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This is a photo of Adam Ship




Contact by email at [email protected]

t. +1 416-601-7731


Law School

University of Toronto

Bar Admission

Ontario, 2008

Adam Ship is a partner specializing in corporate/commercial litigation and also leads the firm’s national franchise practice.  

Commercial Litigation

Adam has significant experience representing banks, manufacturers, franchisors and other private and public companies in complex commercial disputes, including class actions, competition litigation, contract disputes, fraud allegations and consumer protection claims. Adam has worked on many precedent-setting cases, including the recent dismissal of a proposed $1.4 billion competition class action, which received the “National Impact Case Award” from Benchmark Litigation Canada.  

Adam is listed as one of the 2015 Lexpert Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40 in Canada. He has appeared as counsel before all levels of court Ontario, the Supreme Court of Canada, the BC Supreme Court and numerous arbitral panels and administrative tribunals and regularly acts for clients in trials, appeals, injunctions, applications and other contested hearings. 

Adam’s legal writing on private law has been cited by courts across Canada, including the Supreme Court of Canada, the Ontario Court of Appeal and the BC Court of Appeal.

Franchise-Distribution Law

Adam is routinely recognized as a leading franchise lawyer in The Chambers Canada Guide to Leading Canadian LawyersThe Canadian Legal Lexpert DirectoryBest Lawyers in Canada, and Who’s Who: Canada.  He has extensive experience acting for domestic and international franchisors, manufacturers and master distributors across diverse industries, including telecommunications, education, health care, professional services, quick service restaurant, and casual dining. Adam regularly litigates franchise/dealer disputes, drafts franchise agreements and disclosure documents and advises clients on risk management, system change and franchisee-relations.

Between 2013-2017, Adam served as Adjunct Professor of franchise-distribution law at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. He also 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
  • Representing to Bell Mobility in multi-dealer litigation concerning system changes
  • 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)


  • Successfully defending RBC in a claim by a business customer related to alleged credit card fraud and chargeback issues (Aeon Sodding Corp. v. The Royal Bank of Canada, 2020 ONSC 4520)
  • 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