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Canada: Franchise 2016

A total of 36 practitioners are recognised in this chapter, specialising in issues relating to franchising and the laws regulating this both in Canada and abroad. Below we highlight some of the most highly regarded practitioners in the industry.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Larry Weinberg Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, Toronto
Andraya Frith Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, Toronto
Blair Rebane Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Vancouver
Tony Wilson Boughton Law Corporation, Vancouver
Dominic Mochrie Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, Toronto
Geoffrey Shaw Cassels Brock & Blackwell, Toronto
Jennifer Dolman Osler Hoskin & Harcourt, Toronto

Sotos leads the way in our research for this chapter with an impressive six individuals listed. Allan Dick is an “internationally known leader” of franchising in Canada, and regularly advises franchisors, master franchisees, and area franchisees. He is particularly praised for his litigation expertise in this area. The “brilliant” John Sotos is the founding partner of the firm and is lauded for being “a superb dealmaker and very commercially astute”. He is considered a go-to figure for structuring international and domestic franchise transactions. Peter Viitre receives praise for his “practical advice and excellent drafting skills” combined with “outstanding business sense”. He advises franchisees and franchisors from a wide variety of industries including the automobile, food and drink, financial and property services industries, among others. David Sterns specialises in franchise litigation representing major franchisors in disputes. He is praised for his ability to “think quickly on his feet”.

Two further firms achieve four listings in our research. Cassels Brock & Blackwell is home to the “absolutely wonderful” Larry Weinberg who tops the research for this chapter. He has significant experience advising clients particularly in the restaurant and hospitality industries, who say he has “all the skills to ensure that franchisors are effective in their domestic and international expansion”. Geoffrey Shaw focuses his practice chiefly on the resolution of franchise disputes through litigation, appeal, mediation or arbitration. He is recommended for his “comprehensive knowledge of franchise law” with “a thorough understanding of what a client needs to prosper”. Derek Ronde is described as “a force to be reckoned with in the courtroom”, with a litigation practice which focuses on complex franchise disputes for large domestic and international corporations. The “excellent” Frank Robinson completes the firm’s nominees for his commercial practice.

Osler Hoskin & Harcourt is home to the “fantastic” Andraya Frith who is “consistently able to get the best out of the brand” according to clients. She has developed particular expertise advising foreign franchisors and retailers looking to expand their operations to Canada. Dominic Mochrie “knows precisely what is required to maximise the success of a franchise operation”, and advises start-up franchisors working to establish a new franchise system, to large, multinational franchisors with thousands of franchisees. Jennifer Dolman is a particularly prominent name in the market. She is described as “an incredibly skilled litigator and strategist”. Gillian Scott is recommended “without hesitation” by clients. She is particularly praised for her “sophisticated and effective style of advocacy” when defending franchisors and distributors in disputes with their dealers.

Blair Rebane at Borden Ladner Gervais stands out in our research as an “intelligent, practical and responsive” practitioner. He has extensive experience advising franchisors regarding a wide variety of commercial matters.

From Boughton Law Corporation Tony Wilson is described as “a superb negotiator”. He retains one of the largest hotel, restaurant and hospitality franchise practices in Western Canada and is known to “provide a highly personalised service to his clients”.

At Gowlings Debi Sutin  is “a formidable presence in the market” due to her 25 years of experience advising Canadian and international franchisors regarding the establishment and operation of franchise systems throughout Canada.

Peter Snell is highly regarded for his franchising practice, with sources describing him as “a particularly gifted practitioner” when handling intellectual property issues.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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W11 1QQ, UK