Peter VanVliet Snell Partner

Speaks:  English

Year of Call: 2007 - Ontario

Year of Call: 1996 - British Columbia

Primary phone: +1 604-891-2281

Secondary phone: +1 403-776-3376

Fax: +1 604-443-5642


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Primary office:  Vancouver

Secondary office:  Calgary

Peter VanVliet Snell

Peter Snell is a partner who you can trust to help you expand your franchise business in Canada and around the world. Peter is based out of Gowling WLG's Vancouver and Calgary offices, but his clients know him as being their solution in "Canada."

With a unique blend of business law and intellectual property law experience, Peter is well positioned to help your business address key intellectual property issues and incorporate them into your strategic planning. Peter's continued success in business and intellectual property law have been recognized by the Intellectual Property Committee - part of the American Bar Association's Business Law Section - who appointed him its chair. His success in franchising has been recognized by the Canadian Franchise Association, who appointed Peter as its general counsel in 2015.

Peter is highly regarded as a recognized leader in franchise and distribution law in Canada. Peter enjoys assisting businesses focused on domestic and international franchising, licensing, product distribution, business law, and intellectual property/trademark law. Beyond the "pure franchise" work that Peter does, Peter is also sought out to assist with corporate reorganizations, corporate governance issues, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and negotiating and drafting commercial agreements.

As an experienced franchise lawyer, Peter is active in editing and authoring many franchise publications in Canada and abroad. He is also in demand to speak at franchise and business conferences and seminars. Peter is highly rated by the world's leading franchise directories including Chambers, Lexpert, Who's Who Legal International, Who's Who Legal Canada, and Best Lawyers in Canada.

When working with Peter, you will be engaging a lawyer who really enjoys getting to know your business, and who you are. Understanding what is important to you is fundamental to the approach Peter takes. Knowing the risks and the opportunities that impact your world are critical to planning your strategic expansion in Canada and around the globe.

Peter's leadership extends to his involvement with grassroots community organizations. Peter's love of the outdoors and family has led to his being very active with the Gambier Island Conservancy, the Future of Howe Sound Society, Ronald McDonald House British Columbia, Scouts Canada, The BC Lions Waterboys, and Vancouver Whitecaps Starting 11.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:


  • American Bar Association Forum on Franchising
  • Canadian Bar Association Business Law Subsection
  • Canadian Franchise Association
  • International Franchise Association
  • Co-author of Fundamentals of Franchising - Canada, Second Edition, published by the American Bar Association, 2017
  • Co-author of International Franchise Sales Laws, published by the American Bar Association, 2006, Second Edition 2009, Third Edition, 2011
  • Co-editor and co-author of Fundamentals of Franchising® - Canada published by the American Bar Association, 2004
  • Co-author of Intellectual Property Deskbook for the Business Lawyer - Intellectual Property Law Issues in Franchising Published by the American Bar Association, Third Edition 2013
  • Contributing Editor - Franchise and Distribution Journal (Federated Press), 2004 to Present
  • Contributor - Franchise Entrepreneur Magazine, 2009 to Present
  • Contributor - FranchiseCanada Magazine
  • Author of "Ask the Experts", Canada Business Franchise Magazine, May 2008

Peter has spoken at numerous seminars, conferences and other events on franchise law matters conducted by various organizations including: the Canadian Franchise Association, Continuing Legal Education British Columbia, the American Bar Association, the International Franchise Association, and the International Bar Association.