Lawyer Profile Detail
AREA OF EXPERTISE
University of Toronto
Adam Ship is a partner in our Litigation Group in Toronto and Co-Chair of the firm’s National Franchise & Distribution Group. His practice focuses on complex commercial litigation and franchise-distribution law.
Mr. Ship is recognized as leading franchise lawyer in Who’s Who: Canada and the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory. He also appears in the current edition of Chambers Canada as an up-and-coming lawyer in the area of franchising law, and was listed as one of the 2015 Lexpert Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40 in Canada.
Mr. Ship’s commercial litigation practice includes contract disputes, franchise-distribution litigation, competition litigation, class actions, and domestic and international arbitrations. He has appeared as counsel before all levels of court in Ontario, the B.C. Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of Canada and various arbitral panels, in trials, hearings, appeals, injunctions and applications.
Mr. Ship routinely advises domestic and international franchisors, manufacturers and master distributors in all areas of franchise-distribution law. He has extensive experience advising on strategic and risk management issues and also drafts and advises on franchise agreements and disclosure documents for clients across diverse industries. Mr. Ship is Adjunct Professor of franchise and distribution law at the University of Toronto and received the Ontario Bar Association's Award for Excellence in Franchise Law in 2012 and 2013 for his legal writing in this area.
Prior to joining McCarthy Tétrault, Mr. Ship clerked for several Justices at the Ontario Court of Appeal. Mr. Ship received an Honours BA (with high distinction) and a JD (with honours standing), both from the University of Toronto, in 2004 and 2007.
RECENT AND NOTABLE MANDATES
- Representing MolsonCoors in a multiparty competition class action relating to the distribution of beer in Ontario
- Assisting an international franchisor in an arbitration against its Canadian master franchisee to enforce non-competition and confidentiality covenants
- Ongoing advice and representation to Bell Mobility with its national dealer network, including current representation in multi-dealer system change litigation
- Advising Suzuki Canada in the discontinuation of its automotive dealer network in Canada and representation in related litigation and an arbitration commenced by the majority of its dealers
- Representation of TD Bank before the Competition Tribunal, and ongoing representation in class action proceedings, related to licensing arrangements with Visa and MasterCard (Commissioner of Competition v. Visa Canada et al, 2013 CACT 1)
- Representing MolsonCoors in litigation to enforce certain master distribution and licensing rights in Canada (Molson Canada v. Miller Brewing Company, 2013 ONSC 2758)
- Ongoing assistance to a U.S. franchisor to "Canadianize" and update its franchise agreements and national disclosure documents for its three home services brands.
- Negotiating a master franchise agreement for a client acquiring the Canadian rights to a U.S. restaurant brand; drafting the standard unit franchise agreement for Canada.
- Labatt Brewing Co. v. NHL Enterprises Canada (2011), 86 B.L.R. (4th) 190, ONCA 511, 282 O.A.C. 151, 106 O.R. (3d) 677, ONSC 5652 (successful appeal and rehearing in multiparty dispute under long-term performance contract)
- "Franchising Country Questions: Canada-Specific Information Concerning the Legal and Commercial Issues to be Considered when setting up a Franchise" 2016 Practical Law (co-authored with Helen Fotinos, Ron Mar, Jonathan Bitran, Dan Glover and Pierre-Jérôme Bouchard, reproduced with permission of Thomson Reuters)
- "Franchise Renewals and Transfers in Canada’s Common Law Provinces" 2015 35(2) Franchise Law Journal 237 (coauthored with M. Sohail, reproduced with permission of the American Bar Association)
- "The Legal Relevance of Bargaining Power in US and Canadian Franchise Litigation: A Comparative Perspective North and South of the Border" 2015 34(4) FLJ 571 (coauthored with D. McMullen, reproduced by permission of the American Bar Association)
- "Governing Principles and Recent Trends in the Enforcement of Restrictive Covenants in Franchise Agreements" 2015 43 Advocates’ Q 448 (coauthored with J. Dolman, R. Hall-McGuire, & T. Wentzell, reproduced by permission of Canada Law Book, a division of Thomson Reuters Canada Limited), presented at the OBA’s Annual Franchise Law Conference in Nov, 2014
- "Legal Risk Management in Franchise System Change", Focus on Franchising (OBA, 2014)
- "Common Law Treatment of Renewal Rights in Commercial Agreements: A Special Look at Franchises, Distributorships and the Duty of Good Faith" 2013 54 Can Bus LJ 178 (reproduced by permission of Canadian Business Law Journal Inc, and Canada Law Book, a division of Thomson Reuters Canada Limited), presented at the CFA’s Franchise Law Day, Jan, 2013
- "Specific Performance of Franchise and Distribution Agreements in Canada" 2012 39 Advocates’ Q 407 (reproduced by permission of Canada Law Book, a division of Thomson Reuters Canada Limited)
- "Strict Liability and Statutory Rescission of Franchise Agreements in the Ontario Court of Appeal", 2012 52 Can Bus LJ 289 (reproduced by permission of Canadian Business Law Journal Inc, and Canada Law Book, a division of Thomson Reuters Canada Limited)
- "Unilateral Assignment of Franchise Agreements in Bankruptcy" 2012 27 BFLR 723 (coauthored with J. Langford & B. MacKenzie, reproduced by permission of Carswell, a division of Thomson Reuters Canada Limited)
Franchising Country Questions: Canada
Québec Court of Appeal Recognizes Implied Obligations in Franchise Agreement: What Does This Really Mean?
Ontario Court Declares That Bare Trademark License Agreement Is Not Subject to Franchise Disclosure Legislation
Ontario Court Finds that Material Omission in Franchise Disclosure Document Provides Only 60-Day Rescission Right
Drafting General Release Clauses in Franchise Agreements: A Cautionary Tale from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice
Legal Risk Management in Franchise System Change
Reasons in Commissioner of Competition v. Visa
Franchise Lessons to Be Learned From the Shoppers Drug Mart Certification Decision
Ontario Court Considers Franchise Class Action Challenging Scope of Franchisors’ Right to Profit From Franchisees
Franchisors: What Are You Doing to Protect Your Brand?
McCarthy Tétrault partners Renee Reichelt and Adam Ship named 2015 Lexpert Rising Stars
McCarthy Tétrault associate Adam Ship receives OBA Award for Excellence in Franchise Law
McCarthy Tétrault Associate Adam Ship Receives OBA Award for Excellence in Franchise Law
McCarthy Tétrault Wins Multiple Honours at Lexpert® Zenith Pro Bono Awards