Competition and antitrust in Canada

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP offers competition and antitrust advice to both domestic and international clients, covering a range of regulatory and litigation matters. On the transactional side, the team has been involved in a number of high-profile M&A deals, including Navin Joneja and Brian Facey advising on the antitrust aspects of Elanco Anima Health’s $7.6bn purchase of Bayer’s animal health division, and Joneja also advising on Canadian competition matters connected to Fitbit’s purchase by Google. It also offers contentious experience, advising on advertising, abuse of dominance claims, and acting in a number of competition-related class action matters. These include cases before the Canadian Competition Tribunal, the Federal Court of Appeal and the Canadian Supreme Court. Facey leads the team from Toronto, advising on regulatory matters related to high-value M&A deals. Other names to note include Joneja, who focuses on foreign investment matters, and litigator Randall Hofley, both based in Toronto.

Practice head(s):

Navin Joneja; Julie Soloway

 

Key clients

Dow Chemical Canada Inc.

Elanco Animal Health Incorporated

Equinix, Inc.

Fitbit, Inc.

GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals S.A.

Intact Financial Corporation

London Stock Exchange Group

Louis Vuitton SE

Nasdaq, Inc.

The Stars Group Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised Dow Chemical in its C$1bn+ litigation with NOVA Chemicals Corporation with respect to operation of facilities under a joint venture.
  • Advised Elanco Animal Health Incorporated on its $7.6bn purchase of Bayer AG’s animal health business.
  • Advised Equinix on the review of its C$1.041bn acquisition of 13 Bell data centres in Canada.

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP is well versed across the gamut of competition and antitrust matters, covering advisory and contentious issues. Collaborating with the firm's strong corporate practice, the team advises international and domestic clients on merger, cartel and monopolization matters, with a particular emphasis on international reviews. It also has experience with national security review issues, notably including the unique transaction between Agnico Eagle Mines and Shandong Gold. In contentious matters, the team is experienced acting in front of both the Competition Tribunal and the full range of federal courts regarding civil and criminal implications of the Competition Act. Also of note is the department's specialism in class actions, with Sandra Forbes representing Occidental in a conspiracy class action relating to the price of caustic soda. John Bodrug and Anita Banicevic lead the team from Toronto. George Addy is noteworthy both for his TMT expertise and for his experience as former head of the Canadian Competition Bureau; Charles Tingley ‘checks all of the boxes in terms of what you would want as a client’; and Jim Dinning adds his experience in the mining and private equity sectors.

Practice head(s):

John Bodrug; Anita Banicevic

Testimonials

‘Exemplary knowledge of the Competition Act and related regulatory bodies, being highly responsive to my requests as a client, operating with a very high degree of organization and precision, and always delivering ahead of scheduled timelines.’

‘Charles Tingley at Davies has been excellent to work with. He checks all of the boxes in terms of what you would want as a client — expert knowledge in his area of practice, strong connections within the industry and regulatory bodies, highly responsive to client requests, precise in documentation, always delivers ahead of scheduled timelines.’

Key clients

S&P Global Inc.

The Blackstone Group

Google LLC

WESCO International, Inc.

Digital Colony

The Canadian Real Estate Association

Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Barrick Gold Corporation

Agnico Eagle Mines Limited

Dechra Pharmaceuticals PLC

Hostess Brands Inc.

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.

Giant Tiger

Northleaf Capital Partners

McKesson Corporation

BrandSafway.

Alstom Transport S.A.

Xplornet Communications Inc.

Tryg A/S

The Pallinghurst Group

Work highlights

  • Acted as Canadian counsel to Alstom Transport in its acquisition of Bombardier Transportation, advising on antitrust requirements.
  • Acted as Canadian competition counsel to WESCO International in its transformative $4.5bn acquisition of Anixter International.
  • Acting as Canadian competition counsel for Alexion Pharmaceuticals in its proposed $39bn acquisition by AstraZeneca.

McCarthy Tétrault

McCarthy Tétrault has invested significantly in its competition and antitrust practice, and as such is well equipped to advise on the full range of matters in this field. The team often collaborates with the firm’s M&A department, providing merger control and foreign investment review services on major deals. Highlights in this space included Jason Gudofsky and Deborah Salzberger's advice to LSE Group on the $27bn acquisition of Refinitiv. On the investigations and litigation side it offers similar experience, having handled civil and criminal cartel investigations, deceptive advertising cases and class actions before federal courts and the Competition Tribunal. Its industry expertise is likewise broad, covering technology, transportation, financial services, real estate and other sectors. Gudofsky leads the practice from Toronto, and is known for his international work, both in foreign investment and national security reviews. Oliver Borgers is also notable for this type of work. Donald Houston leads litigation, with both civil court and class action experience. Dominic Thérien is a key contact in the Montréal office.

Practice head(s):

Jason Gudofsky

Testimonials

They have a deep bench and long experience with the Competition Bureau. Advice is practical, spot on, and they are extremely responsive.’

‘Dominic Therien is a real professional. Very up to date in his field. He’s available and all his documents/work are perfectly done. He’s able to find solutions and to properly explain the risks associated with the decisions made.’

‘Dominic is very down to earth and his explanations are easy to understand (Competition law can sometimes be a bit complex). He’s able to popularize legal concepts. He also has a lot of contacts and can find innovative solutions.

‘Simply the best Competition and antitrust team in Canada.’

‘McCarthy’s antitrust team is top-notch. The best in Canada. They handle the most difficult and complex matters and stand out for their judgment and strong advocacy skills. Clients love them.’

‘I think Jason Gudofsky is the best competition lawyer in Canada. He has a stronger advocacy style than others I have worked with. Very client friendly and detail oriented.’

‘Depth and breadth of experience in aviation.’

‘Casey Halladay is the ultimate allrounder in Canadian competition matters. He covers the full range of issues with a unique combination of depth and practicality.’

Key clients

Refinitiv

Aon plc

Endeavour Mining Corporation

WestJet

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec

Univar

Armour Transportation Systems

K+S Aktiengesellschaft

Trivago

Hockey Canada

Cogeco Communications and Cogeco Connexion

Cengage Learning

Macquarie Infrastructure Corporation

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice

Eaton

Nemaska Lithium Inc.

Grieg Seafood

Work highlights

  • Advised on the $27bn acquisition by the London Stock Exchange Group of Refinitiv.
  • Advised on the Aon planned $30bn acquisition of Willis Towers Watson.
  • Advised Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec on entering an agreement with Alstom to convert its investment in Bombardier Transportation into shares of Alstom.

Stikeman Elliott LLP

Stikeman Elliott LLP's competition team is regarded as a market leader for its merger control support in both domestic and international matters. The team has been involved in sizeable matters, including Michael Laskey and Katherine Kay advising Air Canada on the competition aspects of its C$720m acquisition of Transat. It also offers a strong litigation practice, with a particular emphasis on cartel and class action cases. Foreign investment review expert Michael Kilby heads the team from Toronto, taking over from Paul Collins. Kay is a key name for litigation, and Laskey is well regarded for M&A-related work. Susan Hutton and Lawson Hunter QC provide trade and government relations support from Ottawa. Finally, the team has been bolstered by the hire of Kevin Ackhurst from Norton Rose Fulbright, who brings with him broad corporate merger control experience.

Practice head(s):

Michael Kilby

Key clients

Bayer AG

United Technologies Corporation

Sobeys Inc.

Air Canada

BCE Inc.

RSA Insurance

Veolia Environnment

Canadian National Railway Company

Hutchison Whampoa Europe Investments

Discount Car & Truck Rentals Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Acted for United Technologies Corporation in connection with its business combination with Raytheon Company in an all-stock merger of equals.
  • Served as counsel to Air Canada in its proposed acquisition of Transat.
  • Acted as counsel to the largest shareholder of Husky Energy, Hutchison Whampoa Europe Investments in connection with Husky’s combination with Cenovus Energy.

Bennett Jones LLP

Bennett Jones LLP is well regarded for its merger review and litigation work; it has a particular emphasis on international work due to its offices in Washington DC and New York. An example of this is the team's advice on Allergan’s proposed $63bn acquisition by Abbvie, which was led by Melanie Aitken in DC and supported by Adam Kalbfleisch and the recently promoted Kyle Donnelly from Toronto and New York, respectively. It offers a broad range of sector expertise covering technology, telecoms and natural resources, among others. Aitken leads the US team from DC, while Randal Hughes leads the Canadian team from Toronto. Litigator John Rook and Emrys Davis are other key names.

Practice head(s):

Randal Hughes; Melanie Aitken

Key clients

Allergan plc

ALPHA Corporation

American Airlines

Apergy Corporation

Brewers Retail Inc.

Bridgestone Corporation

British Columbia Investment Management Corporation

Mosaic Forest Management

Broadridge Financial Solutions

Bumble Bee Foods, LLC

Canadian Natural Resources Limited

Canadian Pacific

CIP Capital Management LLC

EQT Partners Inc.

Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited

Gibson Energy ULC

KingSett Capital

Leyou Technologies Holdings Limited

Meritor, Inc.

Mylan N.V.

Northland Properties Corp.

Panasonic Corporation

Premier Gold Mines Limited

Premium Brands Holdings Corporation

PSAV Inc.

Riverstone Holdings LLC

Schlumberger Canada Limited

Signify N.V.

Stone Canyon Industries Holdings, LLC

Sycamore Partners

The Blackstone Group

The Nielsen Company

Third Eye Capital

Tiffany & Co.

Time Warner Inc.

TMX Group Limited

Total Energy Services Inc.

Usui International Corporation

Volkswagen

Audi

Work highlights

  • Acted for Allergan on competition matters in Canada in connection with its $63bn proposed acquisition by Abbvie.
  • Acted for Tiffany & Co. in connection with Canadian competition matters and filings relating to its acquisition by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton for $16.2bn.
  • Acted for Apergy Corporation in connection with Canadian competition and foreign investment matters and filings relating to its acquisition of ChampionX Holding for $4.4bn.

Fasken

Known for its diverse range of industry expertise, Fasken offers broad competition services to its clients. In addition to strong merger control expertise, the team is extremely strong in contentious competition work, including criminal matters, marketing and advertising, and abuse of dominance cases, and is particularly active representing clients under investigation. An example of this was Antonio Di Domenico's representation of FlightHub in a deceptive marketing investigation. He co-leads the team from Toronto alongside Huy Do, with both handling a varied range of competition services. Anthony Baldanza is also noteworthy for his expertise in cartel and restrictive trade matters.

Practice head(s):

Huy Do; Antonio Di Domenico

Other key lawyers:

Anthony Baldanza; Chris Margison

Key clients

Transat A.T. Inc.

BASF Canada

FlightHub

Aphria Inc.

Agropur Cooperative

Caisse de depot

ATS Automation

Jim Pattison Group

Mazda Canada Inc.

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

MNP

Masonite Corporation

Acrisure

Canadian Olympic Committee

eStruxture Data Centres Inc.

HomeLife Realty Services Inc.

Work highlights

  • Acting for Aphria in its reverse takeover over of Tilray.
  • Acting for FlightHub in respect of a Competition Bureau investigation into alleged deceptive marketing.
  • Acting for BASF Canada in respect of the Competition Bureau’s national investigation of alleged anti-competitive conduct.

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

The competition team at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP is known for advising on high-stakes competition matters, with a particular emphasis on M&A support. Here it has a particular emphasis on the energy industry, where it often works alongside its corporate team; one recent highlight saw Kaeleigh Kuzma advising on the Husky and Cenovus Energy merger. The team also offers expertise to international clients operating in Canada, and has a strong contentious practice. Shuli Rodal leads the team, advising on all aspects of competition law. Michelle Lally is also noteworthy for her foreign investment review expertise, particularly relating to technology and telecoms, and Christopher Naudie offers litigation expertise. Partner Peter Glossop retired.

Practice head(s):

Shuli Rodal

Key clients

Enterprise Holdings

Blackstone

Apollo Global Management

Drax Group

Husky Energy

KKR

Maple Leaf Foods

Hoegh Autoliners

Sharp Corporation

Toronto-Dominion Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Enterprise Holdings on its Canadian subsidiary’s acquisition of Toronto-based Discount Car and Truck Rentals.
  • Advised Verafin on its high-profile $2.75bn acquisition by Nasdaq.
  • Advising Apollo Global Management on competition aspect of its buyout of Great Canadian Gaming, one of Canada’s largest gaming and entertainment companies.

Torys

Torys is known for providing high-end competition advice on complex transactions, and is also active in behavioural antitrust matters. An example of the team's merger control work includes Omar Wakil's role in advising TMX Group and AST, two of the three transfer agents in Canada, on their merger, which was unconditionally approved. The team also offers litigation experience, often acting for household name clients. Wakil jointly leads the team from Toronto alongside Dany Assaf, who is known for his high-value transactional advice, in particular relating to the energy industry. Linda Plumpton leads the litigation team, and stands out for her experience in class action cases, investigations and foreign investment reviews.

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Wagner

Testimonials

‘They are a full-service antitrust practice with top-notch counsel in all areas. They are practical and are very unique in that they don’t overstaff files, while not sacrificing quality. Each lawyer we have worked with is a pleasure to work with, practical and has a true understanding of our risk appetite.’

‘Omar Wakil – practical, brilliant and business-minded. Linda Plumpton – unparalleled litigator in Canada, particularly in Competition issues. A rock star.’

