Goodmans welcomed David Rosner as counsel in February 2018 after he left the partnership at Blakes. He is far from the first to make the move; the firm first broke into the GCR 100 in 2014 when form er competition commissioner Calvin Goldman QC, now head of the competition practice, joined from Blakes along with competition and technology pro Richard Corley. The competition group also includes Howard Wetston QC, who was appointed to the Canadian Senate but still remains active in litigation, and partner Richard Annan, who spent 22 years at the Competition Bureau – part of that time as the assistant deputy commissioner responsible for the mergers branch. Rosner, Annan and Goldman are counsel to Postmedia, which was searched in March 2018 as part of the Competition Bureau’s investigation into a deal with media rival Torstar.
Goldman teamed with Julie Rosenthal to defend Vancouver Airport Authority against a high-profile application brought by the bureau alleging anticompetitive conduct in in-flight catering services. Rosenthal also leads the Goodmans team representing Uber Technologies and its affiliates in defence against a class action that alleges that Uber and its drivers have engaged in an illegal price-fixing conspiracy. Litigation partner Jessica Kimmel acted for Simon & Schuster in the E-Books case, but in October 2018, she was appointed to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Deal-wise, Goodmans advised eye glasses manufacturer Essilor International in its efforts to obtain clearance on its combination with Luxottica; Spectra Energy in its high-profile C$37 billion tie-up with energy infrastructure company Enbridge; Vista Equity Partners in its acquisition of DH Corporation; 7-Eleven, a convenience store brand that purchased 144 retail gasoline sites from Imperial Oil; Leadon Investment in its acquisition of SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts; and Cott, in a proposed sale of its beverage manufacturing business to Refresco.
The Goodmans team – which continued its growth in 2018 – has deep and broad experience. It includes a former commissioner of the Competition Bureau, a former assistant deputy commissioner for competition and a former counsel to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. Members of our team have extensive experience working outside of Canada and alongside global law firms. We are at the vanguard of policy developments; for example, in the past year, members of the team have co-chaired a new task force within the ABA section of antitrust law on national interest and competition law; led a public policy discussion on the reform of merger notification rules; chaired the CBA competition law section reviewable matters committee; and led an important initiative among young competition lawyers. In 2018, two leading young competition specialists joined Goodmans’ ranks from another leading Canadian firm.
A significant portion of the team’s work is devoted to securing clearance under the Competition Act for large international and domestic mergers. This includes clearances for many complex mergers that are subject to in-depth or Phase II investigations (including compliance with supplementary information requests). The team also has extensive experience obtaining approval for foreign clients acquiring large Canadian companies under the Investment Canada Act (a law regulating foreign investment in Canada), including in cases involving national security and acquisitions by state-owned enterprises.
In addition to securing merger clearances, the team continues to be at the forefront of high-profile competition litigation matters in Canada. We regularly represent clients in contentious matters relating to the criminal and civil provisions of the Competition Act, including cartels, abuse of dominance, resale price maintenance, and deceptive marketing. We are currently defending a client before Canada’s Competition Tribunal in the only abuse of dominance case being litigated at this time. We also have significant experience representing defendants in competition law class action cases, including the Canadian component of multinational class actions.
We represent, or have recently represented:
- Spectra Energy Corp in its combination with Enbridge Inc for $37 billion in stock;
- Vancouver Airport Authority in the defence of abuse of dominance litigation brought by the Commissioner of Competition;
- Vista Equity Partners in its $4.8 billion acquisition of DH Corporation and its combination of D+H with its portfolio company Misys, to create Finastra, a new global fintech leader;
- Cintas Corporation in its US $2.2 billion acquisition of G&K Services, Inc;
- Miller McAsphalt Corporation in its merger with Colas, a diversified international construction company;
- a Canadian client in defence of an in-depth non-public abuse of dominance investigation by the Competition Bureau;
- Uber Canada Inc and related companies in the defence of a class action alleging an unlawful price-fixing conspiracy between Uber and its driver-partners; and
- Simon & Schuster Canada in the defence of alleged anti-competitive conduct involving e-books pricing in Canada.
Calvin S Goldman, QC, chair
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