GCR 100 - 19th Edition

Blake, Cassels & Graydon

19 December 2018

Canada

BLAKE CASSELS & GRAYDON continues to top the Canadian competition bar for size of practice and breadth of matt ers, and is considered “the fi rm to beat” by several of its rivals. Practice head Brian Facey leads a team boasting 18 partners and 12 associates, though it lost partners Jason Gudofsky and Debbie Salzberger to McCarthy Tétrault in March 2018, and David Rosner to Goodmans in February. More temporarily, partner Randall Hofl ey joined the Competition Bureau in January for a two-year term as general counsel and senior enforcement adviser.

Blakes’ global brand pulls in an impressive range of international work. In 2017–2018, it helped to shepherd several transformative and precedent-sett ing deals through the Competition Bureau’s merger control process, mostly taking the lead by acting for the purchaser. The team was lead counsel to Amazon on its $3.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Markets and Marathon Petroleum in its energy market tie-up with Andeavor. It also advised Praxair in its proposed acquisition of Linde to create the world’s largest supplier of industrial gases, and lens maker Essilor International on its merger with eyewear frame company Luxott ica Group to create a integrated global provider of glasses.

Closer to home, Blakes counselled Kinder Morgan with its proposed sale of the Trans Mountain Pipeline System to the Canadian government. It won Canadian clearance for Superior Plus’s acquisition of Gibson Energy based on the effi ciencies exception, and ultimately convinced the Competition Bureau to accept a remedy requiring divestitures of less that 5% of acquired propane volumes. The fi rm advised Pembina Pipeline in its acquisition of energy infrastructure company and Bell Canada in its buyout of Manitoba Telecom Services. The team is also a powerhouse with respect to competition litigation. It defended Labatt Brewing in a lawsuit arising from the Beer Store joint venture, and Facey provided strategic counsel to the Toronto Real Estate Board as it sought to appeal against an abuse of dominance decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.

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