Martin Abadi

Martin Abadi


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Martin specializes in more than one area of law, spanning specific areas in disputes, regulatory, and transactional matters. Martin is a business lawyer that has built a large practice focused on following his clients’ needs in corporate commercial and regulatory disputes, specialty M&A (OEM and transport-related industry), regulation, investment, and competition law matters.

Martin is client relationship partner and counsel for leading international companies in industries that include capital markets (private equity funds and special purpose acquisition companies), entertainment and media, gaming, insurance, transportation, auto, agriculture, construction, emerging technology, and international supply chain logistics. He provides clients with strategic advice relating to dispute resolution, crisis management, Canadian market entry, international transactions, and compliance. Martin is also the National Leader of the Latin America focus group at BLG, a member of the BLG Europe Desk, and current chair of the Supply Chain subcommittee in the International Bar Association. He routinely assists companies with international commercial matters (disputes and entry projects) and transactions (including multijurisdictional SPAC transactions.)

Martin holds advanced degrees in Economics and Business Administration (M.A. and M.B.A designations) and routinely draws on his corporate finance training for bespoke legal advice to further client’s objectives in corporate commercial and M&A mandates. His international upbringing enables him to work and communicate in several languages, including Spanish, German, Portuguese, and French, in further support of the international reach of his practice.

Experience - Specialty Litigation

  • Martin has successfully represented clients in complex commercial and regulatory proceedings at various levels of the Ontario and federal courts and administrative tribunals and agencies as well as in commercial arbitration proceedings. His representative specialty litigation work includes:
    • CT-2023-003 Commissioner of Competition v Cineplex Inc.: co-counsel in defence of Cineplex in first case brought under subsection 74.01(1.1) of the Competition Act relating to allegations of drip pricing.
    • Counsel to OEMs in respect of Notices of Defect (Recalls) and environmental (emission and carbon credit) matters.
    • Counsel to OEMs in respect of marketing practices under Competition Act.
    • Counsel to shipping lines in respect of competition law matters relating to Shipping Conference exemptions and related matters as well as Coasting Trade practices.
    • Counsel to transport undertakings in respect of compliance with cabotage laws.
    • Counsel to ship owners in respect of regulatory/quasi-criminal investigations, MARPOL-related investigations, and inspections pursuant to the Canada Shipping Act and other statutes.
    • Buhlman et al v. Buckley et al, 2012 FCA 9: Represented (prevailing respondent) vessel operator before the Federal Court of Appeal on Marine Liability Act limitation of liability action within the context of a personal injury pleasure craft incident.
    • Representing clients in international commercial arbitration proceedings relating to transport, distribution, and corporate-commercial disputes.
    • Representing clients in connection with complex insurance coverage disputes.
    • Representing clients in connection with asset and share purchase agreement and successor liability disputes.
    • Representing clients in proceedings involving jurisdictional disputes.
    • Counsel to shipping and transportation clients in a variety of dispute-related matters (vessel arrest and sale, cargo arrest, casualty incidents, spill response, Norwich Orders and Mareva injunctions, regulatory investigations, insolvency proceedings, blockade injunctions, and judicial reviews).
    • Represented major shipping line in arbitration under the Rules of the Association of Maritime Arbitrators of Canada in connection with invocation of a force majeure clause.

