While franchising is an increasingly attractive business model for many businesses, franchise legislation in various Canadian jurisdictions imposes comprehensive disclosure obligations on franchisors. As a result, franchisors need counsel with in-depth knowledge of the province-specific requirements in each jurisdiction. Given the multidisciplinary nature of franchising, franchisors require counsel with expertise in many different areas, including business, privacy, data protection, tax, competition, real estate, intellectual property and dispute resolution.
Blakes has expertise in each of these areas, enabling us to apply our legal skills and regulatory acumen to provide comprehensive, cost-effective service.
Clients benefit from our unmatched skills in preparing cost-effective disclosure documents and identifying disclosure exemptions, as applicable. They also benefit from our deep and broad-based industry knowledge gleaned from representing diverse industry sectors, including automotive, office services, hotels, restaurants (including quick-service restaurants), retail financial, security, furniture and home furnishings, corporate training, educational and other business, household, and personal services.
Relying on our expertise, franchisors and master franchisees across industries engage us to advise them on the establishment, operation, expansion, acquisition, post-acquisition restructuring and integration, disposition and termination of franchises. They also retain us to prepare franchise agreements, area development agreements and master licence agreements, including related documentation and to provide strategic advice on protecting, enhancing and exploiting their valuable portfolios of trademarks and other proprietary indicia in Canada. In addition, we regularly assist foreign companies with regulatory compliance and customizing their franchise agreements and disclosure documentation for use in Canada.
Blakes Franchising lawyers are knowledgeable about current and proposed Canadian franchise legislation, current case law and other developments impacting franchising in Canada. Blakes regularly advises clients on the application and implications of Ontario’s franchise legislation, as well as the franchise legislation enacted in Alberta, British Columbia (effective February 1, 2017), Manitoba, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
Lawyers in our group have served as members of two of Canada’s foremost franchise professional organizations, the Ontario Bar Association’s Franchise Law Section Executive and the Canadian Franchise Association’s Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee (as well as its Legislation and Regulations Subcommittee). Our participation in these groups keeps us apprised of the latest issues, legal developments and strategies to assist franchisors. Blakes and its lawyers are also members of the International Franchise Association and the American Bar Association's Forum on Franchising, and lecture and write regularly on franchise matters.
Representing clients in all forms of dispute resolution, including class actions and other litigation, arbitration and mediation, Blakes litigators have enforced franchisor rights against former franchisees and infringers, as well as defended franchisors in actions brought by current and former franchisees.