J.D., cum laude, Georgetown University Law Center
B.S., magna cum laude, University of Maryland; Phi Beta Kappa
Lead Articles Editor, The Tax Lawyer
Bar and Court Admissions
District of Columbia Bar
Chris represents franchisors, licensors, and manufacturers domestically and internationally in connection with the legal issues that arise in franchise and distribution networks.
- Counsels franchisors ranging in size from start-ups to category leaders in connection with all franchise-related legal matters, including the drafting of franchise disclosure documents (FDD) and related franchise, license, and development agreements.
- Assists clients in the structuring and operation of franchise programs, regulatory FDD compliance, the offer of co-branded opportunities, the handling of franchise disputes, transfers and terminations, captive market development, and the purchase and sale of franchise systems.
- Represent franchisors expanding internationally through development agreements, master franchise agreements and joint ventures, and assists with international regulatory compliance.
- Represents buyers and sellers in a wide range of stock and asset transactions. Also represents franchisors and lenders in a variety of financial and other restructuring transactions. Extensive experience in due diligence reviews and document preparation in connection with mergers and acquisitions.
- Regularly trains franchisor executives and corporate staff with respect to franchise sales, relationship, and regulatory compliance.
- American Bar Association (ABA), Forum on Franchising
- International Franchise Association (IFA)
- Planning Task Force, Annual Legal Symposium (2009-2010, 2016-2017)
- Included in The Best Lawyers in America directory for Franchise Law (2017-2018)
- Named by Franchise Times as a "Legal Eagle" (2016-2018)
- Included in the International Who's Who of Business Lawyers in Franchise (2016-2018)
News & Insights
- May 21, 2018 | Press ReleaseWiley Rein’s Robert Smith, Christine Connelly, and Maureen O’Brien Named 2018 ‘Legal Eagles’ by Franchise Times
- April 14, 2017 | Press ReleaseWiley Rein’s Robert Smith, Christine Connelly, and Maureen O’Brien Named 2017 ‘Legal Eagles’ by Franchise Times
- May 16, 2016 | Washington, DC | Speaking EngagementBasics Track: Franchise Default and Termination - Best Practices to Enforce the Contract and Protect the System49th Annual IFA Legal SymposiumChristine E. Connelly, Moderator
- April 4, 2016 | Press ReleaseWiley Rein’s Robert Smith, Christine Connelly, and Maureen O’Brien Named 2016 ‘Legal Eagles’ by Franchise Times
- September 16, 2015 | Newsletter
- August 12, 2015 | Newsletter
- March 3, 2015 | Newsletter
- March 26, 2014 | ArticleRobert A. Smith, Christine E. Connelly
- February 22, 2014 | New Orleans, LA | Speaking EngagementChristine E. Connelly, Roundtable Facilitator
- May 17, 2011 | Washington, DC | Speaking EngagementInternational Franchise Association Legal SymposiumChristine E. Connelly, Moderator