Legal Resource Page
If you are considering purchasing a franchise or investing in a business opportunity we suggest that seek the advice of an attorney at the earliest possible moment.
When investing in a franchise you need to make certain that you understand and have carefully considered and assessed the information disclosed in the Franchise Disclosure Document and the Franchise Agreement.
An attorney can assist you in the following areas:
- Review the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) and all related franchise agreements.
- Prepare an analysis of the franchise documents.
- Negotiate with the franchisor on the details of the franchise agreement.
- Prepare shareholder agreements and/or operating agreements.
- Assist with other legal documents such as a real estate leases and equipment lease.
While no one wants likes the idea of having to pay additional amounts to an attorney it makes little sense to eliminate altogether the expense of hiring a lawyer when one is talking about one of the biggest decisions of one’s life. Cut back on going out to eat or cut back on taking that extra trip to the beach. But don’t cut back on solid legal advice.
You will likely not be able to recall what you spent money on last year by dining out but you will never forget how much you lost by not hiring an attorney if you find yourself in a dispute involving the legal intricacies surrounding the franchising documents.
Below is a list of franchise attorneys that you may want to contact in order that they may assist you in your quest to become a franchise and/or small business owner. You can also find out additional information at http://www.abanet.org/.
James A. Meaney (Zaino & Humphrey, LPA)
7507 Ravens Nest Court
Columbus, OH 43235
Jim Meaney directs the Franchise and Distribution practice at Zaino & Humphrey, LPA. Mr. Meaney has practiced in the franchise and commercial law arena for nearly 30 years and has served in the following capacities: General Counsel and Vice President of Franchise Development for Damon’s Grill®, General Counsel of the Ohio Petroleum Retailers and Repair Association (franchised service station owners), Section Chief of the Ohio Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section (responsible for enforcement of Ohio’s Business Opportunity Law), and Chairman of the Columbus Bar Association’s Franchise and Distribution Law Committee. He has also contributed numerous articles and presentations to various franchising publications, and is the author of How to Buy a Franchise. Mr. Meaney has been a member of The American Bar Association Forum on Franchising since 1989 and has also served as the CEO-President of webSolve, LLC, an eLearning company focused on franchise systems. His primary focus is working with start-up franchise systems.
Cochran & Edwards LLC
2950 Atlanta Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
Cochran & Edwards LLC believes that Franchisees need lawyers too. Buying a franchise is often-times a 10-20 year commitment, involving hundreds of thousands of dollars. Before you buy a franchise, it is important to understand the complex business law and contract law concepts specific to your franchise. Cochran & Edwards franchise attorneys have years of experience representing franchisees, recently handling one of the most high profile franchisee cases in the country in Atlanta Bread Co., Int’l. vs. Lupton-Smith, 285 Ga. 587 (Ga. 2009).
MASLYN LAW PLC
6430 Arwen Mews
Moseley, VA 23120
Maslyn Law PLC offers our franchisor clients the nationally-respected legal talent that you expect from a large firm and the personalized attention and cost-consciousness you expect from a small boutique firm. We focus on providing our clients with realistic, pragmatic counseling in all of their franchise transactional and regulatory matters – including selecting appropriate franchise system structures, developing strong supply and distribution chains, managing individual franchise relationships and expanding internationally.
Einbinder & Dunn, LLP
104 West 40th Street, New York, NY 10018
Einbinder & Dunn, LLP is a full-service New York City law firm with a nationwide practice emphasizing franchise law. Einbinder & Dunn has extensive experience working on behalf of both franchisors and franchisees. Einbinder & Dunn’s comprehensive understanding of both sides of the franchisor/franchisee relationship gives the firm a unique perspective and experienced approach. The firm’s attorneys counsel franchisor and franchisee clients alike on all matters related to their business, including litigation and dispute resolution, acquisition and sale of franchises, review of disclosure documents and franchise agreements, business formation, structuring and development, franchise law compliance and trademark registration.
BRYAN CAVE LLP
120 Broadway, Suite 300, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Bryan Cave is an 875 lawyer, international law firm whose franchise lawyers are globally-recognized authorities, authors, speakers and advisory board members. Our clients range from start-up to Global 50 domestic and international franchising and distribution businesses that require sophisticated and complex legal support, including antitrust counseling; regulatory compliance; litigation and arbitration; mergers and acquisitions; intellectual property protection; and more.
CHENG COHEN LLC
1101 West Fulton Market, Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60607
203 North LaSalle Street, Suite 1900, Chicago, IL 60601-1293
We have practiced franchising, distribution and related areas of law for more than 40 years. The 25 partners in our franchising and distribution law group average in excess of 20 years of experience in those fields. We represent companies engaged in domestic and international franchising and distribution matters, including structuring, documentation, counseling, litigation and arbitration, technology, finance and regulatory compliance. Our clients operate in most of the business sectors that have adopted franchising as a method of distribution and represent a broad spectrum of size and experience, from entrepreneurs and start-up companies to large franchisors, manufacturers and distributors.
