John leads our firm’s automotive sector practice, drawing on his considerable experience working as lead counsel for one of Canada’s largest automotive manufacturers and numerous dealers. In addition to handling dealer development matters, he has acted in automobile dealership disputes and in proceedings under the National Automobile Dealer Arbitration Program. John also leads our trademark practice as a registered trademark agent and has extensive knowledge of intellectual property issues, and regularly acts in the procurement and licensing of trademarks. He is also an experienced practitioner in the restaurant, grocery, hotel, real estate and professional services sectors, advising businesses at every stage of franchising system development. John has particular expertise in the work out of distressed franchisees and in structuring transfers in the best interests of the franchise system. A significant portion of John’s practice is dedicated to providing strategic commercial advice on complex franchise defaults and disputes, enforcements, and terminations. John serves as co-managing partner of our firm.
John is proficient in Greek and Swedish.
Juris Doctor (J.D.), Osgoode Hall Law School, 1997
Masters of International and Comparative Law (Magna Cum Laude), Stockholm University, 2000
Registered Trademark Agent
More About John Yiokaris
- Franchisor Services – All Sectors with a focus on automotive, personal services, professional services, and restaurants
- Trademarks and Intellectual Property
- International Franchising, Licensing and Distribution
- Franchise Associations and Advisory Counsels
- Corporate / Commercial, Mergers and Acquisitions and Finance
- Sector Leader – Automotive Sector
- Sector Leader – Professional Services
- Awarded the Lexology 2019 Client Choice Award for Franchising in Ontario
- Ranked in Chambers Canada – Franchising (2019-2023)
- Consistently listed in Best Lawyers in Canada – Franchise Law (2015 – 2023)
- Recognized in Best Lawyers Global Business Edition (2016 – 2022)
- Listed as “Consistently Recommended” in Canadian Legal LEXPERT Directory – Franchise (2013 – 2023)
- Listed in Who’s Who Legal National Guide: Canada Franchise (2013 – 2022)
- Listed in Who’s Who Legal Global Guide – Franchise (2021 – 2022)
- Inducted into the “Hall of Fame – 2022” by Franchise Times Magazine
- Named “Legal Eagle” by Franchise Times Magazine (2013 – 2023)
- Canadian Bar Association
- Law Society of Ontario
- College of Patent Agents and Trademark Agents
- Canadian Franchise Association
- International Franchise Association
- Executive Member, Legal and Legislative Committee of the Canadian Franchise Association (current)
- American Bar Association – Forum on Franchising
- Intellectual Property Institute of Canada
- Honorary Director, Hellenic Canadian Lawyers’ Association
- The Legal Validity of e-Signatures, Canadian AutoWorld, January 2023.
- Canada: Bad Faith And The Importance Of Trademark Registration. Mondaq, 25 July 2022.
- What do I need to know about using “Cookies” on my website, Canadian AutoWorld, January 2022
- Keep your distance! Navigating New Dealer Points and Relocated Dealerships, Canadian AutoWorld, November 2019
- Automobile Dealers and Privacy Law, Canadian AutoWorld, August 2019
- Do Dealership Agreements Really Last Forever? Canadian AutoWorld, January 2019
- Speaker – Legal Issues in Franchise Renewals, IFA Convention 2018, Phoenix (February 10-13, 2018)
- Franchise Advisory Councils, Canadian Business Franchise , March / April 2017
- Speaker – Ontario Bar Association 15th Annual Franchise Law Conference, (November 17, 2015)
- My franchisee rescinded its franchise agreement: What to look for in reviewing the franchisee’s calculation of damages, The Franchise Voice, Fall 2015
- Speaker – Buying and Selling a Business, Ukrainian Canadian Bar Association and the Hellenic Canadian Lawyers’ Association, (June 2015)
- Speaker – Franchising Law for Commercial Leasing Professionals, ICSC: International Council of Shopping Centre: Canadian Shopping Centre Law Conference, Toronto (April 15, 2015)
- Compiled the Legal Digest (a review of important cases and other developments in franchise law), The Franchise Voice, Winter 2015 (Download)
- Investigations Beyond the Disclosure Document, Canadian Business Franchise, September 2014
- Speaker – Dealing with Issues in Franchise Renewals, IFA Convention 2014, New Orleans (February 22-25, 2014)
- Speaker – Material Changes, Ontario Bar Association 13th Annual Franchise Law Conference, (19 November 2013)
