Elisa K. Kearney

Elisa Kearney is a partner in the Competition & Foreign Investment Review, Investigations & White Collar Defence, Technology, Communications & Media and Retail practices. Elisa has developed a practice in all areas of competition law including, competition litigation, mergers, cartels and reviewable conduct.

Most recently, Elisa is representing Google before the Competition Bureau. Elisa also represented Just Energy Group, Inc. with respect to competition matters in connection with its proposed sale of National Energy Corporation to Reliance Comfort Limited Partnership as well as National Energy Corporation, an intervenor in abuse of dominance proceedings brought before the Competition Tribunal by the Commissioner of Competition against Reliance Home Comfort and Direct Energy. Elisa previously acted for the Commissioner of Competition in one of the most significant proceedings before the Competition Tribunal in recent years, the challenge brought by the Commissioner of Competition under the price maintenance provisions of the Competition Act against Visa and MasterCard's merchant rules.

In addition to these public matters, Elisa has represented a number of domestic and international companies in alleged cartel investigations by the Competition Bureau and has particular experience responding to searches and “dawn raids”, conducting interviews and negotiating and securing leniency or immunity agreements. She also routinely counsels clients on contests, misleading advertising and promotional practices as well as pricing and distribution laws in Canada. She has also acted as external counsel to the CRTC.

Elisa is a member of the firm's Student Committee and Knowledge Management Committee.

Representative Work

  • Acting for Precision Castparts Corp. on Canadian competition and foreign investment review aspects of its proposed acquisition of Noranco for US$560 million.

  • Acting for GE Capital on Canadian regulatory matters in connection with the sale of various portfolios of assets, including its sale of Antares Capital to Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board for $12 billion; sale of its transportation finance business in the U.S. and Canada to Bank of Montréal; and sale of most of its railcar leasing business to Wells Fargo & Co. and the sale of its tank car fleet assets and railcar repair facilities to Berkshire's Marmon Holdings Inc.; and sale of its commercial lending and leasing business to Wells Fargo & Co for US$32 billion.

  • Acted for West Face Capital Inc. in its acquisition, together with a consortium of investors including Globalive Capital, Tennenbaum Capital Partners and LG Capital Investors, of the interests of VimpelCom Ltd. in Globalive Wireless Management Corp. (doing business as WIND Mobile).

  • Acts as Canadian counsel to Google Inc. on competition and other regulatory matters including in connection with the regulatory aspects of the sale of its Motorola Home business to Arris Group, Inc., its US$12.5-billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. and its acquisition of ITA Software.

  • Acted for Just Energy Group, Inc. with respect to competition matters in its sale of National Energy Corporation, its water heater and HVAC home services business, to Reliance Comfort Limited Partnership for $505 million.

  • Acted for Corus Entertainment Inc. with respect to the regulatory aspects of its acquisition from Bell Media of interests in certain TV (Teletoon, Historia & Séries+) and radio assets in Ottawa currently held by Astral Media, Inc. The combined acquisition price for these assets is $494 million.

  • Acted for US Airways Group, Inc. in connection with the competition law aspects of its merger with AMR Merger Sub, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Airlines, Inc. The combined equity value is approximately US$11 billion.

  • Acted for Square, Inc. in connection with the expansion into Canada of its electronic payment service that allows users to accept credit card payments through their mobile devices.

  • Acted as Canadian counsel for Consorcio Comex, S.A. de C.V. with respect to regulatory matters in connection with the acquisition of Consorcio Comex, S.A. de C.V. by The Sherwin Williams Company for approximately US$2.34 billion.

  • Acted for the Commissioner of Competition, the Head of the Canadian Competition Bureau, in the first challenge ever brought under the civil price maintenance provisions of the Competition Act alleging that the merchant rules of Visa and MasterCard are unlawful. This is one of the most significant proceedings to be brought before the Competition Tribunal in recent years, and resulted in a lengthy trial before the Tribunal.

