Telecoms in Canada
Though it is perhaps best known for its formidable regulatory practice, Fasken houses a full-service communications group that is also standout on the transactional and contentious fronts. The team enjoys close relationships with some of Canada’s most significant radio, television and telecoms service providers, including Rogers Communications, TELUS Communications and Shaw Communications, and is also a popular choice for major multinational telecoms clients. Ottawa-based Gerald Kerr-Wilson co-leads the wider TMT department and has strong skill sets in communications and public law. Also in Ottawa, regulatory specialist Laurence Dunbar is routinely sought after by domestic and foreign governments for legislative and policy advice, and counsel Stephen Whitehead is also recommended. Barbara Miller is a name to note in the Toronto office.
‘Fasken came highly recommended by two independent, large firms in the US. Our company was undergoing a cross-border transaction, which was quite complex and required in-depth business considerations, regulatory advice, and Federal Commission interaction. The depth of knowledge and experience the Fasken attorneys brought to the table was astounding.’
‘The firm exceeded all expectations from availability, to quality of attorneys, to delivering the legal product. A number of our executives took note of Fasken’s abilities and how easy they were to work with.’
Rogers Media Inc.
Rogers Communications Canada Inc.
Rogers Communications Inc.
Canadian Telecommunications Contribution Consortium Inc. (CTCC)
Sirius XM Canada
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation / Société Radio-Canada
- Advised MTA Fiber Holdings on the transfer of a new terrestrial fibre line in partnership with with Canadian carriers in order to extend MTA’s existing transport network from North Pole, Alaska, through Canada and on to any major hub in the US.
- Advised Rogers Media on its application for a licence to operate a national, multilingual multi-ethnic television channel that would be granted mandatory carriage on the basic service of all cable, IPTV and satellite distributors.
- Advised Rogers Communications Canada in the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s public proceeding to examine aggressive or misleading sales practices by Canada’s largest telecommunications carrier.
- Advised Canadian Telecommunications Contribution Consortium on regulatory matters.
- Acted for Sirius XM Canada on its licence renewal proceeding.
McCarthy Tétrault covers the full range of telecoms issues, from providing regulatory advice to new entrants, through to corporate transactions and complex litigation. The group’s ability to utilize the firm’s first-class dispute resolution, financial services, and corporate and M&A practices is also big draw. A top choice for major domestic and global telecoms companies, satellite carriers, wireless networks and other service providers, the firm also routinely acts for regulators and governments. Toronto-based Grant Buchanan heads the practice group and has a strong focus on broadcast and telecoms regulation and Copyright Board work. Toronto-based counsel Peter Grant was recently selected to be part of the seven-expert panel studying regulatory changes to the Broadcasting Act, the Telecommunications Act and the Radiocommunication Act. Newly promoted counsel Keith Rose, who was a software developer prior to becoming a lawyer, has been highlighted as a future star.
Bell Canada and affiliates
The Walt Disney Company
Drew Marine UK Holdings Ltd.
Blue Ant Media Inc.
National Football League & affiliates
Canadian Retransmission Collective
Fusion Telecommunications International Inc.
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
- Represented the National Football League, Bell Canada, Bell Media, and their affiliates in landmark cases in the area of telecommunications and copyright appeals.
- Represented Bell Media in successfully defending its decision to block Mayoralty candidate Faith Goldy from advertising on a Bell Media television station.
- Advised Telus in an SCC appeal involving the enforceability of arbitration clauses in its agreement with customers.
- Acted for BCE on its C$150m acquisition of Axia NetMedia Corporation
- Advised Xplornet on the launch of its Xplore Mobile service brand in Manitoba.
Dentons has an increasingly prominent telecoms practice, which which regularly advises on complex transactional and regulatory matters. The group is best known for its robust wireless and satellite sector coverage and also stands out in the broadcasting sector, where it can seamlessly team with its top-tier media and entertainment team. Ottawa-based Monica Song heads the department and was recently appointed by the Government of Canada to a national panel of seven experts selected to review the legislative framework governing telecommunications, broadcasting and radiocommunication. Ottawa-based counsel Gregory Kane QC is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
‘Dentons provides strong leadership in key subject matter areas, providing insightful and prompt legal counsel. Lawyers demonstrate practical understanding of the intersection of regulatory and business, with the ability to translate complex legal and regulatory obligations into practical actionable business requirements.’
‘The team is insightful, knowledgeable, and timely. They are also pleasant to work with.’
‘An incredibly knowledgeable, responsive, innovative and can-do team. Greg Kane is a real star!’
‘Monica Song has a wide variety of knowledge regarding telecoms regulation and provides great insight.’
Canadian Broadcast Standards Council
CorrCan Media Group (CRCMG)
Corus Entertainment Inc.
Iridium Communications Inc.
Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., (dba Lionsgate)
Mainstream Broadcasting Corporation
ole Media Management LP
Universal Media Studios International Limited
WOW! Unlimited Media Inc.
- Advised CorrCan Media Group on an application to the CRTC in response to its call for applications for a national, multilingual and multi-ethnic television service offering news and information services.
- Advised Shopify on the launch of television and film content.
- Advised Wow Unlimited Media on its acquisition of the Comedy Channel from Bell Media.
Goodmans combines a robust regulatory offering with a strong track record in transactional matters, often linking up with its top-tier corporate group for support in sophisticated transactions. The team is also noted for its diverse sector coverage and acts for wide range of industry participants, including domestic and foreign radio and television broadcasters, telecoms carriers, and internet service providers. Michael Koch, who specializes in regulation and public law litigation, jointly leads the group together with Monique McAlister, whose practice spans regulatory, public and commercial law.
Michael Koch; Monique McAlister
BCE Inc./Bell Media Inc.
Major League Baseball Collective of Canada, Inc.
The Walt Disney Company
Turner Broadcasting System Inc.
Kew Media Group
- Represented multiple clients in making submissions to the legislative review panel and advising on the potential implications of the review on foreign over-the-top services in Canada.
- Advised Accessible Media on its applications for licence renewal and mandatory distribution status.
- Successfully represented the Bell Fund in relation to a complaint filed with the CRTC by nine broadcasters and independent production groups, alleging conflicts of interest and failure to comply with CRTC guidelines in establishing one of its production funds.
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP acts for internet service providers, e-commerce companies and satellite service providers, and has a strong track record in the tech sector. Headed by Montreal-based technology expert Sunny Handa, the team has equal strengths in transactional and regulatory matters.
Inmarsat Solutions (Canada) Inc.
Toronto Star Newspapers Limited
ARM Limited/Streamline Technologies
- Advised Inmarsat on its compliance with the Canadian telecommunications and radio communication regulatory regimes.
- Advised ARM, a global computing and connectivity service provider, on the telecoms regulatory issues relating to its acquisition of Stream Technologies.
Stikeman Elliott LLP’s multi-disciplinary communications practice draws on partners from across the firm’s regulatory, corporate, litigation and technology teams. A key contact in the team is Ottawa-based counsel David Elder, who focuses on communications, competition and privacy law.