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Merger Review & Control

Merger Review & Control
Merger Review & Control

As one of the largest and most active mergers and acquisitions practices in the country, the Blakes Competition, Antitrust & Foreign Investment group is frequently retained by major domestic and international companies and leading domestic and international law firms to provide strategic counsel and representation in merger planning, risk allocation and securing timely approvals before the Competition Bureau (Bureau) and the courts. Our lawyers have been involved in many of the largest and most complex mergers in the history of Canadian business and many other mergers with global implications.

The Bureau is now taking a much more active approach to its review of strategic competition mergers and becoming increasingly sophisticated in conducting its investigations. The Bureau has expanded its focus to identify and review non-notifiable mergers that may impact competition and closely consider the impact of mergers on data, technology and related markets. The net effect of these changes has been to reduce business certainty in the strategic merger review process and increase the need for advanced legal guidance.

Blakes is also at the forefront of competition merger litigation. There are six merger cases that form the primary body of merger jurisprudence in Canada. Blakes has represented the parties in all five of the cases in which the parties were successful (SouthamCP ShipsHillsdownSuperior Propane and Labatt). Most recently, Blakes represented United Continental Airlines (regarding its alliance agreements with Air Canada) and Office Depot, Inc. (regarding its merger with Staples, Inc.) before the Competition Tribunal.

We advise clients with respect to securing merger approvals for non-Canadian purchasers under Canada’s foreign investment laws and regulations, including all aspects of the Investment Canada Act (ICA). The ICA contains general review and notification requirements for a wide range of investments by non-Canadians, as well as a comprehensive and increasingly utilized national security review regime. Our lawyers are experienced in navigating the complex maze of laws and regulations governing these investments, including the special rules that apply to state-owned enterprises, sovereign wealth funds, investors from certain countries and cultural businesses.

Awards & Recognition

Blakes was named Regional Firm of the Year – Americas in the 2019 GCR Awards and Competition Law Firm of the Year in the 2018 Benchmark Canada Awards.

Members of our Competition, Antitrust & Foreign Investment group are consistently ranked as leading practitioners in the most recent editions of the following publications:

  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business (Competition/Antitrust) ranks Blakes in Band 1, its top tier for Competition/Antitrust. Brian Facey, Cassandra Brown, Randal Hofley, Navin Joneja, Robert Kwinter, Julie Soloway and Micah Wood are recognized as leading lawyers.

  • Canadian Lawyer Magazine names Julie Soloway one of Canada’s Most Influential Lawyers 2020. Brian Facey was included in the 2017 list.

  • Global Competition Review’s GCR 100 ranks the Blakes Competition, Antitrust & Foreign Investment group in the “Elite” category, the review’s highest designation, noting that Blakes “continues to be at the top of Canadian competition law, and is considered ‘the firm to beat’ by several of its rivals.”

  • Global Competition Review’s Women in Antitrust ranks Julie Soloway as one of the world’s leading women lawyers in competition.

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada (Competition/Antitrust Law) named Brian Facey as Lawyer of the Year (2021) and recognizes Cassandra Brown, Navin Joneja, Robert Kwinter, Julie Soloway and Micah Wood. 

  • The Legal 500 Canada (Competition/Antitrust) ranks Blakes in the top tier with clients referring to us as “market leader.”

  • Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys recognizes Catherine Beagan-Flood, Réal Forest, Jeff Galway, Randall Hofley, Robert Kwinter, Claude Marseille, Dalton McGrath, James Sullivan and Robert Torralbo for their expertise in competition litigation.

  • Who’s Who Legal: Foreign Investment Review recognizes Brian Facey, Rob Kwinter and Julie Soloway as leading lawyers.

  • Who's Who Legal: Competition recognizes Brian Facey, Navin Joneja, Robert Kwinter, Julie Soloway and Micah Wood.

  • Who's Who Legal: Thought Leaders Global Elite - Competition recognizes Brian Facey a top competition lawyer in Canada.

  • Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders - Competition recognizes Brian Facey, Robert Kwinter and Julie Soloway were also recognized as Thought Leaders.

  • Who’s Who Legal: Canada (Competition) recognizes Brian Facey, Navin Joneja, Robert Kwinter, Julie Soloway and Micah Wood as leading lawyers.

  • Who's Who Legal: Competition - Future Leaders recognizes Cassandra Brown and Kevin MacDonald as the foremost practitioners in competition law.

  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada ranks Brian Facey and Robert Kwinter as leading lawyers.

  • The Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Litigation Lawyers in Canada ranks Brian Facey and Robert Kwinter as leading lawyers.

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory ranks Brian Facey, Navin Joneja, Robert Kwinter and Julie Soloway as leading lawyers.