Franchise law is a major focus of the Ross Law Firm, and we take great pride in protecting franchisee rights. We offer numerous services to prospective and existing franchisees, including franchise-specific transactional, counseling, and litigation services. We also offer services that are relevant to franchised and non-franchised business owners alike.
Guidance and Handling of Negotiations for Potential Buyers of Franchises
Franchising was Greek to me. David did a terrific job of educating us on franchise law and agreement standards, and he set realistic expectations for us in our negotiations. He was able to simplify the negotiation process and document drafting. He also provided insight to where we expend time and dollars during the process. He was able to direct the negotiations with a focus on the relevant issues that were of highest value to us. – M.L.
The Ross Law Firm provides counseling to prospective franchisees so that they have all the information necessary to evaluate franchise opportunities and make informed decisions. Services in this area include the following:
- Review of franchise disclosure documents
- Evaluation of franchise agreements and area development agreements (“ADA’s”)
- Negotiation of franchise agreements and ADA’s
- Advice to and representation of purchasers of franchises from existing franchisees
- Review, drafting, and negotiation of franchise-specific buy-sell agreements and asset purchase agreements
Non-Litigation Services for New and Established Franchises
The Ross Law Firm also provides comprehensive, full-service representation to both new and established franchisees. Services for multi-unit franchise owners (including area developers) and single-unit owners include the following:
- Formation of business entities (e.g., corporation or limited liability company).
- Guidance through the start-up’s growth and franchise progressions
- Lease negotiations
- Advice on franchiser compliance issues
- Advice on general business transactions and employment law issues
- Advice to and representation of franchisees who wish to sell their assets and transfer their franchise rights
- Review, drafting, and negotiation of franchise-specific buy-sell agreements
Franchise Litigation & Dispute Resolution
I had a franchise nightmare and the best thing about it was partnering with Dave at the end when he represented me on dissolving my franchise agreement. He was able to find many areas of the agreement that the franchise company was in breach of their contract and worked diligently to end the whole franchise and its agreement in MY favor down to what should be done with the phone lines! – P.W.
Dave Ross has represented franchisees in litigation against some of the nation’s largest and most powerful hotel, restaurant, fitness, and retail franchisers. He has appeared in state and federal courts throughout the country, litigating, arbitrating, and negotiating settlements of disputes involving a variety of franchise-related issues, including the following:
- Breach of contract
- Franchise termination and non-renewal
- Protected territories
- Franchise encroachment
- Quality assurance
- Franchisor fraud and misrepresentation
- Covenants not to compete (a/k/a “restrictive covenants” or “non-competes”)
- Misappropriation of trade secrets
- Violation of antitrust laws
- Violation of franchise registration and disclosure statutes
- Liquidated damages
- Tortious interference with contract
- Wrongful interference with economic relations
- Civil conspiracy
- Termination and non-renewal; fraud and misrepresentation; breach of contract, franchise encroachment; getting out of a franchise; buying a franchise; royalty disputes and commercial litigation
Remember: Not every franchise lawyer is a litigator; some lawyers who practice in the area of franchise law can assist with agreements but are compelled to refer your case out to a litigator in the event that a dispute arises. When that occurs, the new litigation counsel will need to come up to speed on the issues in your case, and might not even be particularly knowledgeable about or experienced in franchise law in general.
The Ross Law Firm, however, offers both transactional and litigation experience. In the event that your franchise becomes involved in or threatened with a lawsuit, you will have the benefit of the continuity of your representation by a franchise attorney who is already intimately familiar with your franchise business, and who is also a seasoned litigator with a track record of having been successful in lawsuits fought against the “Goliaths” among franchisers.
Representation in “Non-Franchise” Lawsuits and Dispute Resolution
The owner of a franchise is, of course, a both a “franchisee” and a “business owner.” As a business owner, a franchisee might find him/her/itself subject to some of the same types of legal disputes encountered by independent business owners, whether those disputes are with landlords, vendors, competitors, or employees. As an experienced commercial litigator and employment lawyer, Mr. Ross is qualified to assist you with those issues as well.