Wiley Rein’s Franchise Group provides a full range of legal services to meet the needs of franchisors. In addition to our expertise representing U.S. franchisors domestically, our attorneys specialize in helping U.S. franchisors expand internationally, having done franchise deals in more than 80 countries, and in helping non-U.S. franchisors develop in the United States. Chambers USA rates the Group as one of the nation’s leading franchise practices, noting that it “offers a strong international capability, representing U.S. franchisors expanding into other countries” and “offers a wide range of services to both startup and established franchise systems.” Our attorneys also have extensive experience as franchise counsel in a variety of financial transactions.

We pride ourselves on the personal attention that our attorneys provide to clients, a level of service acknowledged by Chambers USA, which noted that clients commended the Group for its “responsiveness, breadth of knowledge, and its excellent way of building relationships with its clients.” We are committed to learning about our clients’ businesses so we can better identify and address client needs, and consider it high praise that a client told Chambers, “as a true counsel ‘business partner’ they make sure to point out areas where they feel our company could better protect themselves.” We regularly provide franchise compliance training to our clients at no cost, and staff matters so that we do not over-lawyer matters – nor do we delegate responsibility to lawyers the client has never met. Instead, we use our resources, including our associates and legal assistants, to promote efficiency, but never as a substitute for the personal attention of the principals with whom our clients have developed trusting relationships

Our clients have diverse legal needs and we tailor the services we offer to the client’s needs. As part of a full-service firm, we also can assist clients on all non-franchise matters. Our goal is to build long-term relationships with our clients and help them as they grow their systems. As a result of our efforts, we have represented many franchisors for a decade or longer.

Our Diverse Client Base

Our attorneys currently represent, and over the years have represented, franchisors of all sizes in numerous industries, ranging from new franchisors with limited operations to experienced franchisors with more 3,000 franchisees. We work with franchisors in a wide range of retail and service industries, including quick service, quick casual, and casual dining restaurants, supplemental educational services, senior care services, cosmetics, fashion accessories, hotels and hospitality providers, and many others. Chambers USA recognized our extensive industry knowledge, citing sources who noted that “[t]he raw knowledge of the law that they have is incredible. The law is always changing and they’re very certain about what is current and real, and that helps them empower clients to make the right decisions.”

Representative Results

Our franchise transactional and counseling attorneys have:

  • Represented a number of franchisors on a continuous stream of international franchise projects, including new master franchise and development agreements, joint ventures, franchise terminations, ownership changes, and regulatory compliance in more than 80 countries.
  • Created franchise legal documents for many new franchisors and overhauled clients’ franchise legal documents to achieve the franchisors’ objectives of making the documents user-friendly and attractive to franchisees.
  • Represented numerous franchisors with respect to franchise sales regulatory compliance.
  • Counseled a variety of retail businesses in establishing licensing programs that avoided franchise registration/disclosure and relationship law restrictions.
  • Served as deal and franchise counsel in the acquisition and disposition of numerous franchise companies and in a wide variety of financial transactions.
  • Developed separate programs for a number of franchisors that allowed them to successfully develop in captive market locations such as airports, college campuses, military bases, casinos, stadiums, and convention centers.

Our franchise litigation attorneys have:

  • Successfully defended a major restaurant franchisor in chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings against claims filed by virtually all of its franchisees.
  • Negotiated resolution of system-wide disputes between a major restaurant chain and its franchisees arising from a major acquisition, leading to vastly improved franchise relations.
  • Represented a major restaurant chain in a case brought by virtually all of its franchisees, challenging the franchisor’s handling of promotional payments from suppliers and its alleged interference with franchisees’ rights of association. After we obtained summary judgment for the franchisor on the supplier claim, the case was settled on terms favorable to the franchisor.
  • Successfully represented a franchisor in litigation brought by a franchisee whose agreement was terminated for unauthorized marketing that denigrated the brand.
  • Successfully represented a franchisor and its franchisees in response to claimed violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Contact Us

Christine Connelly
202.719.7372 |

News & Insights

News & Insights

Franchise Law 'Overview' Guides

The following guides provide an overview of various aspects of Franchise Law. Please feel free to contact Christine Connelly if you have any questions or need additional information.

International Series

The International Franchise Development Series offers a broad overview of franchise regulation and the legal issues confronting franchisors seeking to expand into certain countries from the combined legal perspective of U.S. and local counsel.