Executive Summary

BLG’s international trade and investment practice is the most senior and experienced in the country. We have earned the trust of our clients and the respect of our peers with a demonstrated track record of achieving outstanding results.

We field the largest team of partners and associates in Canada dedicated exclusively to international trade and investment matters.

Our team advises clients on all aspects of trade and investment regulation, from customs and trade remedies, to sanctions and export controls, anti-corruption, trade policy and negotiations, FTA and WTO dispute resolution and investor-state arbitration.

Customs

Our customs practice is led by partners with national and global recognition. We are go-to advisors for clients needing innovative, independent, and comprehensive solutions for critical business challenges. We help Canadian and non-resident clients manage their customs compliance needs in all industry sectors.

Our decades of experience allow us to advise clients on how to minimize their risks and maximize their opportunities. We provide practical, business-minded guidance at every step of the import process, from navigating Canada’s customs administration, to tackling complex customs valuation and transfer pricing issues, tariff classification, free trade tariff benefits, duty and tax savings opportunities such as duty drawbacks and duty relief, penalty and seizure actions, voluntary disclosures, and customs audits.

Anti-dumping, anti-subsidy & safeguards

Our trade remedies practice is valued by clients and acknowledged by our peers for the quality of our work, depth of knowledge, and superior advocacy. We have Canada’s largest group of dedicated trade remedy professionals, including lawyers and trade/accounting paralegals, with deep experience in all aspects of anti-dumping, anti-subsidy and safeguard laws. Whether dealing with the Canada Border Services Agency or litigating before the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, Canadian courts, or under international treaties, we have the depth and experience to handle the most complex trade remedy cases.

We pride ourselves on our record of success in Canada’s highest profile trade remedy cases. One of our partners has been lead counsel for exporters and importers on most of the “no injury” findings in Canada in recent years. We are tough, resourceful, and rigorous advocates who offer our clients legal and business strategies best suited to defending their interests.

Economic Sanctions & Export Controls

Global and regional rivalries, as well as national security and anti-terrorism concerns, have led to an increased use of economic sanctions and export controls by Canada and its trading partners. Our group has the experience to help clients navigate complex and overlapping sanctions and export controls on the transfer of goods, technology and payments across international borders imposed by Canadian, US, EU and other laws. We assist clients in all aspects of trade compliance from day-to-day transactional advice to permit applications, investigations and litigation.

Anti-Corruption Compliance & Investigations

Anti-corruption compliance is a key aspect of international business. International treaties and enhanced enforcement of foreign corrupt practices laws by Canadian and foreign authorities raise the stakes for companies trading and investing across borders.

Our team has the deepest experience in anti-corruption compliance and investigations in Canada. We have advised Fortune 500 companies and other leading Canadian and international businesses in the development and implementation of their global anti-corruption policies and in some of the most high-profile anti-corruption compliance matters, including government investigations by the RCMP, federal and provincial prosecutors, Canadian securities commissions, and the US Justice Department and Securities & Exchange Commission. One of our partners advised Government of Canada on the drafting of the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act and has been lead counsel in several matters before the World Bank’s Integrity Department and Sanctions Committee.

Trade Agreements & Disputes

In a volatile international trade climate, businesses need to understand the means at their disposal - domestic laws, trade agreements, trade negotiations and dispute settlement - to open new markets, maintain access to existing ones, and plan for the challenges of global competition. Our international trade team assists clients around the world to identify and deploy the right tool to achieve their market access objectives. Our clients benefit from our deep legal knowledge and strategic insight that comes from decades of experience inside government and in the private sector, at the negotiating table, in the boardroom, and in front of WTO, NAFTA, and domestic tribunals.

Investment Treaty Arbitration

When representing our clients in disputes under international trade agreements and investment treaties, our team brings together globally recognized expertise and a proven record of effective advocacy in complex litigation and arbitration. Our lawyers have worked on behalf of governments and businesses in dozens of WTO dispute settlement proceedings at the panel and appellate levels and in investment treaty arbitrations under the NAFTA and bilateral investment treaties. We also advise companies on negotiating investment agreements and structuring their cross-border investments to benefit from treaty protections.

BLG’s international trade and investment practice is the most senior and experienced in the country. We have earned the trust of our clients and the respect of our peers with a demonstrated track record of achieving outstanding results.

