Davit Akman  

Partner

Executive Summary

Davit Akman is a Partner in our Toronto office and a member of the firm’s GCR100-ranked Competition and Foreign Investment Review Group. He is consistently recognized for his expertise in competition/antitrust law, including by Who's Who Legal and Global Competition Review as one of the world's leading competition experts aged 45 and under. Clients and peers have described Davit as “an excellent lawyer — very thoughtful, responsive, and strategic” and as “diligent, efficient and creative".

He advises domestic and international clients, including leading pharmaceutical, software, manufacturing, retail and technology sector companies, on all aspects of Canadian competition and foreign investment review law, including mergers and acquisitions, cartel investigations, private actions, advertising and marketing practices, abuse of dominance and other reviewable trade practices. 

Davit has secured regulatory clearance in cross-border and international transactions in a wide array of industry sectors, and advises non-Canadian investors (including state-owned enterprises) on Canadian foreign investment issues under the Investment Canada Act and other federal policies/legislation.

Davit has served as counsel in a number of Canada's most important competition litigation cases, including matters before the Supreme Court of Canada and the Competition Tribunal. He represented the Commissioner of Competition in Commissioner of Competition v Visa Canada Corporation and MasterCard International Incorporated, the first price maintenance case heard by the Canadian Competition Tribunal. Davit was also counsel in Commissioner of Competition v Canada Pipe Company Ltd, the seminal abuse of dominance case in Canada. He has represented parties in inquiries under the civil and criminal provisions of the Competition Act, including immunity and leniency applicants with respect to alleged price fixing and other cartels. 

A significant portion of Davit's practice has involved defending national and cross-border class actions alleging anti-competitive conduct. He appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada in Sun-Rype Products Ltd v Archer Daniels Midland, one of Canada's leading antitrust class action cases. Davit has defended numerous class actions alleging anti-competitive conduct, including those involving cathode ray tubes, compressors, chocolate confectionary products and capacitors. 

He clerked at the Supreme Court of Canada for Justice Louise Arbour.

Representative Work

  • Acting as Canadian counsel for KEMET Corporation and KEMET Electronics Corporation in multiple class actions alleging price fixing in respect of sales of capacitors, including with respect to cross-border issues arising out of parallel U.S. class actions and international antitrust investigations.
  • Acting as counsel for British Airways Plc. in a Quebec class action alleging price fixing with respect to fuel surcharges on certain long-haul passenger flights.
  • Acted for Eli Lilly and Company in successfully striking a competition counterclaim for damages by Mylan Pharmaceuticals ULC in patent and trademark infringement litigation in respect of tadalafil (CIALIS®).
  • Acted as Canadian counsel to Stone Canyon Industries LLC on competition and regulatory matters in connection with its $2.4 billion acquisition of BWAY Corp.
  • Acted as Canadian counsel to Stone Canyon Industries LLC on competition and regulatory matters in connection with its $2.3 billion acquisition of Mauser Group NV.
  • Acted as Canadian counsel to Sumitomo Corporation on competition and regulatory matters in connection with its €751 million acquisition of Fyffes plc.
  • Acted as Canadian counsel to Securian Financial Group on competition and regulatory matters in connection with its $142 million acquisition of the Affinity business of ivari
  • Acted for eBay Canada Limited and Marktplaats BV in successfully opposing an application by Audatex Canada, ULC to the Competition Tribunal for leave to apply for an order under the refusal to deal provision in section 75 of the Competition Act.
  • Acted for Innovative Medicines Canada (formerly Rx&D) — the national association of leading research-based pharmaceutical companies — and several of its members in respect of the updating of the Competition Bureau's Intellectual Property Enforcement Guidelines.
  • Acted for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce before the Supreme Court of Canada in the leading antitrust class action appeal in Sun-Rype v Archer Daniels Midland.
  • Acted for the Commissioner of Competition before the Competition Tribunal in the price maintenance case brought against Visa and MasterCard.
  • Acted for BCE Inc. and Bell Canada in the landmark case in the Supreme Court of Canada involving the proposed $51.7 billion privatization of BCE — the largest leveraged buyout in history.
  • Acted as Canadian counsel to Hewlett-Packard on competition and regulatory matters in connection with its $40 billion acquisition of Compaq. 
  • Acted as Canadian counsel for Mars Canada and Mars, Incorporated in multiple class actions alleging price-fixing in respect of sales of chocolate confectionery products, including with respect to cross-border issues arising out of parallel U.S. class actions, and in a related criminal investigation by the Canadian Competition Bureau.
  • Acted as Canadian counsel for Whirlpool and Embraco in multiple class actions alleging price fixing in respect of sales of compressors, including with respect to cross-border issues arising out of parallel U.S. class actions, and in a related criminal investigation by the Competition Bureau.
  • Acted as Canadian counsel for Beijing Matsushita Color CRT Company, Ltd. in multiple class actions alleging price fixing in respect of sales of cathode ray tubes, including with respect to cross-border issues arising out of parallel U.S. class actions.
  • Acted for Rogers and Microcell in defending a series of class actions throughout Canada concerning so-called "system access fees" charged by Rogers, Microcell and many other telecommunications companies. These include some of the largest class actions in Canadian history.
  • Acted for DIRECTV, Inc. in the Supreme Court of Canada in Bell Express Vu Limited Partnership v Rex, a leading decision on the interpretation of the federal Radiocommunication Act and, more generally, the principles governing the interpretation of statutes.
  • Acted for Canada Pipe Company Ltd. before the Competition Tribunal, Federal Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Canada with respect to the leading abuse of dominance case in Canada.
  • Acted for a target in the criminal investigation by the Commissioner of Competition into an alleged conspiracy in the Canadian carbonless paper industry.
  • Acted for Agricore United in proceedings before the Competition Tribunal to rescind a consent agreement filed in connection with the merger of United Grain Growers Ltd. and Agricore Cooperative Limited, to form Agricore United.
  • Acted for the Commissioner of Competition as special counsel in connection with contested proceedings relating to a Consent Order in respect of Abitibi-Consolidated Inc.’s acquisition of Donahue Inc.
  • Acted as special advisor to the Commissioner of Competition concerning proposed amendments to the Competition Act (including the criminal conspiracy provision in section 45).
  • Acted for Barrick Gold Corporation in defending successfully claims asserted against Barrick by Newmont Mining Corporation and St. Andrew Goldfields Ltd. in respect of royalty and other agreements entered into in connection with the sale of a sizeable operating mine in Northern Ontario.
  • Acted for the Special Committee of Patheon Inc. in its response to a hostile bid made by JLL Partners Inc., valued at US$600 million, including in proceedings before the Ontario Securities Commission and in an action by Patheon for, among other things, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of confidence, breach of contract, conspiracy and oppression.
  • Acted pro bono for the Federation of Associations of Canadian Tamils in the Supreme Court of Canada in a Charter of Rights and Freedoms challenge to the federal Immigration Act in Suresh v Canada.

