Experience

Cal was appointed Queen’s Counsel by the Canadian Government while he was head of the Competition Bureau (May 1986-October 1989). He was the first appointee to the Soloway Chair of Business and Trade Law, University of Ottawa in 1989-90. Over the course of his career, Cal has represented a wide range of public and private companies within Canada and on the international stage. In the 1990s, he successfully represented the Attorney General of Canada as special counsel in the appellate proceedings (which included the Supreme Court of Canada) on the constitutional validity of Section 45 (the cartel provision) of the Competition Act. In addition to representing a wide range of clients in merger cases before the Competition Bureau and the Investment Review Division, and representing clients in various abuse of dominance and other Competition Act cases, in recent years Cal has advised and/or represented:

  • Microsoft Corporation on various antitrust/competition law and policy matters internationally as well as in Canada;
  • Illumina, Inc. in 2022-23 in relation to the serious jurisdictional issues arising from the European Commission’s assertion of jurisdiction over Illumina’s acquisition of GRAIL, Inc., including the preparation of a Statement of Concerns that was then signed by 12 very experienced, respected leaders of the competition law and policy community including former European judges and former chairs of the ICN’s Steering Group, which was published in Concurrences in September 2023;
  • A good number of major financial firms based in the US, Canada, and the UK in relation to the C$26 billion Rogers-Shaw proposed merger over the course of 2021-2023;
  • The Vancouver Airport Authority in the successful defense of the Commissioner of Competition’s abuse of dominance application before the Competition Tribunal, and in the prior appellate proceedings before the Federal Court of Appeal, which successfully resulted in a fundamental change to the law of privilege in the competition law context;
  • Spectra Energy Corp in its merger with Enbridge Inc. for $37 billion in stock, creating the largest energy infrastructure company in North America;
  • Cintas Corporation in its acquisition of G&K Services, Inc. for total consideration of approximately US$2.2 billion;
  • 7-Eleven Canada Inc. in its acquisition of 144 retail gasoline sites from Imperial Oil;
  • Vista Equity Partners in its agreement to acquire DH Corporation and combine D+H with its portfolio company, Misys for $4.8 billion;
  • Simon & Schuster Canada in connection with an investigation of alleged anti-competitive conduct involving e-book pricing in Canada;
  • The NHL in relation to the review by the Canadian Competition Bureau of the 12-year, $5.2-billion agreement between Rogers and the NHL with respect to broadcasting rights for NHL hockey games in Canada;
  • The Mark Anthony Group in the sale of its ready-to-drink and other assets, including the Mike’s Hard Lemonade brand, in Canada, to Ambev;
  • The Match Group, a subsidiary of IAC/InterActiveCorp in connection with its US$575 million acquisition of PlentyOfFish Media Inc;
  • Postmedia Network Canada Corp. in its acquisition of Sun Media’s English-language newspapers and digital properties across Canada;
  • Park’N Fly as regulatory counsel in connection with the sale of its national car park business assets and operations in Canada to a joint venture led by Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Limited and Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited;
  • Microsoft Corporation in connection with its 2013 US$7.2-billion purchase of Nokia Corporation’s mobile phones and devices business and license of certain related patents and services;
  • Maple Group Acquisition Corporation (consisting of 13 financial institutions), as co-counsel in connection with its acquisition of TMX Group Inc. in a transaction valued at C$3.7 billion;
  • BHP Billiton PLC on its US$40-billion offer to acquire Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan;
  • CTVGlobemedia Inc. in connection with its acquisition by Bell Canada for C$3 billion;
  • Suncor Energy Inc. in connection with its C$43-billion merger with Petro-Canada;
  • Representing the Law Society of Upper Canada (now the Law Society of Ontario) against the Attorney General of Canada in obtaining a declaration from the Ontario Court (General Division) in 1996 that the Competition Act does not apply to the Law Society in the operation of its mandatory insurance scheme. 

Cal also has been involved as defense counsel in a number of major Canadian and international cartel cases, from earlier cases pertaining to fax paper, lysine and vitamins, through to more recent cases pertaining to auto parts and other product markets.

Cal has published extensively and spoken widely in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia on the subjects of competition law, foreign investment review and trade practices. He also has spoken on various panels on the interface of foreign investment/national interest reviews with competition reviews. He was Editor (2013, 2017 and 2018) and continues to be Co-Editor, since 2019, of the Foreign Investment Regulation Review (published in the UK by Law Business Research Ltd). He also continues to be Co-Editor of Competition Law of Canada (Juris Publishing). 

Recent Podcasts & Publications

Canada should open telecom and airlines to foreign competition from friendly countries – with Thomas Mathews, The Globe and Mail

The Foreign Investment Regulation Review, 11th Edition – with Alex Potter

Holistic approach is needed to fix Canada’s telecom troubles: 2023 Competition Summit – Phalen Creed

Four flaws in Ottawa’s New Competition Framework – with George Addy, C.D. Howe Institute

Statement of Concerns regarding the jurisdictional issues arising in the European Commission’s position in relation to the Illumina Grail Transaction – with Frank Montag and John Pecman, Concurrences

‘There’s never been a case like this,’ lawyer says as Competition Bureau reviews Meta’s news block in Canada – Jesse Cnockeart, The Hill Times

Terence Corcoran: Canadian competition chief enlists U.S. in bureau’s ‘monopoly’ war – Terrence Corcoran, Financial Post Section of the National Post

Competition law experts urge Ottawa to allow foreign ownership of telecoms to bring down prices – Andrew Willis, The Globe and Mail

How Outdated Foreign Ownership Rules Hurt Competition in Telecom and Other Sectors – with Richard Taylor and Larry Schwartz, C.D. Howe Institute

Analysis: RBC tightens grip at home with $10 bln HSBC Canada bid, regulatory risks loom – Divya Rajagopal, Reuters

The Foreign Investment Regulation Review – with Alex Potter, The Law Reviews

Analysis: Antitrust rules, Petro-Canada profits may hinder Suncor from selling unit – Divya Rajagopal and Rod Nickel, Reuters

Relationship Between Foreign Investment Screening and Merger Control Reviews – with Michael Koch, BIAC at the OECD Competition Committee

Proposed Revision of the Efficiency Defense for Mergers in Canada’s Competition Act – with Richard Taylor, Nicholas Cartel and Larry Schwartz, Competition Policy International

The Potential Impact of Geopolitical and Economic Issues on Proposed Mergers and Acquisitions – M&A Expert Guide

Proposed Revision of the Efficiency Defense for Mergers in Canada’s Competition Act – with Richard Taylor, Nicholas Cartel and Larry Schwartz, C.D. Howe Institute

Terrence Corcoran: How not to fix potato chip wars – Terrence Corcoran, Financial Post Section of National Post

“Failing Firm” Claims in Merger Review – with Justine Johnston, Michael Koch and David Rosner, Goodmans LLP

Canada Tightens Scrutiny Over Foreign Investment in Response to COVID-19 – with Justine Johnston, Michael Koch and David Rosner, Goodmans LLP

Canadian Foreign Investment Review – What to Expect in 2020 – with Justine Johnston, Michael Koch and David Rosner, Goodmans LLP

Federal Court of Appeal Levels the Playing Field for Respondents Before the Competition Tribunal

Reversal of National Security Order Signals a Shift in Attitude Towards Investment from China

“Our Curious Amalgam” Episode #68: What, It’s Not Only Merger Control? The Rise of Foreign Direct Investment Controls Worldwide – hosted by John Roberti and Matthew Hall, American Bar Association Podcast