Expertise Detail

Franchise & Distribution

Consumer & Retail Advisor  Consumer & Retail Advisor Blog

Franchise and distribution networks are common business methods employed by Canadian industry and commerce across most sectors of the Canadian economy. McCarthy Tétrault’s Franchise & Distribution Group advises private and public companies in Canada and the United States in all aspects of Canadian franchise-distribution law. The Franchise & Distribution Group has extensive expertise assisting manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and franchisors across diverse industries and sectors, including automotive, food and beverage, hospitality, grocery, consumer packaged goods, retail and telecommunications.

The Franchise & Distribution Group is a national, full-service practice group that provides advice and representation in all areas of the law that touch on and affect franchise and distribution networks, including corporate-commercial, intellectual property, litigation, competition, real estate, tax, consumer and retail, among others. Our group advises clients both on day-to-day issues as well as in relation to strategic changes for clients with sophisticated distribution or franchise networks, including Bell Canada, Canadian Tire, Nissan Canada, and Mister Transmission.

The Franchise & Distribution Group’s experience and expertise includes the following:

National and Provincial Disclosure Documents. Our group has advised manufacturers, suppliers and distributors on the applicability of franchise legislation to their businesses, and has prepared provincial and national disclosure documents for franchisors. Our group assists U.S. and foreign franchisors to “Canadianize” their disclosure documents and franchise agreements.

Distribution and Franchise Agreements. Our group drafts, negotiates and reviews distribution and franchise agreements, as well as related ancillary agreements, for clients, both to set up and establish distribution networks or to implement strategic changes to existing networks. Our group also reviews and updates existing franchise and distribution agreements to keep up with important changes in the law.

Litigation and Class Actions. Our group has extensive experience in complex litigation mandates involving franchise and distribution networks, including multi-party and class actions as well as arbitrations. Along with the firm’s Franchise Disputes Group, we have represented clients in litigation involving all aspects of the franchise-distribution relationship. Our experience has included mandates relating to Grand & Toy, Canadian Tire, Second Cup, Petro-Canada, Wolfgang Puck, Nissan Canada, Fruits & Passion, Bell Canada, Mister Transmission, Kyocera Canada, CARA, A&P, GM and Pepsi.

Trademarks and Intellectual Property. Franchises and distributorships involve the licensing of trade-marks and other intellectual property and the sharing of trade secrets and proprietary processes. Our group will work to protect your intellectual property, including where necessary through litigation.

Network Operations and Strategy. Our group advises public and private companies on system-wide changes to distribution networks, including changes in operational systems and procedures, dealership compensation structures, branding changes, as well as dealership terminations, transfers, and corporatizations.
Competition. Distribution networks face specific competition law issues. Our group has extensive experience assisting manufacturers, suppliers and franchisors navigate Canadian competition law.

Consumer and Retail. McCarthy Tétrault’s Consumer & Retail Group assists clients with all manner of legal issues that arise in the consumer products and retail space, in particular with business law, labour and employment, real property, intellectual property and branding, tax, internet and e-commerce, product liability and recalls, consumer warranty and protection, corporate reorganizations, competition/antitrust and corporate litigation.

View a list of lawyers who practice in this area of expertise.

For more information, please contact:


Catherine M. Samuel
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Véronique Wattiez Larose
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Anne-Marie Naud
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Helen Fotinos
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Adam Ship
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