Gunster advises on all areas of franchise and distribution law. From contract negotiation to dispute resolution and regulatory counsel, our firm represents the full array of significant players within the franchise and distribution system. Our attorneys are committed to understanding many different points of view, as well as to knowing what drives decision-making in this highly specialized area of practice. Our firm is dedicated to negotiating creative, out-of-the-box solutions that have the potential to result in a win-win approach to problem solving, deal-making and dispute resolution. Our goal is to provide multi-dimensional perspective and practical legal advice that reflects our integrated practice in creating, managing, licensing, developing, protecting and enforcing franchised business relationships, product distribution systems and dealership networks.
Gunster strives to negotiate and draft franchise agreements that mitigate potential problems and safeguard our clients’ position. Having served as litigators, arbitrators and judges over the past several decades, our practice is grounded in experience and our attorneys seek to provide informed counsel pertaining to myriad deal structures and provisions that are based upon how a potential dispute will play out in court. Our attorneys seek to resolve serious problems and understand the perspectives of the many involved constituents when finding a path to resolution. In the event a dispute should ensue, our attorneys mediate, arbitrate and litigate matters involving termination, covenants not to compete, trademark infringement, wrongful use and/or theft of intellectual property, breach of contract and statutory violations.
Frequently, the resolution of franchise disputes includes a demand for injunctive relief. As a result, our litigators represent franchisors in actions in both state and federal courts seeking to enforce post-termination provisions of franchise agreements, prevent disclosure of confidential information, and stop the wrongful use of trademarks and intellectual property by terminated franchisees. Our firm also represents sub-franchisors, master franchisees, area developers and multi-unit franchisees who want to prevent a franchisor from wrongfully terminating a franchise relationship. Moreover, our litigators defend the rights of manufacturers and distributors in antitrust matters involving the termination of distribution arrangements.
Gunster advises on franchise legal compliance programs that include the structuring, registration and updating of franchise offering documents throughout the country. Our attorneys are involved in preparing federal and select state-specific disclosure provisions and draft contracts that are designed to establish, protect and enforce franchised business relationships. Our practice also includes the maintenance of on-going disclosure, reporting and registration renewal needs of clients in strict compliance with federal and state laws that govern their franchise, distributor and dealer relationships.
Resources for further information:
- ABA Forum on Franchising
- ABA Section of Antitrust Law; Distribution and Franchising Committee
- ABA International Law; Commercial Transactions, Franchising and Distribution Committee
- International Franchise Association
- North American Securities Administrators Association
- Federal Trade Commission (Franchise FAQs)
- Franchise Business Review
- Franchise News
- Franchise Industry Benchmark Report (registration is required)
- National Restaurant Association
- National Automobile Dealers Association