Laesha Smith



(236) 317-5567

(604) 674-9245

Laesha maintains a dispute resolution practice with a focus on regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings as well as civil and administrative litigation. She has worked extensively on investigative matters involving the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, the UK Financial Conduct Authority, UK Serious Fraud Office, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority and the British Columbia Securities Commission. Her clients have included global financial institutions with frequent international travel to represent them across multiple jurisdictions in Asia, Europe and North America. She has regularly appeared before both trial and appellate courts as well as administrative tribunals in multiple jurisdictions. Locally, her practice has continued to build upon her broad regulatory and commercial litigation experience, representing top local clients in administrative proceedings and complex commercial litigation matters. She has regularly engaged in assisting clients achieve favorable settlements in court as well as in matters under investigation by governmental agencies and authorities. 

Before joining Cozen O'Connor, Laesha was a partner at a leading litigation boutique in Canada and litigation counsel in the Enforcement Department at the British Columbia Securities Commission. Prior to that she practiced for 10 years at top international law firms in New York and London. In New York, she represented banks and foreign and domestic corporations in connection with investigations concerning securities, commodities, and insider trading offenses, as well as violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. In London, Laesha focused on contentious regulatory work and acted for financial institutions in high profile, complex regulatory investigations, both domestically and cross-border across a very broad range of regulatory issues, including market abuse, insider dealing, anti-bribery and corruption, mis-selling, fraud, regulatory reporting, and other types of systems and controls failings. She also represented senior individuals in regulatory investigations.

Laesha earned her bachelor’s degree, with honors, from Queen’s University and her law degree from McGill University.



Cozen O’Connor Reinforces International Presence with Addition of Commercial Litigator Laesha J. Smith in Vancouver

July 27, 2021

The former litigation counsel for the British Columbia Securities Commission brings to the firm a nearly two decade career focused on civil and administrative litigation and regulatory investigative litigation matters.


  • McGill University, LL.B., 2005
  • Queen's University, B.A., with honors, 2002

Awards & Honors

Benchmark Litigation Canada, Future Star

40 and Under Hot List in Canada 

  • British Columbia
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court -- Southern District of New York

Canadian Bar Association

The Advocates’ Society

American Bar Association

Canadian Bar Association of Black Lawyers

Women's White Collar Defense Association