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David B. Elder

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(613) 566-0532

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David B. Elder
Law Practice
David Elder practises communications, competition and privacy law in the Ottawa office, where he is Chair of the Communications group and a member of the Competition and Foreign Investment, Privacy & Data Protection, Government Relations, Regulatory and Public Policy practice groups. He also serves as the firm's Chief Privacy Officer. He has over 20 years' experience gained in private practice, government and corporate settings. David was formerly Vice President, Regulatory Law with Bell Canada, where he also served as Bell Privacy Ombudsman, the equivalent of Chief Privacy Officer. He has also served as Legal Counsel to the CRTC.

David is one of Canada's leading practitioners in the area of unsolicited telecommunications. He has many years of experience in this area, assisting, during his tenure as counsel with the CRTC, with the development of some of the current rules, and in subsequent roles, arguing some of the key cases dealing with the interpretation and application of the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules. He has advised a range of clients with respect to compliance with these Rules and National Do Not Call List requirements, including representing clients with respect to investigations and enforcement action by the CRTC.

David is also recognized as one of the country's foremost authorities on Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), having been involved in all stages of the development of the new law, including making formal submissions on behalf of a number of clients and having successfully worked to help secure some key amendments to the law and regulations during the legislative process. He has advised many clients with respect to the interpretation and application of the new law, as well as assisting businesses with the development of anti-spam compliance programs. He is in high demand as a speaker on the topic of CASL.

David has provided legal and strategic advice with respect to a wide range of broadcasting and telecommunications proceedings, including those relating to licensing, policy matters and competitive disputes. In various written, oral, expedited and dispute resolution proceedings he has advocated on behalf of clients before the CRTC, Industry Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and several Parliamentary Committees and working groups.

He serves a broad range of clients in the communications industry including broadcasters, broadcasting distributors, Internet content providers, software-as-a-service providers, property developers, government departments and agencies, industry associations and telecommunications service providers employing Internet, wired, wireless and satellite technologies.

With respect to privacy matters, David provides privacy compliance advice to a wide range of Canadian and international businesses, including technology companies, on-line service providers, manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers, conducting both "bricks and mortar" and online activities. He also provides advice with respect to managing data breaches and navigating privacy issues arising in M&A transactions. David serves as Special Digital Privacy Counsel to the Canadian Marketing Association, in which role he advocates and advises on a range of electronic privacy issues, including spam regulation.

David is editor of, Stikeman Elliott's blog on legal and policy developments relating to communications. He is also a Research Contributor to the "Privacy Interviews with Experts Series" published by Nymity News, an international provider of privacy information, compliance and accountability solutions.

David was recently honoured with Lexology/The International Law Office's 2016 Client Choice Award in the Telecommunications, Ontario category. He has also been listed and recognized in the following publications:

  • Chambers Canada 2017 as a leading lawyer in Privacy & Data Protection and Telecommunications, Media & Broadcasting, with clients noting "his knowledge of anti-spam legislation in Canada is incredible - second to none", and that he is "a very senior figure in the market."

  • Chambers Global 2017, as a leading lawyer in Telecommunications, Media & Broadcasting. He has been noted as "extremely knowledgeable, competent and easy to talk to. He is good at breaking down a complicated process in a relatable and understandable way."

  • Best Lawyers in Canada 2017 in Communications Law.

  • Best Lawyers in Canada 2017 "Lawyer of the Year" in Privacy and Data Security Law, Ottawa.

  • The Legal 500 Canada 2017, as a leading lawyer in Technology, Media and Telecoms.

  • The 2017 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory in the areas of Telecommunications Law and Advertising & Marketing Law.

  • Who's Who Legal: Canada 2016 in Telecommunications Media & Technology.

  • Legal Media Group's 2016 Expert Guides: Telecommunications.

Professional Activities
David is an Executive Member of the Canadian Bar Association National Privacy & Access Law Section. He is past Chair of the National Entertainment, Media & Communications Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association and a member of the Steering Committee for the biennial Law Society of Upper Canada / Canadian Bar Association Communications Law and Policy Conference. He is also an active member of the International Committee of the Antitrust Law Section of the American Bar Association. He has been an active member of the Information Technology Association of Canada and the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association and is the former chair of the Lawful Access Committee of the Canadian Association of Internet Providers.

David is involved in a number of community and charitable endeavours, including the March of Dimes and Plan Canada. He is a Board Member of the Sir Ernest MacMillan Memorial Foundation, a charitable organization that provides financial support to young musicians in the pursuit of their advanced education and career development.

University of Ottawa (LL.B. 1989); York University (B.A. (Hons.) English Lit./Mass Com. 1985).

Immediately prior to joining Stikeman Elliott, David had his own law practice in Ottawa, specializing in communications and privacy law.

Bar Admission
Ontario, 1991

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