Armstrong Teasdale lawyers practice extensively in the areas of franchising and distribution, including the development of new franchise systems, preparation of franchise offering circulars, compliance with federal and state requirements, contract negotiation, trials and appeals in all courts, representation in arbitration proceedings, mediation, and assistance in evaluating the impact of these areas on other client operations.
Franchise and distribution lawyers review, analyze and stay current with legislation and regulations promulgated by government authorities. Additionally, applicable court and agency decisions are routinely read and analyzed by members of the group.
Key Franchising Areas
- Franchise Litigation. Franchise lawyers maintain an active litigation practice, representing franchisors. Armstrong Teasdale’s franchise litigation lawyers appear regularly on behalf of franchisors throughout the nation in federal and state courts, arbitrations, and state and federal regulatory proceedings. Our lawyers routinely handle contract disputes, intellectual property, including Lanham Act matters, vicarious liability cases, enforcements, and litigation regarding relationship and disclosure statutes.
- Compliance with Disclosure Laws. Franchises are regulated by a myriad of federal and state laws, and domestic and international regulations. Disclosure requirements differ throughout the country and the world and carry harsh penalties for violations. Keeping abreast of developments in this area, our franchise lawyers have extensive experience in registering franchises in those states and countries where prior registration and disclosure is required. Disclosure documents, franchise agreements and other documents necessary for the successful creation, operation and growth of a franchise system are continuously prepared and updated.
- Relationships between Franchisors and Franchisees. Due to the contractual relationship between a franchisor and its franchisees, experienced legal assistance in this area is crucial. Armstrong Teasdale’s franchise lawyers are actively involved in all aspects of this relationship. Our franchise lawyers regularly review and negotiate documents relating to both the sale and transfer of franchises and maintain an active practice in dispute resolution, both in avoidance of litigation and in handling litigation, through all stages. Claims have been handled on grounds which include: breach of the franchise agreement, business torts, fraud, advertising, third-party liability issues, antitrust and class action suits. Our franchise lawyers also handle matters adverse to franchisees and franchisee associations, whether in suit or not.
- Trademark and Licensing Issues. Trademarks are integral parts of franchising and licensing. Our franchise lawyers routinely obtain injunctive relief and treble damages in trademark cases, as well as represent franchisors in copyright and patent matters. In addition, our franchise lawyers can call upon the firm’s Patent, Trademark and Intellectual Property practice group as necessary.
- Distribution. Our franchise lawyers represent clients engaged in the distribution of various types of goods and services in all aspects of their operations. Franchise and distribution lawyers have negotiated and drafted agreements on their behalf and assisted them in their ongoing operations, including litigation and alternative dispute resolution.
- Franchise System Development. Our franchise and distribution lawyers assist clients in assessing whether franchising is an appropriate method for distributing goods and services and, if so, what franchise structure is most appropriate (e.g., use of regional franchise brokers, sub-franchising or area development agreements). Counseling is also provided on sources of financing, marketing and evaluation of antitrust considerations.