Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Michael Edelson practises in all areas of criminal and regulatory litigation, including corporate and white collar crime, extradition, mutual legal assistance, money laundering, federal and provincial regulatory offences, income tax evasion (as well as Excise Tax Act/GST investigations) and tobacco tax investigations.

Michael provides advice to both Canadian and foreign corporations, as well as to individual executives and directors, concerning risk assessment and management in the context of project management and contractual bidding processes. He also provides due diligence advisory services to corporations and corporate executives to ensure compliance with criminal and regulatory legislation.

Michael has defended hundreds of cases involving search and seizure issues and search warrant challenges, and maintains an expertise in the emerging area of governmental property seizure and the confiscation of property under the Civil Remedies Act. In addition to his traditional criminal law practice, he regularly provides advice to the online gaming industry.

Michael Edelson has been repeatedly voted by his peers as one of “The Best Lawyers in Canada” in the area of criminal defence.

His recent cases include the successful defence, as lead counsel, of Michael Cowpland (insider trading charges), Margaret Kemper, Ottawa Mayor Larry O’Brien (influence peddling charges) and the Canadian Red Cross. He has also recently acted for several developers and corporate executives charged under health, safety and environmental statutes. Michael also acts for the majority of police officers under criminal investigation or charged in Eastern Ontario.

Michael graduated magna cum laude from law school at the University of Ottawa in 1975. He was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1977 and was certified by the Law Society as a Specialist in Criminal Litigation in 1989.

He is a past president of the Defence Counsel Association of Ottawa, a lecturer at the Law Society of Upper Canada in their Continuing Legal Education Program and an occasional lecturer at Queens University Law School, Carleton University, Algonquin College and at the Judges of the Ontario Court and Superior Court of Justice Continuing Legal Education Programs. He is a popular lecturer at the University of Ottawa Law School where he teaches an advanced advocacy course

He was a former instructor and lecturer at the former Ontario Bar Admission Course. He was also a faculty member at Federation of Law Societies National Program in Criminal Law, the Criminal Lawyers Association and Osgoode Professional Development Courses.

Areas of Practice

  • Criminal and Regulatory Litigation
  • Corporate Liability
  • Gaming Law

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Specialist in Criminal Litigation, Law Society, 1989

Bar Admissions

  • Ontario, 1977


    • University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
      • LL.B. magna cum laude
      • Honours: Criminal Law Specialist, LSUC, 1989
      • Honours: Called to the Ontario Bar, 1975
  • Carleton University
    • B.A. – 1971


  • Lecturer, Advanced Advocacy Course, University of Ottawa Law School
  • Faculty Member, Criminal Law, Federation of Law Societies National Program
  • Faculty Member, Osgoode Professional Development Courses

Honours and Awards

  • “The Best Lawyers in Canada”

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • County of Carleton Law Association
  • Criminal Lawyers’ Association
  • American Association for Justice
  • National Association of Criminal Defence Lawyers
  • Defence Counsel Association of Ottawa, Past President
  • The Advocates’ Society