We field the largest team of partners and associates in Canada dedicated exclusively to international trade and investment matters.

Our team advises clients on all aspects of trade and investment regulation, from customs and trade remedies, to sanctions and export controls, anti-corruption, trade policy and negotiations, FTA and WTO dispute resolution and investor-state arbitration.

Publications

Representative Work

Members of the group have represented clients in the following matters:

Anti-Corruption

  • Multiple Canadian public and private companies in the resource, manufacturing, financial services, automotive, telecoms and technology sectors, as well as two federal Crown corporations in the design and implementation of anti-corruption compliance policies;
  • Nordion International in a voluntary disclosure to the RCMP, DOJ and SEC in connection with allegations of payments to a foreign official. The matter was terminated with a formal declination by the RCMP and a books and records settlement with the SEC.
  • Acres International Inc. in the first corruption investigation and Sanctions Committee hearing by the World Bank’s Integrity Vice Presidency;
  • A Fortune 500 company in a voluntary disclosure to the RCMP in connection with the corruption investigation of SNC-Lavalin. The client was cleared without further action.
  • A Fortune 500 company in connection with the post-closing investigation of multiple potential sanctions and foreign corrupt practices violations by an acquisition target;
  • The former president of Griffiths Energy in the RCMP investigation and prosecution of the company in relation to payments made to the Ambassador of Chad through the ambassador’s spouse;
  • A European public engineering firm in a corruption investigation by the World Bank’s Integrity Vice-Presidency;
  • A TSX and NASDAQ listed Canadian manufacturer in an internal investigation of whistleblower allegations of corrupt payments in China; 
  • A leading Canadian global manufacturer in relation to internal investigations of alleged corruption and fraud in Asia, Latin America and in Canada;
  • A TSX-listed resource company in relation to the investigation of potential corruption, sanctions and securities violations by Canadian and US authorities; 
  • A joint venture of Canadian and international companies in an internal investigation of allegations of corruption by a senior officer of the JV;
  • A TSX-listed mining company in the due diligence review of SNC-Lavalin with regard to the execution of an international EPC contract;

Sanctions & Export Controls

  • A NYSE-listed buyer and a Canadian technology target company in a pre-closing independent investigation of potential sanctions and export control violations and subsequent voluntary disclosures to the RCMP, Global Affairs Canada, CBSA as well as the US Commerce Department (BIS) and Treasury Department (OFAC). The matter was completed with no prosecution and the transaction closed.
  • A leading international investment firm in relation to a sanctions violation, voluntary disclosure and permit application to Global Affairs Canada; 
  • A Canadian oil & gas services company in an internal investigation of alleged Iran sanctions violations and related customs fraud;
  • A Canadian public company in relation to successful permit applications to Global Affairs Canada in connection with sales to a sanctioned country;
  • A Canadian engineering company with respect to the seizure by CBSA and ultimate release of turbines destined for Iran. We filed an application with the Federal Court and the matter was ultimately resolved with a consent order against the Minister of Foreign Affairs;

Procurement & PPPs

  • Several Canadian and foreign companies in disclosures to and investigations by Public Services and Procurement Canada pursuant to the Integrity Regime;
  • A Fortune 500 company in relation to internal investigations of potential integrity violations in PPP projects by its Canadian subsidiary;
  • A Fortune 500 company, as a third party to investigate and certify to Public Services and Procurement Canada that the Canadian subsidiary had no involvement in matters arising from a deferred prosecution agreement concluded by the parent company with the US DOJ and SEC;

Voluntary Disclosures

  • Several Canadian public and private companies, as well as Canadian subsidiaries of global multinationals in relation to disclosures of potential: sanctions, export controls, controlled goods and corruption violations to Export Development Canada, the Controlled Goods Program, the Export and Import Controls Bureau, Canada Border Services Agency and the RCMP.

Rankings & Recognitions

​The International Trade Group and its members are recognized in:

  • The 2019 (and since 2017) edition of The Legal 500 Canada.
  • The 2019 edition of Chambers Canada — Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business.
  • The 2019 edition of Chambers Global — The World's Leading Lawyers for Business.
  • The 2017 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada®.
  • The 2017 edition of the Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory.
  • The 2016 edition of Who's Who Legal: Canada.