The practice at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP is well-equipped to handle advisory and contentious competition law matters, and is routinely retained by domestic and international companies seeking assistance with merger reviews, cartel investigations, abuse of dominance cases and competition law class actions. Toronto-based practice co-heads Navin Joneja and Julie Soloway demonstrate across-the-board experience in competition matters; Joneja previously chaired the Canadian Bar Association’s national competition law section, while Soloway has held a leadership position in the American Bar Association’s antitrust section for over a decade. Additional key partner-level figures include Brian Facey, Randall Hofley, Robert Kwinter, Kevin MacDonald and Cassandra Brown for their expertise in mergers, litigation and foreign investment matters. The group was strengthened with the arrival of partner Jonathan Bitran, previously at McCarthy Tétrault, in August 2023.
Competition and antitrust in Canada
Julie Soloway; Navin Joneja
Royal Bank of Canada
SECURE Energy Services
- Acted as Canadian competition counsel to VMware in connection with its acquisition by Broadcom for $61bn.
- Advised Royal Bank of Canada on its $13.5bn acquisition of HSBC Bank Canada.
- Advised Superior Plus on its $1.05bn acquisition of Certarus.
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP‘s practice is well-regarded for the counsel and representation it provides, covering the full spectrum of competition and foreign investment review law. The ‘knowledgeable, proactive and responsive‘ team is particularly at home advising on mergers involving the logistics, manufacturing, energy, retail and telecoms segments. Criminal cartel investigations and competition class action proceedings are additional core strengths of the group. ‘Exceptional’ practice co-head Anita Banicevic is roundly lauded by clients for her ‘depth of knowledge, good judgment and pragmatic business sense’ and specializes in cross-border transactions, merger review and investigations. Co-leading alongside her, John Bodrug majors on mergers, competitor collaborations, and distribution and advertising litigation. Sandra Forbes, Elisa Kearney and Jim Dinning are additional key department figures. Partner George Addy retired, effective August 2022.
John Bodrug; Anita Banicevic
‘Anita Banicevic and the team supporting her are very strong and pragmatic. They were able to deliver services in a cost-effective manner, while monitoring all aspects at the partner level. The associates also provided leverage, as the needs were too great for one lawyer to shoulder alone.’
‘Anita Banicevic is an exceptional competition lawyer. She meshes unbelievable depth of knowledge, good judgment and instincts, and pragmatic business sense to give advice.’
‘Solid all around team, in terms of mergers, litigation and tribunal experience. Good blend of very senior statespeople and reliable up-and-comers.’
The Blackstone Group
Agnico Eagle Mines
The Canadian Real Estate Association
Keurig Dr Pepper
Apollo Global Management
Knighthead Capital Management
New Look Vision Group
Generac Power Systems
- Acted for Shaw Communications in the acquisition by Rogers Communications of all of Shaw’s issued and outstanding Class A and Class B shares in a transaction valued at approximately $26bn.
- Acted for Alimentation Couche-Tard both in its acquisition of Cape D’Or Holdings and Barrington Terminals, which operate an independent convenience store and fuel network in Atlantic Canada under the Esso, Wilsons Gas Stops and Go! Store brands.
- Acted as lead transaction and tax counsel to Apotex Pharmaceutical Holdings in its sale to SK Capital Partners.
The practice at McCarthy Tétrault is best known for expertise in merger, joint venture and foreign investment review. The group is well-versed in handling civil and criminal cartel investigations, as well as class actions. At the helm of the department, leading figure Jason Gudofsky focuses his practice on merger review, risk assessments and guiding corporate clients through investigations conducted by the Canadian Competition Bureau. Additional key partners at the Toronto office include Oliver Borgers and Debbie Salzberger, who focus on domestic and multinational merger review, as well as Casey Halladay, who majors on cartels and contentious matters. At the Montreal office, Dominic Thérien‘s practice encompasses merger and joint venture review, and criminal cartel and bid-rigging investigations. Donald Houston and Jonathan Bitran left the firm in January 2023.
‘Dominic Thérien is a real professional – very up to date in his field. He’s available and all his documents and work are perfectly done. He’s able to find solutions and to properly explain the risks associated with the decisions made.’
‘Dominic Thérien is very down to earth, and his explanations are easy to understand. We can see he has dealt with similar files before, so he can easily address our concerns.’
‘Jason Gudofsky and Debbie Salzberger are the go-to M&A antitrust team in Canada. They are commercially efficient, responsive and out-of-the-box thinkers.’
‘The McCarthy Tetrault competition and antitrust team is the best in Canada. They work with us on the most complex and ‘bet the company’ antitrust matters. They work seamlessly with the global team on all types of antitrust matters. They are very sophisticated, business-friendly and great advocates.’
