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 is a partner, business lawyer and Registered Trademark Agent at Dale & Lessmann LLP. With a wide latitude of legal experience in many areas of law, Chad’s main specialties lie in franchise law, licensing & distribution, intellectual property law and brand marketing & advertising law across a broad spectrum of service sectors including retail, restaurant chains, financial services, health & wellness, beauty services, real estate and technology.   Frequently, he leads mergers and acquisitions deal teams or is engaged as franchise counsel to other law firms and private equity firms on specialized franchise legal matters for large-scale corporate work.

Multifaceted in his legal experience and a fierce advocate of his client’s brands, Chad maintains a refined approach to ensuring full legal context for the life cycle of all his client’s matters.  Working closely with franchisors, he drafts franchise agreements and franchise disclosure documents, as well as structures and negotiates domestic and international franchise and license transactions and acquisitions.   He provides astute advice on joint ventures, branding, licensing and distribution for domestic and global companies.  Chad develops best practices for single-unit, multi-unit and master franchise programs and franchise relationships, advising on how to conduct productive business relations with franchise stakeholder groups. Emerging and start-up businesses can also leverage his deep knowledge in the set-up and development for new franchises in their early stages.

Chad has extensive experience securing protection for his clients’ brands and intellectual property, including prosecuting trademark applications, negotiating licensing deals and managing disputes related to infringement.  He also drafts supply and co-packing agreements between food manufacturers, distributors and end users including airlines and retail and restaurant chains.  Chad also advises on matters relating to advertising and marketing law, sponsorships, endorsements, entertainment talent agreements, contests and promotions, technology licensing and services, privacy law and consumer protection law.

As a testament to Chad’s drive, diversity of knowledge and commitment, clients entrust him for his practical advice on legal matters to help them make informed business decisions. He 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.  Within Chad’s client base, he is considered an extension of their management team for his unique ability to bring his legal perspective to bear on their business and success.

He is a frequent writer and speaker for industry publications and events, including contributing a regular franchise blog to the Financial Post, one of Canada’s leading national newspapers.  Chad has also been interviewed by The Globe and Mail, National Post, CTV, CH News, CBC, Canadian Press and various other television and radio news programs, and is 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.

Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory

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.