Jennifer Dolman

Jennifer has been practicing commercial litigation for over 30 years, after clerking for the Chief Justice of the Ontario Court (General Division). Jennifer’s practice focuses primarily on assisting Canadian and international franchisors, from a variety of industries including quick service restaurants, retail, pharmacy, automotive, real estate, hospitality, education, manufacturing and technology, with their business-critical disputes.

She regularly defends claims by individual franchisees, as well as franchisee group and class actions, under Ontario’s Arthur Wishart Act and other Canadian franchise statutes, for rescission, breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing, misrepresentation and interference with the right to associate, and enforcing terminations. 

In addition to franchise matters, Jennifer also defends wrongful dismissal claims (in which she has responded to a number of summary judgment motions) and human rights complaints for employers, and has experience in intellectual property (including trade-mark and copyright infringement, and the protection of trade secrets and confidential information), defamation (including statements made via the Internet), privacy matters and represents manufacturers and suppliers in their disputes with agents and distributors. Jennifer has particular expertise in the area of injunctions and emergency applications, especially regarding the enforcement of restrictive covenants against franchisees, dealers, distributors, licensees or departing senior employees.

Jennifer is an active participant in franchise organizations in Canada and the U.S., is the past Chair of the Ontario Bar Association Franchise Law Section, and a frequent speaker and writer. In addition to having written over 35 franchise articles for FP Entrepreneur at: http://business.financialpost.com/author/fpjenniferdolman/, Jennifer regularly posts franchise articles on her LinkedIn account at  https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenniferdolman/, and was formerly the only Canadian on the editorial board of the American Bar Association’s Franchise Law Journal.  Jennifer volunteers as a skills instructor and speaker at The Advocates’ Society, previously sat on the Board of Governors of Havergal College, an independent girls school in Toronto. Jennifer is a member of Women Get on Board Inc., and is interested in pursuing new board opportunities.


Representative Work

  • Aaron Rents, Inc. in its defence of two separate actions by franchisees (one in Ontario/the other in B.C.) who abandoned their franchises.
  • Budget Blinds, Inc. in its successful defence of an application to expunge its trade-marks.
  • Canada Bread (now Bimbo Canada) in respect of applications by Canada Bread franchisees to the Ontario Labour Relations Board.
  • Canadian Tire Corporation in response to an application before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, which was subsequently withdrawn, in which a dealer alleged that his dealer contract was akin to an employment arrangement and that he was therefore protected against discrimination on the basis of age under the Human Rights Code.
  • Culligan of Canada and Culligan International Company in the defence and settlement of an action by a bottled water distributor who claimed to be a franchisee and a beneficiary under a California settlement agreement.
  • IBM Canada on numerous employment disputes, including most recently on issues relating to wrongful dismissal and disability actions, human rights complaints and the enforceability of a termination clause.
  • Imperial Oil Limited in the defence and settlement of an action commenced by Canadian Tire Corporation Limited over the application of a most favoured customer clause.
  • M & M Meat Shops Ltd. in its successful defence of an application by Mars Inc. regarding the alleged breach of an agreement dealing with the co-existence of the parties’ trade-marks.
  • Medeco Security Locks Canada in its successful enforcement of the termination of two distribution agreements.
  • Piaggio Group Americas, Inc. in its defence of an action commenced by its former Canadian distributor who claims it was a franchisee within the meaning of the Arthur Wishart Act.
  • RE/MAX Integra in its US$235 million cash sale of certain regional Canadian businesses to RE/MAX Holdings of the North America regions.
  • RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic on a wide-range of business-critical disputes with brokers (franchisees), assisting with enforcement of franchise agreements, defaults and terminations, renewals, defence of third-party claim with allegations of bad faith and unfair business practices by broker in dispute with landlord, threatening injunction against terminated broker to enforce post-termination obligations including changing business name and RECO registration, and addressing joint employer issues.
  • Recipe Unlimited Corporation (formerly Cara) in connection with a claim by a former franchisee in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
  • The TDL Group Corp. (“TDL”), Tim Hortons Advertising and Promotion Fund (Canada) Inc., Restaurant Brands International Inc. (“RBI”) and related parties, including various individuals, in a franchisee class action for damages in excess of $1 billion for breach of contract, breach of the duty of fair dealing, conversion and other causes of action for alleged misuse of amounts paid by franchisee class members to the advertising fund.
  • TDL, RBI and various individuals in a franchise class action for damages of $850,000 for breach of contract, breach of the duty of fair dealing and for interference with the status right of association.

Latest Insights

  • Osler Update May 20, 2021

    Ontario court ‘puts the squeeze’ on franchisors and their disclosure documents

    The Ontario Superior Court decision in 2611707 Ontario Inc., et al v. Freshly Squeezed Franchise Juice Corporation, et al.is an indication that more d...

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    Ontario court ‘puts the squeeze’ on franchisors and their disclosure documents
  • Osler Update Nov 11, 2020

    Franchisees cannot beef with manufacturer over contaminated meat

    A majority of the Supreme Court of Canada held that a manufacturer’s breach of its duty to supply products safe for human consumption does not entitle...

