Susan A. Grueneberg

Member

Recent News:

Franchise Regulations Change, but No ‘Existential Threat’

Susan Grueneberg was quoted in a Franchise Times article discussing the legal issues and regulatory changes impacting the franchise industry.

Susan leads Cozen O’Connor’s Franchising team and is a nationally recognized leader in the franchise law bar. As a certified franchise specialist with more than 30 years of experience, Susan is a trusted dealmaker, advocate, and regulatory guide.

Through her multidisciplinary practice, Susan represents franchisors, developers, sub-franchisors, and multi-unit franchisees, ranging from cutting-edge startups to Fortune 500 companies. Susan advises on corporate transactions, including franchise M&A, structures and registers new franchise programs, conducts audits, and assists with federal and state regulatory compliance. She also represents clients in franchisor-franchisee relations, defends government enforcement actions and investigations, and serves as an expert witness for franchisors in trials and arbitrations.

An important sub-area of Susan’s practice is her work on behalf of non-U.S. franchisors seeking to enter the U.S. marketplace and, likewise, U.S. franchise programs seeking to expand abroad. Foreign companies coming to the United States face unique regulatory challenges, and Susan is known for guiding international companies through the maze of U.S. franchise law. Susan has considerable experience in China, having lived in Beijing and Hong Kong, and speaks Mandarin.

Susan is certified as a Franchise & Distribution Law Specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization and ranked Band 1 in Business-Franchising (Nationwide) by Chambers USA. She is one of only 16 attorneys in North America listed as a “Global Elite Thought Leader” by Who’s Who Legal – Franchise Law.

She is the former chair of the ABA’s Forum on Franchising, former chair of the California State Bar's Franchise and Distribution Law Advisory Commission, and the chair of the Industry Advisory Committee to the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA)’s Franchise and Business Opportunities Project Group.

Susan is regularly approved by the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation to conduct franchise remedial trainings for franchisors as part of the settlement of state enforcement actions, and she is a co-editor of the American Bar Association’s The FTC Franchise Rule, 3rd Edition, recognized by practitioners as the authoritative guide to U.S. federal franchise law.

Susan earned her undergraduate degree, cum laude, from UCLA, and her law degree from UCLA School of Law. While in law school, she attended Yale-in-China Studies Center and taught at United College, Chinese University of Hong Kong on a U.S. State Department Teaching Fellowship. After law school, Susan won a fellowship from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Committee on Scholarly Communication with the People’s Republic of China to undertake post-graduate study in economics at the University of Beijing, China, where she played on the women’s basketball team.

 

Experience

News

Franchise Regulations Change, but No ‘Existential Threat’

March 27, 2024

Susan Grueneberg was quoted in a Franchise Times article discussing the legal issues and regulatory changes impacting the franchise industry.

Cozen O'Connor's Female Shareholders Offer Advice for International Women's Day

March 08, 2024

Last year was a historical year for Cozen O’Connor – with no fewer than six of the seven members elevated to shareholder being women. In honor of International Women’s Day, the Cozen O’Connor Women’s Initiative hosted a panel discussion to discuss their unique backgrounds and career paths.

Three Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Recognized as 2024 Southern California Super Lawyers

January 12, 2024

Los Angeles attorney Susan A. Grueneberg and Santa Monica attorneys Thomas W. Casparian and Paul S. Rutter to its 2024 Southern California Super Lawyers list.

Best Lawyers Honors More Than 200 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys to its Best Lawyers in America 2024 Edition

August 17, 2023

Best Lawyers selected 232 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 24 of the firm’s U.S. offices for inclusion in the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Eighty-eight Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 23 Practices Earn Top Recognition in Chambers USA 2023 Guide

June 05, 2023

Of the 88 lawyers ranked, 17 lawyers have been recognized nationally, and eighteen were recognized in Band 1. Eight of the firm's practice areas have been recognized nationally, and nine were ranked Band 1.

Five Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Recognized as 2023 Southern California Super Lawyers

February 07, 2023

Super Lawyers has named Los Angeles attorneys Susan A. Grueneberg and Donald C. Nanney and Santa Monica attorneys Thomas W. Casparian, Jonathan S. Gross, and Paul S. Rutter to its 2023 Southern California Super Lawyers list.

More Than 200 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Best Lawyers and Ones to Watch

August 22, 2022

210 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 24 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Chambers Ranks 86 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 22 Practice Areas in Chambers USA 2022 Guide

June 02, 2022

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the United States, has ranked 86 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the guide’s 2022 edition.

Attorneys Take Note as FTC Turns Focus to Franchising

March 29, 2022

Susan Grueneberg was quoted in Franchise Times discussing the Federal Trade Commission launching a new fraud reporting tool.

Eight Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Recognized as 2022 Southern California Super Lawyers

January 20, 2022

Super Lawyers has named eight Cozen O'Connor attorneys to its 2022 Southern California Super Lawyers list.

Lack of capital, legislative restrictions may impede franchisees in 2022 – Restaurant Dive

November 08, 2021

Susan Grueneberg was quoted in AnonymousBlack discussing the boom in restaurant franchising over the past 22 months.

