Kirsten is a partner in Dentons' Ottawa office and the head of the firm's Communications Law Practice Group. Kirsten maintains an extensive practice in telecommunications, broadcasting, digital media and privacy law. She has worked in the Canadian communications industry for over 20 years and was formerly Director of Regulatory Matters and Legal Counsel at AT&T Canada Corp. Kirsten has also held positions at the former federal Department of Communications, Telesat Canada, Canadian Film Institute and the Canadian Independent Telephone Association.
Kirsten represents a number of major domestic and international communications industry clients, including local and long distance carriers, resellers, Internet service providers, wireless carriers, broadcasters, digital media providers, cable and satellite companies, telecommunications equipment manufacturers and several Canadian industry associations. Kirsten has also been involved in a number of major communications industry transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, restructurings, IPOs and other debt and equity financings, and is regularly called upon to advise clients on the financing and structuring of businesses that are subject to Canada’s broadcasting and telecom foreign ownership rules.
Kirsten represents clients before the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (“CRTC”) and Industry Canada on virtually all regulatory matters affecting the Canadian telecommunications and broadcasting industries. Kirsten provides in-depth, strategic regulatory advice on CRTC licensing rules, Canada’s universal service funding regime, the CRTC’s Canadian content rules, the market entry and licensing requirements for wireless carriers, CLECs, ISPs, MVNOs, VoIP providers, international carriers and other new entrants in Canada’s telecommunications market.
Kirsten also provides specialized advice to clients on radio spectrum licensing and auction matters, and has been heavily involved in proceedings relating to the development and licensing of radio spectrum in numerous frequency bands, including the cellular, PCS, AWS, MBS, BRS, FWS, WCS, MCS, LMCS/LMDS and unlicensed WiFi bands, as well as the satellite FSS, MSS and BSS bands.
Kirsten also provides specialized advice and assistance to clients in the digital media sector who are launching web-based services and need advice on web site content, targeted advertising rules, privacy and data protection laws, anti-spam legislation, lawful interception and “wiretap” rules, as well as advice on the regulatory rules that apply in Canada to digital media providers.
Kirsten is the Past-Chair of the Canadian Bar Association’s Media and Communications Law Section, and a former Governor in Council appointee to the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Advisory Group on International Trade (SAGIT) for the Information and Communications Technologies sectors. She is a member of the Canadian IT Law Association, a past member of the Steering Committee of the biennial conference on Communications Law sponsored by the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Canadian Bar Association. Kirsten is also an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa and is a frequent speaker at Canadian and international industry seminars on a variety of telecommunications, broadcasting digital media and privacy issues.
Kirsten is a recipient of the Jeanne Sauvé Award in Communications and is listed among the experts for Communications law referenced in a number of publications, including the Chambers Global: The Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Lexpert Canada, The Best Lawyers in Canada, Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading Telecommunications Lawyers, Guide to the World’s Leading Technology, Media & Telecommunications Lawyers, PLC’s Cross-border Communications and IT Handbook and the International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers.