Lawyer, Partner - Montréal
Sean Griffin is a partner and head of the litigation group at Langlois Lawyers’ Montréal office, in addition to being a member of the firm’s Board of Directors.
His practice focuses on complex litigation involving constitutional, administrative and commercial law issues, as well as corporate and securities matters. With recognized expertise in defending public and private corporations, financial institutions and various entities active in the financial markets, including their directors and officers, Sean represents his clientele in a wide variety of civil and statutory proceedings, including class actions and regulatory investigations.
He also acts as strategic advisor to a number of clients on issues involving governance and regulatory compliance.
Sean appears before all levels of the courts, and also represents his clients in the context of regulatory investigations undertaken by authorities such as the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and Quebec’s Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF).
A sought-after conference speaker, Sean frequently gives presentations on current issues involving commercial litigation, managing complex litigation files and litigation risk, governance, class actions and regulatory and internal investigations.
LL.B., Civil Law, Laval University, 2006
Legal studies – Université Panthéon-Assas, Paris II, France, 2005
Master’s level studies – Philosophy – Laval University, 2003
Master’s level studies – Philosophy – St-Joseph University, Beirut, Lebanon, 2002
Double major, Literature and Philosophy – McGill University (B.A.), 2000
Rankings & Recognitions
Areas of Practice
- Administrative Law
- Anti-Corruption and Regulatory Crisis Intervention
- Banking Litigation
- Business Law
- Class Actions
- Commercial Litigation
- Financial Institution Regulation
- Financial Institutions and Financial Services Law
- Regulation, Compliance, and Regulatory Investigation (AMF, Superintendent of Financial Institutions, Financial Consumer Agency of Canada)
- Regulatory Investigations
- Securities Litigation
Victory for a Langlois Client at the Supreme Court of Canada
Langlois Lawyers’ Appellate Advocacy Group acted as advisory counsel to the appellant in a significant decision regarding banking and fraud law rendered by the Supreme Court of Canada in Teva Canada Ltd. v. TD Canada Trust.
Sean’s recent experience includes acting on behalf of:
The CFO of a public issuer in the context of a multijurisdictional class action commenced under the provincial securities statutes alleging false and/or misleading representations on the secondary market.
A Canadian financial institution in connection with a multijurisdictional class action alleging collusion and anti-competitive practices in the credit card industry.
An insurance company in a class action alleging negligence in managing and structuring financial products and false and/or misleading representations in connection with their distribution.
Several entities of a major financial group in a class action alleging negligence in managing and structuring guaranteed-capital products and false and/or misleading representations in connection with their distribution.
A professional association in a class action involving the alleged contravention of a government decree.
A financial institution in a class action involving hypothecary payment indemnities.
The auditors of a reporting issuer in connection with securities class actions alleging false and/or misleading representations on the primary and secondary markets.
A former director and officer of an insurance company in a securities class action alleging false and/or misleading representations on the secondary market.
The directors and officers of a TSX-listed biotechnology company in a class action alleging breaches of their civil and statutory obligations to shareholders.
Regulatory and internal investigations
The controller of a reporting issuer in connection with an internal investigation by the board of directors into the overseas operations of the issuer.
A private European multinational corporation in connection with an internal investigation involving compliance issues.
The chief technology officer of a reporting issuer in the mining industry in connection with an investigation by the AMF into suspected tipping and insider trading.
A private U.S. investment fund and its representatives in connection with a trans-border regulatory investigation undertaken by the AMF.
A senior officer of a reporting issuer in connection with a regulatory investigation undertaken by the AMF.
The chief executive officer of a reporting issuer in connection with a regulatory investigation undertaken by the AMF.
Several individuals in connection with a regulatory investigation undertaken by the AMF pursuant to allegations of insider trading and tipping.
A full service brokerage in connection with a regulatory investigation undertaken by IIROC.
Several registered representatives in connection with a number of investigations undertaken by IIROC.
A full service brokerage in connection with a regulatory investigation undertaken by the Montréal Exchange.
Major constitutional litigation cases
Before the Quebec Superior Court and Court of Appeal, in a matter involving a transhipment and port terminals operator and an agent of the federal Crown in a constitutional dispute over the applicability of a provincial environmental protection regime to federal property and to navigation and port operations.
Before the Quebec Court of Appeal, on behalf of the judges of the Superior Court of Quebec, in connection with a reference on the jurisdiction of the civil division of the Court of Québec.
Dying with Dignity Canada and the Association québécoise pour le droit de mourir dans la dignité in a constitutional challenge of Bill C-14 limiting medical assistance in dying, despite the Supreme Court of Canada’s Carter decision.
Commercial and corporate litigation cases
An air-conditioning and air-treatment company in litigation involving the breach of non-solicitation and non-compete clauses.
A Crown corporation in connection with disciplinary proceedings against a former employee.