Restaurants are plotting aggressive franchise expansion. Here's where — and why.

October 18, 2021

Susan Grueneberg spoke with Restaurant Dive about the rise in restaurant franchising over the past 22 months.

More Than 205 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Best Lawyers and Ones to Watch By The Best Lawyers In America

August 19, 2021

Best Lawyers selected 210 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 23 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

82 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 19 Practices Earn Top Recognition in Chambers USA 2021 Guide

May 26, 2021

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the United States, has ranked 82 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the guide’s 2021 edition; of those, 15 lawyers have been recognized nationally.

200 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Best Lawyers and Ones to Watch By The Best Lawyers In America

August 20, 2020

Best Lawyers selected 200 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 23 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in America© (Copyright 2020 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC).

63 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 16 Practices Earn Top Recognition in Chambers USA 2020 Guide

May 14, 2020

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the United States, has ranked 63 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the guide’s 2020 edition.

Nine Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Recognized as 2020 Southern California Super Lawyers

January 15, 2020

Super Lawyers has named nine Cozen O'Connor attorneys to its 2020 Southern California Super Lawyers.

138 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 28, 2019

Best Lawyers selected 138 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 21 of the firm’s national offices for inclusion in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

57 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 16 Practices Earn Top Recognition in Chambers USA 2019 Guide

April 25, 2019

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the USA, has ranked 57 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the Guide’s 2019 edition.

Publications

Are Changes to the Federal Trade Commission's Franchise Rule in Our Future? [Franchising USA]

January 22, 2021

Susan Grueneberg authored an article about the impact the Franchise Agreement mandated by the Federal Trade Commission's Franchise Rule will have on 2021.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Holds Franchisor Not Liable as a Joint Employer of its Franchisee's Employees [Alert]

October 22, 2019

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided by majority opinion by Circuit Judge Susan Graber, with a partial dissent filed by Chief Circuit Judge Sidney Thomas, Salazar v. McDonald's Corp. No. 17- 15673 (9th Cir. 2019), holding franchisor McDonald’s was not a joint employer with its franchisee, because McDonald’s did not retain control of day-to-day aspects of work at the franchisee’s restaurants.

How Franchisors Can Design Programs for Budget-Conscious Franchisees [Franchising USA]

March 14, 2019

Susan Grueneberg discussed some pointers on how to design a franchise program that is accessible to prospective franchisees with limited capital.

Tips For a More Successful Franchise Renewal Season [Franchising USA]

January 31, 2019

Susan Grueneberg discusses tips to make the franchising renewal process more efficient and increase your odds to make the annual updates and renewals less disruptive.

Drafting Franchise Agreements After Patterson v. Domino’s: Avoiding the Minefield of Vicarious Liability and Joint Employment

October 03, 2016

Susan Grueneberg, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Franchising practice group, wrote an article on Patterson v. Domino's for the Franchise Law Journal.

Events & Seminars

Upcoming Events

What Franchise Litigators Wish Transactional Attorneys Knew About Litigation

May 06, 2024 - Washington, D.C.

Susan Grueneberg will moderate the panel discussion “What Franchise Litigators Wish Transactional Attorneys Knew About Litigation” at the International Franchise Association Legal Symposium in Washington, D.C.

Past Events

Regulatory Update

October 18, 2019 - Denver, CO

Education

  • UCLA School of Law, J.D., 1979
  • University of California at Los Angeles, B.A., cum laude, 1973

Awards & Honors

Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Franchising (Nationwide-Band 1), 2007-2022

Southern California Super Lawyers, Franchise/Dealership, 2006-2024

Southern California Super Lawyers, Southern California Women’s Edition, Franchise/Dealership, 2016

Southern California Super Lawyers, Franchise/Dealership- Corporate Counsel Edition, 2008-2013

The Best Lawyers in America, Franchise Law, 2006-2023

The Best Lawyers in America, Lawyer of the Year, Franchise Law, 2012, 2016, 2019

Who’s Who Legal, Franchise, 2004-2022

Who's Who Legal, Global Elite Thought Leaders, 2018-2022

Legal Eagle, Franchise Times, 2004-2018, 2020

Legal Eagle, Hall of Fame, 2013

The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers

Corporate LiveWire Lawyer of the Year 2014: Franchise Law - Los Angeles, California

  • California
  • Supreme Court Of California

Industry Advisory Committee to the North American Securities Administrations Association (NASAA)

Franchise Project Group, 1996-Present (Chair, 2006-2021)

American Bar Association, Forum on Franchising, (Chair, 2001-2003)

International Franchise Association Legal/Legislative Committee (Member, 1995-Present)

Member program planning committees for legal symposia and national conventions

State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, Franchise and Distribution Law Advisory 

Commission (Member, 2009-2013; Chair, 2012-2013)

State Bar of California Business Law Section, Executive Committee (Member, 1990-1992)

State Bar of California Franchise Law Committee (Chair, 1988-1989; Member, 1986-1989, 2006-2009)