Franchise Law Attorneys

Franchise Law – Disputes & Transactions

Franchising can be a surprisingly complex area of law with traps for the unwary. It is critical to have experienced legal counsel when your business and livelihood is on the line.

Our lawyers have handled over a hundred individual franchise matters across the country ranging from high-stakes litigation involving tens of millions of dollars to day-to-day franchise relationship disputes and transactions. We are prepared to take cases to trial when necessary, and accept cases on a contingency basis when appropriate.

Our experience includes cases relating to “household name” franchise brands and numerous industries, including quick-serve restaurants (hamburger and pizza franchises), business services / pack and ship stores, automotive services, and health & wellness.

Specifically, we have experience in:

  • Terminations and Non-Renewals – unlawful or wrongful termination of a franchise
  • Encroachment claims and territory violations
  • Non-competes / Restrictive Covenants
  • Franchise System Trade Secrets
  • Breach of Franchise Agreement
  • Failure to Support & Provide Training
  • Fraud – including franchise sales fraud
  • Operational Deficiencies
  • Franchise System Compliance (e.g., standards and specifications, forced upgrades)
  • Notices of Default
  • “Accidental Franchise” claims
  • Franchise Disclosure Documents (FDD)
  • Franchise Agreement Development
  • Transfers and Sales of Franchise Units
  • New Franchises / New Company Formation
  • Arbitration of Franchise Disputes
  • Franchise Relationship Laws
  • Racial Discrimination Against Franchisees
  • Where appropriate, the legitimate avoidance of franchise laws

Some examples of our lawyers’ franchise work include:

  • Negotiated a global settlement in a mass action by over 30 franchisees seeking tens of millions of dollars and claiming fraud in the sale of their franchise and breach of franchise agreement
  • Negotiated a settlement of a multi-million dollar claim for wrongful termination of an “accidental franchise”
  • Investigated racial discrimination claims at one of the largest franchisors in the country
  • Handled numerous matters involving hamburger restaurant franchisees’ alleged operational deficiencies and non-payment of royalties
  • Won a temporary restraining order and then secured a settlement in a federal court lawsuit regarding a former franchisee’s alleged violation of a non-compete / restrictive covenant
  • Secured a settlement in a federal court lawsuit concerning a former franchisee’s alleged violation of a non-compete / restrictive covenant and non-payment of royalties
  • Represented a multi-unit franchisee in the transfer and sale of stores to a private equity investor
  • Advised an online health & wellness provider in designing a nationwide sales distribution network while complying with federal and state franchise laws
  • Advised a fitness company in developing an affiliate program in compliance with federal and state franchise laws
  • Advised a pizza franchise in Franchise Agreement and system development
Our Team

Leonard Hudson

Len has deep franchising experience, particularly in the area of franchise relationship laws and related disputes. He developed his craft while representing some of the largest franchisors in disputes with franchisees across the country. For many years, he served as national franchise relationship counsel for a large business services franchise system. He now offers his skills and experience to franchisees as well.

Robert Dawidiuk

Rob has significant experience representing franchisees in transactions and litigation matters, including employment litigation, non-compete / restrictive covenants, and sales or transfers of franchises. An experienced commercial lawyer, Rob offers a full-suite of business law services.

Shawn Collins

An outstanding trial lawyer, Shawn combines his powerful communications skills with an unrelenting commitment to his clients’ causes to win trials and secure favorable settlements. Shawn has consistently been named as one of the top 100 trial lawyers by The American Trial Lawyers Association. Shawn’s success can be measured in the results he has earned for his clients. Shawn has recovered over $100 million in trial victories and settlements on behalf of his clients. Shawn has extensive experience handling “high stakes” litigation, including business disputes involving fraud, breach of contract, and unfair business practices.

Client Reviews
Shawn Collins is a very talented lawyer, as are all the attorneys on his team. I've known and worked with Shawn for more that 30 years. Not only is he a top notch technical litigator but his communication skills are second to none. If anyone I know is ever in need of an attorney, Shawn is my very first recommendation. He gives very solid advice that goes beyond the law. He is someone you can trust to tell you the truth so you are not lead astray in the complex legal world. You really can't find a better advocate. E.M.
We were incredibly satisfied with our experience with The Collins Law Firm. We worked closely with Ed Manzke and found that he had a personal touch and truly got to know us in addition to being knowledgeable and effective in his field. The caring and individual attitude helped us tremendously throughout the entire process and we always felt like our case was in safe hands. We would highly recommend The Collins Law Firm for both its stellar work and dedicated employees. M.A.
My father recommended The Collins Law Firm to me after watching Shawn Collins and Ed Manzke at trial representing Lisle residents against Lockformer. For years, he told us courtroom tales about Shawn and Ed, citing their incredible skill as trial lawyers and how they put the huge Lockformer legal team to shame. So when my son was the victim of a wrongful death, they were my first and only choice. I can't say enough to truly express how grateful I am to The Collin's Law Firm for all that they did for me and my family. This amazing team advocated for me in my darkest moments, surpassing my expectations in every way. I will be forever grateful to Shawn and Ed. K.D.
I have worked with Rob, Shawn and The Collins Law Firm team in connection with both complex business transactions and litigation over the past several years. Shawn is far and away the best business litigation attorney I have worked with. Rob has been our lead attorney on M&A and corporate restructures, and he has delivered each time, and on time. I would highly recommend Rob to get the deal done! W.D.
Rob has been our out-side General Counsel for ten years. As a business with a global presence, it is important that we have the very best legal representation. Rob and the team have guided us through litigation battles, negotiating and drafting our important business contracts, and advising us in our business strategies. He has a great team of lawyers working with him. M.F.