Kevin Ackhurst heads our Canadian competition law team. He advises Canadian and international clients on all aspects of Canada’s competition and foreign investment laws. His practice involves analyzing the competitive implications of mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic alliances, providing advice concerning civil and criminal competition law matters, developing competition law compliance programs, and advising on the review of foreign investments under the net benefit and national security provisions of the Investment Canada Act.
Mr. Ackhurst has advised clients in a wide range of industries, including the aerospace, agri-business, automotive, consumer products, energy, film, video, publishing and recorded music, financial services, mining, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, specialty chemicals, telecommunications and transportation sectors.
In 2002-2003, Mr. Ackhurst was seconded to the International Affairs Division of the Canadian Competition Bureau. One of his primary responsibilities was to provide support to the chair of the International Competition Network steering group. His other responsibilities included preparing ministerial briefing notes, undertaking international benchmarking studies, and participating in interdepartmental meetings on the interplay between trade and competition law.
Mr. Ackhurst contributes competition- and regulatory-related items to our Canadian M&A blog Deal Law Wire, and comments frequently on competition and foreign investment matters on Twitter @CanadaAntitrust.
Year of call
LL.M., University of Toronto, 1997
LL.B., Osgoode Hall Law School, 1996
B.A., Western University, 1993
- “Looking Backward and Forward: A Five-Year Retrospective on the Competition Act Amendments” (panelist), Canadian Bar Association National Competition Law Section, Toronto, February 4, 2015.
- “Price Maintenance after Visa/Mastercard” (moderator), Canadian Bar Association National Competition Law Section 2013 Spring Forum, Toronto, May 28, 2013.
- “Foreign Investment Review in Canada: The Uncertain Road” (moderator), Canadian Bar Association National Competition Law Section 2010 Annual Fall Conference, Gatineau, Quebec, September 2010.
- “Merger Notification and Procedures Working Group” (moderator), International Competition Network Annual Conference, Italy, September 2002 and Mexico, June 2003.
Selected client work
Mr. Ackhurst has recently acted for the following clients:
- Graphic Packaging International, Inc. in its acquisition of the folding carton converting and paperboard mill assets of Cascades Inc.
- Quebecor Media Inc. in the sale of its English‑language newspaper business (which includes approximately 35 daily newspapers and 140 weekly newspapers) to Postmedia Network Inc.
- Avis Budget Group Inc. in a Competition Bureau investigation into its advertising practices
- Yamana Gold Inc. in its joint $3.9 billion acquisition with Agnico Eagle Mines Limited of 100% of the shares of Osisko Mining Corporation
- Vision Globale A.R. Ltée in the sale of its assets to TVA Group
- Royal DSM N.V. in the $2.6 billion combination of DSM Pharmaceutical Products and Patheon Inc. into a new privately held company, named DPx Holdings B.V., as well as its $540 million acquisition of Ocean Nutrition Canada Limited
- Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. in its C$1.6 billion acquisition of Petrominerales Ltd., and its acquisitions of C&C Energia and PetroMagdalena Energy
- ING Groep NV in the $3.1 billion sale of its ING Direct Canada subsidiary to the Bank of Nova Scotia
- Nortel Networks Limited in the sale of its CDMA Business and LTE Access Assets to Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson, its Enterprise Solutions Unit to Avaya Inc., its Optical Networking and Carrier Ethernet business to Ciena Corporation, its global Carrier VoIP and Application Solutions business to GENBAND, and the proposed sale of its intellectual property portfolio
- Porter Airlines in successfully resisting Air Canada’s application for judicial review of the method of allocating take‑off and landing slots at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, and various matters before the Canadian Competition Bureau
- "Canada's Competition Bureau and leadership," Lexpert, March 1, 2014
- "Pharma is on the Competition Bureau’s radar," Canadian Lawyer, May 26, 2014
- “Canada Sharpens Focus on SOE Deals,” The Wall Street Journal, April 30, 2013
Rankings and recognitions
- Acritas StarsTM 2017 – Designated as a “Star” lawyer by a panel of over 3,000 global senior in-house counsel
- Chambers Canada, 2016-2017: Competition/Antitrust
- Best Lawyers in Canada, 2013-2017: Competition/Antitrust Law
- Expert Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers in Competition and Antitrust (Legal Media Group), 2014-2015 (Rising Star), 2016 (Expert)
- The Legal 500 Canada, 2015-2016: Competition/Antitrust
- Chambers Global: Canada, 2015: Competition/Antitrust
Memberships and activities
- Canadian Bar Association
- National Competition Law Section
- Chair, Mergers Committee (2012-2013)
- Foreign Investment Review Committee
- American Bar Association
- Adjunct Professor, Competition Law, Western University Law School (2010 session)
- Canadian correspondent, Competition Newsletter, International Law Office
The Competition Bureau recently cleared the proposed acquisition of Canexus Corporation by Chemtrade Logistics Income Fund despite concluding that the transaction was likely to result in a substantial lessening or prevention of competition..
March 22, 2017
Plaintiffs in follow-on competition law class actions routinely seek information from Canada’s Competition Bureau (Bureau) in aid of their actions..
March 21, 2017
Kevin Ackhurst, Stephen Nattrass, Erin Brown provide an overview of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA or the Agreement).
February 16, 2016