‘Jason Gudofsky is the best competition lawyer in Canada. Casey Halladay is a great lawyer and very good with clients.’
Grieg Seafood ASA
Summit Industrial Income REIT
Square Enix Holdings
Stikeman Elliott LLP
Stikeman Elliott LLP‘s expertise covers the full range of competition matters, namely merger review, criminal investigations, class actions, competitor collaborations and abuse of dominance cases. Toronto-based practice head Michael Kilby specializes in merger review, foreign investment approvals, national security reviews, pricing and distribution practices, misleading advertising and anti-corruption matters. Senior partner Katherine Kay‘s practice covers commercial litigation and has a particular focus on the interplay between regulatory, civil and criminal law regimes. Senior associate David Feldman is highly active on the review of transactions under the Competition Act and, along with senior associate Peter Flynn, under the Investment Canada Act. The team was recently strengthened by the arrival of associate Justine Reisler, previously at Fasken.
Other key lawyers:
Katherine Kay; David Feldman; Peter Flynn
Empire Company / Sobeys
Canadian National Railway Company
The practice at Bennett Jones LLP demonstrates skill in both merger review and competition litigation. The group is co-directed by Washington, D.C.-based former Commissioner of Competition Melanie Aitken, who specializes in litigation, and global antitrust and competition law. Alongside her, noted litigator Randal Hughes co-leads from Toronto. Additional key partner-level names to note include Adam Kalbfleisch, who is experienced in foreign investment review and regulatory matters; and litigator Emrys Davis, who has focused his practice on criminal and civil investigations, in addition to class action defence.
Melanie L. Aitken; Randal Hughes
Other key lawyers:
Adam Kalbfleisch; Emrys Davis
British Columbia Investment Management Corporation
Broadridge Financial Solutions
Canadian Pacific Railway
Gibson Energy ULC
JP Morgan Chase & Co.
The Nielsen Company and NielsenIQ
Premier Gold Mines
Premium Brands Holdings
Riverstone Holdings LLC
Tempur Sealy International
Total Energy Services
- Acted for Quebecor and its subsidiary Videotron in connection with the Competition Bureau’s application to block Rogers Communications’s $26bn acquisition of Shaw Communications.
- Acted for Alleghany Corporation and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, as Canadian competition counsel, in the $11.6bn acquisition of Alleghany by Berkshire Hathaway.
- Acted for Pharmascience, Aurobindo Pharma USA, Auro Pharma and Dr. Reddys in a generic pharmaceuticals price-fixing conspiracy class action.
The practice at Fasken has experience in the range of Canadian competition law matters, encompassing merger control, unilateral conduct, pricing and distribution, and consumer protection mandates. The group also represents clients from the pharmaceuticals, retail, logistics and mining segments in litigation. The department is co-directed by a pair of Toronto-based partners, comprising Huy Do, who leads on merger control matters and abuse of dominance investigations; and Antonio Di Domenico, who majors on merger reviews, civil and criminal investigations and class action litigations. Chris Margison has experience assisting transport, cannabis, financial, food and retail-sector clients with competition matters.
Huy Do; Antonio Di Domenico
Other key lawyers:
McDonald’s Restaurant of Canada
HomeLife Realty Services
Student Transportation of America
Mavrck (a trading identity of Clout.io Holdings)
Intertape Polymer Group
Traction Sales and Marketing (Traction on Demand)
Nomad Royalty Company
BaseCore Metals LP
Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario
PACE Savings & Credit Union
Canadian Beverage Association
- Advised Uni-Select, a leader in the distribution of automotive coatings and aftermarket parts in North America and the UK, on its definitive agreement to be purchased by LKQ, the international US-based automobile parts supplier.
- Represented Intertape Polymer Group, involved in the production and sale of paper, film, tape and other packaging products, in its sale to an affiliate of US-based private equity firm Clearlake Capital Group for C$3.3bn.
- Defended Sandoz in a $2.75bn class action in respect of an alleged industry-wide conspiracy to allocate market for generic drugs and to fix the prices of generic drugs.
The group at Goodmans LLP advises on a range of competition law matters, including Competition Act merger reviews, issues arising from the Investment Canada Act and litigation. Practice head David Rosner leads from Toronto and handles the gamut of competition matters, with a particular focus on complex mergers involving regulated industries and multiple jurisdictions. The name to note at the associate level is that of Josh Zelikovitz, who supports the partners on mergers, behavioural matters and corporate compliance.
Other key lawyers:
‘There is great depth on the regulatory team. There is always a full team available.’
‘There is Competition Bureau expertise on the team.’
‘The team worked hard to understand our business and its needs when working with the regulators. Strong technical skills were on display, as well as the ability to take large amounts of data and find compelling ways to use it for the benefit of executing the transaction.’
