John Baer is the Managing Officer of the Chicago Office and an Officer in the Franchising & Distribution and Corporate Practice Groups.
Mr. Baer has a broad transactions practice with extensive experience representing companies engaged in franchising and distribution, including the use of sales representatives, both domestically and internationally. He counsels clients on the appropriate structuring and implementation of the selected expansion vehicle, which could include preparation of the appropriate documentation and making any necessary filings, and provides ongoing counseling for the established business. His practice covers a wide range of other related areas, including commercial, sales, warranties, product safety and regulatory matters. He also counsels foreign clients doing business in the U.S. and U.S. clients that want to expand internationally.
Mr. Baer was the Chair of the International Franchising Committee of the International Bar Association's International Sales, International Franchising and Product Law Section in 2011 and 2012. He is currently serving as a Co-Editor of the International Journal of Franchising Law.
Mr. Baer was Chair of the Illinois Attorney General's Franchise Advisory Board from 1996 to 2012, a member of the Industry Advisory Committee to the North America and Securities Administrators Association Franchise Project Group from 2007 to 2010, a member of the ABA Forum on Franchising's Governing Committee from 2003 to 2006, and editor of the CCH Sales Representative Law Guide from 1997 to 2011. He was the first recipient of the Forum's prestigious Lewis G. Rudnick Award in 2009.
Mr. Baer is a frequent speaker and writer on franchise topics for various organizations.
- The International Who's Who of Franchise Lawyers (listed among most highly regarded individuals) (2012) and The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers (2012)
- A Franchise Times Legal Eagle (2013)
- Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2012: Franchising (National) (Band 1)
- Chambers Global 2013: Franchising (Global Practice Area) (Band 1)
- ABA Forum on Franchising Lewis G. Rudnick Award (2009)
- Named an Illinois Leading Lawyer by Leading Lawyers Network (Franchise & Dealership Laws and International Business & Trade Law) (2013)
- Illinois Super Lawyers (2013)
- Best Lawyers in America, Franchise Law (2013)
- Best Lawyer's Lawyer of the Year 2012 for Franchise Law - Chicago
- Co-Editor, International Journal of Franchising Law (2011 - present).
- Former Editor, CCH Sales Representative Law Guide (1998 - 2011).
- Book Chapter, “Illinois” in ABA Forum on Franchising Monograph Covenants Against Competition in Franchise Agreements (Third Edition 2012) (co-author).
- Book chapter, “Franchising in the United States”, chapter in Canadian Franchise Legislation (Edward N. Levitt, Editor) (March 2012).
- Book Chapter, "United States of America", in International Franchise Sales Laws, ABA Forum on Franchising (2011 supplement) (co-author).
- Article, "Franchising Into North American and The Caribbean", International Journal of Franchising Law, Volume 9, 2011, Issue 1 (co-author).
- Article, "Enforcement Issues in International Franchising," International Journal of Franchising Law, Volume 8, 2010, Issue 2 (co-author).
- Article, "Masterfranchising", chapter in Jahrbach Franchising 2009 (German book edited by Metzlaff).
- Article, "Do Franchise Agreements Without Formal Expiration Dates Continue in Perpetuity?", Franchise Law Journal, Vol. 28, No. 4 (Spring 2009) (co-author).
- Article, "Franchising in Central and South America", Conference Report on presentation at annual conference, in the International Franchising Committee Newsletter of the International Bar Association (May 2009).
- Book Chapter, "The Amendments to the USA Federal Franchise Rule Some Day Will Benefit German Franchisors", chapter in Jahrbach Franchising 2008 (German book edited by Flohr/Erdmann).
- Article, "Product Recall - International Sales, Franchising and Product Liability Law Perspectives in the United States, Canada, Europe, Singapore and China", International Journal of Franchising Law, Volume 5, 2007, Issue 5/6 (co-author).
- Article, "When Are Sales Representatives Also Franchisees", Franchise Law Journal, Vol. 27, No. 3 (Winter 2008) (co-author).
- Article, "Parent Disclosure Under the Amended FTC Rule: The Parent Exposed," in LJN's Franchising Business & Law Alert (April 2007).
Recent Speaking Engagements
- Conference Chair for IBA International Franchising Committee programs at the IBA Annual Conference (Dublin, September-October 2012); Session Chair, IBA International Franchising Committee Program, “News From Around the World”; and Session Co-Chair, Joint Section Program on “Moderated Speed Dating” (Hot Topics).
- Conference Chair, IBA/IFA 28th Annual Joint Conference on International Franchising (Washington, D.C., May 2012); Session Chair, “News From Around the World;’ and Moderator, “Improving Client Communications.”
- Conference Chair for the IBA International Franchising Committee programs at the IBA Annual Conference (Dubai, October-November 2011); and Session Chair, IBA International Franchising Committee Program, “news from Around the World.”
- Speaker, International Distribution Institute (IDI), "Appointing an agent/sales representative for the US (or part of it)", and Co-panelist, "Third Workshop, Franchising law and practice in selected countries" (Amsterdam, The Netherlands, June 2011).
- Co-Panelist, International Chamber of Commerce On Commercial Law & Practice, "Panel Discussion on the ICC Model" (International Franchise Model Contract) (Amsterdam, The Netherlands, June 2011).
- Conference Chair, IBA/IFA 27th Annual Joint Conference on International Franchising (Washington, D.C., May 2011); Session Chair, "News From Around the World"; and Session Chair, "International Development - How Do You Pick Your Franchisees?"
- Co-speaker, ABA Forum on Franchising Annual Meeting, "Business Laws and Regulations that Affect Franchise Systems" (October 2010).
- Chair, IBA International Franchising Committee Program, "Franchising Into North America and the Caribbean" (Vancouver, B.C., Canada, October 2010).
- Chair, IBA International Franchising Committee Program, "Avoiding and Managing System-Wide Litigation in International Franchising" (Washington, D.C. May 2010).
- Moderator, IBA International Franchising Committee Program, "Enforcement Issues In International Franchising" (Madrid, Spain, October 2009).
- Speaker, "Dispute Resolution Strategies in International Franchising; Arbitration or Ordinary Jurisdiction", 2009 Annual Meeting of International Distribution Institute (Barcelona, Spain, June 2009).
- Moderator, IBA/IFA 25th Annual Joint Conference on International Franchising, "World-Wide Economic Distress" (May 2009).
- Discussion leader, Roundtable on "Evaluating Financial Ability of Franchise Candidates", 49th Annual IFA Convention (February 2009).
- Co-Speaker, ABA Forum on Franchising Annual Meeting, "Ethics Issues in a Multijurisdictional Franchise Practice" (October 2008).
- Moderator, IBA/IFA 24th Annual Joint Conference on International Franchising, "In-Term and Post-Term Restraints; A Comparative Analysis" (May 2008).
- Co-discussion leader, Roundtable on "The Impact of Registration and Disclosure Violations on Young Franchise Systems", 48th Annual IFA Convention (February 2008).
- Chair and co-speaker, IBA International Sales, Franchise and Product Law Section, "Total Recall" (Singapore, October 2007).
- Co-Speaker, ABA Forum on Franchising Annual Meeting "Practical Disclosure Issues Under the Amended FTC Franchise Rule" (October 2007).
- Co-Speaker, SNR Webinar, "The Amended FTC Franchise Rule" (June 2007).
- Speaker, "Crossborder Contracts (Commercial Agency, Distributorships and Franchising)," Gonzalez Calvillo, S.C. Conference on "Mexico and Beyond: Challenges and Opportunities" (Mexico City, Mexico, June 2007).