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Criminal Investigations & Prosecutions

Criminal Investigations & Prosecutions
Criminal Investigations & Prosecutions
Expertise / Practices / Foreign Investment / Competition & Antitrust / Criminal Investigations & Prosecutions

The Blakes Competition, Antitrust & Foreign Investment group has frequently been called upon to represent clients investigated and/or charged under the criminal cartel provisions of the Competition Act. We have been involved in the majority of the major cartel investigations in Canada and have secured immunity, leniency or a discontinuous ruling in relation to some of Canada's most high-profile cartel cases, including many of the recent trans-border criminal cartel investigations related to auto parts. In light of the tremendous demand that immunity and leniency applications impose on Competition Bureau resources, the Bureau has been scrutinizing such applications and insisting on strict compliance with designated timelines and information production requirements.

We have extensive experience defending corporations in court proceedings under the criminal cartel provisions of the Competition Act, including some of the most high-profile criminal conspiracy, bid-rigging and price maintenance cases in Canadian history, beginning with the PANS case that proceeded to the Supreme Court of Canada. By way of example, Blakes acted as co-counsel for RhônePoulenc Biochimie S.A. in a matter under section 45 of the Competition Act that was resolved through Federal Court proceedings; negotiated a resolution for Toyota Canada, the first time that a payment to a charity has been accepted in settlement of a Competition Act matter; and represented Nestlé Canada Inc. in its successful defence of alleged violation of criminal cartel provisions.

Blakes lawyers have also been involved in numerous investigations and prosecutions in respect of misleading advertising and promotional contest provisions of the Competition Act and have extensive experience litigating these matters, such as in Bell Aliant v. Rogers, Church & Dwight v. Sifto and UPS v. Purolator. We are also experienced in negotiating resolutions, including with respect to consent agreements for clients such as Bell, Forzani, Sears and GoodLife.

Much of the Firm's work in this area involves preventing problems before they arise. We do this by providing prudent advice concerning the structuring of business transactions and the conduct of business affairs, and the work is accordingly not public.

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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.