- 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
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)
- Quoted in Globe & Mail Article February 11, 2019, regarding Tim Hortons Potential Franchisees Settlement https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-tim-hortons-franchisees...
- Ontario Caps Private Cannabis Stores Interview on BNN December 14, 2018, https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/video/ontario-caps-initial-rollout-of-privat...
- Quoted in BNN Article December 14, 2018 https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/pot-firms-licking-their-wounds-after-ontario...
- New Ontario regulations dash expansion hopes for some cannabis retailers, Globe & Mail November 15, 2018 https://www.theglobeandmail.com/cannabis/article-new-ontario-rules-dash-...
- 2018 Lexpert Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40 winner https://www.lexpert.ca/rising-stars/winner-detail/chad-finkelstein-dale-and-lessmann-lip-522
- Regular column for the Financial Post on franchise, trademark and branding legal issues: http://business.financialpost.com/author/chadfinkelstein
- Cannabis in Restaurants, CTV Ottawa September 12, 2018 https://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1486645
- The future of Smart Serve with legalization around the corner, Breakfast TV August 21, 2018 https://www.bttoronto.ca/videos/the-future-of-smart-serve-with-legalizat...
- "The Franchise Battle of the Next Decade: Brand Control or Legal Exposure? Balancing the Franchisor’s Need to Control the Brand with Vicarious Liability Concerns”, presented to the Ontario Bar Association Franchise Law Section, June 2018 https://www.dalelessmann.com/sites/default/files/Franchise%20Battle%20of...
- “The Legalization of Cannabis and How It May Affect Your Business”, presented to the Canadian Franchise Association, June 2018 https://www.dalelessmann.com/sites/default/files/Legalization%20of%20Can...
- “Cannabis and the Foodservice Industry”, a panellist at the National Restaurant Association Show, May 2018
- “Cannabis in Foodservice”, presented to Restaurants Canada, May 2018 https://www.dalelessmann.com/sites/default/files/Cannabis%20in%20Foodser...
- “Be On the Lookout! How to Spot and Address the Accidental Franchise”, presented to the Ontario Bar Association Institute, February 2018
- "The Impact of Cannabis Legalization on Canada and the Restaurant Industry", delivered to the Board of Directors of Restaurants Canada, June 2017
- “Thinking of franchising your restaurant? Not knowing the law could cost you”, Restaurants Canada, June 2017 https://blog.restaurantscanada.org/index.php/2017/06/22/thinking-franchising-restaurant-not-knowing-law-cost/
- “Marijuana and Foodservice – What You Need to Know”, Restaurants Canada, April 2017 https://blog.restaurantscanada.org/index.php/2017/04/12/marijuana-foodservice-need-know/
- “Ask the Experts: Contributing to the Ad Fund”, Canadian Business Franchise, April 2017 https://www.franchiseinfo.ca/features/ask-the-expert/ask-the-experts-contributing-to-the-ad-fund/
- “Will my franchised restaurant make money?”, Restaurants Canada, February 2017 https://blog.restaurantscanada.org/index.php/2017/02/03/franchised-restaurant-make-money/
- "Design and Executing Effective Franchise System Advertising Programs", presented to the Canadian Franchise Association Law Day, 2016
- “Ask the Experts: Terms for the resale of a franchise”, Canadian Business Franchise, November 2016 https://www.franchiseinfo.ca/legal-corner/ask-the-expert-terms-for-the-resale-of-a-franchise/
- “Human Rights & the Restaurant Industry in Canada”, Restaurants Canada, July 2016 https://blog.restaurantscanada.org/index.php/2016/07/05/human-rights-restaurant-industry-canada/
- “Key legal issues for the foodservice industry”, RestoBiz, July 2016 https://www.restobiz.ca/key-legal-issues-foodservice-industry/
- “What do you mean your restaurant doesn’t have a shareholders’ agreement?”, Restaurants Canada, June 2016 https://blog.restaurantscanada.org/index.php/2016/06/15/restaurant-shareholders-agreement/
- “How Canada’s New Trademark Laws Affect Restauranteurs”, Restaurants Canada, May 2016 https://blog.restaurantscanada.org/index.php/2016/05/30/trademark-laws-restaurateurs/
- “Developing the franchise model for your restaurant”, Restaurants Canada, May 2016 https://blog.restaurantscanada.org/index.php/2016/05/13/franchise-model-restaurant/
- “Items to consider before franchising your restaurant”, Restaurants Canada, May 2016 https://blog.restaurantscanada.org/index.php/2016/05/05/franchising-restaurant/
- "Tweet, Like, Share, Repeat - Effective Management of a Franchise Brand's Social Media Program", presented to the International Franchise Association Legal Symposium, May 2016
- "Introduction to Canadian Franchise Law"
- “Reading the Fine Print: Introduction to Food Aggregators”, Restaurants Canada, April 2016 https://blog.restaurantscanada.org/index.php/2016/04/05/read-fine-print-2/
- “Ask the Experts: Changes to trademarks laws”, Canadian Business Franchise, March 2016 https://www.franchiseinfo.ca/legal-corner/ask-the-experts-changes-to-trademark-laws/
- "Regulatory Nation - A Look at New and Potential Regulatory & Legislative Development Impacting Franchising (Menu Labelling)"
- "Healthy Menu Choices Act", presented to the Canadian Franchise Association Law Day 2016
- “Ask the Experts: Developing franchise legislation in British Columbia”, Canadian Business Franchise, August 2014 https://www.franchiseinfo.ca/legal-corner/ask-the-experts-developing-franchise-legislation-in-british-columbia/
- "Legal & Business Aspects to Consider When Purchasing a Franchise", presented to the Canadian Franchise Association Franchise Show
- "Don't Gamble With the Law: How to Run a Legal Contest and Promotional Giveaway", presented as a Canadian Franchise Association webinar, 2015
- "Data Security Issues for Franchise Systems", presented to the Canadian Franchise Association Law Day 2015
- Co-Chair, Canadian Franchise Association Law Day, 2014
- “Ask the Experts: Franchisee freedom”, Canadian Business Franchise, June 2014 https://www.franchiseinfo.ca/legal-corner/ask-the-experts-how-much-freedom-do-franchisees-typically-have-to-run-local-contests-for-their-customers/
- Co-Chair Ontario Bar Association Institute, Franchise Law, February 2013: http://www.cbapd.org/details_en.aspx?id=ON_D_FRA
- “Ask the Experts: Finding a franchise lawyer”, Canadian Business Franchise, September 2012 https://www.franchiseinfo.ca/legal-corner/ask-the-experts-what-factors-determine-which-lawyer-or-firm-i-should-work-with/
- “When Your Franchise Agreement Ends”, Canadian Business Franchise, December 2011 https://www.franchiseinfo.ca/legal-corner/when-your-franchise-agreement-ends-know-your-rights/
- “Non-Competition Covenants in A Canadian Context”, International Journal of Franchising Law, Volume 9, Issue 3, 2011 (co-author): http://www.dalelessmann.com/sites/default/files/Non-Competition%20Covenants%20in%20a%20Canadian%20Context%20International%20Journal%20of%20Franchising%20Law%20Volume%209%20Issue%203%202011.pdf
- “Franchising and Social Media”, presented to the Ontario Bar Association Annual Franchise Law Conference, 2011