White-Collar and Regulatory Defence

We defend clients in major prosecutions of criminal offences against businesses. We are counsel in the only major prosecution of an executive in a breach of a mine tailings pond – a case that has gone up to the Supreme Court of Canada, ongoing since 2015. We successfully defended one of Vancouver’s prominent real estate developers in a high-profile allegation of income and excise tax evasion.

We work hard to head off criminal prosecutions before they hit the courtroom and the headlines. We challenge search warrants, freeze orders, production orders, and other investigative actions. We protect clients in compliance reviews, audits, and inspections, ensuring they do not result in criminal prosecutions or actions against senior management.

Our experience spans a wide range of industries. We have protected clients in natural resource sectors, including mining, oil and gas, forestry, and fishing. Financial institutions depend on us to defend them against unfounded regulatory action before regulators such as securities commissions, IIROC, and the Exchange registrants. We also defend professionals and act for regulators in various sectors, including health care, real estate, and accounting.

We have deep experience in complex, multi-jurisdictional criminal prosecutions. We protect clients involved in proceedings under MLAT, extraditions, joint investigations with and requests for help from foreign criminal prosecutors and regulators, particularly the U.S. Department of Justice and Securities Exchange Commission.

Our peers have recognized our experience. We often serve as teachers and speakers at law school courses, CLE and CBA courses, and conferences. We are the organizers of the leading conference in B.C. dealing exclusively with regulatory law and white-collar criminal defence.


R. v. Banks Island Gold: We successfully protected executives in the only major prosecution of a mining company arising out of the alleged breach of a tailings facility. It is a leading case in applying the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in regulated industries and was cited by the government in reforms of the Mines branch of the provincial government.

R. v. Schouw: We successfully defended a real estate executive in multiple counts of income and excise tax allegations.

Re: F.S. Financial Services Ltd.: We fought allegations that an insurance broker had run a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme and successfully negotiated a settlement letting the company avoid fraud allegations.

R. v. Dunn: We overturned the British Columbia Securities Commission’s first use of its new freeze order provisions. There, the Commission froze our client’s assets with no evidence. The Court of Appeal overturned the Commission’s decision, establishing a new precedent and standard for the industry.

“My regulator was challenging me and threatening to impose discipline on me, on allegations I did something wrong, which I didn't. Chilwin gathered a team, including other experts, and we fought back. My regulator backed off. I stayed off the headlines, and I never faced discipline proceedings. Chilwin saved me time, money, and most important - my professional pride. All through it, Chilwin took the time to involve me in my defence and treated me with respect and decency. On top of it all, he's a great guy. With Chilwin, he solved the problem before it became a problem.”
M. Stewart, regulated professional, Vancouver, B.C.