The Honourable Konrad
von Finckenstein, Q.C.
Arbitrator

Areas of Specialization

   The following are Konrad's key areas of expertise:

 EXPERIENCE IN DISPUTE SETTLEMENT

  • Led the Canadian negotiating group on dispute settlement during Canada–US Free Trade Agreement negotiations:
    • established chapter 19 system for bi-national panel review of Anti-Dumping and Countervailing decisions, as well as chapter 18 provisions on trade disputes (1987);
    • oversaw the Canadian team in the Canada-US dispute of Salmon and Herring (1989);
    • oversaw the Canadian team in the Canada-US dispute of Lobsters (1991).
  • Negotiated and drafted the dispute settlement provisions of the Agreement on Internal Trade between the Federal government and the provinces (1994).
  • Chaired (as judge) the Extraordinary Challenge Committee under chapter 19 of NAFTA regarding Canada-US dispute on pure Magnesium (2004).
  • Chaired the arbitration panel on the dispute between Bell Canada and Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) regarding the new telephone system for the Canadian Forces (2009).
  • As puisne judge of the Federal Court of Canada rendered over 150 judgments on issues of contract, administrative law, intellectual property, immigration law and human rights.

 EXPERIENCE IN BROADCASTING AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS

From 2007 to 2012, acted as Chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.  Responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Telecommunications Act, Broadcasting Act and the CRTC Act.  Key files and activities:

  • Telecom Forbearance – opened 90% of Canadian retail telephony market to competition;
  • Review of New Media (decided to forego any regulation of New Media, other than prohibition of bestowal of undue benefit);
  • Internet Traffic Management Practices (first country to adopt comprehensive rules for net neutrality);
  • Diversity of Voices (established limits on cross ownership between radio, TV and newspapers in a given market);
  • Oversaw policy reviews of Over The Air Television, Broadcast Distribution Undertakings and Community Broadcasting;
  • Established a Group Based Licensing Policy for television;
  • Managed the merger review of CTV and CHUM, Rogers and City TV, Shaw Communications and Canwest Global Broadcasting, and Bell Canada and CTV Broadcasting;
  • Established the Vertical Integration Policy, which ensured the survival of competition in a broadcasting and distribution market dominated by four companies.

 EXPERIENCE IN COMPETITION LAW, MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS

During the late 1980’s was the chief counsel for the Government of Canada in the privatization of  both aerospace crown corporations, namely Canadair and DeHavilland. From 1997-2003, acted as Commissioner of Competition and head of the Competition Bureau of Canada. 
Key files and activities:

  • Reviewed proposed mergers between companies, including those in the banking and airline sectors;
  • Investigated price fixing conspiracy affecting the sale and supply of an additive widely used in the animal feed industry, which resulted in one of the largest fines in Canadian history;
  • Led the drive to establish the International Competition Network (ICN), the umbrella organization for all competition authorities from around the world and became its founding Chairman, a position held until being appointed to the Federal Court in 2003.
  • As Chairman of the CRTC, reviewed and approved with conditions the merger review of CTV and CHUM, Rogers and City TV, Shaw Communications and Canwest Global, and Bell Canada and CTV Broadcasting.

 EXPERIENCE IN INTERNATIONAL TRADE

During the 1980s, served as Senior General Counsel with the Trade Negotiations Office. In this role:

  • Successfully led the Canadian group on dispute settlement;
  • Responsible for drafting and implementing Canada-US Free Trade Agreement including implementing legislation for the Agreement.

Subsequently, as Assistant Deputy Minister and Assistant Attorney General in the Canadian departments of Industry, Justice and External Affairs:

  • Responsible for administration of Canada-US Free Trade Agreement;
  • Responsible for drafting authorizing legislation and coordinating implementation of Canadian adherence to WTO;
  • Responsible for drafting authorizing legislation and coordinating implementation of NAFTA;
  • Member of Canadian team that negotiated the WTO Agreement on Basic Telecommunications Services.

 EXPERIENCE IN COMMERCIAL LAW

From 1982 to 1987 and 1892 to 1997 as counsel to the Department of Industry and Assistant Deputy Minister Business Law, Department of Justice he was  responsible for all major commercial files of the government of Canada. In this role he successfully led the legal team:

  • in the refinancing of Massey Ferguson and Chrysler Corp Canada
  • in the establishment of a Bell Helicopter assembly facility in Montreal for all civilian copters produced by Bell
  • the establishment of a Chrysler assembly plant in Brampton
  • the privatization of Canadair to Bombardier
  • the privatization of DeHavilland to Boeing

He also the coordinated the federal government response to Commission of inquiry in the Westray Mine disaster.