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    Franchisees cannot beef with manufacturer over contaminated meat
  • Osler Update Nov 14, 2019

    Driving sales without driving you crazy

    The rise of food delivery “aggregators” such as Uber Eats, DoorDash and Grubhub is a consequence of the “Amazon Effect”.

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    Driving sales without driving you crazy
  • Osler Update Jul 11, 2018

    Ontario Court of Appeal reaffirms principles of contractual interpretation in upholding a termination clause

    In its latest decision on the enforceability of termination clauses in employment contracts, the Ontario Court of Appeal recently released reasons in ...

    Read more
View all Insights

Awards and Recognition

  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business: Recognized in Franchising (Band 1)
    • “[Jennifer is] the top tier of franchise lawyers; the crème de la crème.”
  • Who’s Who Legal: Ranked in Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders – Global Elite; Ranked in Who’s Who Legal, International – Franchising, Thought Leader in the area of Franchising Law; Ranked in Who’s Who Legal: International – Franchising in the area of Franchise Law; Ranked in Who’s Who Legal Canada – Franchise in the area of Franchise Law
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory: Recognized in Franchise Law – Franchisor
  • Best Lawyers in Canada: Recognized in Franchise Law
  • Franchise Times: Recognized in Franchise Times as a Legal Eagle
    • “creative, experienced problem-solver [and having] successfully resolved dozens of disputes.”., 2014 edition
    • ​”the ‘go-to’ franchise litigator in Canada.”., 2013 edition
  • OBA Markus Cohen: Received OBA Markus Cohen. Q.C. Memorial Award for Franchise Law
  • University of Toronto: Awarded an Arbor Award for longstanding volunteer service

Media Mentions

  • Osler News Nov 23, 2023

    23 Osler lawyers recognized in Lexpert Special Edition: Litigation 2023

    23 Osler lawyers featured in the Lexpert Special Edition: Litigation 2023.

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  • Osler News Dec 6, 2022

    Nine Osler lawyers recognized as Who’s Who Legal Thought Leaders: Global Elite 2023

    Congratulations to nine of our lawyers for being recognized as 2023 Thought Leaders: Global Elite by Who’s Who Legal, in recognition of their expertis...

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  • Osler News Jan 17, 2022

    Six Osler lawyers recognized as Who’s Who Legal’s Thought Leaders: Global Elite 2022

    Congratulations to six of our lawyers for being recognized as Global Elite Thought Leaders by Who’s Who Legal.

    Read more
  • Osler News Jan 17, 2020

    Four Osler lawyers recognized as Who’s Who Legal’s Thought Leaders: Global Elite 2020

    Osler congratulates Andraya Frith, Jennifer Dolman, Al Meghji and Paul Litner for being recognized as Who’s Who Legal’s Thought Leaders: Global Elite ...

    Read more
View all

Community Involvement

  • ABA Franchise Law Journal
  • The Advocates’ Society, Workshop Instructor and Speaker
  • CFA Ontario Regional Law Day (2009, 2010) Planning Committee and 2007 Co-chair
  • Havergal College, Board of Governors (2012-2018)
  • IFA Legal Symposium Task Force (2008-2009)
  • LJN’s Franchising & Business Law Alert, Former Member of Editorial Board
  • Vice Chair, College of Electors, University of Toronto
  • Past Chair, Ontario Bar Association Franchise Law Section
  • Academic Board Member, Universtiy of Toronto
  • College of Electors (2018-2022), Former Vice-Chair (2020-2022)

Speaking and Writing

Speaking Engagements

speaker 21/9/2023
2023 CFA Franchise Law Day: Building for the Future
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speaker 13/6/2019
Ontario Bar Association: Best Practices Prosecuting and Defending Rescission Claims
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  • Best Practices for Enforcing Non-Competes and Other Restrictive Covenants, Ontario Bar Association’s 14th Annual Franchise Law Conference, November 18, 2014 (speaker)
  • One Hundred Days to Trial or Final Arbitration Hearing, 37th ABA Forum on Franchising, October 15-17, 2014 (speaker)
  • Post-Sale Duty to Disclose: Does it Exist, Canadian Franchise Association Law Day, January 30, 2014 (speaker)
  • Who’s Who Legal Franchise Roundtable, September 2013 (participant)
  • Using Negotiation and Mediation to Resolve International Franchise Disputes, 29th Annual IBA/IFA Joint Conference, May 8, 2013 (speaker)
  • Annual Judicial Update, Ontario Bar Association’s 12th Annual Franchise Law Conference, November 6, 2012 (speaker)
  • Franchise Class Actions, Canadian Institute’s National Forum on Class Actions, September 21, 2012 (speaker)
  • Hallmarks of a Viable Class Action, The Canadian Institute’s Class Actions Litigation Boot Camp, April 18 & 19, 2012 (speaker)

Published Work

Financial Post Franchise Focus column

Osler Publications


Credentials

Education

  • McGill University, LL.B.
  • University of Toronto, B.A.

Languages

  • English

Professional Affiliations

  • Advocates’ Society
  • American Bar Association (member of Litigation Section, Forum on Franchising)
  • Canadian Franchise Association
  • Law Society of Ontario
  • Ontario Bar Association
  • Faculty of Law Toronto Engagement Subcommittee and Fundraising, McGill University
  • International Franchise Association