Publications & Presentations

Publications

  • Author, "Hot Topics in Misleading Advertising: Ordinary Price Claims and Other Competition Bureau Enforcement Priorities," BLG's Competition and Foreign Investment Review Bulletin, July 2017.
  • Author, "Avoiding Nightmares: Moving from Competition Compliance Training to Compliance Management," BLG's Competition and Foreign Investment Review Bulletin, July 2017.
  • Author, "Canada" chapter of 3rd edition of ABA Section of Antitrust Law, Antitrust Class Actions Handbook (forthcoming).
  • Author, "Private Competition Law Actions (Canada)," Practical Law Canada — Thomson Reuters, February 2017. ​
  • Author, "Foreign Investment Review in Canada: Past, Present & Future", Competition Law Review, Volume 1, No. 2, November 2016.
  • Author, "FinTech Market Study May Lead to Important Regulatory Changes in Canada," BLG's Competition and Foreign Investment Review Bulletin, May 2016.
  • Author, "Questionable Policy: New Canadian IP Enforcement Guidelines Miss the Mark on Pharma," BLG's Competition and Foreign Investment Review Bulletin, April 2016.
  • Author, "GCR Know how-Antimonopoly & Unilateral Conduct in Canada", Global Competition Review, September 2015.
  • Author, "Recent Ontario Decision Confirms that Proposed Secondary Market Securities Class Action Claims Will be Subject to Rigorous Scrutiny," Lexology, August 2015.
  • Author, "Canadian Competition Bureau Issues Draft Update of Intellectual Property Enforcement Guidelines," Lexology, June 2015.
  • Author, "Canadian Competition Tribunal Issues First Contested Hold Separate Order in a Merger Case," Lexology, June 2015.
  • Author, "Canadian Competition Tribunal Issues Important Guidance on the Interpretation of Consent Agreements," Lexology, May 2015.
  • Author, "Potential Changes to the Canadian Competition Bureau's Intellectual Property Enforcement Guidelines may be a Game-Changer for Technology Companies and Firms in Patent-Intensive Industries," Lexology, April 2015.
  • Author, "Tiny Merger Will Have Major Implications for Merger Review in Canada," Lexology, January 2015.
  • Author, "International Suppliers and Retailers Get Two Lumps of Canadian Competition Law Coal for the Holidays," Lexology, December 2014.
  • Author, "Legitimate Businesses Should Be At Least As Concerned As Fraudsters About the Competition Act-Related Amendments Under Canada's New Anti-Spam Legislation," CPI Antitrust Chronicle 7:2, July 2014.
  • Author, "Recent Decisions Highlight the Importance of Dealing with Attorney-Client Privilege Ownership in Corporate Transactions in Canada and the U.S.," Lexology, May 2014.
  • Author, "Illinois Brick Rejected in Canada," ABA Section of Antitrust Law, International Antitrust Bulletin, May 2014.
  • Author "Privilege Ownership Should be on Every Corporate Transaction Checklist," Lexology, September 2014.
  • Author, "The Usual Suspects?: The Scope of Corporate Criminal Liability under Canadian Antitrust Law," ABA Section of Antitrust Law, International Antitrust Bulletin, October 2013.
  • Author, "Northern Exposure?: Recent Developments in Antitrust Enforcement in the Canadian Pharmaceutical Industry," The Patent Lawyer, March/April 2013.
  • Author, "The Long Arm of US Antitrust Law Gets Longer," Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada, 2012.
  • Author, "The Mouse that Roared: Challenge of Small Merger has Significant Implications for Canadian Competition Enforcement," Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Litigation Lawyers in Canada, 2012.
  • Author, "The Pendulum Swings? Recent Developments in Canadian Competition Class Actions," Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Litigation Lawyers in Canada, 2011.
  • Author, "Tips for Retaining and Instructing Experts: The New Expert Witness Rule," Paper Delivered at The Twelve-Minute Civil Litigator, December 2011.
  • Author, "One Hand Taketh Away: Recent Developments in Indirect Purchaser Class Actions in Canada," 38 Advoc Q. 266, 2011.
  • Author, "Using Mareva Injunctions and Anton Piller Orders to Leverage Your Client's Position," Commercial Litigation, Ontario Bar Association, October 2010.
  • Author, "Competition Class Actions in Canada — Has the Bar Been Lowered for Certification of Indirect Purchaser Class Actions?" 11:2 Corporate Litigation 658, 2010.
  • Author, "Private Competition Litigation in Canada," CPI Antitrust Chronicle 8:2, August 2010.
  • Author, "Class Action First in Canada: Contested Price-Fixing Class Actions Including Indirect Purchasers Certified for First Time by Canadian Courts," Antitrust Trial Practice Newsletter (The Section of Antitrust Law of the American Bar Association), Winter 2010.
  • Author of two reports Commissioner of Competition , "Legislative Framework for Amending Section 45 of the Competition Act" and "Proposal for Legislative Changes to Section 45 of the Competition Act", both of which appear on the Competition Bureau's website.

