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 was seconded to a multinational consumers goods company within the Canadian marketing function of the Beauty & Personal Care segment for 10 months, and was also seconded to a leading social media platform’s US legal growth marketing team for four months. Sarah co-chairs the Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Committee in the Toronto office, 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
Antitrust and Foreign Investment
- 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.
- 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 Embracer Group, a Swedish headquartered video game holding company on securing foreign investment approval for multiple cultural business acquisitions in Canada, including the USD 300 million acquisition of Eidos, Crystal Dynamics, Square Enix Montreal and a catalogue of Intellectual Property; its approximately USD 105 million acquisition of A Thinking Ape Entertainment Ltd.; its acquisitions of IUGO Mobile Entertainment Inc. and The Gearbox Entertainment Company.
- Advised Enad Global 7, a Swedish headquartered online games developer on securing foreign investment approval for multiple cultural business acquisitions including the acquisitions of Big Blue Bubble Inc. and Piranha Games Inc.
- Advised a Chinese 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).
Marketing, Advertising & Product Compliance
- Advised a social media platform in connection with its Canadian marketing and advertising practices for online casinos, social casinos, lotteries and raffles.
- 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 support to a Canadian luxury e-commerce retailer on its day-to-day commercial matters, loyalty program, and product regulatory obligations.
- 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.
- 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
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Law Society of Ontario
- Canadian Bar Association (Second Vice-Chair of Competition Section's Young Lawyers Committee)
- 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)
Publications & Presentations
Co-author, "Advertising and Marketing," 2022 Global Practice Guide Canada Chapter, Chambers and Partners, October 2022
Speaker, “The Great Debates”, CBA Competition Law Conference, October 2022
Co-author, Direct Marketing: Overview (Canada) and Online Advertising and Marketing: Overview (Canada) chapters in the Thomson Reuters Practical Law Guide 2022
Co-author, "Changes to Québec’s French Language Laws Significantly Affect Longstanding Exemption for English-Language Trademarks," InsightPlus, May 2022
Co-author, "White-Collar Crime 2021 Global Practice Guide Canada Chapter," Chambers and Partners, October 2021
Co-author, "Advertising and Marketing 2021 Global Practice Guide Canada Chapter," Chambers and Partners, October 2021