Newmont Mining Corporation
Berkshire Partners LLC
Vancouver Airport Authority
Uber Canada Inc. and Uber Freight Holding
BDT Capital Partners
- Advised Rogers Communications on its C$26bn acquisition of Shaw Communications.
- Advised WestJet Airlines on its acquisition of Sunwing Airlines and Sunwing Vacations.
- Advised Newmont Mining on its $17.5bn acquisition of Newcrest Mining.
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
The team at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP is regularly called upon to handle Competition Act merger reviews, issues arising from the Investment Canada Act, civil investigations, criminal matters and class actions. The group has notable experience in the foreign investment arena, as well as in investigative and enforcement matters. Toronto-based Shuli Rodal steers the practice and focuses on foreign investment review and competition law matters including strategic alliances, price fixing, advertising, abuse of dominance and distribution. Partners Michelle Lally and Kaeleigh Kuzma are active on foreign investment review matters.
Other key lawyers:
Michelle Lally; Kaeleigh Kuzma
Apollo Global Management
Maple Leaf Foods
Rocky Mountain Equipment
Kinross Gold Corporation
Dream Industrial REIT
Goldman Sachs Asset Management
Energy Transfer Canada
Offering substantial experience in the energy, healthcare, insurance and financial services segments, the group at Torys is noted for its advisory competition law offering. The practice is also frequently engaged in complex contentious matters and cross-border mandates. The department is co-directed by a trio of Toronto-based partners. Dany Assaf and Omar Wakil cover the range of competition law and foreign investment matters, while Linda Plumpton‘s practice is focused on litigation, and is well-versed in class action defence, corporate disputes, securities litigation, foreign investment reviews and investigations. Partner James Gotowiec is an additional name to note for litigation, while Rebecca Wagner is the key name to note at the senior associate level. All lawyers mentioned work in the Toronto office.
Other key lawyers:
James Gotowiec; Rebecca Wagner
‘Efficient and effective management – they did a great job balancing risk and pragmatism throughout the process. Great relationships with regulators, leading to a keen understanding of how to best navigate the review and approval process.’
‘Rebecca Wagner is a star – she is confident, brilliant and demonstrates an unparalleled passion for her work. She is an absolute pleasure to work with – particularly in the context of a stressful, burdensome and costly regulatory review process. An exceptional talent.’
‘Omar Wakil has a keen understanding of the Bureau.’
‘Rebecca Wagner is attentive and responsive.’
‘Torys has deep expertise in the field of competition law. The lawyers have invested the time and effort required to understand our needs.’
‘Linda Plumpton and James Gotowiec are outstanding, seasoned professionals with deep expertise in competition law. They have consistently provided responsive and thoughtful advice that has enabled our organization to adapt to legal and industry challenges.’
‘Omar Wakil is exceptional in managing complex competition matters in a thoughtful and highly effective manner. A true partner that intimately understands our business, which is essential in order to manage our competition needs. He is an affable person and great to work with.’
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts
Pembina Gas Infrastructure
Cando Rail & Terminals and TorQuest Partners
Sienna Senior Living
Sun Life Financial
- Assisted Cenovus in connection with the competition aspects of the sale of its retail fuel network to Parkland and Federated Co-operatives.
- Assisted KKR with its business combination with Pembina Pipeline to combine their respective Western Canadian natural gas processing assets into a single, new joint venture entity, which will be owned 60% by Pembina and 40% by KKR’s global infrastructure funds.
- Advised Champion Petfoods on its sale to Mars Petcare.
Core strengths of the group at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP include cartel defence, class action, regulatory advisory and litigation, as well as transactional work, including mergers and foreign investment review. It is regularly instructed by tech, mining, banking, healthcare and e-commerce-sector clients. Senior partner Subrata Bhattacharjee steers the practice from Toronto and specializes in providing strategic competition, foreign investment and regulatory advice to global corporations. Key partner Denes Rothschild (also in Toronto) majors on proposed mergers and foreign investment review, as well as litigation.
Other key lawyers:
PSA International Pte and PSA Canada Ventures
Parrish & Heimbecker
George Weston Limited and Loblaw Companies
Pan American Silver
Wood Canada and John Wood Group
Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company and Securian Financial Group
ECHL (East Coast Hockey League)
Isologic Radiopharmaceutiques Novateurs
Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaw Companies
JAB Holding Company and Independence Pet Group
First Citizens BancShares
Norton Rose Fulbright houses a practice that handles all aspects of Canadian competition law, including cartels, mergers, abuse of dominance, compliance, as well as criminal and civil antitrust litigation. While the group boasts a presence in Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Québec City and Ottawa, Toronto-based Chris Hersh steers the department; he specializes in M&A, abuse of dominance cases, pricing and distribution issues and criminal law matters. Eric Lefebvre, based in Montreal, is active on competition litigation matters, including class actions.