Presentations  

  • Program Chair and Speaker, BLG Competition/Antitrust Developments Update, Toronto ON, September 26, 2017.
  • Program Chair and Speaker, "Managing and Minimizing Antitrust and Other Deal Risks – Issues, Trends and Developments in the United States and Canada”, Annual Meeting of the ABA Business Law Section, Chicago IL, September 14, 2017.
  • Program Chair and Moderator, "Merger Mashup - Trends and Developments in Merger Enforcement in the US, Europe and Canada," ABA Business Law Section In The Know CLE Webinar presented by the Antitrust Law Committee, May 12, 2017.
  • Program Chair, "Antitrust Essentials for Business Lawyers: Gun Jumping, No-Poaching Agreements and Other Antitrust Don'ts", CLE Webinar of the Antitrust Law Committee of the ABA Business Law Section, December 15, 2016. 
  • Speaker, "Merger Update: United States and Beyond", Pepper Hamilton's Annual Antitrust Development Update CLE Event, Philadelphia, PA, December 6, 2016.
  • Speaker, "'Some Basis in Fact' – A Disappearing Threshold?", BLG In-house Counsel Class Action Seminar, Toronto ON, November 24, 2016.
  • Program Co-Chair and Speaker, "Class Actions for Litigators", Law Society of Upper Canada, Toronto ON, November 15, 2016.
  • Speaker, "Avoiding Nightmares: Moving from Antitrust Compliance Training to Compliance Management", BLG In-house Counsel Professional Development Conference, Toronto ON, November 1, 2016.
  • Speaker, "Standard Essential Patents in Canada", Intellectual Property Rights Committee of the American National Standards Institute, Washington DC, October 2016.
  • Panellist, "The IPEGs in International Perspective", CBA Competition Law Fall Conference, Ottawa ON, October 2016.
  • Program Co-Chair and Moderator, "Merger Mashup:  Agency Merger Enforcement  - Canada, Europe and the US", Annual Meeting of the ABA Business Law Section, Boston MA, September 2016.
  • Panellist, "Intellectual Property and Competition Law", CBA Economics and Law Committee Roundtable, Toronto ON, April 2016.
  • Guest Lecturer, "Antitrust/Pharma Issues in Canada", Rutgers University School of Law, Camden NJ, April 2016.
  • Speaker, "International Antitrust Enforcement", Pepper Hamilton's Annual Antitrust Development Update CLE Event, Philadelphia, PA, December 2015.
  • Program Co-Chair and Moderator, "Antitrust Issues in the Internet Age," Annual Meeting of the ABA Business Law Section, Chicago IL, September 2015.
  • Webinar Chair and Moderator, "PLSAs, SEPs, and PAEs: The Antitrust/IP Acronyms You Should Know and Understand," Antitrust Law Committee of the ABA Business Law Section, June 2015.
  • Program Co-Chair and Speaker, "Things are Heating Up: The Facts and Myths Businesses Need to Understand about the Global Climate Change in IP/Antitrust", Spring Meeting of the ABA Business Law Section, San Francisco CA, April 2015.
  • Speaker, "Roundtable on the Competition Bureau's White Paper on Patent Litigation Settlements," CBA National Competition Law Section, Toronto ON, November 2014.
  • Program Chair, "Class Actions: A Bootcamp for Litigators," Law Society of Upper Canada, Toronto ON, October 2014.
  • Program Chair and Moderator, "When Compliance Programs Fail," Annual Meeting of the ABA Business Law Section, Chicago IL, September 2014.
  • Speaker, "Hot Issues in Intellectual Property," Annual Fall Competition Law Conference of the CBA National Competition Law Section, Ottawa ON, September 2014.
  • Speaker, "Antitrust and Monopolization Developments," Spring Meeting of the ABA Business Law Section, Los Angeles CA, April 2014.
  • Speaker, "Understanding National Class Actions," The Advocates' Society Class Actions Advocacy Program, Toronto ON, March 2014.
  • Speaker, "Life-Cycle Management Strategies," Competition Bureau (Invitation Only) Workshop on Antitrust Issues in the Pharmaceutical Sector, Ottawa ON, November 2013.
  • Program Chair and Moderator, "When Compliance Programs Fail: Best Practices for Investigating Potential Wrongdoing and Managing the Fallout," Annual Meeting of the Association of Corporate Counsel, Los Angeles CA, October 2013.
  • Speaker, "Privacy Class Actions in the US and Canada," Law Seminars International, Washington DC, May 2013.
  • Speaker, "Protecting Your Company from Northern Exposure," All Hands Meeting International, Santa Clara CA, May 2013.
  • Moderator, "Class Actions and Private Enforcement in Canada," Competition Law Spring Forum of the CBA National Competition Law Section, Toronto ON, May 2013.

Rankings & Recognitions

  • Recognized by Who's Who Legal and Global Competition Review as one of the world's leading competition experts aged 45 and under in the 2017 edition of Who's Who Legal: Competition - Future Leaders.​
  • Recognized in the 2017 and previous editions of Expert Guides - Competition and Antitrust as a world's leading practitioner.
  • Recognized in the 2017 and previous editions of The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory (Competition Law).
  • Recognized in the 2016 edition of The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory (Litigation - Corporate Commercial).
  • Peer Review Rated in Martindale-Hubbell (2016). Noted as “an excellent lawyer — very thoughtful, responsive, and strategic.”
  • Recognized in The Legal 500 Canada (2016) in the area of Competition and Antitrust as a "diligent, efficient and creative litigator".
  • Recognized in the 2015 and previous editions of Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys.
  • Recognized as a "Litigation Lawyer to Watch" in the 2011 Lexpert® Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Litigators.
  • Recognized as one of Lexpert®'s Rising Stars — Leading Lawyers Under 40 (2010).