A financial and risk management consultant in a commercial arbitration regarding investments in offshore accounts and offshore funds of hedge funds.
A major telecommunications company in connection with claims totalling millions of dollars and injunctive proceedings to stop the piracy of satellite television signals.
A private corporation and its directors and officers in connection with an oppression remedy.
A self-regulating body in the securities industry, before the Quebec Court of Appeal, in a matter concerning the extent of the body’s powers over its members.
A full service brokerage in a dispute before the Quebec Court of Appeal involving the suitability and monitoring of foreign investments.
- 2020 – Class actions: Supreme Court of Canada upholds the status quo over authorization criteria in Quebec
- 2020 – Investigations under the Business Corporations Act and their findings: No backtracking, according to the Superior Court
- 2020 – Prohibiting genetic discrimination: a valid criminal law subject, according to the Supreme Court of Canada
- 2020 – Preventing visual pollution and valid constitutional limits on freedom of expression
- 2020 – International jurisdiction of Quebec courts in matters of contractual interpretation: the Court of Appeal rules
- 2020 – To launch, or not to launch, an internal investigation during the COVID-19 crisis: that might be a question
- 2020 – IIROC issues Notice 20-0063 regarding COVID-19 related exemptions from IIROC Rules
- 2020 – Crisis management and the heightened risk of insider trading and tipping
- 2020 – COVID-19: Order in Council 223-2020 on essential services and the legal risks of noncompliance
- 2019 – The Right to Die with Dignity: The Quebec Superior Court Rules
- 2018 – Wearing a Hijab in Quebec Courtrooms
- 2018 – The Supreme Court Rules on the Duty to Consult First Nations During the Legislative Process
- 2018 – Governance in the Era of the #Metoo Movement: an Overdue Wake-up Call
- 2018 – Not Just a “Beer Case” : The Supreme Court Confirms the Constitutionality of Certain Provincial Non-Tariff Trade Barriers
- 2018 – Corporate Responsibility: What Happens Abroad Doesn’t Stay There
- 2018 – The Court of Appeal Limits the Disclosure of Documents Prior to the Authorization of a Class Action Instituted Under the Securities Act
- 2017 – Cheque Fraud: In 5-4 Split, the SCC Upholds and Refines Existing Defences to Conversion Claims Under the Bills of Exchange Act
- 2017 – OSC Decision in Token Funder Inc. Initial Coin Offering: Is Canada Finally Becoming an ICO-Friendly Jurisdiction?
- 2017 – The Comeau Case: Are We Headed for Liberalized Interprovincial Trade in Canada? The Supreme Court Will Soon Decide.
- 2017 – Disclosure of Documents in Class Actions at the Pre-Authorization Stage Under the QSA
- 2016 – Spring Loading Recognized as an Offence Under the QSA in Québec
- 2021 – Sean Griffin appointed Head of Langlois Lawyers’ litigation group
- 2020 – Canadian Law Awards 2020
- 2018 – Langlois Hosts an Exclusive Conference by the Montreal Exchange
- 2018 – Véronique Roy and Sean Griffin Publish a Case Comment on Gun Control
- 2017 – Medical Assistance in Dying: Langlois Represents Dying With Dignity Canada (DWDC) and the Association québécoise pour le droit de mourir dans la dignité (AQDMD)
- 2017 – Sean Griffin and Daniel Baum publish an article in InHouse magazine on Canadian courts’ jurisdiction over multinationals’ conduct aboard
- 2016 – An Ace Litigator Joins Langlois
Co-author with Véronique Roy, “Commentaire sur la décision Veer c. Boardwalk Real Estate Investment Trust – La compétence exclusive de la Régie du logement” (Veer v. Boardwalk Real Estate Investment Trust – The exclusive jurisdiction of Quebec’s rental board), Repères, EYB2019REP2826, September 2019.
Co-author with Véronique Roy, “Commentaire sur la décision Association canadienne pour les armes à feu c. Procureure générale du Québec – Le contrôle des armes à feu qualifié sous l’angle de sécurité publique au Québec” (Association canadienne pour les armes à feu v. Procureure générale du Québec – Firearms control in Quebec considered from the standpoint of public security), Repères, EYB2019REP2825, August 2019.
Coauthor with Véronique Roy, “Commentaire sur la décision R. c. Comeau – La Cour suprême confirme le précédent de l’arrêt Gold Seal, 100 ans plus tard” (Case comment on R. v. Comeau – the Supreme Court confirms the Gold Seal precedent, 100 years on), Repères, EYB2018REP2477, June 2018.
Coauthor with Véronique Roy, “Commentaire sur la décision Association canadienne pour les armes à feu c. Procureure générale du Québec – Un débat constitutionnel à plusieurs facettes : à qui revient le pouvoir de légiférer quant au contrôle des armes à feu ?” (Case comment on Association canadienne pour les armes à feu v. Procureure générale du Québec – A multi-facetted constitutional debate: which jurisdiction has the power to legislate on gun control?), Repères, EYB2018REP2413, February 2018.