Other key lawyers:
Canadian Hockey League
Canam Bridges Canada
Century 21 Canada
Cresta Fund Management
Food Health & Consumer Products Canada
Recochem class action
- Represented and advised Metro with respect to a price-fixing investigation by the Canadian Competition Bureau and two class actions related to this matter: one in Quebec and one in Ontario.
- Provided competition law and strategic advice to the Food Health & Consumer Products Canada (FHCP) with regard to the possible creation of a Canadian grocery sector code of conduct similar to the UK GSCOP.
- Advised Deltastream, a pure-play Canadian oil and gas company, on its sale to Tamarack Valley Energy and the sale of a 5% gross overriding royalty to Topaz Energy.
The group at Baker McKenzie routinely acts for Canadian and international clients on transactional merger control and foreign investment matters. In addition, the team is equipped to handle contentious matters before Canadian judicial and enforcement authorities. Antitrust specialist Arlan Gates leads the national department from Toronto. The practice was strengthened by the arrival of senior associate Justine Johnson from Goodmans LLP and associate Jing Xu from Bennett Jones LLP in May and June 2022, respectively.
‘They are effective listeners and then advise, taking your business needs into account.’
Platinum Equity Group
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty
Brookfield Business Partners
- Advised Sika AG, a global chemicals group, in connection with its $6bn acquisition of MBCC Group.
- Advised Sika AG on the divestiture of the MBCC Group’s admixture systems business in Canada, the United States, the UK, the EU, Australia and New Zealand.
- Assisted Embracer Group with obtaining approval under the Investment Canada Act of its acquisition of Canadian video game developer IdeaSpark Labs (Beamdog).
The team at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP is well-placed to assist domestic and international clients with cartel defence, regulatory matters, internal audits and litigation. The group, which additionally provides support with merger and foreign investment review, is directed by Davit Akman, whose expertise covers the gamut of competition matters, including advertising and marketing practices and abuse of dominance cases. The practice was recently bolstered by the arrival of associate Eric Buist from the Canadian Department of Justice.
Other key lawyers:
Pearson Education / Pearson Canada
Royal Bank of Canada
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals USA / Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Canada
Lundin Mining Corporation
KEMET Corporation / KEMET Electronics Corporation
K1 Investment Management
GreenFirst Forest Products
Amneal Pharmaceuticals and Impax Laboratories
The Veritas Capital Vantage Fund
The 14-strong group at Dentons leverages the firm’s international presence to provide counsel on cross-border and multi-region antitrust and competition law matters. Its expertise covers merger reviews, abuse of dominance, pricing practices, distribution arrangements and advertising. Toronto-based practice co-head Sandy Walker routinely represents clients in the financial services, technology, mining, oil and gas and entertainment sectors. Alongside her, Barry Zalmanowitz KC co-leads from Edmonton and advises clients on compliance with the Competition Act and the Investment Canada Act.
Sandy Walker; Barry Zalmanowitz KC
Lions Gate Entertainment
Ontario Power Generation
The Herjavec Group
- Advised Groupe Touchette on the competition law aspects of its acquisition of National Tire Distributors from American Tire Distributors.
- Counsel to HSBC entities in connection with putative class actions in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice alleging that several major financial institutions and their subsidiaries conspired to fix and/or manipulate gold and silver prices.
- Advised KPS Capital Partners on multiple significant cross-border acquisitions, including its proposed $3.45bn acquisition of Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope.
The practice at DLA Piper (Canada) LLP is regularly instructed by international companies for its expertise on antitrust matters including M&A, government regulatory investigations, civil litigation and class actions. The practice is co-led by two Vancouver-based partners: Kevin Wright focuses on contentious competition law matters including merger clearance, cartel investigations and abuse of dominance cases. David Neave handles commercial litigation, class actions and the defence of white-collar offences. Toronto-based Catherine Pawluch is noted for her international M&A expertise.
Kevin Wright; David Neave
Other key lawyers:
‘Extremely responsive with the highest level of expertise.’
‘In depth knowledge of the Competition Bureau and antitrust law. Practical advice coupled with expertise.’
‘Kevin Wright is an excellent advocate and assists in navigating the intricacies associated with antitrust law.’
Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean
Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
Canadian Sugar Institute
Tolko Industries and Weyerhaeuser Company
- Advised Tilray Brands, a leading cannabis producer, on its strategic alliance with and eventual acquisition of HEXO, another major cannabis producer.
- Represented Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean and EUKOR in ongoing multi-jurisdictional Canadian class actions alleging a 15-year cartel in violation of the Competition Act.
- Represented Bristol-Myers Squibb in eight separate opioid class opioid national class actions filed in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Québec, including the action commenced by the Province of BC seeking recovery of all opioid-related health care costs incurred by the federal government and all provincial/territorial governments since 1996.