Telecoms in Canada

Fasken

A leader in the telecoms and broadcasting market in Canada, Fasken ‘has expert and leading-edge knowledge of the domestic and international telecom industry and applicable laws and legal developments’. Clients as diverse as wireless, cable, IPTV, satellite television and internet service providers, broadcasters, digital media suppliers, governmental entities and financial institutions (among others), turn to the team for assistance with the full-array of telecoms matters, including corporate transactions, licensing issues, compliance, policy and regulatory matters. Representing clients before administrative tribunals, including the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and the Copyright Board, are key strengths for the department that is active in key provinces across Canada and abroad. Based in Ottawa, practice head Gerald Kerr-Wilson has a wealth of experience acting for domestic and multinational communications companies in copyright licensing and litigation. Laurence Dunbar is another key contact in Ottawa, who stands out for his cross-border expertise. In the same office, Scott Prescott is recommended for regulatory issues involving the broadcasting industry, while Leslie Milton focuses on enforcement proceedings before Canadian communications regulators. Barbara Miller in Toronto advises on investments, M&A and financing, and is regarded as ‘a key contributor to client success in the Canadian telecom market’.

Practice head(s):

Gerald Kerr-Wilson

Testimonials

‘The Telecom practise team epitomizes being “in the trenches” with their clients. The team has expert and leading-edge knowledge of the domestic and international telecom industry and applicable laws and legal developments, and marries that with business-efficient legal solutions, all reflecting the practice team’s deep understanding of a client’s highly complex and evolving operations, technologies and objectives. The firm’s highly respected Telecom practice team draws upon and works very well with the firm’s bench strength in other practice areas as needed, such as privacy, tax, competition, mergers and acquisitions, employment, governmental affairs, litigation, etc. Clients receive highly expert, one-stop, thorough 360 degree legal engagement and product which means greater efficiencies, more creative solutions and timeliness for client. ’

‘Highly expert in their fields. Leading edge knowledge of the telecom industry, its evolving technologies and legal requirements and developments. Excellent understanding and commitment to assisting clients achieve their objectives. Barbara Miller epitomizes the firm’s exceptional standard of excellence in all respects – legal expertise, problem-solving, clear communications, availability, creativity, efficiency, team player. She is an absolute treasure to work with and is a key contributor to client success in the Canadian telecom market.’

Key clients

SaskTel, Eastlink, TekSavvy, TELUS

Rogers Media

Rogers Communications Canada Inc.

Acadia Broadcasting Limited

Xplornet Communications Inc.

Bragg Communications Incorporated (carrying on business as Eastlink), Cogeco Communications Inc., Rogers Communications Canada Inc., Shaw Cable Systems G.P. and Videotron Ltd

MTA/ Matanuska Telephone Association, Inc. (Alaska)

Myriota Canada and Myriota Pty Ltd (Australia)

Sirius XM Canada Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advising Rogers Communications Inc. on its efforts to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals for its proposed acquisition of all of the shares of Shaw Communications Inc.

McCarthy Tétrault

Standing out for its stellar track record in litigation, McCarthy Tétrault provides support to a myriad of telecoms and broadcasting clients in relation to regulatory issues, business transactions, commercial agreements and licensing matters. The team, whose service offering also covers representation before the CRTC, is instructed by Canadian and international industry players, including satellite carriers, internet service providers, wireless networks, private equity investors, financial institutions and governments. The Toronto-based practice is led by renowned Grant Buchanan, who brings together expertise in regulatory matters, telecom financing and Copyright Board work. He receives key support from a team of specialist lawyers, which includes IP litigator Steven Mason and Brandon Kain, the latter of whom leads on appellate cases. Keith Rose is also noteworthy for his work with innovative new technologies in the 5G, Wi-Fi systems, connected vehicles and Internet of Things space.

Practice head(s):

Grant Buchanan

Other key lawyers:

Steven Mason; Brandon Kain; Keith Rose

Key clients

Bell Media

BCE Inc. (Bell Canada)

Cineworld Group plc

Telus Communications Inc.