Coauthor with Daniel Baum, “Corporate responsibility: What happens abroad doesn’t stay there”, The Lawyer’s Daily, February 15, 2018.
Coauthor with Vincent de l’Étoile, “L’action collective n’altère pas la nécessaire démonstration du lien de causalité” (Class Action Proceedings Not Altering the Need to Prove Causation), La Référence, Yvon Blais Editions, EYB2017REP2106, January 2017.
Coauthor, “Class action proceedings not authorised against financial market participants: it’s not because it is complicated that the threshold is lower”, January 26, 2016.
“Annoying Ain’t Enough: Moral Damages in the Context of Security or Data Breaches”, November 16, 2015.
Coauthor, “The need for a legal ground to stand on: a shareholders class action is dismissed at the authorization stage for failure to meet article 1003 b) C.C.P. (Groupe d’action d’investisseurs dans Biosyntech v. Tsang, 2015 QCCS 3265)”, August 17, 2015.
Coauthor, “Proposed Class Action Misses its ‘Target’ in Quebec”, April 17, 2015.
Coauthor, “On Market Manipulation – the Case of Thalbinder Singh Poonian et al.”, 2014 BCSECCOM 318”, February 25, 2015.
Coauthor, “Mere Compliance With Privacy Requirements by Corporations May No Longer Be Enough”, February 25, 2015.
Coauthor, “PHIPA Does Not Preclude the Recourse to Common Law for Health Privacy Violations”, February 25, 2015.
Coauthor, “Bill C-13: Lawful Access and the Relationship Between Organizations, Cyber-bullying and the Protection of Privacy Rights”, February 25, 2015.
Coauthor, “Summary of Société Financière Manuvie v. Dominic D’Alessandro and others”, December 23, 2014.
Coauthor, “Cybersecurity Governance and D&O Liability”, December 22, 2014.
“Technologies et commerce de détail : pensez cybersécurité ” (Technology and the retail business: think cyber-security), info-letter to the Conseil Québécois du Commerce de détail, December 2014.
Coauthor, “Le bureau de décision et de révision conclut que Jean Lamarre n’a pas refilé d’information privilégiée” (The Decision and Review Board decides that Jean Lamarre did not pass on insider information), November 4, 2014.
Coauthor, “Le ‘Top Ten’ en droit des affaires” (The Top Ten in Business Law), Développements récents en droit des affaires, Éditions Yvon Blais, November 2014.
Coauthor, “Interim Injunctive Relief Against Google as a Tool to Enforce Intellectual Property Rights Worldwide”, July 4, 2014.
Coauthor, “Proactive Monitoring: Lack of Employee Oversight Leads to the Certification of the first Privacy Class Action based on the novel tort of “intrusion upon seclusion”, June 23, 2014.
Coauthor, “Privacy Breaches: Statutory Torts of British Columbia’s Privacy Act Override Forum Selection Clauses”, June 9, 2014.
Coauthor, “The interplay between Class Actions and related proceedings”, Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada, January 2014.
Coauthor of the article “L’affaire Coventree : retour sur les principes applicables lors de la détermination de l’occurrence d’un changement important” (The Coventree decision: a review of the applicable principles for determining whether a material change has occurred), November 2013.
- 2018 – The Montreal Exchange: A Self-Regulating Organization
- 2018 – The Obligations of Directors and Officers in the Era of Zero Tolerance for Harassment: Legal Risks and Reputational Issues
2019 – Presenter and Organizer, “It’s Been a Privilege: Recent Developments on Litigation Privilege in the Context of Internal Investigations”, Recent developments in internal and regulatory investigations, Quebec Bar, April 12, 2019, Montréal.
2015 – Presentation on regulatory and internal investigations to the lawyers and compliance team members of a Canadian financial institution, November 2015
2015 – Presentation on regulatory and internal investigations at an annual conference on labour law, November 28, 2015
2015 – Presentation on governance and cybersecurity to the lawyers and compliance team members of a Canadian rail transportation company, June 2015
2015 – Presentation on the most significant commercial litigation decisions in 2014, at the annual convention of the Quebec Bar, June 12, 2015
2015 – Presentation on governance and cybersecurity to the members of the Association of Corporate Counsels, June 2015
2015 – Presentation on regulatory and internal investigations at the annual meeting of a Canadian insurance company, May 2015
2015 – Presentation on governance and cybersecurity to the lawyers and compliance team members of a Canadian financial institution, May 2015
2015 – Presentation on governance, crisis management and cybersecurity to over 150 lawyers of a Canadian insurance company (annual international conference), May 2015
2015 – Presentation on governance and cybersecurity to the lawyers and compliance team members of the largest cooperative group in Canada, May 2015
2009-2011, 2013 – Participated in the Grand Défi Pierre Lavoie 1,000 km cycling marathon