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Franchise ADR Services

An Alternative to Court to Resolve Franchise Law Disputes

Ben Hanuka acts as a franchise mediator and arbitrator in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia (and, if requested, in other provinces).

Costly, acrimonious disputes can occur even with the best written Franchise Agreements in place. Alternatives to court, including Arbitration and Mediation, can resolve issues faster, and avoid many costs associated with court proceedings.

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How Law Works Helps You with Arbitration & Mediation

In franchise disputes requiring arbitration or mediation, Law Works' principal, Ben Hanuka, is available to act as arbitrator or mediator.

Experience & Expertise

Ben has over two decades of experience as a commercial litigator with deep expertise in franchise disputes, having acted as counsel in many leading Ontario franchise court decisions. In his litigation cases, Ben has represented franchisors and franchisees, thereby understanding both sides of the dispute and able to act as an impartial arbitrator or mediator.

We have offices located in:


Arbitration & Mediation Certification,
Training and Qualifications

Ben has extensive training and qualifications to act as arbitrator of franchise disputes, including:

  • FCIArb designation (Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators),
  • Gold Standard Course in Arbitration by the Toronto Commercial Arbitration Society (TCAS),
  • A member of TCAS, among other arbitration and alternative dispute resolution organizations.

Ben Hanuka as a Franchise Mediator

Ben Hanuka acts as a franchise mediator in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia (and, if requested, in other provinces).

Mediation is a structure for formal negotiations through a mediator who is often appointed collectively by all sides to the dispute. The goal of mediation is to reach a compromise between all parties to the dispute. If mediation is successful, it results in a settlement agreement that all parties sign off on and enter voluntarily.

In mediation, all parties to the dispute have significant control over the process and in designing the terms of the settlement. They determine the method of mediation and select a neutral third party to act as the mediator.

The mediator’s role is to facilitate negotiations and guide the parties towards a settlement. The mediator is not a judge who decides the case. The mediator does not decide the case or award damages like a judge or arbitrator. Rather, the mediator tries to move the parties towards a mutually agreeable settlement.

Mediation can be a required first step under the terms of some franchise agreements before pursuing a legal proceeding. It can also be required in a court proceeding in certain court venues in Canada, such as Toronto.

Mediator Fees

  • Half-day mediation (two parties): $4,500 plus taxes
  • Full-day mediation (two parties): $7,500 plus taxes
  • Each additional party in a multi-party mediation: $750 plus taxes
  • Overtime (per additional hour): $550 plus taxes
  • These rates include up to five hours of preparation time.

Rescheduling, Settlement or Cancellation Fees

Rescheduling, settlement or cancellation more than 60 calendar days before the mediation:

  • Half day: no charge
  • Full day: no charge

Rescheduling, settlement or cancellation more than 30 calendar days before the mediation:

  • Half day: $1,500
  • Full day: $2,000

Rescheduling, settlement or cancellation less than 30 calendar days before the mediation:

  • Half day: $3,000
  • Full day: $4,000

Ben Hanuka as a Franchise Arbitrator

Ben Hanuka acts as a franchise arbitrator in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia (and, if requested, in other provinces).

An arbitration is a private legal proceeding that is governed by provincial or federal arbitration statutes (depending on the jurisdiction of the dispute) and by the terms of the parties’ arbitration agreement (which, in franchising, is usually contained in the franchise agreement).

Franchise arbitration adjudicates a dispute under a franchise or related agreement, or where the parties to a franchise agreement have otherwise agreed to resolve their dispute by arbitration. Many franchise agreements require that all disputes between the parties be resolved by arbitration.

Franchise disputes can relate to the purchase, renewal or termination of a franchise. Disputes sometimes come up before entering into the franchise agreement about deposits and pre-sale agreements.

Parties to a franchise agreement can also have disputes during the franchise relationship, such as disputes about alleged operational non-compliance with the requirements of the franchise agreement, territorial and location rights, advertising, support, alleged bad faith conduct, or alleged misrepresentations.

After a franchise relationship ends, a franchisor and franchisee may be in dispute about alleged violations of non-competition or other post-termination obligations in the franchise agreement.

In a franchise arbitration, a neutral private arbitrator is selected by both parties, or otherwise appointed by a method set out in the arbitration agreement (or in the applicable arbitration statute). The arbitrator will set the procedure for the arbitration case from start to finish. Depending on the terms of the arbitration agreement between the parties, the arbitrator’s decision is normally final and binding.

Standard Arbitration Fees

Ben Hanuka’s Arbitrator Fees:

  • $550 per hour plus taxes

Deposit: A deposit is required for each day reserved for the arbitration, the estimated time for preparation, preliminary matters, award writing, venue expenses, and taxes.