Work highlights

  • Represented Bell Canada in the appeal from the CRTC’s wholesale rates decisions in the Federal Court of Appeal.
  • Represented Bell Canada in Quebecor’s appeal from the CRTC’s mandatory order decision relating to TVA Sports.
  • Advised Cineworld Group on its multibillion dollar deal, and then later, dispute with Cineplex Inc., which would have made the group one of North America’s leading cinema operators but for the fallout of COVID-19.

Dentons

Acting for an impressive portfolio of domestic and international names in the telecoms, technology and broadcasting sectors, Dentons has noted strength in representing clients in proceedings before the CRTC, transactional matters and public policy mandates. The firm’s international structure places it as a go-to destination for foreign industry clients looking to operate in the Canadian market, supporting them in all their corporate and compliance needs. Ottawa-based Monica Song , who is a seasoned practitioner in the satellite industry, wireless issues and licensing matters, chairs the Communications Law group. Also in the Ottawa office, Gregory Kane QC  has longstanding experience handling regulatory, transactional and privatization mandates in the telecoms and broadcasting segments.

Practice head(s):

Monica Song

Other key lawyers:

Gregory Kane; Margot E Patterson 

Testimonials

‘Dentons Canada has excellent breadth of knowledge and experience in telecommunications law, and has been able to advise on regulatory matters efficiently and effectively.’

‘Greg Kane and the attorneys who work with him are knowledgeable and responsive.’

‘Vast historical command of telecom policy and regulation by the CRTC is invaluable.’

‘Greg Kane has decades of telecom experience, and provides timely and accurate answers and advice.’

Key clients

Banger Films

Blumhouse Productions

Elevation Pictures

Lionsgate Films

Netflix, Inc.

New Metric Media

Shaw Communications Inc.

Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.

Workin’ Moms

WOW! Unlimited Media

Work highlights

  • Advised Ligado Networks on US$3.85bn in new capital as part of Ligado’s successful out-of-court recapitalization, restructuring of liabilities and securities of approximately US$14bn.
  • Counsel to Shopify Inc. in the launch of a television and film content and production studio called “Shopify Studios” in 2019, and continue to act as ongoing counsel on a number of productions, including Anonymous Content, Spoke Studios, Saville Productions, Discovery Channel and Bunim/Murray.

Goodmans LLP

Based in Toronto, the communications law group at Goodmans LLP is singled out for its deep understanding of broadcasting, telecoms and internet regulations in Canada, which makes it a strong choice for clients seeking assistance with matters before the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED). Besides advising on traditional regulatory issues, the department is seasoned in emerging fields, such as OTT online streaming and video-on-demand broadcast services and Internet of Things. Michael Koch is a regulatory expert with a wealth of experience in the telecoms sector. He oversees the team with Monique McAlister, whose practice covers compliance issues, broadcasting regulation and CRTC licensing.

Practice head(s):

Michael Koch; Monique McAlister

Key clients

Communications BCE Inc./Bell Media Inc.

Major League Baseball Collective of Canada, Inc.

The Walt Disney Company

Turner/Warner Media

Rainbow Media/AMC

CBS Corporation

Bragg Communications (operating as Eastlink)

Rogers Communications

Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago

Gogo Internet

Stikeman Elliott LLP

Stikeman Elliott LLP offers advice across regulatory, litigation, IP and administrative law to clients operating in the telecoms industry. Advising on the regulatory commercial issues that may arise in sector-related M&A transactions is a core strength for the department, that is also seasoned in negotiations with regulators and contentious matters. David Elder in Ottawa, who is a leading authority in the file of anti-spam legislation in Canada, steers the. team in licensing matters, regulatory proceedings and disputes.

Practice head(s):

David Elder

Other key lawyers:

Yves Martineau 

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Drawing upon the firm's full-service offering, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP' communications practice is adept at assisting industry players in relation to transactions, regulatory enforcement actions and disputes. The team acts for a diverse client base, comprising international and domestic broadcasters, wired and mobile telecom companies, internet service and satellite providers, that routinely seek support in compliance work. Department head Sunny Handa is proficient in both corporate and regulatory matters pertaining to the telecoms, broadcasting and radio communications sectors. He is based in Montréal.

Practice head(s):

Sunny Handa

Other key lawyers:

Céline Poitras