Experience - Transactional

  • Martin’s transactional practice includes strategic risk management advice specific to Canadian market entry projects and cross-border M&A transactions for transport undertakings. Martin is recognized for his expertise in transport M&A and investment matters (aviation, auto, trucking, rail, and marine) and also provides transactional advice specific to transportation services contracts, reorganizations, spin-offs, and amalgamations. Most recently, Martin has been involved in gestation of multijurisdictional SPAC transactions focusing on agriculture, transport undertakings, and electric vehicles. Some of the representative transactional work includes:
    • Agrinam Acquisition Corporation, a special purpose acquisition corporation, in its US$138 million initial public offering. This transaction marks North America’s first-ever U.S.-Mexican-Canadian SPAC IPO transaction.
    • Advised Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp., a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company, in the US$1.9 billion acquisition of Lion Electric Company, a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of electric medium and heavy-duty urban vehicles.
    • Advised underwriters in connection with investment involving foreign acquisition of Canadian transport undertakings major shipping line in acquisition of a number of vessels.
    • Advises U.S. specialty transport undertaking operation with Canadian entry and reorganization.
    • Advises international private equity fund investing in mixed use development and construction projects.
    • Advises international private equity fund in respect of Canadian operations.
    • Advising a start-up and leading innovator in the Transportation-as-a-Service (TaaS) and Transit Oriented Communities (TOCs) space with transactional and regulatory aspects of novel transport solutions and proprietary technology pioneered by the company for vehicle and transport access.
    • Advised foreign OEM in respect of Canadian distribution network restructuring.
    • Counsel to leading shipping line in respect of reorganization of Canadian business.
    • Advised leading manufacturer in multijurisdictional, multi-million dollar transaction for the sourcing, transport, importation to Canada, supply, and sale of personal protective equipment.
    • Advised a start-up and leading innovator in AV robotics space in respect of off-road applications.
    • Represented U.S. based Cintas Corporation, as lead transport lawyer /fleet attorney, on the Canadian side of the transaction in the USD 2.2 billion acquisition of G&K Services including integration steps.
    • Acts and advises vendor in non-scheduled Canadian air carrier acquisition.
    • Acted and advised buyer in cross-border asset purchase involving commercial truck body manufacturer in Canada.
    • Acted and advised foreign manufacturer of cranes and commercial motor vehicles in respect of Canadian distribution and Transport Canada compliance.

Experience - Regulatory Work

  • Martin's regulatory practice comprises all areas covered by Transport Canada (including vehicle safety recalls, product and regulated asset class certification and standards, hazardous product transportation, air operator certificates), as well as motor vehicle emission compliance, and competition aspects such as drip pricing, marketing practices, coasting trade, and Shipping Conference practices. Some of the representative work includes:
    • Regularly act for Canadian and foreign OEMs in respect of Transport Canada regulatory compliance and filings.
    • Regularly act for OEMs in respect of Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards compliance and Notices of Defect criteria (regarding both, safety-related defects and emissions-related defects).
    • Advises major Canadian and international companies on transport regulations, including Canadian market entry projects, transport competition law, mergers and acquisitions involving transportation undertakings, carrier safety profile management, and development of commercial motor vehicle compliance, licensing and registration programs across Canadian jurisdictions.
    • Counsel to OEMs in respect of compliance in respect of marketing practices.
    • Counsel to transport undertakings in respect of compliance regarding competition aspects like Shipping Conference exemptions and related matters as well as Coasting Trade practices.
    • Counsel to foreign transport undertakings relating to Canadian cabotage restrictions.
    • Counsel to leading shipping line in connection with set up and maintenance of customs brokerage operations in Canada and all regulatory compliance issues with CBSA in respect of customs broker license holder activities in Canada.
    • Advise manufacturers and distributors of regulated asset classes in respect of safety standards, certifications, and regulatory requirements for manufacture, importation, and distribution of products in Canada.
    • Represents and advises major OEMs and distributors on Transport Canada regulations, rights and obligations under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act regulations (including issuance of Notices of Defect and recalls), homologation and certification standards, emerging technologies and negotiations with regulators.
    • Advise shipping lines, motor carriers, air freight carriers, and auto manufacturers in respect of commercial importation and Canadian compliance matters.
    • Advise air carriers in respect of Air Operator Certificate and Transport Canada regulatory compliance issues.
    • Advise NVOCCs in respect of regulatory, customs, and risk management aspects.
    • Advise shippers, logistics providers (whether as principal or agent), carriers, and warehousing operators in respect of secure shipments, dangerous goods transportation, and in respect of movement of restricted and controlled goods.

Beyond Our Walls

Professional Involvement

  • Guest Lecturer, Faculty of Law of the University of Ottawa (2016 – present)
  • Past Guest Lecturer, Faculty of Law of the University of Denver
  • Chair of the Supply Chain and Logistics Sub-committee, International Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Defense Research Institute
  • Member, Law Society of Ontario
  • Member, Transport Lawyers Association
  • Member, Canadian Board of Marine Underwriters
  • Guest Lecturer, Maritime Law Course, Faculty of Law, McGill University, (invited for 2020)

Awards & Recognitions

  • Recognized in the 2024 edition of The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (Transportation - Road & Rail).
  • Recognized as a 2023 Thomson Reuters Stand-out Lawyer.
  • Recognized in the 2021 edition of Best Lawyers Global Business Edition.
  • Recognized in the 2020 and 2021 editions of Best Lawyers in Canada (Maritime Law).

Bar Admission & Education

  • Ontario, 2007
  • LLB, University of British Columbia
  • MA, McGill University
  • MBA, McGill University
  • BA, Brandeis University