Melanie Aitken is the Managing Principal of Bennett Jones (US) LLP, which carries on the practice of Canadian law in Washington, DC, in association with Bennett Jones LLP. She is also co-chair of the competition and foreign investment practice of Bennett Jones. She specializes in global antitrust and competition law and litigation, based in Washington, DC, and working closely with colleagues in our Toronto and other offices.
Melanie most recently served as Canada’s Competition Commissioner, in charge of the Canadian Competition Bureau. She headed the Bureau from 2009 to 2012, having previously served in the Bureau as the Senior Deputy Commissioner leading merger review from 2006 to 2009.
While serving as Commissioner, Melanie led many high-profile civil and criminal matters and worked extensively with leaders of international antitrust authorities around the world on enforcement and policy cases, holding leadership roles in key international organizations, such as the Steering Committee of the International Competition Network. Melanie is credited with revitalizing the Bureau as an active enforcement agency. Most notably, she led the introduction of major amendments to Canada’s competition laws, introducing a US-style second request merger review process in Canada, and a new per se criminal cartel offence. While establishing an unprecedented successful litigation record for the Bureau, Melanie initiated a landmark case that liberalized the Canadian real estate industry by removing rules that prohibited unbundled services, brought cases forward in significant matters (including a challenge to Visa and MasterCard over card acceptance rules, and challenging a merger to monopol