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Corporate Legal Advice and Responding to Regulatory Agencies

In some cases, a regulatory agency may receive information about a breach of the rules or regulations of your industry by you or your company. They may contact you and request more information or provide you with notice that you have been non-compliant. Regulators will often conduct regular inspections for which you receive little to no notice of. If inspectors believe that you or your company has breached one of the rules or regulations, they can issue a written warning or notice of corrective action required. If you or your company has any interactions with inspectors or investigators, you should have a plan to respond to any concerns or issues before regulatory or quasi-criminal charges are laid. Consulting with lawyers who are familiar with the rules and regulations and who understand the agencies that regulate your business is the best way to protect your business and reputation.

The proper handling of regulatory inspections and inquiries provides you and your business with an opportunity to convince the agency regulating your business not to take any action against you. Having a plan to ensure compliance to prevent enforcement action is how businesses stay ahead of the competition. Taking the time to ensure that your compliance program and policies will withstand the scrutiny of regulatory agencies is a worthwhile investment. It is equally important to ensure that your company’s management, including officers and directors, understand what is required of your business by regulators and that proper oversight and controls are in place to avoid incidents of non-compliance.

Can we be held responsible for our employees and agents behavior?

There exist provisions for vicarious liability of owners, officers, and directors of companies where their agents or employees have committed regulatory or quasi-criminal offences and they had some knowledge or involvement in those actions. There is currently a trend in Canadian regulatory law by Parliament and the regulatory agencies to sometimes pursue charges against the directors of a corporation in addition to those directly responsible for the occurrence of an offence. There are some provisions that allow for investigators to charge directors and officers with offences even if they had no knowledge or involvement in the commission of the offence. For example, there are new provisions in the Safe Food for Canadians Act that can hold officers and directors personally liable for offences whether they are involved in the offence or not.

The potential penalties that individuals and organizations can face for regulatory and quasi-criminal offences can be staggering. The Safe Food for Canadians Act has maximum penalties of $5 million and periods of imprisonment of up to 5 years. Even without a prosecution or conviction, any incident of non-compliance can devastate your business and expose individuals to significant financial penalties. The mere presence of investigators at your business can undermine your clients’ or consumer confidence in your company.  

Inspections by regulators and investigations can also cause unwelcome attention. Regulatory agencies can publish incidents of non-compliance and post prosecution bulletins. If you believe that you or your company is being investigated by a regulatory agency or that you are at risk of being inspected for non-compliance, take proactive steps to ensure that your standard operating procedures and policies are compliant and that your management is aware of its obligations to comply with the rules and regulations of your industry. Our office provides effective, strategic legal advice to officers and directors in a discreet manner that can help protect your business. There is no risk to scheduling a free consultation with our lawyers. We can help identify areas of exposure to your business. We can also help provide strategic advice to your company’s management if you are considering an expansion of operations to a new industry or you simply want to take your business to the next level. Let our lawyers help you today, by booking a free consultation.

Legal Advice for Corporations and Board of Directors

You or your business may have experts or a management team that knows your product and your industry better than anyone else. Our expertise comes from our background in dealing with regulatory and quasi-criminal offences on a regular basis. Our lawyers are well-versed with the inspection, investigation, and enforcement procedures of regulatory agencies. Sometimes, even experts need an outside opinion or assistance dealing with specific compliance-related issues. Our lawyers can help craft specific due diligence plans and procedures to ensure that your expertise and technical knowledge can be applied to the legal criteria necessary should the worst case occur, or should your company be audited, inspected, or investigated.

Schedule Your Free Legal Consultation

Seeking strategic legal advice proactively is vital. If you or your company is charged with regulatory of quasi-criminal offences, your best defence will be one of due diligence. The evidence required to demonstrate due diligence must be in place prior to the occurrence of the alleged violation. Therefore, there are significant incentives to engage in proactive compliance and ensure that policies and procedures are in place before an incident occurs. This is the only way to ensure that you have an opportunity to demonstrate due diligence. No amount of sophisticated equipment, excellent products, or stellar customer service will be sufficient to establish due diligence. Taking proactive steps to ensure compliance with your industry’s rules and regulations is good for business. Stay ahead of the competition by getting strategic legal advice from our lawyers today. Contact us to schedule a free consultation to discuss how we can help your business.

Members of The Criminal Lawyers Association, Toronto Lawyers Association, Ontario Bar Association 
and Advocates' Society.


Highly Recommend!

"I have been very pleased working with Rebecca. She worked very efficiently, professionally and cared for every step, as we went through the process with Ontario College of Pharmacists. Initially I thought I would be going through a nightmare when I received my paperwork from Ontario College of Pharmacists, but Rebecca made the process seamless and the outcome was positive. Thank-you Rebecca and I would highly recommend your excellent professional service to others."


Very Professional and Helpful

"I hired Ms Rebecca Young regarding a legal matter in October 2015. I found her and the firm to be very professional and helpful. The whole process took about one year to resolve. I followed her advice and the outcome was in my favour. I would recommend her for her professionalism, knowledge and pleasant attitude."


Excellent Advocacy. Pleased with the Outcome!

"Daniel, Thank you for your excellent work. I am pleased with the outcome. I didn’t feel ‘prosecuted’ and I believe that is due to your excellent advocacy skills and rapport with the Court."


Very Pleased with Mr. Frost’s Representation

"We were very pleased with Mr. Frost’s representation. He provided us with the best possible legal representation. He was dedicated to obtaining a tremendous resolution in what was complex litigation while being always mindful that we required a cost-effective solution."


Nothing Short of Remarkable!

"I was very grateful to have the knowledge, experience and support of Rebecca Young when I was presented with a legal issue concerning my private practice. She ensured that my own professionalism and experience were demonstrated while representing me in communication with the CRPO. In addition, she offered recommendations to improve my due diligence measures, thereby further protecting my business and reputation going forward. Thank you Rebecca."


Truly Professional, Confident & Trustworthy

"I was very happy with how Damien Frost handled my case and with what they accomplished for me. From my very first call with Rebecca, she gained my confidence and trust. She was very knowledgeable and she handled herself with true professionalism. She took the time to explain to me the process as well as her strategies so I always knew what was going on. She was always an email or a phone call away and she resolved my case to my full satisfaction."


Incredibly Supportive & Experienced

"I had an extremely positive experience working with Rebecca Young. She is so pleasant to deal with and not only provided sound counsel right from the first day but continued doing so in a manner that was clear and compassionate. Incredibly supportive and experienced team. I was kept up to date at every step and got an amazing outcome in a very short time. Highly recommend working with Rebecca!"


Instantly Put Me At Ease

Rebecca was very helpful in my particular situation. I spoke to a few lawyers before her and I can't tell you how good she was. She instantly put me at ease by telling me what I was dealing with - others had scared me a lot. She was almost my therapist whereby I would get in touch with her, send my thoughts, and get responses on what the process looked like - she was straightforward, compassionate and understanding of the situation. Great service and no fear-mongering at this company. Thank you for all your help, Rebecca!


Damien Frost & Associates LLP

1073 Bloor Street West,

Suite 1, Toronto, ON M6H 1M6

Phone: 416-923-1900

Toll Free Number: 1-800-329-3951

Fax: 1-866-235-6191