Chad Finkelstein


  • LL.B., University of Western Ontario, 2005
  • B.A.,(Hons) University of Western Ontario, 2002
  • Admitted to the Ontario Bar (Law Society of Upper Canada), 2006

Practice Description

Chad Finkelstein is a partner at Dale & Lessmann LLP, as well as the founder and co-chair of the firm’s franchise practice group, and founder and chair of the firm’s cannabis practice group.  He is a transactional lawyer and a registered trademark agent, and practices in the areas of corporate law, M&A, franchise law, licensing, distribution, intellectual property law, cannabis law, information technology law, advertising/marketing law, and contest and gaming law.  Chad works across a broad spectrum of service sectors including retail, restaurant chains, cannabis, consumer packaged goods, apparel, health & wellness, beauty services, real estate and technology. Chad collaborates with management and their outside business and marketing partners to interpret law and deliver it with grounded perspectives in a clear and accessible manner.

In 2018, Chad was selected as a winner of Lexpert’s Rising Stars award, recognizing Canada’s leading lawyers under 40 years old.  He has been recognized by his peers as a ranked lawyer in franchise law and cannabis law in such publications as Lexpert, Who’s Who Legal: Canada, Chambers Canada, The Best Lawyers in Canada and Franchise Times. He contributes regular columns on business, cannabis, franchising and branding legal issues to the National Post and The Globe & Mail, and has been an interview subject on these issues in the Globe and Mail, National Post, the Canadian Press, and on CTV, CBC, BNN, CityTV, CH News and numerous radio news programs. He is also a guest lecturer at the University of Toronto.

Please click here to view Chad’s regular column for the Financial Post on franchise, trademark, advertising and branding legal issues.

Professional Affiliations and Distinctions

  • 2018 Lexpert Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40 winner
  • Lexpert Leading Practitioner (Franchise Law)
  • Chambers Canada (Franchise Law)
  • The Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Corporate Lawyers in Canada
  • Who’s Who Legal: Canada (Franchise Law)
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada (Franchise Law)
  • Franchise Times Legal Eagle
  • Member, Canadian Franchise Association
  • Member, International Franchise Association
  • Member, Ontario Bar Association
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Restaurants Canada
  • Past Member, Ontario Bar Association, Executive of Franchise Law Section (Public Affairs Liaison)

Recent Presentations and Publications


Recent Blog Posts

This article originally appeared as a column in The Globe and Mail
It can be challenging to keep up with news in Canada’s cannabis industry.   
Defamation and Dealing with Negative Press
System Changes are Hard but are McDonald’s Franchisees ‘lovin’ it’?
A recent court decision from British Columbia may have a significant impact on brand owners’ digital marketing activities.