GCR 100 - 15th Edition

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP

02 April 2015


The team at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg boasts agency experience few can match. Practice head George N Addy is a former competition commissioner and, like many of the Toronto bar’s long-time practitioners, remains active. Key partner Adam Fanaki once oversaw merger control at the Competition Bureau and busy litigator Charles Tingley was deputy general counsel of New Zealand’s Commerce Commission before rejoining the Davies team in 2012. Six partners are listed in Who’s Who Legal, including John D Bodrug, Anita Banicevic and litigator Sandra A Forbes, who rivals say is among the very best in the bar. The firm lost partner Richard Elliott in 2014, but an explosion in competition class actions in the past years means ever more antitrust files for Davies litigators.

Addy became Google’s Canadian outside competition counsel in 2005 and the relationship has brought the firm much work over the years as the Silicon Valley company hooked one tech minnow after another. Now, Addy and partner Elisa Kearney are representing the company in a Competition Bureau investigation of its online search practices, mirroring several around the world. Elsewhere, Forbes is defending firm client Mars in the chocolate price-fixing case, which is heading towards a much-anticipated trial next year. Who’s Who Legal entrant Mark C Katz, who also flits between deal work and antitrust, represents Japan’s Denso in the auto parts investigation, which pleaded guilty to competition crimes in August and agreed to pay C$2.4 million in fines.

Like Blakes, the competition team is riding a wave of cross-border referrals for some of the biggest mergers around. Burger King is a new client this year, enlisting Addy and his team to help it take over Canadian coffee and doughnut chain Tim Hortons for $12.5 billion. US generic drug giant Actavis also turned to Davies in 2014: the company retained Addy to win Canadian antitrust approval of its US$25 billion tie-up with Forest Laboratories. The firm was recently hired by Germany’s ZF Friedrichshafen to do antitrust on a US$12.4 billion deal to create the world’s second-largest auto parts supplier.

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