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Jennifer Dolman - Franchise Lawyer

Jennifer Dolman

Partner, Litigation

Key Contact: Franchise Litigation

Key Contact: Franchise


Contact Information

jdolman@osler.com

tel: 416.862.5911

Office

Toronto

Bar Admission

Ontario, 1991

Education
  • McGill University, LL.B.
  • University of Toronto, B.A.
Language(s)
English

Jennifer has been practicing commercial litigation for over 25 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 represents manufacturers and suppliers in their disputes with agents and distributors, 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) and privacy matters. 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 current 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 recently completed five years of being 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, sits 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.

    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Shoppers Drug Mart Inc. in its current defence of a prospective class action brought on behalf of its Associates.

Chambers

  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2016-2019, Band 1, recognized in the area of Franchising.
    • "[Jennifer is] the top tier of franchise lawyers; the crème de la crème."

Who’s Who Legal

  • Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders – Global Elite 2019.
  • Who’s Who Legal, International - Franchising, 2017-2018, recognized as a Thought Leader in the area of Franchising Law.
    • "[Jennifer is] a pre-eminent practitioner in the space. She is widely endorsed as a top franchise litigator and draws praise for her quick, analytical responses."., 2017 edition.
  • Who’s Who Legal: International - Franchising, 2015-2018, recognized in the area of Franchise Law.
    • "[Jennifer is] once again featured as "one of the best practitioners of franchise law working in Canada today. She has considerable experience defending clients in franchise disputes relating to breach of the duty of good faith and misrepresentation and has knowledge of the gamut of franchise law"., 2016 edition.
    • In 2015, Jennifer was recognized as Mostly Highly Regarded practitioner in the area of Franchise Law.
    • In 2014, Jennifer was 1 of 10 recognized as Mostly Highly Regarded practitioners in the area of Franchise Law.
      • "[Jennifer is] described as very visible in the legal market due to the significant cases” she litigates; peers praise her masterly courtroom performance and describe her as a brilliant tactician."., 2014 edition.
  • Who’s Who Legal Canada - Franchise, 2015-2018, recognized in the area of Franchise Law.
    • In 2017, Jennifer was 1 of 7 recognized as Mostly Highly Regarded practitioners in the area of Franchise Law.
      • "[Jennifer is] an important member of the bar leading litigator. She wins plaudits for her work enforcing non-competition covenants and defending franchisors in disclosure disputes."., 2017 edition.
      • "[Jennifer is] a particularly prominent name in the market. She is described as "an incredibly skilled litigator and strategist"., 2016 edition.
  • Who’s Who Legal: Canada - Franchise: since 2010: (“stands out for her franchisor defence practice with clients commenting on her ‘originality, commitment and tenacity’”, 2014 edition).
  • The International Who's Who of Franchise Lawyers since 2009.

Lexpert

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, 2011-2018, Most Frequently Recommended in the area of Franchising Law - Franchisor.
  • The Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Corporate Lawyers in Canada, 2013-2017: Franchising Law.

Best Lawyers

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada, 2008-2019, recognized in the area of Franchise Law.

Franchise Times

  • Franchise Times Legal Eagle, 2011-2018, recognized in the area of Franchise Litigation.
    • “creative, experienced problem-solver [and having] successfully resolved dozens of disputes."., 2014 edition.
    • ​"the 'go-to' franchise litigator in Canada."., 2013 edition.

Acritas Stars

  • Acritas Stars, 2018, recognized as a Star Lawyer.

OBA Markus Cohen

  • OBA Markus Cohen. Q.C. Memorial Award for Franchise Law, 2011.

  • Brief the Board Webinar Wednesday

    Speaker, Hot Topics in Employment Law, July 12, 2017

  • BC's Franchises Act

    Speaker, Vancouver, December 5, 2016

  • 16th Annual Ontario Bar Association Franchise Law Conference

    Speaker, The Role of Equity in Franchise Law, Toronto, November 17, 2016

  • Lexpert Professional Development

    Speaker, Duties of Good Faith: Recent Developments in the Law and Practical Implications, Toronto, June 9, 2016

  • International Franchise Association Legal Symposium

    Moderator, Providing Effective Field Support Without Crossing the Joint Employer Line, Washington, DC, May 16, 2016

  • Canadian Restaurant Investment Summit

    Speaker, The Great Renewal Debate, Toronto, April 6, 2016

  • ABA Franchise Law Journal
  • The Advocates’ Society, Workshop Instructor
  • CFA Ontario Regional Law Day (2009, 2010) Planning Committee and 2007 Co-chair
  • Havergal College, Board of Governors
  • IFA Legal Symposium Task Force (2008-2009)
  • LJN’s Franchising & Business Law Alert, Editorial Board
  • Ontario Bar Association Franchise Law Section, Chair and former Secretary and Program Coordinator

  • Advocates’ Society (regular instructor at discovery and cross-examination workshops)
  • American Bar Association (member of Litigation Section, Forum on Franchising and Franchise Law Journal Editorial Board)
  • Canadian Franchise Association
  • Intellectual Property Institute of Canada
  • Law Society of Ontario
  • Ontario Bar Association Franchise Law Section, Chair
  • Ontario Bar Association (member of Class Action, Civil Litigation, E-commerce and Technology, and Privacy Sections)

Financial Post Franchise Focus column

Osler Publications

Other Publications

  • Who's Who Legal Franchise 2016 roundtable participant, October 2016 
  • Best Practices for Enforcing Non-Competes and Other Restrictive Covenants, The Advocates' Quarterly, February 2015 (co-authored)
  • Governing Principles and Recent Trends in the Enforcement of Restrictive Covenants in Franchise Agreements, The Advocates’ Quarterly, February 2015 (co-authored with Adam Ship, Rebecca Hall-McGuire and Tyler Wentzell)
  • Franchise (& Distribution) Currents, ABA Franchise Law Journal, Winter 2015 (co-authored with Amy Cheng and Elliot R. Ginsburg)

Media Mentions

Speaking Engagements

  • 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)