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Franchising, licensing, and distribution

Expertise
You can take multiple avenues to create or increase revenue – and we can help you plan, form, administer and work through long-term contracts, licensing agreements, royalty, franchise or distribution relationships. If you experience any bumps in the road, our team has the experience you need with enforcement and dispute resolution through out-of-court workouts, federal and state court litigation, arbitration or mediation. When you need help with financing, we can assist you with the complex procedure of obtaining or replacing financing, modifying existing agreements, managing workouts and counseling throughout reorganization. Here are additional examples of services we can provide that will help with your franchise, licensing and distribution needs:
  • Benefits programs and compliance
  • Business relationship counseling, including structure and internal “partnership” disputes
  • Compliance with federal and state antitrust laws and laws governing unfair competition 
  • Data security breach prevention, planning, and counseling 
  • Drafting of agreements
  • Employee benefits advice and counseling, including Affordable Care Act issues 
  • Employment law counseling 
  • Employment litigation, including federal and state wage/hour and discrimination claims
  • ERISA litigation 
  • Financing
  • Franchise registration and disclosure
  • Intellectual property protection and planning 
  • Litigation
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Operational and debt restructuring
  • Real estate issues 
  • Restructuring 
  • Start up and relationship planning
  • Tax planning, both state and federal
  • Union avoidance training

franchise-business-advocate


Attorneys

KEY CONTACTS

Alan M. Burger, Co-Chair
Scott N. Opincar, Co-Chair

Attorneys

Michael J. Kaczka profile image

Michael J. Kaczka

Scott N. Opincar profile image

Scott N. Opincar

Todd C. Baumgartner profile image

Todd C. Baumgartner

Christal L. Contini profile image

Christal L. Contini

Maria G. Carr profile image

Maria G. Carr

Charles B. Zellmer profile image

Charles B. Zellmer

Stephen M. Gross profile image

Stephen M. Gross

Mary F. April profile image

Mary F. April

Alan M. Burger profile image

Alan M. Burger

Representative Matters
  • Counsel to a franchisor and operator of over 70 casual dining restaurants located in 20 states and Canada in an out-of-court restructuring.
  • Counsel to a multi-unit franchisee of Five Guys Enterprises, LLC in a chapter 11 bankruptcy case.
  • AppleILLINOIS; counsel for the DIP lender and pre-petition lender to an owner of 33 Applebee’s restaurants in a chapter 11 bankruptcy case.
  • Duke and King Acquisition; debtor’s counsel to a franchisee of 92 Burger King restaurants sold in a chapter 11 bankruptcy case.
  • Debtor’s counsel to a franchisee of 140 KFC restaurants sold in a chapter 11 bankruptcy case.
  • CCI of West Palm; debtor’s counsel to a franchisee of 19 TGI Friday’s restaurants sold in a chapter 11 bankruptcy case.
  • Representation of a competing bidder in a chapter 11 auction sale for Flat Top Grill’s casual dining restaurants.
  • Big Buck Brewery & Steakhouse; counsel to the debtor in a chapter 11 reorganization of the franchisor.
  • Counsel to a new franchisee of certain fast casual restaurants.
  • Handling the defense of a federal court FLSA class action lawsuit primarily alleging unpaid wages and overtime for a fast food franchisee with multiple locations. The matter was hotly contested. We were able to limit the amount of the class members and eventually negotiated a resolution that was favorable to our client.
  • Outside general counsel to a multi-unit franchisee of Applebee’s with locations in multiple states.
  • Counsel to an owner and operator of multiple southwestern grill restaurants in an out-of-court restructuring.
  • Counsel to a franchisee of 45 casual dining restaurants in an out-of-court workout with its lenders.
  • Counsel to an owner-operator of 19 casual dining restaurants in a workout with its lenders.
  • Representation of an owner of 43 casual dining restaurants with respect to the sale of his stock.
  • Counsel to one of the largest franchisees of a national doughnut chain in an out-of-court workout.
  • Counsel to the franchisor of a national frozen yogurt chain.
  • Counsel to one of the world’s largest franchisors with respect to intellectual property and patent issues.
  • Counsel to franchisee in the acquisition of multiple franchise locations.
  • Counsel to franchisors and franchisees in various cybersecurity matters.
  • Counsel to a new franchisee of a restaurant chain specializing in chicken wings
  • Counsel to a franchisee of a basement waterproofing company in connection with a franchise agreement dispute
  • Counsel to a franchisee of a national seafood restaurant chain
  • Counsel to multiple franchisees listed in the IFA’s top 200
  • Structure of arrangements between furniture suppliers and retailer for supply and finance
Resources
The International Franchise Association, along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, released a comprehensive report on the current state of the joint employer threat to franchise businesses. For the first time, the report reveals numerous trends facing the franchise community that are caused by expanding joint employment liability across multiple federal agencies. Read the full report here.
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