Canadian Lawyer InHouse

August/September 2020

Legal news and trends for Canadian in-house counsel and c-suite executives

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34 FEATURE AS ECONOMIC INSTABILITY and broken supply chains have arisen from the COVID-19 crisis, many companies may face an increased threat of fraud and corruption, both in Canada and globally. The focus on pandemic response has left some companies vulnerable as less attention is paid to anti-corruption efforts. "It's a mistake not to be vigilant on the anti-corruption front because these things White-collar crime a growing concern for Canadian companies Legal departments ramp up due diligence as fear of fraud and corruption increases amid pandemic come in waves," says Riyaz Dattu, a partner at Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. Dattu, who is an expert on international trade and investment law, anticipates a wave of disputes between Canadian companies and foreign governments during the next two to three years as general counsel may be less alert to these concerns during the pandemic. As many Canadian companies have mining operations in less-governed countries such as Mexico, Argentina and Venezuela, in-house counsel should pay particular attention to financial transactions with these countries, particularly in times of economic hardship, says Dattu. 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," says Dattu. In dealing with new business partners amid broken supply chains, risks inevitably increase for private companies. "From my perspective, working at a corporation and talking to in-house peers in corporations, we face risks in terms of procure- ment, and the risks have increased," says Daniel Fombonne, senior legal counsel and director of global compliance at Kinross Gold Corporation. "This is because a) you're not able to follow the same processes and protocols that you generally would in the

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