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 counsels franchisors, licensors, and manufacturers on transactional and regulatory issues involved in developing and growing franchise programs. Chris also counsels corporate clients in all aspects of employment compliance, enforcement, and investigations matters.
- Counsels franchisors ranging in size from start-ups to category leaders in connection with the development and maintenance of franchise programs, including creating and updating franchise disclosure documents (FDD) and related franchise, license, and development agreements.
- Assists clients in regulatory FDD compliance, enforcement of system standards, handling of franchise disputes, transfers and terminations, captive market development, and purchase and sale of franchise systems.
- Represents franchisors expanding internationally through development agreements, master franchise agreements, and joint ventures, and assists with international regulatory compliance.
- Represents buyers and sellers of franchise systems in a wide range of stock and asset transactions.
- Counsels clients on compliance with federal labor and employment law including issues related to the Americans With Disabilities Act Title III, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and Title II of the Civil Rights Act.
- Drafts employment and separation agreements, as well as counsels management and individuals in protection of non-competition, non-solicitation, trade secrets, and other business torts.
- Drafts corporate employment policies, handbooks, and confidentiality agreements.
- Defends Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) employment practice agency charges.
- American Bar Association (ABA), Forum on Franchising
- International Franchise Association (IFA)
- Planning Task Force, Annual Legal Symposium (2009-2010, 2017-2018)
- Included in The Best Lawyers in America directory for Franchise Law (2017-2020)
- Named by Franchise Times as a "Legal Eagle" (2016-2019)
- Included in Who's Who Legal: Franchise (2016-2017, 2019)
- Included in the International Who's Who of Business Lawyers in Franchise (2016-2018)
- Included in Best Lawyers Business - Women in the Law for Franchise Law (2017)
News & Insights
- September 25, 2019 | ALERT
- May 7, 2019 | Washington, DC | SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTIFA Legal SymposiumChristine E. Connelly, Moderator, Christopher Kelly, Speaker
- April 9, 2019 | PRESS RELEASE
- December 17, 2018 | NEWSLETTER
- 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 | ARTICLEChristine 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