Practice/Industry Group Overview
In the specialized field of franchise law, having a legal team you can trust to help you maximize opportunities and minimize risks is not just a privilege...
It’s a necessity.
At Nexsen Pruet, we have been there when people wake up and smell the coffee. We understand what it takes to help clients start, grow, manage and protect a franchise program – to navigate complex legal and regulatory requirements, achieve strategic goals and anticipate and overcome business challenges. Our attorneys have decades of experience representing clients in each critical aspect of the franchise process, including:
- structuring and negotiating transactions
- conducting due diligence
- complying with franchise sales laws
- protecting intellectual property
- developing and enforcing system standards
- managing franchisor-franchisee relations
- resolving disputes
- mastering the unique demands of international expansion
Our corporate lawyers across the Carolinas deliver pragmatic advice to clients – from local start-ups to major multi-state corporations – on choosing business structures that make legal and economic sense. Our team is experienced in drafting and negotiating franchise agreements, area development and master-franchise agreements, and other contracts across a wide range of industries. We also work with clients on avoiding “inadvertent franchise” relationships.
We help clients comply with federal and state laws and regulations governing their franchise offerings, including the FTC’s Franchise Rule and each applicable state’s requirements. We draft disclosure documents that are clear as well as compliant. We also advise clients on the legal issues involved in all forms of franchise sales and marketing, including through the use of new media.
The brand is key to any franchise system, and our seasoned intellectual property attorneys help franchise clients protect this critical asset. We clear and register trademarks, copyrights, and patents. We also work with clients to identify and protect trade secrets. When infringement and misappropriation risks occur, we help clients enforce their rights, through cease and desist demands and, if necessary, through litigation. Our attorneys handle IP disputes in courts across the country as well as before the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
Our attorneys get to know your business. We pride ourselves on offering legal advice that takes into account the unique needs of your industry and your franchise system. We advise clients on developing operating policies (for employees) and guidelines (for franchisees), setting up distribution and supply chain systems, dealing with distributors and other vendors, and enforcing system standards.
We have decades of experience helping clients navigate the issues that arise during the growth and development of a franchise relationship. These include: dealing with advisory councils and dealer associations, implementing system changes, addressing defaults and terminations, enforcing non-competes and other post-termination obligations, handling transfers and renewals, and protecting assets when insolvencies occur.
We look for the most efficient and effective ways to resolve disputes for our clients, including all forms of alternative dispute resolution. But when litigation is necessary, we have a deep bench of experienced trial lawyers who can get to court as quickly as the situation warrants. We litigate and arbitrate disputes in venues across the country involving claims of intellectual property infringement and misappropriation, antitrust violations, false advertising, breach of contract, wrongful termination, unfair trade practices, and product liability, among others. We have extensive experience handling class actions as well.
With extensive experience representing investors, lenders, and borrowers, we bring a depth of knowledge and skill in both traditional and state-of-the-art financings. We handle acquisitions, buybacks, sales, securitizations, loans, and joint venture agreements, from due diligence to closings and beyond.
Our attorneys help clients who are interested in seizing the opportunities involved in franchising outside the United States. We have experience drafting and negotiating deals in a variety of forms for expansion into other countries. Our intellectual property attorneys have an extensive network of foreign agents for registering trademarks in countries around the world.
Other Resources Available to You
Nexsen Pruet is an active participant in the major trade organization for franchising, the International Franchise Association. Our franchise practice group is also active in the American Bar Association's Franchise Forum. We are local sponsors of the IFA’s Franchise Business Network. And, our lawyers are frequent speakers and authors on a full range of topics in the field of franchise law.