Full day hearings commence at 10:00 a.m., adjourn at 1:00 p.m., resume at 2:00 p.m., and conclude at 4:00 p.m., unless otherwise agreed by the parties and the arbitrator.

Rescheduling, Adjournment, Cancellation or Settlement Fees

Rescheduling, adjournment, cancellation or settlement fees more than 30 calendar days before the scheduled start of a hearing of a conference, motion/application or arbitration:

Rescheduling, adjournment, cancellation or settlement more than 60 calendar days before the hearing:

  • No Charge

Rescheduling, adjournment, cancellation or settlement less than 60 calendar days before the hearing:

  • Time spent by the arbitrator before notification of the cancellation at the hourly rate of $550

Rescheduling, adjournment, cancellation or settlement less than 30 calendar days before the hearing:

  • Half of the amount of the deposit

Rescheduling, adjournment, cancellation or settlement less than 14 calendar days before the hearing:

  • Full amount of the deposit

Express Arbitration Fees

Express proceedings are designed for parties who want a fast and inexpensive arbitration. The fees are fixed, with strict time frames and limitations on the number of documents, length of briefs and time for the hearing.

The process takes less than 90 days from the appointment of the arbitrator to the issuance of the written award, and there is a maximum of a one hearing day. Full terms and conditions are set out in the arbitrator’s retainer agreement.

Standard Express Arbitration with an oral hearing:

  • $7,000 plus taxes, per party

Standard Express Arbitration In-writing arbitration:

  • $2,500 plus taxes, per party

Law Works - Important
Arbitration & Mediation Cases

Arbitration Involving Franchisor’s Affiliates

Adlakha v. Meehan (2011)

Case Synopsis

The first court decision holding that a franchisor’s affiliates, which are not parties to the franchise agreement, may be required to submit to arbitration together with the franchisor (Lick’s Burgers) – even though they are technically not direct parties to the arbitration agreement.

Arbitration Involving Franchisee’s Principals

Kanda Franchising Inc. and Kanda Franchising Leaseholds Inc. v. 1795517 Ontario Inc. (2017)

Case Synopsis

Law Works represented the franchisor in this case in a dispute with its franchisee. The franchisor took the position that the arbitration provisions in the franchise agreement applied and that the franchise dispute had to be arbitrated outside of court. The court ruled that the arbitration agreement did not apply because other parties were involved in the dispute, i.e., the individual principals of the franchisee and affiliates of the franchisor, who were not signatories to the arbitration agreement.

Ben Hanuka’s Arbitration Articles and Continuing Legal Education Speaking Engagements

Arbitration Articles in Peer-Reviewed Legal Journals

  • Author, “Non-Signatories in Franchise Arbitrations” (2019) 27:2 Canadian Arbitration and Mediation Journal 13
  • Author, “Franchise Arbitrations in Ontario: Principles of Commercial Arbitration and Nuances of Specialized Disputes” (2015) 24:1 Canadian Arbitration and Mediation Journal 9
  • Author “Franchise Arbitrations in Ontario: Principles of Commercial Arbitration and Nuances of Specialized Disputes”, Canadian Arbitration and Mediation Journal (published by the ADR Institute of Canada), Spring/Summer 2015


Arbitration Articles Cited in Court with Approval

  • “Two Roads to Obtaining Injunctive Relief”, published in The Lawyer’s Daily in October 2016, cited in Allied Accounting et al v Pacey, 2017 ONSC 4388


Arbitration Continuing Legal Education and Industry Programs

  • Roundtable Moderator, “Navigating Multi-Party and Multi-Proceeding Arbitration Issues”, 19th Annual Franchise Law Conference, OBA, November 30, 2020
  • Speaker, “Confidentiality, Consolidation and Concurrent Disputes”, ADR Institute of Canada, Canadian Arbitration Week, September 23, 2020
  • Co-Chair, “Franchise Arbitrations: Strategies, Tactics and Dangers” dinner program, OBA, February 2009


Arbitration Articles in Legal Media

  • Author, “Smell test of Aroma Franchise arbitration decision”, Law360 Canada, April 19, 2023
  • Author “Franchise Arbitrations: Concurrent Claims, Affiliates and Multiple Parties” The Lawyer’s Daily, September 23, 24, 2020
  • Author, “Court Boosts Arbitral Agreements”, The Lawyers Weekly, March 31, 2017
  • Author, “Two Roads to Obtaining Injunctive Relief”, The Lawyer’s Daily, October 27, 2016
  • Author, “When to Choose Arbitration Over Summary Judgment”, The Lawyers Weekly, April 1, 2016
  • Author, “Reasonableness and the Law” The Lawyers Weekly, December 11, 2015
  • Author, “Backing Out is Hard To Do”, The Lawyers Weekly, October 30, 2015
  • Author, “Different Standards for Labour, Commercial Arbitration”, The Lawyers Weekly, September 18, 2015