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Clifford Sosnow Ottawa Lawyer

Clifford Sosnow *

Partner Fasken
Whether its sanctions, export controls, national security reviews or bribery and corruption at the border and beyond, companies realize they must pay extra care to each of these potentially disruptive obstacles to smooth and predictable cross-border transactions or face the real possibility of increased costs, denied investments, lost business and reputational damage.
Jurisdiction Ontario, 1987
Language(s) English, French
Office(s) Toronto, Ottawa
*practising through a professional corporation


Clifford Sosnow is co-Chair of Fasken’s International Trade and Investment Group. He is an internationally recognized trade, investment and anti-bribery law advisor, strategist and advocate. He is ranked among the best of the best, a leading trade law practitioner and at the highest level of expertise by Canadian and international directories on anti-bribery law, export/import licensing compliance, national security reviews, controlled goods requirements and audits, economic sanctions, Cuba blocking law, dumping/countervail investigations and customs issues.

Clifford is recognized as a leading trade lawyer in numerous directories including Chambers Global and Chambers Canada (Band 1), Who’s Who Legal 100, Legal 550 for International Trade, Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Litigation Lawyers in Canada, Best Lawyers in Canada, Expert Guides Best of the Best, and is recognized by Legal 500 for Public Procurement. 

"Clifford Sosnow leverages an immense depth of experience, both in government and as a private practitioner, to assist clients with a range of trade queries and issues. "

(Chambers and Partners Canada Guide 2023)


"Clifford Sosnow is a master of international trade regulation."

(Chambers and Partners Canada Guide 2022)


Clifford leverages his rankings as a leading practitioner of the highest level of expertise to provide strategic advice to corporations, governments and industry associations. He is a seasoned advocate before Canadian trade regulators, government agencies and departments, and NAFTA and WTO arbitrators, but also issues opinions on complex cross-border matters including sanctions, export control and anti-bribery law and conducts anti-bribery, export control, national security and sanctions due diligence of sophisticated, high profile and high value M&A transactions. Clifford also regularly counsels clients to minimize their enforcement risk through sanctions and export control compliance audits and the development of best practice anti-bribery and trade controls internal policies.

Clifford Sosnow has over three decades of experience in advising clients on several of the key criteria Canadian regulators examine in conducting national security reviews of proposed acquisitions. These include the transfer of sensitive technology, the involvement of Defence Production Act and other controlled goods and technology and Canada’s defence capabilities and interest. Clifford has been invited to speak at conferences on the subject and has participated in proposed acquisitions raising Canadian national security issues.

Having previously clerked at the Federal Court of Canada, acted as in-house counsel with the Department of Foreign Affairs International Trade and Development (Global Affairs Canada), and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, Clifford leverages this experience and understanding of Canadian government to minimize enforcement risk including the strategic use of voluntary disclosures and requests for sanctions permits.

Clifford is a thought leader. His acknowledged expertise has earned coverage across media and print outlets including National Public Radio, Bloomberg TV, The Globe and Mail, National Post and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. His thought leadership extends to executive positions he holds in many professional associations including the American Bar Association, the Trade Committee of the OECD business advisory committee (BIAC); the Dispute Resolution and Arbitration Committee of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to engaging in an active speaking and moderating schedule at legal and business conferences around the world, Clifford also writes extensively on international trade and bribery issues, and for the past several years sits on the Editorial board of the Kluwers Global Trade and Customs Journal.

Clifford received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond and Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee medals.


Client Work

  • Tru Tech Corporation acquired by ODL, Incorporated,
  • IAMGOLD Corporation completes sale of its interest in Rosebel Gold Mines to Zijin Mining for approximately US$360 million in cash and release of US$41 million in liabilities,
  • Motion Metrics International Corp sold for C$150 million,
  • Arsenal and Seal for Life announce acquisition of Canusa,
  • Divestiture of Ridley Terminals Inc. by Canada Development Investment Corporation on behalf of the Government of Canada for C$350,000,000,
  • Kraft Heinz Co’s C$1.62 billion sale of its Canadian natural cheese business to Parmalat SpA,
  • Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority achieves financial close Gordie Howe International Bridge Project,
  • Catalyst Capital Group US$290 million sale of its portfolio company, Therapure Biopharma,
  • Honeywell International completes acquisition of COM DEV International and spin out of exactEarth,

Career & Education


  • LLB University of New Brunswick
  • BSc, Neurobiology McGill University

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Secretary/Operations Officer, American Bar Association International Law Section
  • Vice-Chair, Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Investment and Responsible Business Conduct Committee;
  • Past Chair,  Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Trade Committee     
  • Past Co-Chair, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, International Affairs Committee
  • Editorial Board, Kluwer Law International's Global Trade and Customs Journal
  • Transparency International (Canada), Legal Committee
  • Member, Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada
  • Member, Customs and International Trade Bar Association
  • Past Chair, Canadian Bar Association, International Law Section
  • Chair Emeritus, Inter-Pacific Bar Association, International Trade Law Committee
  • Past Vice-Chair, Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters
  • Board Member, Ontario Division, Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2010-2012


Fasken Institute



Speaking Engagements


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