Franchising

Recent News:

Attorneys Take Note as FTC Turns Focus to Franchising

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

More

Franchise businesses are utterly unique in their structure, regulation, and operation. Therefore, the first thing to know about Cozen O’Connor’s Franchising practice is this: we do not dabble. Cozen O’Connor has dedicated, knowledgeable franchise counsel with decades of relevant experience.

The firm represents major franchisors, developers, sub-franchisors, startup concepts, and mega-franchisees in diverse industries, including food and beverage, retail and luxury goods, concessions, entertainment and sports, fitness, martial arts, transportation, pet care, health care, manufacturing, finance, and technology.

The team includes recognized leaders in the franchise law bar, including the former chair of the ABA’s Forum on Franchising, one of 16 attorneys listed as a “Global Elite Thought Leader for North America” by Who’s Who Legal – Franchise Law, and an editor of the ABA’s The FTC Franchise Rule, 3rd Edition, which is widely seen as the authoritative guide to federal franchise law.

The franchise team is backed by the resources and reach of a national, full-service law firm. Cozen O’Connor has preeminent practices in intellectual property, antitrust, real estate, tax, commercial litigation, labor & employment, health care, and state attorneys general.

Regulatory & Transactions

Cozen O’Connor structures new franchise programs, drafts complex franchise agreements, negotiates mergers and acquisitions, coordinates franchise registrations, and conducts high-level compliance reviews and operational audits. We have experience with all franchise models, from business format and product franchises to area representatives to multi-level marketing enterprises.

An important area of our work is developing domestic and international franchise operations on behalf of non-U.S. franchisors seeking to enter the U.S. marketplace and U.S. franchisors seeking to expand abroad. The team has particularly deep experience in Asia and includes counsel fluent in Mandarin.

Disputes & Litigation

Cozen O’Connor represents franchisors in litigation, arbitration, and mediation. Although often able to resolve conflicts at the earliest stages, our attorneys are also accomplished trial lawyers. They appear frequently in state and federal courts or alternative dispute resolution forums such as AAA, JAMS, or FranArb, and serve as expert witnesses in trials and arbitrations.

The firm defends franchisors in a wide range of claims (such as breach of contract, unfair competition, and encroachment), and is equally aggressive about enforcing the terms of franchise agreements on a national basis.

Services

  • Structure and prepare franchise agreements and disclosure documents
  • Represent buyers and sellers of franchise companies through due diligence, negotiation and documentation of purchase and sale agreements
  • Coordinate franchise registrations
  • Assist companies in protecting intellectual property (trademarks, trade dress, copyrights, patents, and trade secrets), including clearance, registrability, prosecution, monetization, and enforcement
  • Counsel franchisors on labor and employment issues, including joint employment and misclassification
  • Advise franchisors on compliance with antitrust laws
  • Provide real estate legal services to franchisors including drafting leases and purchase agreements
  • Represent clients in enforcement investigations and actions brought by state franchise agencies
  • Represent franchisors in disputes with franchisees over disclosures, encroachment, online operations, breach of contract, infringement, unfair competition, false advertising, theft of trade secrets, counterfeiting, price discrimination, and other claims

Experience

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.

In The News

Cozen O’Connor Recognized as a “Best Law Firm” in 30 Practice Areas Nationwide, 115 Practice Areas Regionally

November 30, 2022

U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers recognized Cozen O’Connor as a “Best Law Firm” in 30 practice areas nationwide and 115 practice areas regionally.

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.

Cozen O’Connor Recognized as a “Best Law Firm” in 29 Practice Areas Nationwide, 121 Practice Areas Regionally

November 04, 2021

U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers recognized Cozen O’Connor as a “Best Law Firm” in 29 practice areas nationwide and 121 practice areas regionally.

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.

Cozen O’Connor Recognized as a “Best Law Firm” in 25 Practice Areas Nationwide, 115 Practice Areas Regionally

November 05, 2020

U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers recognized Cozen O’Connor as a “Best Law Firm” in 25 practice areas nationwide and 115 practice areas regionally.

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.

Cozen O’Connor Recognized As a Best Law Firm in 24 Practice Areas Nationwide, 106 Practice Areas Regionally

November 05, 2019

The U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations and peer review from leading attorneys in their field.

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.

Susan Grueneberg Named to Los Angeles Business Journal’s 2019 Most Influential Women Attorneys

April 08, 2019

Cozen O'Connor franchise attorney Susan Grueneberg was honored by the Los Angeles Business Journal as one of 2019 Most Influential Women Attorneys.

Seven Cozen O’Connor Lawyers Named 2019 “Lawyers of the Year” by Best Lawyers in America

August 31, 2018

Cozen O’Connor is proud to announce that seven of the firm’s lawyers have been recognized as “Lawyers of the Year” in their respective practices by Best Lawyers in America, one of the oldest and most highly regarded peer review publications in the legal profession.

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

August 22, 2018

One hundred twenty-six Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 20 of the firm’s national offices have been selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Cozen O’Connor’s Western Expansion Continues as the Firm Adds Two Attorneys From Seed IP Law Group to its Seattle Office

August 21, 2018

In a move that significantly enhances its Seattle office and expands its IP practice on the west coast, Cozen O’Connor today announced two attorneys from Seed IP Law Group LLP, Frank Abramonte & Lorraine Linford, have joined its fast-growing global IP Practice.

Cozen O’Connor Welcomes Lead Franchise Lawyer Susan Grueneberg to its Los Angeles Office

July 30, 2018

Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce Susan Grueneberg, one of California’s best known and highly regarded franchise law attorneys, has agreed to head up its global franchise practice.

Contacts

Susan A. Grueneberg

Member

sgrueneberg@cozen.com

(213) 892-7996

People

Awards

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.

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.

Cozen O’Connor Recognized as a “Best Law Firm” in 29 Practice Areas Nationwide, 121 Practice Areas Regionally

November 04, 2021

U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers recognized Cozen O’Connor as a “Best Law Firm” in 29 practice areas nationwide and 121 practice areas regionally.

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.

Cozen O’Connor Recognized as a “Best Law Firm” in 25 Practice Areas Nationwide, 115 Practice Areas Regionally

November 05, 2020

U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers recognized Cozen O’Connor as a “Best Law Firm” in 25 practice areas nationwide and 115 practice areas regionally.

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.

Cozen O’Connor Recognized As a Best Law Firm in 24 Practice Areas Nationwide, 106 Practice Areas Regionally

November 05, 2019

The U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations and peer review from leading attorneys in their field.

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.

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

August 22, 2018

One hundred twenty-six Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 20 of the firm’s national offices have been selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Related Practice Areas

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