Davit Akman


 | Toronto

Davit Akman (he/him/his) is a partner in the Business Law Group at Cassels and Chair of the firm’s Competition & Foreign Investment Group. A leader in his field, Davit advises market-leading domestic and international firms on all aspects of Canadian competition and foreign investment review law, including mergers & acquisitions, cartels and other criminal matters, private actions (including class actions), advertising and marketing practices, abuse of dominance and other reviewable trade practices.

He has cleared major multi-jurisdictional and domestic mergers 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 legislation and policies.

Davit has also served as counsel in a number of Canada’s most important competition litigation cases, including matters before the Supreme Court of Canada and the Canadian Competition Tribunal.

He has been described in recent editions of Chambers as a “charismatic and effective advocate,” “extraordinarily smart and practical,” and as having a “really strong reputation at the [Canadian Competition] Bureau.”

Davit’s experience includes:

  • Advising Parrish & Heimbecker, Limited (P&H) on competition and regulatory matters in respect of its acquisition of Louis Dreyfus Company’s Canadian grain elevators and representing P&H in competition litigation before the Competition Tribunal arising from that transaction. This was the first fully contested merger case heard by the Tribunal since 2011;
  • Representing Loblaw Companies Limited and George Weston Limited in criminal and civil proceedings arising from what has been described by the former Commissioner of Competition as “the largest alleged conspiracy in the history of Canadian competition law enforcement”;
  • Advising the Government of Canada/CDIC on all Canadian competition and regulatory matters in its acquisition of the Trans Mountain Pipeline and proposed expansion project from Kinder Morgan, Inc.;
  • Representing Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Inc., USA and Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. in connection with the Canadian generics price fixing litigation. This case has been described as involving “the largest [alleged] private sector corporate cartel in history”;
  • Advising AmeriPride Services Inc. on competition and regulatory matters for its US$1 billion acquisition by Aramark;
  • Advising Elanco Animal Health Incorporated in its acquisition of Prevtec Microbia, including inventory and pipeline assets;
  • Advising Stone Canyon Industries LLC on competition and regulatory matters for its US$2.4 billion acquisition of BWAY Corp.;
  • Advising Sumitomo Corporation on competition and regulatory matters for its €751 million acquisition of Fyffes plc;
  • Representing the Canadian Chamber of Commerce before the Supreme Court of Canada in Sun-Rype Products Ltd v Archer Daniels Midland, one of Canada’s leading antitrust class action cases;
  • Representing the Commissioner of Competition in Commissioner of Competition v Visa Canada Corporation and MasterCard International Incorporated, the first price maintenance case heard by the Competition Tribunal;
  • Advising Hewlett-Packard on competition and regulatory matters for its $40 billion acquisition of Compaq; and
  • Representing Canada Pipe in Commissioner of Competition v Canada Pipe Company Ltd, the seminal abuse of dominance case in Canada.

See more of Davit’s work here.

A prolific writer, he has written extensively on a wide array of competition law-related topics. Davit also regularly participates as a subject matter expert in domestic and international conferences and events.

He is an active member of the competition bar and currently serves as the Chair of the Antitrust Law Committee of the ABA Business Law Section.  Davit is also a former chair of the Criminal Matters and Legislation & Competition Policy Committees of the CBA National Competition Law Section.

He clerked at the Supreme Court of Canada for Justice Louise Arbour. Prior to joining Cassels, Davit was a partner at another leading national firm.

  • Best Lawyers in Canada (Corporate and Commercial Litigation)
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (Competition Law; Class Actions)
  • Chambers Canada (Competition/Antitrust: Litigators)
  • Chambers Global (Competition/Antitrust: Litigators)
  • Euromoney Legal Media Group’s Expert Guides(Competition and Antitrust)
  • Lexpert/Report on Business Litigation Special Edition (Leading Litigators)
  • Lexpert Rising Stars Award (2010)
  • Who’s Who Legal: Global Leader (Competition)
  • Who’s Who Legal: National Leader (Canada – Competition)
  • “Davit Akman is a very strong advocate – he has a very high level of sophistication and commercial awareness, along with his expert knowledge of antitrust law.” – Chambers Canada (Competition/Antitrust: Litigators)
  • “Davit is savvy, well-connected, thoughtful and strategic.” – Chambers Canada (Competition/Antitrust: Litigators)
  • Acted pro bono for the Federation of Associations of Canadian Tamils in the Supreme Court of Canada in a Charter Rights and Freedoms challenge to the federal Immigration Act in Suresh v Canada.
  • LL.B. (with Honours), University of Toronto, 1999
  • B.A. (with Honours), Political Studies & Economics (First Class Standing), Queen’s University, 1995
  • Ontario, 2001
  • ABA Business Law Section, Chair, Antitrust Law Committee
  • ABA Antitrust Law Section, ABA Business Law Section Liaison & Member, International Comments and Policy Committee
  • Canadian Bar Association, Former Chair, Criminal Matters Committee, National Competition Law Section
  • Canadian Bar Association, Former Chair, Legislation & Competition Policy Committee, National Competition Law Section
  • Intellectual Property Institute of Canada, Former Chair, Competition Law Committee
  • International Bar Association, Member, Antitrust Committee
  • Law Society Ontario, Member