White-collar crime is a growing concern for Canadian companies – Canadian Lawyer

Sep 21, 2020

Osler partner Riyaz Dattu tells Canadian Lawyer that while many companies are focused on their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to be “vigilant on the anti-corruption front” as well. In her article, author Lucy Saddleton explains how some companies could face a greater threat of fraud and corruption arising from the pandemic. Riyaz, a partner in Osler’s International Trade and Investment Law Group, says that he anticipates a wave of disputes between Canadian companies and foreign governments during the next few years as companies may be less alert to anti-corruption concerns during the pandemic.

“It’s a mistake not to be vigilant on the anti-corruption front because these things come in waves,” Riyaz tells Canadian Lawyer.

Riyaz also tells Canadian Lawyer that as many Canadian companies have mining operations in less-governed countries, “in-house counsel should pay particular attention to financial transactions with these countries, particularly in times of economic hardship.” He advises in-house counsel to “go back after the crisis period is over, to examine potential fraud and payments that could be construed as bribes.”

“Changes in intermediaries, suppliers, etc., could give rise to violation of economic sanctions and export control rules not only with the PPE supplies but the very goods that the company is in the business of importing or exporting,” Riyaz tells Canadian Lawyer.

For more information, read author Lucy Saddleton’s article “White-collar crime is a growing concern for Canadian companies” in Canadian Lawyer.