Laurence (Laurie) Dunbar joined Fasken Martineau DuMoulin's Ottawa office as a partner in 2007, following the firm's merger with Johnston & Buchan LLP. He had practised with Johnston & Buchan LLP as a partner for the previous 26 years primarily in the areas of communications, anti-trust and public law. Laurie is the chair of Fasken Martineau's communications law practice group.
Laurie advises a wide range of Canadian and foreign carriers, public utilities, telecommunications service providers and investors in the wireline, wireless, cable television, satellite and Internet markets.
He has advised extensively on strategies to open domestic and international telecommunications markets to competition as well as on related interconnection, ownership, licensing and tariff issues. He advises on trans-border telecommunications issues and on the application of Canadian foreign ownership restrictions to investments in Canadian carriers and broadcasting undertakings. He also advises clients on a wide range of radio spectrum issues relating to the provision of mobile wireless (cellular and PCS), fixed radio and satellite services.
In recent years, Laurie has advised airport authorities, electric and gas utilities on strategies to leverage their infrastructure to provide telecommunications services. He also advises on Internet-related issues including voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), ISP liability, e-commerce, interactive television and IP-TV.
Laurie advises both domestic and foreign governments on legislative and policy issues related to privatization, competition and regulatory reform in the telecommunications sector including the restructuring of legislative, policy and institutional frameworks, incentive-based alternatives to rate of return regulation, and "universal service" mechanisms.
Recent public sector mandates include advising the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) on reform in the broadcasting sector; advising the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago on the conduct of a spectrum auction; advising the Government of British Columbia in connection with its "Digital Divide" project; the Ontario Energy Board on its "smart metering" project for electrical utilities; CRTC and the Commissioner of Competition on regulatory reform in the telecom sector; the CRTC on procedural reform; the Government of Canada's Telecommunications Policy Review Panel on legal issues in connection with its 2006 review of Canadian telecommunications policy and legislation; and the Saudi Arabian Communication and Information Technologies Commission on competitive interconnection tariffs.
Laurie also advises on anti-trust issues including merger notification requirements and competitive disputes. He has acted as counsel for the Competition Bureau in a number of regulatory proceedings.
Laurie has also lectured extensively in respect of communications law and public policy issues as a part-time professor of communications law at the University of Ottawa Law School, as a special lecturer to assist in training regulatory and legal staff at the CRTC, and as a lecturer for regulators in developing countries on compliance with WTO requirements for open and transparent regulatory frameworks and institutions.