Abstract Earth view from space with fiber optic cables rising
Abstract Earth view from space with fiber optic cables rising
Abstract Earth view from space with fiber optic cables rising

COMPETITION & ANTITRUST LAW

Companies operating in today’s global economy face a highly complicated world. All major governments have enacted competition laws—and regulators are aggressively enforcing them with penalties that can have a material impact on a company’s performance.

These laws and enforcement regimes, as well as increasingly elaborate and concentrated business structures, create a highly complex legal environment. Trade and investment agreements between nations can complicate matters even further, creating not only ambiguity, but also the potential for inadvertent breaches of the law.

McMillan’s experienced and highly ranked Competition and Antitrust Group helps clients in virtually every industry to navigate this maze of regulations. Our lawyers are highly rated by Canadian (Lexpert, Best Lawyers in Canada) and International (Chambers, Who’s Who Legal, Global Competition Review 100, Expert Guides (Euromoney) observers. “The antitrust group is led by very thoughtful people who are efficient and have very substantial credibility with the Canadian Competition Bureau. Their advice to clients is clear and concise” – 2023 Chambers Canada Research. We are very active in national and international organizations, including the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), the American Bar Association (ABA), the International Bar Association (IBA), and the International Competition Network (ICN).

COMPETITION & POLICY ADVOCACY

While companies must ensure that they operate in compliance with applicable competition laws, they may also advocate for changes to improve the law and policy framework. McMillan’s Competition Group leverages our deep understanding of competition law and our hands-on experience with many regulatory regimes when competition law or enforcement policy changes are being considered, creating a more positive environment for our clients.

Our name is synonymous with best practices in public policy advocacy to influence competition law. McMillan founded the Competition Policy Group, a multi-industry group that actively participates in the major Competition Act reform processes and stakeholder consultations conducted in Canada by the Competition Bureau. Internationally, McMillan co-founded and led the Merger Streamlining Group, a group of multinational competition law firms advocating for more effective and efficient merger review regimes. The Group’s submissions have contributed to positive public policy changes to competition law in several jurisdictions in addition to Canada, including Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Germany, India, Korea and Japan.

CARTELS

Canada boasts some of the world’s toughest anti-cartel laws, which prohibit companies in the same industry from agreeing to keep prices artificially high to limit competition. As one of Canada’s most highly regarded antitrust and cartel competition law firms, McMillan  is home to experienced antitrust lawyers, who have litigated some of the most significant cartels in recent Canadian history.

McMillan’s competition lawyers assist companies facing potential cartel-related prosecution. From a preventative standpoint, we help clients remain in compliance with the law. If a client is the subject of an investigation or prosecution, we help assess all options including seeking immunity or leniency under the relevant Competition Bureau programs, or defending against criminal and/or civil proceedings. In addition to criminal proceedings, companies may also be susceptible to class action proceedings brought by consumers. Both criminal and civil cases often have a cross-border component and are enforced by multiple competition authorities working together. Whatever path is chosen, our goal is to protect the interests of our clients.

FOREIGN INVESTMENT REVIEW

Canadian companies in a variety of industries are attractive prospects for international investors. Like most countries, Canada applies a measure of control over investments made in domestic industries by foreign entities under the Investment Canada Act, The Act ensures direct foreign investment does not unduly impact the competitive environment in any given industry.

International companies seeking to invest in Canadian enterprises, along with the targets of these acquisitions, require legal counsel with significant expertise with the process. McMillan’s Competition and Antitrust Group has deep experience navigating the rules, regulations and processes that govern such transactions. We work with foreign companies in a wide range of industries as they seek to acquire Canadian entities, and with Canadian companies that are the subjects of potential acquisitions by foreign investors.

As recognized experts in foreign investment law, McMillan excels at helping national and global businesses by advising on the application of the Investment Canada Act; providing guidance through the regulatory review process; negotiating appropriate undertakings to achieve approval; obtaining ministerial opinions regarding non-reviewability; and providing counsel to governmental agencies and regulators.

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC & TRADE SANCTIONS

International economic and trade sanctions are directed against individuals, companies and countries that engage in money laundering, military activity, terrorism, the development and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, human rights abuses and other corruption. Economic sanctions and international law restrictions can take the form of limitations on trade or other economic activity, as well as the seizure or freezing of property. There are also extensive anti-money laundering laws that attempt to restrict cross-border flows of the profits from criminal activities.

McMillan’s international trade lawyers assist companies navigate the restrictions posed by international economic and trade sanctions by creating and implementing processes and governance models to ensure compliance with Canadian and other economic and trade sanctions as well as money laundering laws; assisting companies in obtaining government permits and rulings to authorize otherwise prohibited transactions; advising importers and exporters on making voluntary disclosures to avoid Administrative Monetary Penalties, detainments, seizures or ascertained forfeitures of goods and related criminal charges; providing representation in proceedings and appeals before governmental bodies, tribunals and courts; and preparing and submiting notifications of communications to the Attorney General of Canada under FEMA.

Primary Contacts

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Dr. A. Neil Campbell

Partner, International Trade | Competition, Antitrust & Foreign Investment

James B. Musgrove

Partner, Competition, Antitrust & Foreign Investment

Mark Opashinov

Partner, Competition, Antitrust & Foreign Investment

Deals and Cases

Downloads

What’s It All about, Matthew? - Some Thoughts on the Future of Competition Policy in Canada

Our paper, “What’s It All About, Matthew?” was officially submitted to the government of Canada in response to Industry, Science, and Economic Development Canada’s consultation process “The Future of Competition Policy in Canada” on January 27, 2023. Download File

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