Franchisors and franchisees alike face numerous business and legal challenges throughout the life of the franchise. Built into the sale and purchase of a franchise are certain promises that the franchisor and franchisee make to each other.
When a franchisor fails to deliver on its promises, or when a franchisor breaches its contract with the franchisee – such as changing the franchise policy, allowing another franchise close by to operate, and improperly refusing to renew a franchisee – this can have a profound economic effect on the franchisee and its employees. Likewise, when a franchisee fails to pay the franchisor royalties or infringes on the franchisor’s trademark, this, too, can have a significant impact on the franchisor and its shareholders.
The attorneys at Jardim, Meisner & Susser, P.C., provide an array of legal services for our clients – including start-ups and national franchisors – and have years of experience in reviewing franchise agreements, drafting and negotiating contracts, including mergers and acquisitions, and litigating and arbitrating various disputes.
Franchise knowledge, business acumen
The firm’s franchise practice is led by C. Patteson “Pat” Cardwell, IV and Richard S. Meisner.
Pat Cardwell was formerly General Counsel of Realogy Corporation, the franchisor of six of the most recognized brands in the real estate industry: Coldwell Banker, Century 21, ERA, Sotheby’s International Realty, Better Homes and Gardens Realty, and Coldwell Banker Commercial. During his tenure as General Counsel, Pat was responsible for the management of thousands of cases worldwide. After ten years of representing Realogy Corporation, Pat now represents franchisors and franchisees in various industries.
Richard S. Meisner was formerly Senior Vice President, Law, of Cendant Corporation (then Realogy Corporation), which was the franchisor of six of the most recognized brands in the real estate industry. In his role at Cendant Corporation, Rich regularly handled a variety of corporate and transactional matters, and corporate compliance and governance functions. Since entering private practice, Rich has focused on various legal matters affecting employees and employers alike, including business contracts, non-compete agreements, wage-and-hour matters, pension issues (ERISA), and franchise law.
Reviewing and negotiating contracts
We believe that franchisors and franchisees should be guided by the principal of growing their respective businesses together, and work towards reasonable legal solutions designed to obtain the best business plan for the franchisor and the franchisee. We can assist franchisors and franchisees in negotiating their new agreements and renewals.
On the franchisor and master franchisor side, we assist companies in preparing Franchise Disclosure Documents (“FDD” or “FDDs”) and other regulatory filings, and represents them in domestic and international franchise negotiations, renewals, assignments and disputes.
On the Franchisee side, we assist franchisees of all sizes to review Franchise Disclosure Documents, and in negotiations of new franchise agreements, franchise renewals, compliance, assignment of franchise agreements and approval of new franchisees.
Dispute resolution, arbitration or litigation
Franchisors and franchisees must work together for their mutual benefit. However, legal disputes can and do occur. Such disputes can arise at any time throughout the life of the franchise business. Some common disputes include: