The franchise relationship is complex. It is essential that counsel understands the nature of that relationship in advising their client (be that client a franchisor or a franchisee). As well as when advising a client (again be that client a franchisor or a franchisee) it is important that counsel understands the respective rights and obligations imposed on both franchisees and franchisors as a result of the Arthur Wishart Act (Franchise Disclosure) 2000 (the “Act”) or other provincial franchise legislation across Canada (see the article on Franchise Legislation under Articles).
Lawyers often recognize and accept that on occasion their expertise in a specific area of law is limited. On those occasions, it is often in the client’s best interests for the lawyer to retain counsel who is more experienced in a specific area of law. The integrity and knowledge of the consulting lawyer is critical, because these are challenging conditions, and the outcome of the case as well as the reputation of the referring lawyer is dependent upon his or her expertise. Therefore, lawyers are very selective regarding their choice of professional associates, and our practice is the trusted resource for many practices in Canada.
We have acted as counsel in a number of matters for other lawyers and law firms, either establishing a shadow counsel relationship with the lawyer or law firm (the client was unaware of our involvement) or establishing a direct client relationship for the specific matter with the client. In the circumstance in which we establish a direct relationship with the client, we will only do work for that client for the specific matter retained and will not do further work for that client under any circumstances, thereby preserving the relationship between the client and the referring lawyer.
We are available to individuals, associations, and lawyers in need of specific expertise. If you have any questions, or you would like to discuss this further in confidence, please contact David Kornhauser today.