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Faculté de droit

Université de Toronto

Admission au barreau

Ontario, 2008

Cette biographie est disponible en anglais seulement.

Adam Ship is a partner in our Litigation Group in Toronto and Lead of Franchise & Distribution within our National Retail & Consumer Markets Group. His practice focuses on complex commercial litigation and franchise-distribution law.

Adam is listed as one of the 2015 Lexpert Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40 in Canada. He is also routinely recognized as a leading franchise lawyer in Chambers Canada, Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, Best Lawyers in Canada, and Who’s Who: Canada.

Adam's commercial disputes practice includes banking litigation, competition litigation, class actions and franchise/dealer disputes.  He has appeared as counsel before all levels of court Ontario, the Supreme Court of Canada, the BC Supreme Court and various arbitral panels, in trials, hearings, appeals, injunctions and applications.  Adam also advises banks and franchisors on management strategies for portfolios of smaller litigation matters and related internal policies.

Adam 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 drafting franchise agreements and disclosure documents for clients across diverse industries. Between 2013-2017, he served as Adjunct Professor of franchise and distribution law at the University of Toronto.

Adam’s legal writing has been cited by courts across Canada, including the Supreme Court of Canada, the Ontario Court of Appeal and the BC Court of Appeal. He received the Ontario Bar Association's Award for Excellence in Franchise Law in 2012 and 2013 for his legal writing.

Prior to joining McCarthy Tétrault, Adam clerked for several Justices at the Ontario Court of Appeal. He received an Honours BA (with high distinction) and a JD (with honours standing), both from the University of Toronto, in 2004 and 2007.


  • Representing MolsonCoors in a $1.4 billion competition class action relating to the distribution of beer in Ontario (Hughes v. Liquor Control Board of Ontario, 2018 ONSC 1723 and 2019 ONCA 30)
  • Representing TD Bank in national competition class actions related to licensing arrangements with Visa and MasterCard (Coburn and Watson’s Metropolitan Home v BMO Financial Group, 2019 BCSC 1456)
  • Representing PayPal in a $150 million national class actions relating to foreign exchange transactions and consumer protection issues
  • Representing TD Bank in a national class action concerning consumer protection issues related to coin-counting machines


  • Representing a national casual dining franchisor in a statutory rescission case, successfully defeating summary judgement (2462192 Ontario Ltd. v. Paramount Franchise Group Inc., 2019 ONSC 2962)
  • Representing a national early childhood education franchisor in litigation against two former franchisees that purported to rescind for fraud (New Beginnings Early Learning v. CEFA Systems Inc., 2018 BCSC 2417)
  • Representing a national quick service food franchisor in an expedited arbitration brought by a terminated franchisee seeking permanent injunctive relief
  • Ongoing representation to Bell Mobility in multi-dealer litigation concerning system changes
  • Representing a national quick service restaurant franchisor in an arbitration proceeding with a multi-unit franchisee concerning territorial encroachment
  • 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
  • Representing MolsonCoors in litigation to enforce certain master distribution and licensing rights in Canada (Molson Canada v. Miller Brewing Company, 2013 ONSC 2758)


  • Ongoing representation of several Canadian chartered banks in defence of litigation relating to bills of exchange, consumer protection, and commercial contract issues
  • Representation of TD Bank before the Competition Tribunal related to licensing arrangements with Visa and MasterCard (Commissioner of Competition v. Visa Canada et al, 2013 CACT 1)
  • 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)


  • Ongoing representation to numerous national franchise systems in the quick service food, casual dining, health care, telecommunications and education industries, including for disclosure documents, unit-level transactions and ongoing franchisee relations
  • Franchise counsel to Brookfield Asset Management in its $4.3 billion acquisition of Enercare Inc., which included franchised operations in Ontario
  • Assisting a national quick service restaurant master franchisor with negotiations concerning its Master Franchise Agreement and Unit Franchise Agreement in Canada
  • 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.