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Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP’s communications group is a leading player in telecoms and broadcasting matters, and is highlighted as ‘the first port of call for regulatory matters’ by sources. Ottawa-based Laurence Dunbar is a ‘standout specialist’ and advised Rogers Communications Canada on bringing an application against Iris Technologies at the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). Also in Ottawa, communications lead Gerald Kerr-Wilson represented a consortium of Canada’s largest cable, satellite and IPTV companies in litigation before the Copyright Board of Canada concerning retransmission copyright royalties. Ottawa’s Stephen Whitehead is also an expert in the area. Other representative clients include A&E Television Networks, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Shaw Communications.

McCarthy Tétrault’s ‘top-tier telecoms practice’ handles both regulatory and transactional matters. In a highlight example of the former, renowned Toronto-based sector experts Peter Grant and Grant Buchanan represented the National Football League, NFL International and NFL Productions in an appeal stemming from the CRTC’s decision to ban the simultaneous substitution of Canadian commercials over US commercials. On the M&A side, Buchanan is part of the team advising BCE on its C$3.9bn acquisition of Manitoba Telecom Services. Vancouver-based senior counsel Hank Intven ‘wrote the book on communications law’ and is also highly recommended. Other representative clients include the British Broadcasting Corporation, Loral Space & Communications and Corus Entertainment.

Dentons houses a comprehensive telecoms practice, which is routinely engaged by carriers, internet service providers, broadcasters and cable and satellite companies to advise on major transactional and regulatory matters. In Ottawa, Kirsten Embree is a ‘force in the market’ and is highly regarded for regulatory work, and senior counsel Gregory Kane QC is highly sought after for his ‘vast industry experience’. Yahoo! and Shaw Communications are among the firm’s key clients.

Effective and experienced’, Goodmans’ telecoms group earns praise for its ‘deep knowledge of the industry’. In particular, regulatory specialist Michael Koch is a ‘leader in his field’ and has an impressive track record in CRTC proceedings. The group also benefits from the regulatory expertise of Monique McAlister, who is particularly well versed in broadcasting matters. The firm acts for an impressive roster of major communications companies, including Bell Media, Disney ABC Cable Networks Group and Rogers Communications.

At Stikeman Elliott LLP, Ottawa-based communications chair David Elder is an acknowledged market leader and has a broad practice spanning licensing, policy matters and competitive disputes. Elder also provides support on transactional issues and advised Manitoba Telecom Services on its C$3.9bn acquisition by BCE. Ottawa-based senior counsel Lawson Hunter QC is also recommended for regulatory matters.

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP’s telecoms practice has a strong transactional emphasis, but it also has solid experience in regulatory matters. Montreal’s Sunny Handa is the key contact and advises Yellow Pages on compliance issues, notably advising it on the CRTC’s public consultation to review basic telecoms services offered in Canada. The firm also counts Asia Today, Inmarsat and XO Communications as clients.

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