Geoffrey B. Shaw

Geoffrey B. Shaw
Telephone: 416 869 5982
Fax: 416 350 6916

Suite 2100, Scotia Plaza
40 King Street West
Toronto, ON M5H 3C2

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"At the top of his game." - Client Testimonial, Who's Who Legal

Geoff Shaw* is a partner in the commercial litigation department where the main focus of his practice is the resolution of franchise law disputes through trial, appeal, mediation or arbitration. Geoff has been described by clients in Who's Who Legal as being the "go-to-guy" and "at the top of his game" when it comes to class action defence in franchising. He is also recognized as a "Legal Eagle" by Franchise Times, a designation given to the top 100 franchise lawyers in North America. Geoff has a number of important reported decisions in the franchise law area and his class action work on behalf of Pet Valu was recently highlighted as a "Big Case" by Lexpert magazine.

A few of his notable cases include:

  • Achieving favourable settlement approval on behalf of a franchisor of a franchisee-led class action where the judge acknowledged: “the outcome of this class action by settlement is very poor for the Class Members, who have gained nothing.”
  • Acting for a number of franchisors to successfully restrict departing franchisees from doing franchise business contrary to their non-competition covenants
  • Achieved dismissal of $100 million franchisee-led class action over rebates on behalf of franchisor

Geoff is a past instructor at the Bar Admission Course - Civil Procedures Section and Intensive Trial Advocacy Workshop - Osgoode Hall Law School in the area of expert testimony and cross-examinations. He teaches Franchise Law at Queen's University. Geoff recently completed his second term as a member of the International Franchise Association (IFA) Legal Symposium Task Force. He regularly speaks and writes for various franchise law conferences and publications and is a contributing editor to Federated Press' Franchise & Distribution Journal and contributing author of Dispute Resolution & Franchise Litigation in Canada, part of the American Bar Association’s publication “Fundamentals of Franchising – Canada.”

Geoff also practices in the field of tax litigation and securities regulatory work. In 2014, he successfully appealed a $16.3 million tax assessment on behalf of his client while achieving a cost award against the CRA in excess of $500,000.00.

Client Commentary

  • “Incredibly skilled.” – Chambers Canada (Franchising)
  • "He is very good at what he does." – Chambers Canada (Franchise)
  • "At the top of his game." – Who's Who Legal (Franchise)
  • "An accomplished attorney who is well worthy of being ranking as one of the top lawyers in the country." – Chambers Canada (Franchise)
  • “A strong name in franchise litigation.” – Chambers Canada (Franchising)

*denotes Professional Corporation


Osgoode Hall Law School, LL.M., 2011

Queen's University, LL.B., 1984

Recent Work

Publications, Newsletters and Articles

Class Actions e-COMMUNIQUÉ - August 2019

Franchise Law e-COMMUNIQUE - July 2019

Cassels Brock Successful in Upholding Disclosure Exemption on Behalf of Hotel Brand Franchisor

Franchise Law e-COMMUNIQUÉ - April 2019

Franchise Law e-COMMUNIQUÉ - December 2018

Franchise Law e-COMMUNIQUÉ - October 2018

Sticky Fingers: Unclean Hands and Weak Case Undermine Dairy Queen Franchisee’s Injunction

Ontario Court Finds Franchisee Personally Liable for $1.7 Million Dollar Costs Award in Failed Class Action

Time to Face the Facts: Raibex Appeal Decision Provides Support to Dismiss Summary Judgment Motion Where Potential Material Facts in Dispute

Class Actions e-COMMUNIQUÉ - September 2018

Ontario Court Finds Franchisee Personally Liable for $1.7 Million Dollar Costs Award in Failed Class Action

Ontario Court Finds Franchisee Personally Liable for $1.7 Million Dollar Costs Award in Failed Class Action

Class Actions e-COMMUNIQUÉ - April 2018

Franchise Law e-COMMUNIQUÉ - February 2018

An AllStar Decision for Franchisors: Court of Appeal Restores Clarity and Commercial Sense to Disclosure Obligations in Long Awaited Raibex Appeal Decision

Conferences, Speaking Engagements, Events

Geoff Shaw and Christopher Horkins Discussing the Raibex Decision and What it Means for Your Franchise System at CFA Webinar

Geoff Shaw Discussing Key Issues Arising from Decision in Raibex Canada Ltd. v. ASWR Franchising Corp.

Geoff Shaw Presents "Drafting, Litigating and Defending Financial Performance Representations in Disclosure"

Call to the bar

Ontario, 1986


  • The Advocates' Society
  • American Bar Association/Forum on Franchising
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Canadian Franchise Association (Government Relations Committee Member)
  • Canadian Tax Foundation
  • Ontario Bar Association (Franchise Law Executive Committee Member 2010-2014)
  • Toronto Lawyers Association


  • Franchise Times, "Legal Eagle" (2014 - 2018)
  • Chambers Canada 20162020 (Franchising)
  • Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Corporate Lawyers in Canada 2013–2017 (Franchise Law)
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada 20082020 (Franchise)
  • Who's Who Legal: Canada 20102017 (Franchise – "Most Highly Regarded Individual" in 2015)
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 20062019 (Franchising - Franchisor)
  • Martindale-Hubbell, DistinguishedTM rating


Pro Bono/Community Involvement

  • Greater Toronto Hockey League (3rd Vice-President and Member of the Board of Directors 2012-2016)
  • Huntsville Hospital Foundation (Member of the Board of Directors 2015-2018)
  • Ontario Hockey Federation (Member of the Board of Directors 2018-2020)


Class Actions
Hospitality & Tourism
Private Equity
Securities Litigation