Frank Zaid

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Frank graduated as a Chemical Engineer from the University of Toronto in 1968. Thinking that he might pursue a career in intellectual property law or “IP”, he then entered the first full graduating class at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University and graduated with honours in 1971. After spending the next year as an articling student at a boutique IP firm, he joined Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt as an associate lawyer in the corporate/commercial department and also to deal with client IP matters. A couple of years later the firm was retained by 2 small automotive service franchise companies from the United States for advice on bringing their franchise systems to Canada. The clients were directed to Frank because of his IP background. There were no franchise laws in Canada, hardly any information was available on the legal aspects of franchising and there were very few lawyers involved in franchising.  He set out to learn about franchising, and became very interested in the entrepreneurial nature of franchisors and the opportunities available to small business owners as franchisees. He began to receive more inquiries from franchisors and franchisees for legal advice.

During his 40 year career as a lawyer and senior partner in the firm’s Toronto office, Frank’s business law practice was concentrated in franchise law and chairing one of Canada’s leading franchise law practice groups. He was involved with over 400 franchise systems. He has been an investor in both franchisor and franchisee operations, and has served as a director on franchisor advisory boards of prominent franchise companies. He has also served as the Executive Director for several independent franchisee associations.

Frank was consistently ranked as the most frequently recommended franchise lawyer in Canada and among the most highly regarded international franchise lawyers. He served as Special and General Counsel of the Canadian Franchise Association, Chair of the Supplier Forum of the International Franchise Association, and the first Chair of the Franchise Law Section of the Ontario Bar Association.  He was the initial recipient in 2009 of the CFA’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. Frank co-chaired the Uniform Law Conference of Canada Commercial Law Strategy franchise law committee which prepared a model Uniform Franchises Act and regulations adopted by the ULCC in August 2005 and followed by several provinces in their franchise legislation.

Frank has written, spoken and been interviewed for many publications and at numerous conferences, webinars and media events concerning various aspects of domestic and international franchising and particularly, in recent years, on mediation, arbitration and other alternate dispute resolution options for franchise disputes.

Since his retirement from active law practice at the end of 2012, he has transformed his unique business and legal experience in franchising into several support service functions through his company, FRANlegal Support Services: franchise mediator and arbitrator with ADR Chambers in Toronto; independent franchise system ombudsman; expert witness in franchise litigation matters; member of the boards of directors or advisory boards of franchise companies; advisor/consultant on high-level strategic domestic and international non-legal franchise business matters and profile speaker at franchise conferences or conventions.

Member of the CFA

Latest Articles

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Originally published in the Canadian Business Franchise magazine on March 27, 2014 Q: Why are mediation and arbitration important in the resolution of franchise disputes today? A: My experience in alternative dispute resolution (ADR), through the mediation and arbitration of franchise disputes, has convinced me it is a natural and expanding resource for possible solutions to franchising …

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Common Challenges and Mistakes in Franchising

Adapted and updated from an article published by the author in the Canadian Business Franchise 2019 Handbook and linked to the online Canadian Business Franchise Magazine Updated February 12, 2021. By Frank Zaid I have been involved in franchising in many capacities for over 45 years, as a franchise lawyer, a mediator, an ombudsman, an …

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