Adam Ship: Lawyer with McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Adam Ship

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Toronto,  ON  Canada

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Experience & Credentials

Practice Areas

  • Consumer Products & Retail
  • Corporate Commercial Litigation
  • Franchise & Distribution
  • Franchise Dispute Litigation
Mailing AddressSuite 5300, TD Bank Tower, Toronto Dominion Centre, Toronto, ON, M5K 1E6
University University of Toronto, B.A., Political Science/Criminology, with high distinction, 2004
Law SchoolUniversity of Toronto, J.D., with honours, 2007
Admitted2008, Ontario
Memberships Ontario Bar Association (Member, Franchise Section Executive).


Adam Ship is a partner in our Litigation Group in Toronto and Vice-Chair of the firm's National Franchise & Distribution Group. His practice focuses on complex commercial litigation and franchise-distribution law.

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 Supreme Court of Canada, and various arbitral panels and statutory tribunals, in trials, hearings, appeals, injunctions and applications.

Mr. Ship routinely advises domestic and international franchisors, manufactures and master distributors in all areas of franchise-distribution law. He 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. Mr. Ship has extensive experience advising on strategic and risk management issues and also drafts and advises on franchise agreements and franchise disclosure documents for clients across diverse industries.

Prior to joining McCarthy Tetrault, 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.


•Assisting an international manufacturer in litigation against its Canadian master franchisee to enforce non-competition and confidentiality covenants
•Advising Suzuki Canada Inc. in the discontinuation of its automotive dealer network in Canada and representation in related litigation commenced by the majority of its dealers
•Ongoing assistance to MolsonCoors in litigation to enforce its master distribution and licensing rights for the Miller beer brands in Canada (Molson Canada 2005 v. Miller Brewing Company, 2013 ONSC 2758)
•Ongoing advice and representation to Bell Mobility Inc. with its national dealer network, including assistance with dealer terminations, statutory disclosure issues, and current representation in system change litigation
•Ongoing representation to TD Bank in competition and class action proceedings relating to licensing agreements with credit card networks (Commissioner of Competition v. Visa Canada Corp. et al, 2013 CACT 1)
•Ongoing assistance to a U.S. franchisor to Canadianize 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)
•Representing a group of distributors in litigation and settlement of a claim against their manufacturer in respect of system change issues (Stoneleigh Motors Limited et al. v. General Motors of Canada Limited (2010), 71 B.L.R. (4th) 271)


•Legal Risk Management in Franchise System Change, Focus on Franchising (Ontario Bar Association, January 2014) (coauthored)
•Common Law Treatment of Renewal Rights in Commercial Agreements: A Special Look at Franchises, Distributorships and the Duty of Good Faith, Canadian Business Law Journal, 2013, Vol. 54(3), presented at the CFA's Franchise Law Day, January 31, 2013.
•Specific Performance of Franchise and Distribution Agreements in Canada, Advocates' Quarterly, 2012, Vol. 39(4)
•Strict Liability and Statutory Rescission of Franchise Agreements in the Ontario Court of Appeal, Canadian Business Law Journal, 2012, Vol. 52(2)
•Unilateral Assignment of Franchise Agreements in Bankruptcy, Banking & Finance Law Review, 2012, Vol. 24(3) (coauthored)
•Restrictions on Unilateral Termination of Franchise Agreements, Canadian Business Law Journal, 2010, Vol. 49(1) (coauthored)


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Québec Court of Appeal Recognizes Implied Obligations in Franchise Agreement: What Does This Really Mean?
Helen Fotinos,Sam Khajeei,Anne-Marie Naud,Adam Ship,Chantal C. Tremblay, April 22, 2015
On April 15, 2015, the Québec Court of Appeal released its long-awaited decision in Dunkin' Brands Canada Ltd. c. Bertico inc., 2015 QCCA 624. The Court applied its earlier decision in Provigo[1] in conjunction with the “theory of implied obligations” and the “duty of good...

Ontario Court Stays Franchisees’ Class Action in Favour of Arbitration Clause in Franchise Agreement
Meghan S. Bridges,Adam Ship, April 7, 2015
In 1146845 Ontario Ltd. v. Pillar to Post Inc., 2014 ONSC 7400, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice stayed a class action brought by plaintiff franchisees against the franchisor in favour of an arbitration clause in the franchise licensing agreement.

Update: Ontario Court Grants Franchisees’ Claim for Ongoing Disclosure as the Pet Valu Saga Continues
Brooke MacKenzie,Adam Ship,Thomas N.T. Sutton, April 7, 2015
Last year, we discussed the Ontario Superior Court’s decision to substantially dismiss a class action commenced by former Pet Valu franchisees on summary judgment. On the basis that new evidence had arisen on the motion that could support a new common issue, Justice Belobaba deferred...

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Office Information

Adam Ship

66 Wellington Street
TorontoON M5K 1E6


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