- Subleases and Additional Disclosure: What happens if I have signed a franchise agreement but haven’t yet found a location?, FranchiseCanada May / June 2013
- Speaker – “Key Issues When Representing a Small Franchisee”, Ontario Bar Association 3rd Annual Business Law Summit, Toronto, (May 15, 2013)
- What Happens Next? Dealing with Statements of Material Change and Additional Disclosure, The Franchise Voice, (Winter 2013)
- Speaker – “Hot Topics in Rescission”, Ontario Bar Association 12th Annual Franchise Law Conference: For Better or For Worse: Franchise Relationships over the Long Term, Toronto, (November 6, 2012)
- Getting comfortable with disclosure: What Franchisors should know about “Material Facts”, The Franchise Voice, Spring 2012
- How do I renew my franchise agreement?, FranchiseCanada, May / June 2012
- What are Franchisee Advisory Councils and Franchisee Associations?, FranchiseCanada July / August 2011
- Franchise Renewals: Issues Surrounding the Franchisor’s Right to Accept a Franchisee’s Exercise of a Renewal Option, Ontario Bar Association 10th Annual Franchise Law Conference, (November 2010)
SOTOS LLP BLOG September 21, 2022The Legal Validity of e-signatures: Updates on Ditching the Pen
SOTOS LLP BLOG August 15, 2022Dealership Agreements: They're Not for as Long as You Think
SOTOS LLP BLOG June 24, 2022Bad Faith and the Importance of Trademark Registration
SOTOS LLP BLOG November 16, 2021Trademark Research and Protection Services
SOTOS LLP BLOG July 15, 2021What do I need to know about using “Cookies” on my dealership website?
SOTOS LLP BLOG June 7, 2021Distinctiveness in Registered Trademarks
SOTOS LLP BLOG August 27, 2020Alternatives to Bankruptcy
SOTOS LLP BLOG March 31, 2020Heading for the Offramp: Selling your Dealership
SOTOS LLP BLOG March 27, 2020Dealer Advertising: What do I need to know?
SOTOS LLP BLOG March 24, 2020Managing the Impact of Coranavirus on your Dealership
SOTOS LLP BLOG November 2, 2018What you need to know about mandatory reporting of breaches of security safeguards
SOTOS LLP BLOG October 22, 2018Do Dealership Agreements Really Last Forever?
SOTOS LLP BLOG December 1, 2017Should you trade-mark your logo, name, or both?
SOTOS LLP BLOG September 19, 2016The Devil is in the Details: what you need to know about your Franchise Agreement
SOTOS LLP BLOG May 31, 2016Should franchisors create a franchisee advisory council?
SOTOS LLP BLOG November 15, 2015My franchisee rescinded its franchise agreement: What to look for in reviewing the franchisee's calculation of damages
SOTOS LLP BLOG September 29, 2014Franchise Basics: Investigations Beyond the Disclosure Document
SOTOS LLP BLOG June 2, 2014Thinking the unthinkable: dealer succession planning is key to ensuring an orderly transition
SOTOS LLP BLOG February 21, 2013What happens next? Dealing with statements of material change and additional disclosure
SOTOS LLP BLOG April 12, 2012How do I renew my Franchise Agreement?
SOTOS LLP BLOG March 7, 2012Trade-mark update: What you need to know about your trade-marks
SOTOS LLP BLOG October 24, 2011Disclosure documents and franchise resales: what franchisors should know
SOTOS LLP BLOG June 26, 2011What are Franchisee Advisory Councils and Franchisee Associations?
SOTOS LLP BLOG May 23, 2011Key Issues in Franchise Transfers and Renewals: Part 1 - What Every Franchisor Should Know About Renewal
SOTOS LLP BLOG March 5, 2011“Material Changes” to a Disclosure Document – What do they mean?
SOTOS LLP BLOG March 5, 2011Confusing Renewal Clauses and the Duty of Fair Dealing – Ontario Court of Appeal Addresses Both
SOTOS LLP BLOG September 25, 2010Manitoba Introduces Franchise Legislation
SOTOS LLP BLOG March 21, 2009What every Franchisor should know about Franchisee Advisory Councils and Franchisee Associations – Part 2
SOTOS LLP BLOG January 1, 2009What every Franchisor should know about Franchisee Advisory Councils and Franchisee Associations – Part 1
My focus has always been to help my clients achieve their goals and add value to everything I do. It always starts with gaining a thorough understanding of my client’s business and their strategic objectives; that insight allows me to use my expertise to solve their issues in a practical and efficient manner. I work closely with all of my clients – yes, being responsive and understanding are a must, but it also means that I become a trusted partner to my clients, especially as they seize opportunities and resolve challenges. United. Fierce. Resolute.