Elisa K. Kearney

Elisa Kearney is a partner in the Competition & Foreign Investment Review practice, counselling in all areas of competition law, including mergers, cartels, reviewable conduct and competition litigation. She also routinely advises clients on contests, misleading advertising and promotional practices as well as pricing and distribution laws in Canada.

Elisa is also a member of the Investigations & White Collar Defence practice, advising clients on compliance with anti-bribery and anti-corruption statutes; and a member of the Technology, Communications & Media practice, using her particular experience in the internet, telecommunications and media industries. She has represented clients before the Competition Bureau, the Competition Tribunal, Industry Canada and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). She has also acted as external counsel to both the Competition Bureau and the CRTC.

In 2015, she was the only Canadian named to Global Competition Review's "40 Under 40" rankings, which seek to identify the world's most talented young competition lawyers. She was also named one of the 2015 Lexpert Rising Stars: Leading Canadian Lawyers Under 40.

Elisa obtained an LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School and an LLM from New York University. She is called to the bar in Ontario and New York, and is a member of the Law Society of England and Wales.

Representative Work

  • Acted for Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., the leader in the Canadian convenience store industry, in connection with its $1.68-billion acquisition of 279 Esso-branded fuel and convenience sites; 229 of these sites are located in Ontario and 50 are located in Québec. The acquisition also includes land banks and dealer-operated sites, as well as a long-term supply agreement with Imperial Oil.

  • Acts as Canadian counsel to Google Inc. on competition and other regulatory matters.

  • Acted for Iron Mountain Incorporated (IRM) in connection with the divestiture of certain records and information management assets in the United States and Canada to Arkive, Inc., a portfolio company of the U.S.-based private equity firm, Summit Park Partners. The U.S. Department of Justice and Canadian Competition Bureau required these assets to be divested following IRM's US$2-billion acquisition of Recall Holdings Ltd.

  • Acted as Canadian counsel to Apollo Global Management LLC on competition and regulatory matters in connection with Apollo's US$7-billion acquisition of electronic security company ADT Corp.

  • Acted 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 WIND Mobile Corp. (WIND) and its shareholders, including West Face Capital, in connection with the sale of WIND to Shaw Communications Inc. for approximately $1.6 billion.

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

  • 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).

  • 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 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 to Global Competition Review's "40 Under 40" rankings, which seek to identify the world's most talented young competition lawyers.
  • 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 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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National Competition Law Section, Canadian Bar Association

American Bar Association, Sections of Antitrust Law and International 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 spoke on Inter-Jurisdictional Issues at the The Canadian Institute’s conference on Advertising & Marketing Law on January 24, 2017 in Toronto, ON.

Elisa spoke on The New Frontier: Cutting-Edge Issues in Advertising and Marketing at the CBA’s Competition Fall Conference on October 2, 2015 in Ottawa, ON.

Elisa was meeting co-chair of the ABA section of International Law’s Fall Meeting, and spoke on Heightened Activism in Antitrust Merger Review on October 22, 2015, in Montreal, QC.

Elisa spoke at the CD Howe Conference on The Future of Canadian Telecommunications and Broadcasting on a panel titled What Does the Consumer See? – Content in a Globally Integrated Sector on November 30, 2015 in Ottawa, ON.

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