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Expertise / Sectors / Communications

As globalization, technology and novel global crises redefine the way we work, live and connect, communications companies rely on our Communications group to help navigate the changing legal and regulatory landscape. Blakes has a long-standing communications law practice in Canada that covers all aspects of telecommunications, broadcasting and radiocommunication regulation. We have played a leading role in some of the most significant transactions in the communications industry over the past decades and have provided strategic advice to major communications players with interests in Canada.

Blakes Communications lawyers keep pace with our clients in an industry experiencing highly accelerated growth rates. Communications players retain our services in the context of disputes, hearings, regulatory enforcement actions and public consultation processes, including consultations of critical importance to the future of the telecommunications and spectrum environment in Canada (such as the deployment of 5G) carried out by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED).

Our Communications lawyers have been sought out by a wide variety of companies to advise on virtually every type of communications law issue. We provide expert representation and strategic regulatory advice to leading international and domestic wired and mobile telecommunications giants, broadcasters, satellite companies, internet service providers, and emerging media and entertainment businesses. We assist these clients with licensing and certification applications, wireless spectrum auctions, spectrum allocation and usage matters, annual filings, consumer safeguard measures (e.g., do-not-call regulations) and operational requirements. Our lawyers also routinely advise on corporate, commercial and financing transactions in the communications space.

Clients large and small regularly call on us for both strategic counsel and powerhouse advocacy before tribunals and regulatory bodies and in courtrooms. Working with our Media & Defamation group, we also advise leading media companies on libel, defamation, privacy and other issues relevant to communications companies.

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Recent Experience
  • AMC Networks on its strategic partnership with Shaftesbury, Inc., an award-winning creator and producer of original content

  • ​The Special Committee of GVIC Communications Corp. on its going-private transaction.

  • RTL Group (a listed international media company majority-owned by Bertelsmann) on the sale of its interest in BroadbandTV for C$159-million in cash plus a promissory note as part of a management buyout and IPO 

  • Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners in connection with its acquisition of Xplornet Communications Inc., Canada’s largest rural-focused broadband service provider. This is the largest private equity transaction in Canada in 2020.

  • Equinix, Inc. on its C$1.04-billion acquisition of 25 data-centre facilities across Canada from Bell Canada 

  • Digital Colony Partners and EQT Infrastructure IV Fund on their consortium’s US$14.3-billion agreement to acquire and recapitalize Zayo Group Holdings, Inc.

  • Bell Canada Inc. regarding the review of the foreign ownership structure of Globalive Communications before both the CRTC and the federal Cabinet review proceeding.

  • National Hockey League Enterprises, as its Canadian regulatory advisor, with respect to broadcasting and media matters in relation to the distribution of its programming in Canada and its interest in the NHL Network. Also represented the NHL in CRTC proceedings in relation to regulatory treatment of New Media.

  • Harris Corporation on its US$675-million worldwide acquisition of the Canadian wireless network systems business of Tyco Electronics Ltd.

  • Global Banking Corporation on its acquisition of 11 per cent of S Tel in India, a joint venture established between Batelco in Bahrain and the Siva Group  in India.

  • TATA Communications of India on corporate, commercial and certain regulatory matters.

  • Israeli-based Haaretz Daily Newspaper Ltd. in successfully representing them before the Supreme Court of Canada concerning internet jurisdiction and the alleged defamation of Canadian businessman Mitchell Goldhar.

Awards & Recognition

Blakes Communications lawyers have been recognized as leaders in their respective fields in the most recent editions of the following publications:

  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business

  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory

  • The Legal 500 Canada

  • Who's Who Legal: Telecommunications, Media & Technology

  • Who's Who Legal: Canada

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada