TORONTO, October 17, 2022 – Cozen O’Connor welcomed commercial litigator Michael Osborne — who has defended leading pharmaceutical, banking, and technology enterprises based in Canada, the United States, and Asia in class actions alleging price fixing and other high-stakes litigation — to its fast-growing Commercial Litigation Department. Osborne, who will also chair the firm’s new Canadian Antitrust practice, joins Cozen O’Connor as a member and will work out of its Toronto office.
Osborne comes to the firm from Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, where he was a partner in that firm’s Litigation and Competition and Foreign Investment groups. As the 16th attorney to join the firm’s Vancouver/Toronto offices since June 2021, Osborne’s addition contributes further to the firm’s ongoing expansion in Canada, as well as the continuing buildout of its Commercial Litigation Department.
“Michael’s antitrust practice is national in scope and fits the strategic objectives of our Toronto and Vancouver offices like a glove. His addition gives us a new practice area in Canada — competition — and also enhances the firm’s commercial litigation services, both in Canada and the United States,” said James H. Heller, co-chair of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Department. “As a trial lawyer with substantial experience in regulatory matters, particularly competition/antitrust and other commercial disputes, he brings a cross-border pedigree that’s vitally important to our Canadian clients. I’m excited to welcome him to the firm and our department.”
In his new role, Osborne will counsel and defend clients in inquiries and proceedings initiated by Canada’s Competition Bureau, including criminal matters, abuse of dominance, and marketing and advertising matters. He will also help clients obtain approval for mergers under the Competition Act and the Investment Canada Act, including national security reviews. He will continue to counsel and represent clients in class actions and other private proceedings under Canada’s Competition Act.
Osborne, who has acted as trial and appellate counsel before all levels of court across Canada, also represents and advises corporate clients in contractual and shareholder disputes, as well as commercial fraud, employment, regulatory and white-collar crime matters. He has represented clients before Canada’s Competition Tribunal and other administrative tribunals, and arbitral tribunals in international and domestic arbitrations, both institutional and ad hoc. Osborne has most recently defended a major generic drug manufacturer, capacitor and optical disk drives manufacturers, and a major US bank in the Visa/Mastercard price fixing class actions.
“Michael brings an established, highly-regarded antitrust and foreign investment review practice to our growing Canadian team,” said Brigeeta Richdale, vice chair, White Collar Defense & Investigations.
“Further, he strengthens our commercial litigation practice by supporting businesses involved in M&A, antitrust investigations, or other litigation in Canada. I’m happy to welcome him to Cozen O’Connor and the Toronto office,” added Shane Hardy, co-office managing counsel of the firm’s Toronto office.
Recognized by Chambers Canada and Best Lawyers in Canada for his antitrust and litigation work, Osborne speaks and writes frequently on competition and commercial litigation-related topics. He has held numerous positions in the Canadian Bar Association’s Competition Law Section, most recently as editor of the Canadian Competition Law Review. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a member of ICDR Canada’s roster of arbitrators; and was part of a working group that helped develop the country’s new Competition Tribunal Rules. Osborne is also acutely aware of cross-border issues, serving as a fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America; and a vice-chair of the Books and Treatises committee of the American Bar Association’s Antitrust Law Section.
“I chose Cozen O’Connor because I relish the challenge of building the firm’s Canadian Antitrust practice,” Osborne said. “While I plan on working closely with Jonathan Grossman and Mark Jacobson and others to build that practice overall, I’ll also play a role in building the firm’s commercial litigation practice.”
Osborne earned his LL.B. from Dalhousie University; an M.A. in medieval studies at the University of Toronto; and a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Saskatchewan.
About Cozen O’Connor
Established in 1970, Cozen O’Connor has over 825 attorneys who help clients manage risk and make better business decisions. The firm counsels clients on their most sophisticated legal matters in all areas of the law, including litigation, corporate, and regulatory law. Representing a broad array of leading global corporations and middle-market companies, Cozen O’Connor serves its clients’ needs through 31 offices across two continents.