Adam Ship: Lawyer with McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Adam Ship

Toronto,  ON  Canada

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Experience & Credentials

Practice Areas

  • Appellate Litigation
  • Corporate Commercial Litigation
  • Professional Liability
  • 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 an associate in our Litigation Group in Toronto and Vice-Chair of the firm's National Franchise & Distribution Group. Mr. Ship's practice focuses on complex commercial litigation and franchise-distribution law.

Mr. Ship 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 has a wide litigation practice that includes contract disputes, franchise-distribution litigation, competition litigation, class actions, commercial arbitration and professional liability.

Mr. Ship routinely advises clients on strategic and risk management issues in all areas of franchise-distribution law. He has particular expertise advising on franchise/distribution agreements, statutory disclosure issues, system change management, discontinuation of franchise networks, and dealer terminations and renewals. His clients include domestic and international franchisors, manufacturers and distributors across a wide range of industries, including automotive, quick service restaurant, food & beverage, retail, hospitality, education and telecommunications.

Mr. Ship is Adjunct Professor of franchise & distribution law at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Law. He writes, and has published widely, in this area and received the Ontario Bar Association's Award for Excellence in Franchise Law in 2012. Mr. Ship is a member of the Canadian Franchise Association's Legal & Legislative Affairs Committee and the Ontario Bar Association's Franchise Section Executive.

Prior to joining McCarthy Tétrault, Mr. Ship clerked for several Justices at the Ontario Court of Appeal. Between 2007-2013, he served as the Associate (formally, Assistant) Editor of the Canadian Business Law Journal. 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.


· Advising a national automotive manufacturer in the discontinuation of its dealership network in Canada and related litigation commenced by the majority of its dealers

· Ongoing assistance to a national brewery in litigation to enforce its distribution and licensing rights for an international brand in Canada (Molson Canada 2005 v. Miller Brewing Company, 2013 ONSC 2758)

· Advising a national telecommunications provider in respect of franchise disclosure issues; ongoing assistance in defence of litigation commenced by a group of its independent dealers

· Ongoing assistance to a large financial institution in respect of 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)

· 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)

· Acting for 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)


· "Franchise System Change and Managing Legal Risk In-House", Canadian Corporate Counsel Association Magazine [forthcoming, Fall 2013]

· "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)

· "The Importance of Meticulous Disclosure Practices for Franchisors", Canadian Corporate Counsel Association Magazine, Spring 2012 (coauthored)

· "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) (cited with approval by the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench in Fabutan Corporation v. Clement, [2007] ABQB 750)


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Ontario Court Finds that Material Omission in Franchise Disclosure Document Provides Only 60-Day Rescission Right
Sarit E. Batner,Helen Fotinos,Brooke MacKenzie,Adam Ship, April 25, 2014
In a significant recent decision, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice granted partial summary judgment in Caffé Demetre v. 2249027 Ontario Inc. the first franchise rescission claim to be decided since the new summary judgment test was set down by the Supreme Court of Canada in Hryniak v....

B.C. Even Closer to Enacting Franchise Legislation
Jordanna Cytrynbaum,Miriam Isman,Adam Ship, April 23, 2014
British Columbia has no special franchise legislation - franchise relationships are governed by the terms of franchise agreements and the common law of contracts. However, a new report reveals that interested parties are largely in favour of changing this regime through the introduction of...

Franchisors Must Repurchase Damaged Equipment From Franchisees Upon Rescission
Brooke MacKenzie,Adam Ship, February 17, 2014
In the latest installment of the Springdale Pizza Depot franchise dispute, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice clarified that, upon rescission, franchisors must buy back supplies and equipment purchased by the franchisee pursuant to the franchise agreement - even if the equipment is in very poor...

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Office Information

Adam Ship

66 Wellington Street
TorontoON M5K 1E6


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