When asked about their competitors, Canadian competition lawyers usually mention Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP first. There is good reason for this: the firm’s competition department is both the largest and the busiest in Canada, by all accounts handling more mergers, cartel investigations and class actions than any other firm in the country. Indeed, the Blakes team has used its well-rounded practice and enviable client roster to remain the pre-eminent competition practice in the country.
Led by The International Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers nominees Calvin S Goldman QC and Brian Facey, the competition team frequently works with its established international network of firms. The firm has been called upon in almost every recent major international cartel investigation to cross into Canada.
The firm boasts four other Who’s Who nominees: Jason Gudofsky, Jack Quinn, Julie Soloway and Robert E Kwinter. Neil Finkelstein, one of the true stars of the Canadian antitrust litigation bar, departed for rival McCarthy Tétrault this year - a move that undoubtedly stung the practice. But the firm has added talented Calgary litigator Mark Morrison to the team, and continues to expand through associate hires.
Goldman says the practice is largely self-sustaining, separating the firm from some of its rivals, which rely on their corporate groups to feed through work. Blake Cassels’ clients include Microsoft, Samsung, Nestlé, InBev and General Electric. Client Labatt Brewing’s contested merger with rival Lakeport became one of the most notable Canadian competition cases of the past decade.
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