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.
LL.M., University of Toronto, 1997
LL.B., Osgoode Hall Law School, 1996
B.A., Western University, 1993
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
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, Nationwide: Competition/Antitrust, Chambers and Partners, 2018
- 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
"Townhall with Investment Review Division and Cultural Sector Investment Review" (moderator), Canadian Bar Association National Competition Law Section - Foreign Investment Review Committee Annual Conference, Toronto, July 1, 2017.
"Merger Review in the World of the Internet" (panelist), Canadian Bar Association National Competition Law Section - Mergers Committee, Teleconference, April 19, 2017.
"Advertising Update: Key Developments and What You Need to Know" (panelist), Canadian Bar Association National Competition Law Section 2016 Annual Fall Conference, Ottawa, October 7, 2016.
- "The Year in Review at IRD & CSIR— And Possible Changes Ahead?" (moderator), Canadian Bar Association National Competition Law Section - Foreign Investment Review Committee Annual Conference, Toronto, June 14, 2016.
- “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.
Memberships and activities
- Canadian Bar Association
- National Competition Law Section
- Chair (2017-2018), Vice-Chair (2015-2017), Foreign Investment Review Committee
- Chair (2012-2013), Vice-Chair (2010-2012), Mergers Committee
- American Bar Association
- Adjunct Professor, Competition Law, Western University Law School (2010 session)
The threshold for certain pre-closing net benefit reviews under the Investment Canada Act (ICA) and the threshold for a pre-closing merger notification under the Competition Act have been increased for 2018..
February 16, 2018
Last April, the Competition Tribunal (Tribunal) rejected arguments that the Tribunal’s longstanding approach to public interest privilege should re-evaluated and found that class privilege protected documents from disclosure that the Competition Bureau (Bureau) had collected from third parties during its investigation..
February 07, 2018
Canada clears airlines of predatory pricing.
August 24, 2017
Recent decision of Competition Bureau brings glad and bad tidings to shareholders.
April 04, 2017