Year on year, Blake Cassels & Graydon consistently houses the best antitrust team in Canada. Led by Brian Facey, the firm counts 19 partners, of whom seven are Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees. Facey says his team is handling a flood of so-called mega deals: multibillion-dollar transactions that often need clearance from multiple enforcers, including Canada’s Competition Bureau.
In the past year, he and partner Julie Soloway were busy advising Swiss cement company Holcim in its worldwide C$50 billion tie-up with Lafarge, which required selling off all of Holcim’s Canadian subsidiary to appease regulators. Soloway is taking the lead as Canadian competition counsel to Office Depot in its US$6.3 billion acquisition by Staples. Facey and Navin Joneja advised GlaxoSmithKline in its C$25 billion three-part deal with Novartis, for which they won competition clearance without any Canada-specific remedies or second requests, and which was recognised by GCR as Matter of the Year.
“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, and won access to Hershey’s leniency application. 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.
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Brian A. Facey
Chair, Blakes Competition, Antitrust & Foreign Investment Group
E: [email protected]
Visit our website at www.blakes.com