Key clients

TMX Group Limited

Upsher-Smith Laboratories, LLC

Duo Bank of Canada

National Hockey League

Ontario Power Generation Inc.

Bank of America Corporation

Merrill Lynch Commodities Inc.

Inter Pipeline Ltd.

Ticketmaster Canada ULC

Live Nation Entertainment, Inc.

Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited

Norbord Inc.

Showa Corporation

Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd.

Tenneco Inc.

Husky Energy Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised TMX Group on its proposed C$165m acquisition of AST Investor Services and its subsidiary AST Trust Company.
  • Advised Duo Bank of Canada on merger control aspect of its acquisition of Fairstone Financial Holdings from an investor group.
  • Advised Fairfax Financial on the sale of Dexterra to Horizon North Logistics in exchange for common shares of Horizon North.

Goodmans LLP

Part of the firm’s fully integrated corporate practice, Goodmans LLP's competition team provides merger control support to major companies. A key example was its advice to Rogers Communication on the acquisition of Shaw Communications, led by practice head David Rosner. Rosner advises on complex, high-value mergers from Toronto, and is also involved in litigation. Michael Koch and Julie Rosenthal are also noteworthy for their support in contentious matters, offering a combination of behavioural expertise and experience in class actions. Former department co-head Calvin Goldman retired in September 2020.

Practice head(s):

David Rosner

Other key lawyers:

Michael Koch; Julie Rosenthal

Key clients

Rogers Communications

Brookfield Asset Management

Newmont Mining Corporation

Essilor Group

Altria Inc.

SPARC Group LLC

Authentic Brand Gorups

Aryzta

The Michaels Company

Cirque du Soleil

Redwood Capital Investments

Onex Corporation

Cineplex Inc.

Tricon Residential Inc

Tech Data Corporation

Bison Transport

Federated Co-operatives Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Rogers Communication on the competition aspects of its acquisition of Shaw Communications.
  • Led Cineplex’ efforts to obtain regulatory approvals for its proposed C$2.8bn sale to Cineworld Group.
  • Advised Onex Corporation on the competition law and complex transportation law aspects of its $5bn acquisition of WestJet Airlines.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Forming part of an extensive global office network, the competition team at Norton Rose Fulbright in Canada provides a cross-border service. Its merger control work is particularly notable, where it advises on domestic and cross-border deals. On the litigation side, the team has growing expertise in class action cases, with Montréal-based partner Eric Lefebvre advising the Canadian Hockey League in a conspiracy class action. The firm also has key offices in Toronto, Ottawa and Calgary. Kevin Ackhurst left the firm in September 2021.

Testimonials

‘I work with Eric Lefebvre at Norton Rose. He is knowledgeable, very practical, a straight shooter and all around great to work with.’

Key clients

Bombardier Inc.

Bausch Health

Bausch Health

Bharat Forge

CAE Inc.

Canadian Hockey League

Metro Inc

NordStar Capital

Pfizer Upjohn

Recochem

Sharp Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advising Bombardier on the sale of its Bombardier Transportation business to Alstom.
  • Advising the Canadian Hockey League in successfully defending a class action alleging a conspiracy among hockey leagues in Canada and the US to the detriment of players.
  • Representing Recochem in the defence of a class action alleging misleading advertising.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie offers competition law advice to a broad range of domestic and international clients looking to do business in Canada. It is particularly well known for its ability to handle large, multi-jurisdictional mergers across a variety of industries, including pharmaceuticals, consumer products and technology. The team offers support in contentious antitrust matters as well, with an emphasis on class actions, as part of the firm’s broad dispute resolution platform. Arlan Gates leads the team, and is a name to note for his regulatory experience.

Practice head(s):

Arlan Gates

Other key lawyers:

Nancy Hamzo; Yana Ermak

Testimonials

‘The communication with the team is very fluent.’

Key clients

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty

August Storck KG

Brookfield Business Partners

Chiesi Group

Daimler

DIF Management Canada

Emerson Electric

Equinix

Evonik Industries

GlaxoSmithKline

Hitachi

Informa

Platinum Equity

Unilever

Work highlights

  • Representing Platinum Equity in Canada and other jurisdictions in obtaining clearance for the $7.2bn acquisition of Ingram Micro.
  • Represented Emerson Electric in obtaining clearance for the $1.6bn acquisition of Open Systems International.
  • Represented Hitachi in obtaining clearance in Canada and other jurisdictions for its $11bn acquisition of the global power grids business of ABB.

Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

Offering a balanced practice, the team at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP is known for both its merger control and litigation strengths. It offers two core areas of industry expertise, advising on high-value energy-sector transactions, as well as a number of life sciences-related mandates. From a litigation perspective, the team is experienced advising on cross-border cartel investigations. Chris Hersh and Michael Osborne lead the team from Toronto, with respective expertise in foreign investment reviews and class action cases.

Practice head(s):

Chris Hersh; Michael Osborne

Key clients

Becton Dickinson

Berkshire Hathaway

Ferrero Canada

Food & Consumer Products of Canada

Proctor & Gamble

Goldcorp

TMAC Resources

Accor Hotels

Interac Corp.

Johnson & Johnson

Work highlights

  • Acted as external counsel to Kirkland Lake Gold in obtaining the Canadian merger control approval for its acquisition of Detour Gold.
  • Acted for Continental Gold in securing the necessary approvals under the Investment Canada Act for its acquisition by Zijin Mining Group.
  • Defending Rubycon Corporation in class actions alleging price-fixing of aluminium electrolytic and film capacitors.

Dentons

Dentons has a comprehensive Canadian competition practice, providing merger control and litigation support to its clients. Benefitting from the global platform its firm provides, the team offers particular expertise in cross-border transactions, with a particular emphasis on complications arising out of the Investment Canada Act. It also has a broad range of industry expertise, covering the media, energy, manufacturing and extraction sectors, among others. Sandy Walker and Barry Zalmanowitz QC lead the team out of Toronto and Edmonton respectively.

Other key lawyers:

Simon Kupi 

Testimonials

‘My experience working with Sandy Walker and Simon Kupi was great. They both demonstrated strong analytical, economic, writing and communication skills. They took the lead in drafting a detailed and persuasive submission to the Canadian Competition Bureau, along with responses to numerous follow-up requests for information. The work they did was instrumental to the parties obtaining clearance for the transaction.’

‘Industry-leading expertise and unparalleled experience. This combination leads to thorough and practical advice.’

‘Clear and effective communication at all times. Deadlines are always achieved, often in advance of promised timelines. Barry Zalmanowitz, Q.C. is clearly at the top of the field in his practice area. He is well respected by his peers as well as all of the folks in our organization that he has interacted with.’

Key clients

Amazon

Bayer AG

Capital Power

Enbridge Inc.

Husky Energy

Lions Gate Entertainment

Lactalis Group

Meritage Entities

Ontario Power Generation

Shaw Communications

Sleeman Breweries

Suncor Energy

The Katz Group of Companies

Transport Canada

The Herjavec Group Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised Atura Power on the competition aspects of the acquisition of a 1,858MW portfolio of combined-cycle natural gas-fired power plants in Ontario from affiliates of TC Energy.
  • Served as counsel to PetroChina in respect of its agreement with Ovintiv Canada ULC to terminate their 2012 Duvernay shale joint venture.
  • Advised Transport Canada in the Government of Canada’s public interest assessment process regarding the proposed acquisition of Transat by Air Canada.

DLA Piper (Canada) LLP

With a strong presence in the Western Canadian market, DLA Piper (Canada) LLP provides a broad range of competition law services for domestic and international companies. The team is particularly well known for its contentious offering, with experience in class action defense as well as cartel/price-fixing cases brought by the Competition Bureau. It also has experience in multi-jurisdictional merger control and foreign investment review. Kevin Wright and David Neave lead the team from Vancouver, both offering litigation experience. Catherine Pawluch is the name to note in Toronto.

Practice head(s):

Kevin Wright; David Neave

Other key lawyers:

Catherine Pawluch

Testimonials

‘DLA’s competition team has in-depth experience in all areas of competition law.’

‘All DLA Canada lawyers with whom I work share an exceptional responsiveness and dedication, always responding promptly and thoroughly to any issue.’

Key clients

Bristol Myers Squibb

Air Canada

British Airways PLC ‎

Ford ‎

McGraw-Hill LLC

McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited

ELNA Co., Ltd ‎

‎Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean‎

EUKOR Car Carriers‎

Pfizer ‎

Renesas Electronics Corporation

Canfor

Susumu

Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd.‎

Maxell ‎

Work highlights

  • Acting for Air Canada in a class action in Saskatchewan in which it is alleged that certain airlines conspired to fix fees for passengers’ baggage.
  • Representing Bristol Myers Squibb in five separate opioid class actions filed in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.
  • Representing BA in five separate class actions in Ontario, BC and Quebec relating to price-fixing allegations.