Stockwoods lawyers successful in constitutional challenge to money laundering laws before the Supreme Court

Prior to her recent appointment to the Superior Court of Justice, then-Stockwoods lawyer Michal Fairburn and current lawyer Justin Safayeni represented the Criminal Lawyers’ Association (Ontario) as an intervener before the Supreme Court of Canada in Canada (Attorney General) v Federation of Law Societies of Canada, 2015 SCC 7.  This important case challenged the constitutionality of the government’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing laws, which require lawyers to keep certain records relating to their clients’ activities and permit for the warrantless searches of law offices to ensure those records are being kept.   The CLA argued that the legislation’s broad warrantless search power failed to adequately protect solicitor-client privilege, violated s. 8 of the Charter, and ought to be struck down on that basis.  In reasons released today, the Supreme Court unanimously agreed.  The CLA’s submissions on the scope of the warrantless search power were explicitly referenced and adopted by the Court in the course of its decision.  To read the Court’s decision, click here.  To read media reports on the decision, click here.