who was funding a Ponzi Scheme
  • Represented a client that was subject to a two-week search and seizure by the RCMP regarding money laundering and related offences pursuant to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act
  • Defending a corporate officer from US $60 million in fraud claims arising from a US $560 million share sale
  • Represented a large merchant bank in prosecuting a $30 million set of claims for fraud and conspiracy arising from a failed international joint venture, including consulting with RCMP on the alleged criminal connections of the counter-parties
November 2020

Business Law and Litigation Bulletin

October 2020

Automotive Law Bulletin

September 2020

International Trade Law Bulletin

August 2020

Competition Law Bulletin

June 2020


May 2020

Securities and Capital Markets Bulletin

April 18, 2020

Employment and Advocacy; Business Law; and White Collar Bulletin

April 16, 2020

Litigation Bulletin

March 2020

Business Law Bulletin

March 25, 2020

COVID-19 Bulletin

March 23, 2020

Litigation Bulletin

March 2020

Litigation Bulletin

March 2020

International Trade Bulletin

March 2020

Litigation Bulletin

February 2020

Litigation Bulletin

January 2020

Restructuring and Insolvency Bulletin

November 2019

Restructuring Bulletin

November 2019

Marketing and Advertising Bulletin

September 2019

Litigation Bulletin

June 2019

Litigation Bulletin

May 2019

Restructuring, Litigation and Business Law Bulletin

May 2019

International Trade Bulletin

April 2019

Competition and Antitrust Bulletin

March 2019
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Securities Litigation Bulletin

December 2018

Chambers and Partners

November 2018

Regulatory Bulletin

May 2018

The Energy Law Journal, Vol. 39, No.1

March 2018
June 2017

Competition and Antitrust Bulletin

April 2017

Competition Bulletin

July 2016
Litigation/Anti-Corruption Bulletin
January 2016

Competition and Antitrust Bulletin

November 2015
International Trade Bulletin
August 2015

Procurement Bulletin

March 2015
Journal of European Competition Law & Practice (Oxford University Press), Vol. 6, Issue 3
February 2015
Canadian Privacy Law Review, Vol. 12, No. 3
February 2015
Economic Sanctions Bulletin
February 2015
Competition Bulletin
November 2014
Competition Bulletin
June 2014
The Marker, Criminal Matters Committee of the CBA National Competition Law Section
May 2014
Canadian Competition Law Review, Vol. 27, No. 1
November 2013
Competition Bulletin
November 2013
Competition Bulletin
August 2013
Competition Bulletin
August 2013

Indiana International & Comparative Law Review, Vol. 23 No.1

July 2013

Competition Bulletin

June 2013

Competition Bulletin

November 2012

Competition Bulletin