Franchising & Distribution

Each business has unique needs regarding the distribution of its products and services. Our nationally and internationally recognized team of franchise and distribution lawyers assists clients with the legal aspects of their distribution systems.


Our attorneys excel at providing focused, strategic growth solutions and practical advice to business owners and franchisors. We can provide valuable guidance through system growth, expansion abroad, business acquisitions or mergers. Our relationships with clients are often continuous, and we’re there to handle not only large transactional matters or disputes but to offer sound day-to-day counsel.

Clients frequently seek our experience in the following areas:

  • Drafting and negotiating franchise agreements and area development agreements
  • Preparation and registration of franchise disclosure documents
  • Development and management of exemption-based franchise systems
  • Compliance with business opportunity laws and registration
  • Dispute resolution and litigation
  • Mergers and acquisitions of and due diligence for franchise systems
  • Drafting and negotiating domestic and international distribution and supply agreements
  • Terminations and renewals
  • Intellectual property protection and enforcement
  • Marketing, branding and rebranding matters
  • Advertising and social media
  • Review of operations manuals
  • Insurance liability, vicarious liability and joint-employer issues
  • Post-termination restrictive covenants
  • Advising lenders on loans for franchise transactions
  • Alternatives to franchising
  • Gift cards and loyalty programs, data privacy, data rights and data breach

We work with franchise systems in all stages – from startup to national and multi-national franchisors – and advise service- and product-based franchisors, distributors and manufacturers, including food services, health care, real estate, motor fuel, hospitality, gyms, restaurants, insurance and educational organizations. 

Our firm also counsels franchisors on other related matters, including employment, real estate and tax issues, non-compete and confidentiality agreements, and business succession planning.

Our nationally recognized attorneys frequently write and speak on franchise topics. For updates on recent developments in franchising law, read our Franchising & Distribution Law Blog.


News & Insights


Seminars & Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist, "Choosing effective dispute resolution clauses in distribution: choice of court clauses"
    International Distribution Institute 2021 Annual Conference, May 11, 2021
  • Moderator, "Regulatory Update"
    International Franchise Association's 2021 Virtual Legal Symposium, May 6, 2021
  • Panelist, "Basics Track: Trademarks & IP"
    International Franchise Association's 2021 Virtual Legal Symposium, May 5, 2021
  • Panelist, "Financial Performance Representations in a COVID-19 World"
    International Franchise Association 2021 Virtual Annual Convention, February 17, 2021
  • Hot Topics Moderator, "How franchisors deal with issues of data flows from EU to US since GDPR and brand new EU regulation"
    International Bar Association 2020 Virtually Together, November 2, 2020
  • "Advertising and Marketing Funds: What Are You Doing With 'My' Money?"
    ABA Forum on Franchising, Virtual Annual Meeting, October 27-30, 2020
  • ABA Forum on Franchising Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee, October 10-12, 2018
  • ABA Forum on Franchising Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee, October 10-12, 2018
  • ABA Forum on Franchising Annual Meeting, November 3-4, 2016
  • "Is Your Distribution/License Agreement a Franchise Agreement in Disguise? Avoiding the Pitfalls of an Accidental Franchise"
    Association of Corporate Counsel Chicago chapter, September 7-8, 2016
  • September 13, 2012


Blog Posts

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