Martin Abadi  


Executive Summary

Martin Abadi is Counsel in the Toronto office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, and a member of the Insurance and Tort Liability Group, where he provides legal advice on transport law, international trade and customs law. Martin's multimodal transport law practice includes litigation, regulatory compliance, risk management, (marine and road) casualty investigation, and corporate commercial advice specific to transportation services contracts, transportation mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures.

Martin helps companies set up and develop business operations in the transport industry and provides advice on regulatory reviews and with the formulation of corporate, compliance, and safety practices, including carrier safety rating (e.g. CVOR). He also routinely assists companies with international transactions and trade and customs aspects, including export and import controls, sanctions, trade compliance verification controversies, homologation and motor vehicle safety regulations. Martin's practice specifically comprises compliance and risk management aspects of emerging technologies in transportation such as automation, driverless vehicles, interconnectivity, Big Data, and platooning.

As part of his litigation practice, Martin has successfully represented clients at various levels of the Ontario Courts and in the Federal Court of Canada, including the Federal Court of Appeal, and before various administrative tribunals and regulatory bodies. He has also been successfully involved in complex commercial arbitration proceedings arising out of transport-related matters.

In addition to his legal training, Martin holds advanced degrees in Economics and Business Administration (M.A. and M.B.A designations) and has benefited from an international upbringing that enables him to work and communicate in several foreign languages (including Spanish, German, Portuguese, and French) in further support of the international reach of his practice.

Representative Work

Transport Regulatory Compliance Work

  • Acts for largest North American provider of specialized services (uniforms and apparel, restroom supplies, and safety/ protection services) in respect of compliance and regulatory advice and transport corporate matters
  • Advises arboreal services companies on commercial motor vehicle regulatory compliance practices and procedures
  • Acts for major U.S. and Canadian commercial carriers in negotiations with Canadian regulators in respect of carrier safety profile management and development of commercial motor vehicle compliance, licensing, and registration programs across Canadian jurisdictions


  • Advised supply chain management and freight forwarding company in respect of establishment of cross-border trade and customs brokerage operations
  • Advised international shoe manufacturer in respect of valuation, transfer pricing, trade compliance verification notification, and tariff classification matters
  • Advised special transport industry interest groups in respect of submissions respecting NAFTA modernization initiative
  • Acted for U.S. based and Canadian based labour dispute management services companies in respect of special joint venture project for temporary cross-border equipment interchange and importation exercise

Transport Corporate Work

  • Acted for division of Korean auto manufacturer in acquisition of Canadian carrier
  • Acted for major U.S. transporter of equipment with setting up and developing Canadian operations


  • Successfully represented vessel operator before Federal Court of Appeal on Marine Liability Act limitation of liability action within context of personal injury incident
  • Successfully defended clients in dozens of proceedings involving regulatory and quasi-criminal charges arising from operation of commercial motor vehicles
  • Successfully represented commercial carriers challenging carrier safety downgrades and vacating Notices of Cancellation and Seizure of Plates

Publications & Presentations


  • Author, "Doing Business in Canada: Setting up a Transport Business in Ontario," The Transportation Lawyer, October 2015.
  • Author, "Local Enforcement / "Domestication" in Ontario of U.S. Court Orders for Production of Documents/ Evidence for Use in U.S. Legal Proceedings," The Transportation Lawyer, December 2012, at 49.
  • Author, "Outline of Canadian Regulatory Considerations Affecting Cross-Border Commercial Carrier Operations Part III: Further Considerations," The Transportation Lawyer, October 2012, at 58.
  • Author, "Outline of Canadian Regulatory Considerations Affecting Cross-Border Commercial Carrier Operations Part II: Select Customs and Trade Considerations," The Transportation Lawyer, July 2012, at 65.
  • Author, "Outline of Canadian Regulatory Considerations Affecting Cross-Border Motor Carrier Operations Into Ontario," The Transportation Lawyer, April 2012, at 67.
  • Author, "Review and Discussion of Recent Canadian Cases in Maritime/Admiralty Law," The Transportation Lawyer, January 2012, at 54.


  • Speaker, 2016 Transportation Summit: Emerging Transportation Services and the Adoption of the Uber Business Model, October 12, 2016
  • Speaker, Transportation Lawyers Association, Annual Conference, St. Petersburg, Florida, May 2014
  • Speaker, Canadian Transport Lawyers Association, Annual Conference, Winnipeg, September 2011
  • Webinar Speaker, Northbridge and the Ontario Trucking Association: Defending Regulatory Charges, August 2014
  • Co-Presenter: National Transportation Brokers' Association, The Bills of Lading Act, What Does It Really Accomplish? November 19, 2015