  • Acted for Westerkirk Capital Inc. in its acquisition of Vista Broadcast Group Inc., the parent company of Vista Radio Ltd. which holds 38 broadcast licences serving 50 communities throughout British Columbia, Alberta and the Northwest Territories.

  • Acted for George Weston Limited in connection with the acquisition of ACE Bakery Limited in a deal valued at $110 million.

  • Acted for Shaw Communications Inc. in its $2-billion acquisition through Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act proceedings of the conventional and specialty television business of Canwest Global Communications Corp., now known as Shaw Media.

  • Acted as Canadian counsel to The Black & Decker Corporation with respect to regulatory matters in connection with the acquisition of The Black and Decker Corporation by The Stanley Works in a deal valued at US$4.5 billion.

  • Acted as external counsel to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission with respect to its ownership and control review of Globalive Wireless Communications Inc. ("Wind Mobile").

  • Acted for Amcor Limited in the sale of its White Cap business in Europe, Asia, Brazil and the US to Silgan Holdings Inc. for a base price of $230 million.

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  • Named one of the 2015 Lexpert Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40.
  • Recognized in Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business and Chambers Canada as an up-and-coming lawyer in Competition/Antitrust.
  • Named in the GCR 100 Canada (guide to the world's leading competition law and economics practices).
  • Recognized in Who's Who Legal: Competition as a leading business law practitioner.
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada in Competition/Antitrust Law.
  • American Bar Association, Section of International Law, 2012 Outstanding Volunteer Award.

Professional Affiliations

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Co-chair, International Antitrust Committee, Section of International Law, American Bar Association

National Competition Law Section, Canadian Bar Association

American Bar Association, Section of Antitrust Law

Board Memberships

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Community Involvement

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Teaching Engagements

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Guest lecturer, Advanced Corporate Law, Queen's University Faculty of Law

Guest lecturer, Advanced Corporate Transactions, University of Toronto Law School

Speaking Engagements

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Elisa was co-chair of the ABA Section of International Law's Asia Regional Forum in Tokyo, Japan, March 2 and 3, 2015.

Elisa chaired the Canadian Bar Association's National Competition Law Section's conference titled Investment Canada Act: A Five Year Retrospective - Experience From the Front Lines on June 10, 2014.

Elisa co-chaired a discussion on enforcers' growing interest in transactions that fall below notification thresholds, and strategies to apply in countries with voluntary pre-merger notification regimes at the ABA Section of International Law and the International Association of Young Lawyers Joint Conference on June 6 and 7, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois.

Elisa spoke on Pricing and Distribution: New Challenges and Opportunities at the Osgoode Professional Development's Competition Law Essentials for Corporate Counsel, Business Lawyers and Executives program in Toronto on December 3rd, 2013.

Elisa spoke on Regulatory Compliance in Business Deals at Home and Abroad at Insight's Law and Practice (March 2012). Elisa spoke at the Canadian Bar Association's 2011 Annual Fall Competition Law Conference on From Rebates to Social Networks: Ten Challenges for Canadian Advertisers and at the CBA's 2011 National Competition Law Section Foreign Investment Review Committee mini-conference on Investment Canada Act: The times they are a-changin'.

Elisa also spoke at the American Bar Association Section of International Law Spring Meeting 2010 in New York on Technology and Innovation: Regulation in the High-Tech Economy and Networking and Business Development for Women (and Men!); the American Bar Association Section of International Law Spring Meeting 2009 in Washington, D.C. on Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling – Successful Women in their Field; and at the American Bar Association Section of International Law Fall Meeting 2008 in Brussels on Criminalization of Antitrust: The New Consensus?

Elisa Kearney
Elisa K. Kearney
Bar Admissions:

Solicitor, England and Wales, 2013

New York, 2010

Ontario, 2004


New York University, LL.M., 2009

Osgoode Hall Law School, LL.B., 2003

McGill University, B.A. (Honours) (History/Political Science), 2000