GCR 100 2021

Blake, Cassels & Graydon

Blake, Cassels & Graydon

Professional notice

Canada

Partner Brian Facey continues to lead the competition team at BLAKE CASSELS & GRAYDON – Canada’s largest antitrust practice based on personnel. The firm boasts 18 partners and 17 associates, who advise a client list that includes Bell Canada, General Electric, Louis Vuitton and Fitbit. Partner Randall Hofley returned to the practice in January 2020 after serving a two-year term as general counsel and senior enforcement adviser at Canada’s Competition Bureau. Partner Joshua Krane left the firm in October 2020 to join McMillan.

The firm acts for the London Stock Exchange Group in its €22.7 billion acquisition of financial software provider Refinitiv and also advised the Stars Group in its €12.6 billion merger with Flutter Entertainment to form the world’s largest online betting and gaming operator. Facey and partner Navin Joneja led the team steering Elanco Animal Health’s €6.4 billion purchase of Bayer AG's animal health business. Partners Rob Kwinter and Joneja are advising Fitbit on its proposed €1.7 billion acquisition by Google.

On the non-merger side, Blakes is defending multiple auto parts companies in class action suits across Canada over alleged price-fixing conspiracies. The firm says it represents defendants in more than half of the 40 different class actions, including those involving auto lights, bearings, fuel injection systems and ignition coils. All its other ongoing behavioural work remains confidential.

The Blakes competition, antitrust & foreign investment group is widely acknowledged as one of the leading practices in Canada and remains the law firm of choice for clients seeking competition law approval. The Group is involved in the largest and most complex mergers in Canadian history and has led the Canadian aspects of some of the largest global transactions. Blakes deal practice in the past year has encompassed the full range of challenging M&A matters in Canada, cross-border transactions requiring extensive cooperation between regulatory agencies in multiple jurisdictions and challenging domestic mergers. Blakes is also a leading firm with respect to securing merger approvals for non-Canadian purchasers under Canada’s foreign investment laws.

The group has a roster of significant, innovative, and precedent-setting transactions through the Competition Bureau’s merger control process. Recent experience includes: Intact Financial Corporation on its proposed C$12.3-billion acquisition, together with Tryg A/S, of RSA Insurance Group Plc; Elanco Animal Health Incorporated on its US$7.6-billion purchase of Bayer AG's animal health business; Louis Vuitton SE’s in respect of acquiring Competition Act approval; WestJet in connection with its C$5-billion acquisition by Onex Corporation; London Stock Exchange Group plc’s US$27-billion acquisition of Refinitiv; The Stars Group Inc. in connection with its US$15-billion merger with Flutter Entertainment Inc.; Red Hat, Inc. on its US$34-billion sale to IBM; General Electric Company on its C$11.1-billion merger of GE Transportation with Wabtec Corporation; Digital Colony Partners and EQT Infrastructure IV Fund on their US$14.3-billion proposed acquisition of Zayo Group Holdings, Inc., and Harris Corporation on its US$34-billion merger with L3 Technologies, Inc.

Blakes is at the forefront of high-profile competition litigation matters, including contentious mergers, advertising, abuse of dominance, reviewable trade practices and other civil matters before the Canadian Competition Tribunal, the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. Blakes lawyers also appear before the superior courts and the Supreme Court of Canada on criminal matters and class actions. Recent experience includes: Dow Chemical in its C$1-billion-plus litigation with NOVA Chemicals Corporation; Samsung Electronics Canada Inc. in connection with Pioneer Corp. v. Godfrey; Microsoft Corporation with respect to a class action alleging anti-competitive conduct and Visa Canada Inc. in its successful defence of a price maintenance application filed by the Commissioner of Competition and defending and resolving national class actions.

Blakes has a formidable team of practitioners with recognized expertise in every aspect of competition law and foreign investment review. They draw strength from our deep bench of experienced lawyers, including many of the strongest women lawyers in Canada. Blakes was named Regional Firm of the Year – Americas in the 2019 GCR and our lawyers are consistently ranked as leading practitioners in Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business; The Lexpert®/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada; The Legal 500 Canada; Acritas Stars; Global Competition Review’s GCR 100, The Legal 500, The Canadian Lawyer Top 25 Most Influential, and Who’s Who Legal.

Blakes lawyers also play active roles within the competition bar. Randall Hofley, Partner, returned to the firm after a two-year secondment with the Competition Bureau Legal Services, where he served as General Counsel and Senior Enforcement Advisor, and Navin Joneja is Chair of the Competition Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association.

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