Sarah Mavula is a senior associate in Baker McKenzie's International Commercial Practice Group and the Global Antitrust & Competition Group in Toronto. Sarah practices competition/antitrust and foreign investment law. In parallel, she also advises clients on marketing, advertising and product regulatory compliance.
Sarah has been recognized as a 2022 Precedent Setter in Precedent Magazine and a 2022 Lexpert "Rising Star: Leading Lawyer Under 40" in Canada. Sarah co-chaired the Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Committee in the Toronto office from 2020-2023, and regularly advises on pro-bono matters.
Sarah regularly advises clients in a variety of industries on Canadian and international merger control, foreign investment and national security in corporate and commercial transactions. As part of her competition practice, Sarah routinely secures merger control clearances, and advises on pricing policies, competitor collaborations, abuse of dominance, and compliance programs. Her extensive experience in foreign investment matters under the Investment Canada Act includes assisting clients with the preparation of review applications and notifications, drafting and negotiating undertakings, and securing national security clearance for her clients.
As part of Sarah's complimentary practice, she assists businesses with the commercial and regulatory aspects of expanding to Canada, and from Canada to other markets. In doing so, she advises extensively on advertising and marketing law through all media types, focusing on a wide array of areas, including deceptive marketing, contests, sweepstakes and promotions, consumer protection, French language requirements, privacy and anti-spam laws, e-commerce, and product regulatory compliance involving food, cosmetics, medical devices, and other regulated consumer and industrial products.
Representative Legal Matters
- Secured Canadian merger clearance for Trillium Pharmaceutical, a clinical-stage blood cancer treatment company, in its nearly USD 2.3 billion acquisition by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc.
- Provided Canadian antitrust and foreign investment advice in Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A.'s, an international research-focused healthcare group, acquisition of Apotex Inc.'s global rights to deferiprone, an iron chelator used to treat iron overload conditions resulting from blood transfusions.
- Assisted a multinational pharmaceutical company in connection with antitrust and foreign investment clearance for the USD 55 million sale of one of its Canadian manufacturing facilities, which was scrutinized under national security laws as a result of the sensitive pharmaceutical sector. Obtained national security clearance under the Investment Canada Act.
- Secured national security clearance for a nearly USD 110 million transaction involving the acquisition of a high-grade metal processing facility subject to the federal government's Critical Mineral List.
- Advised a multinational entertainment company in its minority acquisition of a Canadian video games publisher, and obtained national security clearance.
- Advised Hitachi on Canadian competition and foreign investment law in its USD 8.1 billion acquisition of ABB's power grids business (the largest ever acquisition by a Japanese industrial company).
- Represented Impala Platinum Holdings Limited, one of the world's foremost producers of platinum, on Canadian merger control filings and foreign investment law in its acquisition of North American Palladium.
- Advised a leading luxury wine and spirit company of its Canadian alcohol marketing practices.
- Advised a leading video game platform in connection with its Canadian expansion, focusing on Canadian youth protection laws, and related privacy and marketing laws.
- Provide ongoing advice to a major consumer goods company on its cross-border marketing practices with respect to Quebec's French language requirements.
- Provide ongoing advice to major food manufacturers regarding their food regulatory and marketing requirements.
- Seconded to a multinational consumers goods company within the Canadian marketing function of the Beauty & Personal Care segment.
- Seconded to a leading social media platform's US legal growth marketing team.
- Lawyer to Watch (Competition Law), Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, 2023
- Lexpert "Rising Star: Leading Lawyer Under 40" in Canada, 2022
- One of six Precedent Setter in Precedent Magazine's Precedent Setter Awards, 2022
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Law Society of Ontario
- Canadian Bar Association
- Ontario Bar Association
- American Bar Association (Section of Antitrust Law)
- Association of National Advertisers - Legal Affairs Committee
- Ontario~Canada (2016)
- Ottawa University (J.D.) (2015)
- Ottawa University (BSc. Biopharmaceutical Sciences: Medicinal Chemistry) (2012)
Co-author, Canada chapter on Commercial Contracts in Getting the Deal Through, 2023
Co-author, "Canada: Back to school essentials: Do's and don'ts of advertising food to children in Canada", InsightPlus, September 2023
Co-author, "Canada: Marketing's dirty laundry ̶ greenwashing, climate washing and the growing legal risks of environmental marketing", InsightPlus, June 2023
Co-author, "Canada: The price is right…now - Pricing your products & using urgency cues", InsightPlus, April 2023
Co-author, "Canada introduces legislation to strengthen the National Security Provisions of the Investment Canada Act", InsightPlus, December 2022
Co-author, "Advertising and Marketing," 2022 Global Practice Guide Canada Chapter, Chambers and Partners, October 2022