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, he 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.
Davit has cleared major multi-jurisdictional and domestic mergers in a wide array of industry sectors and advises non-Canadian investors (including state owned enterprises (SOEs)) on Canadian foreign investment issues under the Investment Canada Act (ICA) and other federal legislation and policies. He is a market leader in advising Canadian and foreign-owned mining companies as well as SOEs with respect to the Government of Canada’s October 2022 Policy Regarding Foreign Investments from State-Owned Enterprises in Critical Minerals under the ICA.
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:
- Serving as global lead competition and foreign investment review counsel to Sandstorm Gold Ltd. in respect of its recent US$1.1 billion portfolio transformation, including its acquisition of Nomad Royalty Company Ltd.;
- Serving as global lead competition and foreign investment review counsel to Essity in respect of its US$320 million acquisition of 80% of Knix Wear, Inc.;
- Serving as co-lead counsel to Parrish & Heimbecker, Limited (P&H) in defeating the Commissioner of Competition’s challenge to P&H’s acquisition of Louis Dreyfus Company’s Canadian grain elevators. This was only the second merger challenge decided on the merits since the Competition Act was amended in 2009;
- Serving as co-lead counsel to Loblaw Companies Limited and George Weston Limited in criminal, immunity 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”;
- Serving as lead counsel to 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.;
- Serving as lead counsel to WonderFi Technologies Inc. on competition and regulatory matters for its acquisition of Coinberry Limited;
- Serving as lead counsel to AmeriPride Services Inc. on competition and regulatory matters for its US$1 billion acquisition by Aramark;
- Serving as lead counsel to Elanco Animal Health Incorporated in its acquisition of Prevtec Microbia, including inventory and pipeline assets;
- Serving as lead counsel to Stone Canyon Industries LLC on competition and regulatory matters for its US$2.4 billion acquisition of BWAY Corp.;
- Serving as lead counsel to Sumitomo Corporation on competition and regulatory matters for its €751 million acquisition of Fyffes plc;
- Serving as lead counsel to 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;
- Serving as counsel to the Commissioner of Competition in Commissioner of Competition v Visa Canada Corporation and MasterCard International Incorporated, the first (and only) price maintenance case heard by the Competition Tribunal;
- Serving as counsel to Canada Pipe in Commissioner of Competition v Canada Pipe Company Ltd, the seminal abuse of dominance case in Canada.
He is an active member of the Canadian and international competition bars. Davit is a Vice-Chair of both the Global Private Litigation Committee and the AI Task Force of the ABA Antitrust Law Section. He is also the immediate past Chair of the Antitrust Law Committee of the ABA Business Law Section and a former Chair of the Criminal Matters and Legislation & Competition Policy Committees of the CBA National Competition Law Section.
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.
Davit clerked at the Supreme Court of Canada for Justice Louise Arbour. Prior to joining Cassels, he was a partner at another leading national firm.