Mark Nicholson is a partner in Gowlings’ Toronto office and leader of the Firm’s Competition Law/Antitrust National Practice Group.
As a member of the Business Law Group, Mark has gained recognized expertise in Canadian Competition law and in Investment Canada Act matters.
Mark has extensive experience in all areas of competition law, from obtaining clearances under Canada’s merger review regime, to dealing with criminal and non-criminal matters under the Competition Act. Mark regularly interacts with the Canadian Competition Bureau (the quasi-independent government agency that administers the Competition Act) and has made numerous appearances before the Canadian Competition Tribunal in both contested and consent cases. Many of these cases required active co-ordination as part of a large multi-national legal team.
Competition law analysis typically requires counsel to obtain an in-depth understanding of the businesses under review. The knowledge in turn allows counsel to be a more effective counsellor to the business. To that end, Mark has gained expertise in the industry areas including the following:
- Automobile distribution
- Car rentals
- Pharmaceuticals (both Human Health and Animal Health)
- Newspapers and magazines
- Financial Services
- Waste Collection and Disposal
- Payment Cards
- Auto parts manufacturing
- Chemicals manufacture
- Retail distribution
- Oil and Gas (upstream and downstream)
- Medical Devices
- Insurance and Reinsurance
With respect to obtaining merger clearances, Mark has led the Canadian component of many multi-national teams to co-ordinate merger filings, submissions and interactions with the Competition Bureau. He has also led the Canadian team to obtain clearances in respect of significant acquisitions of Canadian businesses.
Mark has provided advice and guidance in obtaining clearance under the Investment Canada Act to many investors. Where necessary, he has met with officers from the Investment Review Division and negotiated undertakings that both satisfied the Industry Minister that the proposed transaction was of “net benefit to Canada”. At the same time, he worked with the client to ensure that the nature of undertakings delivered to the Minister still allowed the acquired business to achieve the client’s investment and operational objectives.
Immediately prior to joining Gowlings, Mark headed the competition law practice group at another major Toronto-based firm.
In addition to his law practice, Mark has been an adjunct professor of law at the University of Western Ontario, teaching Competition Law. He has also been an adjunct professor in the LLM program at Osgoode Hall Law School, teaching both Advanced Competition Law and Advanced Corporate Finance. He has served on the Faculty of Law, University of Illinois as a Visiting Instructor, teaching legal research (U.S.), legal writing and appellate advocacy.
Mark is recognized in Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business 2013 for Competition/Antitrust.