Martin Abadi

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 advises clients on transport, insurance, product liability, emerging technologies, and commercial disputes. Martin is also the National Leader of the Latin America focus group and routinely assists companies with international contractual disputes and commercial aspects of trade.

Martin’s multimodal transport law practice includes litigation, regulatory compliance, risk management, and corporate commercial advice specific to transportation services contracts, transportation mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures. Martin’s practice specifically comprises compliance and risk management (including product liability and vehicle recall) facets of motor vehicle safety and emerging technologies in transportation such as automation, driverless vehicles and autonomous vessels, interconnectivity, Big Data, platooning, and the application of Blockchain to transport and supply chain logistics.

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 (in respect of quasi-criminal proceedings and investigations) and in complex international commercial arbitration proceedings. 

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

  • Represents major Canadian and international companies in respect of transport regulatory aspects, including Canadian market entry projects, transport competition law aspects, mergers and acquisitions involving transportation undertakings, carrier safety profile management, and development of commercial motor vehicle compliance, licensing, and registration programs across Canadian jurisdictions
  • Represents and advises major OEMs and distributors in respect of Transport Canada regulations and rights and obligations under Motor Vehicle Safety Act Regulations, including issuance of Notices of Defect and recalls, emerging technologies, homologation and certification standards, and in negotiations with regulators

Commercial Aspects of International Trade

  • Represents and advises major North American and international supply chain management, transport, and freight forwarding companies in respect of establishment of cross-border brokerage operations (regulatory facets) as well as valuation, transfer pricing, trade compliance verification notification, and tariff classification matters relating to vessels
  • Advises special transport industry interest groups in respect of NAFTA modernization and implications for transport industry

Specialty Litigation

  • Successfully represented vessel operator before Federal Court of Appeal on Marine Liability Act limitation of liability action within context of personal injury incident
  • Developed niche area successfully representing international clients in various proceedings respecting jurisdictional disputes and international commercial agreements
  • Successfully defended clients in dozens of proceedings involving regulatory and quasi-criminal charges in connection with transport statutes and regulations
  • Represents ship owners and operators in respect of Transport Canada regulatory/ quasi-criminal investigations, casualty incidents, MARPOL-related investigations, and inspections pursuant to Canada Shipping Act and other statutes
  • Successfully represented commercial carriers challenging ministerial carrier safety downgrades and vacating Notices of Cancellation and Seizure of Plates

Publications & Presentations



  • Speaker, "Doing Business in LATAM for Canadian freight Forwarders: Risk and the Resilient Supply Chain," Canadian International Freight Forwarders’ Association (“CIFFA”), October 2018.
  • Speaker, Surface Transport Summit, “Autonomous Vehicles: An inside look at New Freight Transportation Technologies for Manufacturers, Distributors, and Retailers”, October 2018.
  • Speaker, Insurance and Commercial and Risk Management aspects of Doing Business in Latin America for Canadian Companies, Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade, September 2018.
  • "Practical and Regulatory Concerns for Operators of Autonomous Ships and their Insurers,” Transport Canada Workshop on Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS), September 2018 (workshop on development of regulations and other concerns affecting autonomous vessels in Canada).
  • Speaker, “NAFTA modernization and Transport Industry,” BLG Transport Law Seminar, BLG, April 12, 2018Speaker, 2016 Transportation Summit: Emerging Transportation Services and the Adoption of the Uber Business Model, October 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 2015.

Rankings & Recognitions

  • ​Recognized in the 2020 edition of Best Lawyers in Canada (Maritime Law)