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
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.
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.
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.