FAEGRE & BENSON LLP
2200 Wells Fargo Center, 90 South Seventh Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402
Faegre & Benson's franchise lawyers have helped hundreds of emerging and market-leading franchisors launch, grow, protect and evolve successful systems in a wide range of industries. As one of the world's leading franchise practices, we partner with franchisors on all legal and business matters. Whether it's structuring franchise programs for new franchisors, drafting disclosure documents, resolving disputes, guiding international expansion, or advising on complex opportunities and challenges--often on a moment's notice--we develop creative solutions tailored to our clients' individual needs. Our objective is to make a difference for franchisors--to help them identify new opportunities and overcome challenges at every stage of growth. Our passion, our experience and our teamwork approach distinguish us from other law firms and help us accomplish that objective.
21 South 21st Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
FisherZucker LLC's practice is dedicated to franchising. With offices in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, we assist franchisors in development, regulatory compliance, operations and enforcement matters.
GRAY PLANT MOOTY
80 South Eighth Street, 500 IDS Center, Minneapolis, MN 55402-3796
Gray Plant Mooty has one of the largest franchise and distribution practices in the country, and our lawyers in Minneapolis and Washington, DC, serve franchisors in regional, national, and international markets. Our experience in registration and compliance, litigation and dispute resolution, and international development provides you with everything you need for your system to succeed. Our services include franchise program development, trademark counseling and registration, franchise system M&A, relationship counseling, franchise audits, and detecting and addressing financial fraud and underreporting. Contact us today and put our experience, dedication, and resources to work for you and your brand.
GREENBERG TRAURIG, LLP
2375 East Camelback Road, Suite 700, Phoenix, AZ 85016-3424
Greenberg Traurig's franchise team prides itself on providing quality legal representation with a focus on practical, business-oriented solutions. With more than 30 years of franchise transactional and litigation experience, we have a thorough understanding of both the legal and business aspects of franchising. Our goal is to establish a long-term successful client relationship defined by reliability, responsiveness, trust, and an unwavering commitment to providing the highest quality legal services available.
44 (0121) 237-2020
120 Edmund Street, Birmingham B3 2ES United Kingdom
We are specialists with a worldwide reputation in all aspects of franchising. Our clients range from start-up companies to large multi-nationals.
HAYNES AND BOONE, LLP
2323 Victory Avenue, #700, Dallas, TX 75219
Haynes and Boone, LLP is an international corporate law firm with offices in Texas, New York, California, Washington, D.C., Mexico City and Moscow, providing a full spectrum of legal services. Our franchise and distribution lawyers are experienced and internationally recognized for their skills. We have the specialized knowledge to assist companies to decide whether and how to establish new franchise, licensing and distribution programs, both domestically and internationally.
HOFFER ADLER LLP
425 University Avenue, Suite 300, Toronto, ON M5G IT6 Canada
We assist US franchisors to expand their franchise systems into Canada and represent a formidable, efficient and cost-effective solution to your franchising legal problems and needs.
KILPATRICK STOCKTON LLP
1100 Peachtree Street, Suite 2800, Atlanta, GA 30309-4501
KRASS MONROE, P.A.
8000 Norman Center Drive, Suite 1000, Minneapolis, MN 55437
Krass Monroe, P.A. has a national practice and strong reputation for its work in the multi-unit franchise industry. We have the expertise and experience to deliver unparalleled services in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, financing, (including senior debt, mezzanine financing, equity investment and other specialty finance transactions), franchising and distribution, financial workout and restructuring, commercial real estate, estate and business succession planning, wealth preservation and taxation.
RUSKIN MOSCOU FALTISCHEK P.C.
1425 RexCorp Plaza, 14th Fl., West Tower, Uniondale, NY 11556
WIGGIN AND DANA LLP
One Century Tower, New Haven, CT 06508-1832
The law firm of Wiggin and Dana represents national, regional and start-up franchisors and distributors in numerous industries. The firm regularly assists these clients in regulatory, transactional and litigation matters. The firm's Franchise and Distribution Practice Group is national litigation counsel for several well-known franchise systems, including Subway and Goddard Early Learning Centers.
WILEY REIN LLP
1776 K Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20006
The Franchise Group at this full-service firm is second to none in terms of its breadth, depth and experience. The Group is involved in all aspects of domestic and international franchising, as well as licensing and distribution. Wiley, Rein & Fielding LLP also has a broad national regulatory and commercial practice covering all pertinent areas.