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Lawson A.W. Hunter

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(613) 566-0527

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Lawson A.W. Hunter Q.C.
Law Practice
Lawson Hunter is one of Canada's renowned regulatory and government relations counsel, drawing on a wide range of experience in business, government and private practice. Most recently, Mr. Hunter was recognized as the 2016 recipient of the Chambers Canada Lifetime Achievement award for his prominent practice and global reputation as a leading life-time practitioner and influential member of the Canadian bar. Formerly Canada's senior civil servant in charge of competition policy and enforcement, Mr. Hunter was primarily responsible for the drafting of the federal Competition Act. From 1993 to 2003, he was a partner of Stikeman Elliott and head of the firm's Competition and Foreign Investment Group. From 2003 to 2008, he served as executive vice-president and chief corporate officer of Bell Canada and BCE Inc., where he was responsible for overseeing regulatory, governmental relations and corporate affairs. In September 2008, he rejoined the Ottawa office of Stikeman Elliott as counsel. From April 2010 - May 2012, Mr. Hunter assumed the role of head of the Competition and Foreign Investment Group and recently returned to his role as counsel.

Mr. Hunter advises a wide variety of Canadian and multinational corporations on all aspects of federal regulatory law and policy. This includes foreign investment legislation, anti-dumping and international trade, telecommunications law and Heritage Canada issues, in addition to competition/antitrust matters. He is particularly noted for his experience as an advisor on the regulatory aspects of mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Hunter is a graduate of the Directors' Education Program of the Institute of Corporate Directors and is highly experienced in matters of corporate governance. He has served as a director of major telecommunications and IT companies such as CGI Group and Bell Aliant and is a former chair and trustee of Bell Aliant Regional Communications Income Fund.

Mr. Hunter was recently appointed by C.D. Howe Institute as a Senior Fellow specializing in regulatory and competition policy, and has been appointed to their National Council which advises the Institute's research program. He was honoured with Lexpert's Zenith Award: Celebrating Leadership Through Change, recognizing lawyers who have been change-agents in their profession for forty or more years. While in private practice, Mr. Hunter has consistently been ranked in national and international surveys as one of Canada's and the world's leading counsel on regulatory matters. Such recognitions include:

  • Chambers Canada 2017 as a leading lawyer in Competition/Antitrust.

  • Chambers Global 2017 as a leading lawyer in Competition/Antitrust and Investment Canada, with clients stating he is "a dean of the Canadian competition Bar" and the "pre-eminent competition lawyer in Canada" and "one of the best in Canada - he gives tremendous advice". Also deemed the "first choice for competition law in Canada", noting his "important political connections".

  • Global Competition Review's Country Survey: Canada as "among the most talented and well-regarded in the country" and also as "one of the pre-eminent names on the Canadian antitrust scene".

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2017 as a leading lawyer in Competition and Telecommunications Law.

  • The Legal 500 Canada 2016 in Competition & Antitrust.

  • The 2016 Lexpert/American Lawyer Media's Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada in Competition Law.

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada 2017 in Competition/Antitrust and Communications law.

  • Who's Who Legal: Canada 2015 in Competition law.

  • 2016 Expert Guides: Competition and Antitrust.

  • Best of the Best as one of the World's Top 20 competition and antitrust lawyers.

  • Lexpert Guide 2016 to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Corporate Lawyers in Canada in the area of Competition Law.

  • Lexpert Guide 2017 to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Litigation Lawyers in Canada in the area of Competition Law.

  • Lexpert/ROB Special Edition: Canada's Leading Litigation Lawyers, December 2015.

Professional Activities
He is chairman of MSI Corporation. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information (Columbia Business School, New York).

Mr. Hunter has served as a director of ITAC (the Information Technology Association of Canada). He is a past chair of the Trade and Customs Law Subcommittee of the Antitrust and Trade Law Section of the International Bar Association (IBA) and of the National Competition Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association, as well as of the CBA's National Sections Council.

Mr. Hunter is a frequent panellist at conferences on federal regulatory law.

Mr. Hunter's community and charitable activities include:

  • Member, Carleton University Leadership Council, 2009-present.

  • Chair, Ottawa Art Gallery, 2009-present; Chair, Ottawa Art Gallery, 2003-2006; Director, Ottawa Art Gallery, 1997-2003.

  • Member, re:vitalize - Toronto Reference Library Campaign, 2009-present.

  • Member, Black and White Opera Soiree Fundraising Committee for the National Arts Centre and Opera Lyra Ottawa, 2008-present; Chair, 2006-2007.

  • Member, University of New Brunswick Lord Beaverbrook Law Scholarship Selection Committee, 1999-present.

Harvard (LL.M. 1971), University of New Brunswick (LL.B. 1970, B.Sc. 1967). Graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors, Directors' Education Program, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, 2008. Mr. Hunter was recently granted an Honorary Doctorate of Laws Degree (L.L.D.) from the University of New Brunswick.

Bar Admission
New Brunswick, 1971
Ontario, 1986

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