Franchising

Our attorneys help franchisors and franchisees achieve their business goals with clear, pragmatic guidance every step of the way through launch, expansion, and exit.

Overview

Franchising represents a driving force behind the U.S. and world economies. With a team of over a dozen lawyers across multiple practice areas, AGG’s franchise practice assists our clients, both franchisor and franchisee alike, to understand the legal and regulatory environment associated with this business format and to confront the challenges they face, whether franchise-related or industry-specific. Our full-service platform and expertise allows us to counsel our franchisor clients from franchise system launch to international expansion to successful exit and everywhere in between.

Specifically, our franchise regulatory team has meaningful depth and experience in serving as both franchise and corporate counsel to franchisors of all sizes and structures, which services include: (i) assembling, preparing, filing and disseminating franchise disclosure documents as well as state registrations, where applicable; (ii) drafting, negotiating and maintaining franchise agreements, market development agreements and other related legal documentation; (iii) analyzing, advising and structuring the business organization of franchisor clients so as to achieve optimal results from operational and tax perspectives; and (iv) assisting in our clients’ international expansion through franchising. Additionally, as outside general counsel to many franchisors, AGG’s attorneys are easily accessible when desired by our clients so as to provide timely strategic and legal guidance on all contractual and other legal matters as the same arise from time to time.

The depth of our team goes well beyond our corporate and regulatory expertise. Specifically, our Real Estate practice has one of the largest teams in the Southeastern United States dedicated to negotiating leases, purchase agreements, franchisor riders, subordination and non-disturbance agreements and other contracts relevant to franchisers and franchisees. Our Intellectual Property practice routinely assists our franchisor clients in identifying, registering, maintaining and defending trademarks, copyrights, patents and other matters of intellectual property that are vital to the existence and continued value of all franchise systems. Finally, AGG’s Litigation practice has decades of combined experience in assisting franchisors with resolving wide varieties of legal disputes, from simple contract claims and franchise law compliance issues to complex patent litigation.

Experience

  • Represented franchisor of restaurant trademark and concepts in connection with an individual Chapter 11 case. Assisted the client in reaching a global settlement with the Debtor and obtaining Court approval of the rejection and termination of the debtor’s development agreement, exercise of setoff rights, assumption of the Debtor’s obligation under various guaranty agreements, and approval of the assignment of one of the Debtor’s individually held franchises to an affiliated corporate entity.
  • Representing multi-unit franchise owners in connection with acquiring the franchise rights, structuring of the franchise operations and negotiating and drafting of the related joint venture agreements.
  • Represented franchisor, Rollins Inc., in connection with its domestic sales program and its international expansion into China, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Dominican Republic, Honduras, South Korea, Nigeria, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Lebanon, Turkey, Ireland and Cyprus.
  • Successfully registered a national chain of restaurants in all required franchise registration and exemption states.
  • Obtained a more than $550,000 jury verdict in favor of our client, for breach of contract in a dispute involving the sale of a Bruster’s Ice Cream franchise. Our client, individuals purchasing the franchise, were successful in establishing that the Defendant had committed fraud in providing false and misleading information to them prior to the sale, information which caused them to purchase a failing business that they otherwise would not have purchased. A judgment was rendered on counts of fraud and rescission, allowing our client to recover actual damages in the amount of $265,000, attorney’s fees of $85,000, and a punitive damage award of $200,000.
  • Represented the franchisor of hotel trademark and concepts client in connection with In re The Finova Group, Inc. bankruptcy case.
  • Represent multi-unit franchisee in connection with its acquisition of numerous restaurants and related corporate matters.
  • Serves as a preferred vendor for franchisees of wide variety of multiple regionally and nationally franchised concepts in providing real estate, corporate and franchise counsel, including negotiating leases across all fifty states and Canada for child care systems, health care clinics, restaurants, service providers, fitness facilities and other “Amazon proof” retail brands.
  • Serves as outside general real estate counsel for over 20 national restaurants and franchised concepts, including a nationally franchised fast-casual restaurant concept recently recognized by Forbes Magazineas the number one private company to watch in America, and also including the fastest growing franchise brand in the US in 2018.
  • Represents group of investors from the Midwestern United States as general counsel for their restaurant and hotel franchise systems.

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