Franchise

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

Structuring Transactions

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.

Compliance

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.

Intellectual Property

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.

System Standards

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.

Franchisor-Franchisee Relations

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.

Litigation

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.

Financings

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.

International Expansion

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.

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People (201)

Peer Reviews

  • 4.7/5.0 (320)
  • Legal Knowledge

    4.7/5.0
  • Analytical Capability

    4.7/5.0
  • Judgment

    4.7/5.0
  • Communication

    4.7/5.0
  • Legal Experience

    4.7/5.0

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Client Reviews

  • 4.3/5.0 (7)
  • 86% (6)
  • Communication

    4.6/5.0
  • Responsiveness

    4.4/5.0
  • Quality of Service

    4.4/5.0
  • Value for Money

    3.9/5.0
  • Joan is well versed in all areas of environmental law and regulation for a diverse number of applications. She has provided sound advice on real esta...

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    Joan is well versed in all areas of environmental law and regulation for a diverse number of applications. She has provided sound advice on real estate matters, and regulatory matters involving operating permits and rules governing operations in South Carolina and North Carolina. Joan is responsive to client requirements, is an effective communicator, and has been successful at providing sound advice in working with government agencies to amicably resolve complicated regulatory matters.

    • Communication

      5.0/5.0
    • Responsiveness

      5.0/5.0
    • Quality of Service

      5.0/5.0
    • Value for Money

      5.0/5.0
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  • As an attorney myself, when I needed assistance in a white collar matter, I was immediately referred to
    Ms. Riley by more than one attorney. Right...

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    As an attorney myself, when I needed assistance in a white collar matter, I was immediately referred to
    Ms. Riley by more than one attorney. Right to the point, Ms. Riley's knowledge of the law, ability to communicate, and abilities as an advocate are second to none. Ms. Riley, in my opinion, is one of the brightest and most effective attorneys I have ever met.

    • Communication

      5.0/5.0
    • Responsiveness

      5.0/5.0
    • Quality of Service

      5.0/5.0
    • Value for Money

      5.0/5.0
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    • Communication

      5.0/5.0
    • Responsiveness

      5.0/5.0
    • Quality of Service

      5.0/5.0
    • Value for Money

      4.0/5.0
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  • We as family members of his client did most of the work in gathering helpful info. then all he basically did was read what we had collected. Did not s...

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    We as family members of his client did most of the work in gathering helpful info. then all he basically did was read what we had collected. Did not stand up enough for our son.

    • Communication

      2.0/5.0
    • Responsiveness

      2.0/5.0
    • Quality of Service

      1.0/5.0
    • Value for Money

      1.0/5.0
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  • nexsen-pruet-llc

    4.5/5.0 on 06/04/11 on 06/04/11

    They were always fast with a response to a question of mine and it was very affordable with great services.

    Read more

    They were always fast with a response to a question of mine and it was very affordable with great services.

    • Communication

      5.0/5.0
    • Responsiveness

      4.0/5.0
    • Quality of Service

      5.0/5.0
    • Value for Money

      4.0/5.0
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  • nexsen-pruet-llc

    4.5/5.0 on 08/21/10 on 08/21/10

    Read more

    • Communication

      5.0/5.0
    • Responsiveness

      5.0/5.0
    • Quality of Service

      5.0/5.0
    • Value for Money

      3.0/5.0
    Read less

See All 7 Reviews

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Diversity

Nexsen Pruet recognizes the importance of having lawyers that reflect the broad diversity within our client base, our jury system, our colleagues, and our community at large.  To that end, we are committed to recruiting minority candidates, reducing minority attrition, supporting minority organizations, and expanding and improving our diversity program.  We also recognize that the pursuit of a diverse workplace is, and should be, ongoing. 

As a means of promoting these interests, we created the Nexsen Pruet Diversity Scholarship Program. Prior to creating the scholarship, we completed a written plan that identified methods by which the firm could recruit, hire, and retain minority lawyers. The plan includes expanding our recruitment efforts to other law schools, increasing recruitment of lateral minority and female candidates, and continuing to develop and enhance our relationships with minority law organizations such as the Black Law Students Association.  Our goal is to identify qualified minority candidates who may be potential members of the firm.

Nexsen Pruet understands the need for and value of increased diversity, and we are strengthening and building upon our commitment to provide an inclusive environment within our firm.  As such, we will maintain a continuing focus on doing whatever we can to achieve the important and necessary goal of diversity.

 

Nexsen Pruet Diversity Scholarship

Strengthening the Lawyers of Tomorrow...Today

   The Nexsen Pruet Diversity Scholarship aims to:  

  • Support diversity within our firm and the bar  
  • Enhance educational opportunities for talented minorities in the field of law  
  • Inform minority law students of opportunities for private practice in the Carolinas   

The Scholarship Program will award $3000 to one or more exceptional first year minority law students planning a career in North or South Carolina.   

All scholarship recipients will be considered for summer employment in one of the Nexsen Pruet offices upon completion of their first year of law school.  Scholarship recipients are invited to re-apply for additional scholarships during their second and third years of law school.   

 Eligible students must be attending one of the following schools:

  • University of North Carolina School of Law
  • University of South Carolina School of Law
  • Wake Forest University School of Law 
  • North Carolina Central University School of Law 
  • Charleston School of Law
  • Charlotte School of Law