GCR 100 - 15th Edition

Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP

Professional notice


For its numbers, clients and caseload, rivals freely admit that Blake Cassels & Graydon houses the top competition practice in Canada. Led by Who’s Who Legal nominee Brian Facey, the firm counts 16 partners and some 15 other lawyers after hiring three new associates over summer. Since 2010 the firm has also had a document production practice to respond nimbly to supplemental information requests. In early 2014 the competition team said goodbye to Calvin Goldman, who took a partnership at M&A powerhouse Goodmans. He took some big-name clients with him, but the calibre and amount of work has shown little downturn since then.

Facey says his team is handling a flood of so-called mega deals: multibillion-dollar transactions that often need clearance from a handful of enforcers, including Canada’s Competition Bureau. Facey is busy advising Swiss cement company Holcim in its worldwide C$50 billion tie-up with Lafarge, which will see Holcim sell off almost all of its Canadian subsidiary to appease regulators. He and partner Julie Soloway, another Who’s Who Legal entrant, helped Thermo Fisher close its US$13.5 billion merger with Life Technologies after one of the most intense cross-border coordination efforts in the history of antitrust. The team also advised both Omnicom and Publicis on their US$35 billion merger and partner, Navin Joneja, was counsel to Merck & Co in the US$14.2 billion sale of its over-the-counter business to Germany’s Bayer.

“Everyone does everything at our firm because we are such a factory for antitrust cases,” Facey says. Still, some lawyers tend to lean more towards litigation than others. Partner Robert E Kwinter is one of the bar’s top competition litigators, rivals say; he is representing Nestlé against criminal charges that the Swiss company fixed prices with other chocolate makers. Fellow Who’s Who Legal nominee Randall Hofley is on a number of contentious files: representing Mitsui and others in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia class actions alleging price fixing in the ocean shipping industry. Both are also working with Joneja on behalf of Penguin, the only publisher yet to settle with the Competition Bureau in its e-books probe.

The Blakes Competition, Antitrust & Foreign Investment Group is repeatedly acknowledged as the leading practice in Canada. It has attracted a formidable team of practitioners and developed recognized expertise in every aspect of competition law and foreign investment review. Blakes is frequently retained by major domestic and international companies and by international and domestic law firms to provide strategic counsel and representation in merger reviews, cartel investigations, abuse of dominance cases, distribution practices, advertising matters and other competition issues. Blakes is also a leading firm with respect to securing merger approvals for non-Canadian purchasers under Canada’s foreign investment laws.

Blakes is frequently 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. Our lawyers also appear before the superior courts and the Supreme Court of Canada on criminal matters and class actions.

Blakes has a proven track record of success in acting for clients on multinational transactions and investigations where co-ordination among counsel and agencies in the United States, Europe and other jurisdictions is a paramount objective. Blakes lawyers understand how competition laws fit within the broader context of complex corporate transactions and business affairs generally. Blakes can draw on the Firm's vast resources and leading expertise in related practice areas, such as litigation, securities and intellectual property. The Firm's expertise and proven experience allow it to provide clients with the timely, practical and strategic advice necessary to ensure compliance with competition laws while facilitating their transactions and assisting them in realizing their business objectives.

199 Bay Street
Suite 4000, Commerce Court West
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M5L 1A9

Calvin S. Goldman, Q.C.
Co-chair, Blakes Competition, Antitrust & Foreign Investment Group
E: [email protected]

Brian A. Facey
Co-chair, Blakes Competition, Antitrust & Foreign Investment Group
E:  [email protected]

Visit our website at www.blakes.com

Unlock unlimited access to all Global Competition Review content