Choosing your Franchise Lawyer

Not every business lawyer has experience in franchising.

Franchise law is a unique. It involves special federal laws. In some cases, it also involves special state laws. It involves a unique culture, with its own unofficial norms and standards.

So, you want to make sure that your lawyer has the expertise and experience to actually provide the help you need.

Now the harder part. How can you tell if a lawyer has the expertise and experience you want?

A good, old-fashioned interview should be part of your process. We recommend that you ask the following types of questions:

  • How many FDDs/Franchise Agreements have you reviewed? Negotiated?
  • Give me the names of some of the franchises you've worked on?
  • Do you lecture and/or write about franchise issues?
    • If yes, where, when, to whom?
  • Have you represented clients in franchise lawsuits? In franchise arbitrations?
    • If yes, how many? In Texas? Where else?
  • Have you ever helped a franchisee sell/transfer their franchise?
    • If yes, give some examples.

At Dickinson & Wheelock P.C., we also think your franchise lawyer should be able to serve as your company's “general counsel” on other business matters. So, ask the lawyer:

  • Can you help me form my legal entity?
    • How many entities have you formed?
  • Can you help me review and negotiate my lease?
    • What's your experience in leases for franchisees?
  • Can you help with employee issues?
    • What's your experience?
  • Do you have your own business experience?
    • If yes, tell me about it.
  • If I have disputes, will you be able to help me?
    • What experience do you have in litigation? In arbitration?

When you ask these questions, listen to the answer. But also listen to the way that the lawyer answers. Not only should you be looking for a lawyer with the right kind of experience, you should be looking for a lawyer that you trust.

Contact

Jeff Wheelock

Read what others have to say about our franchise expertise

Jeff is very knowledgeable, takes pride in his work and really has your best interest at heart. He took the time to explain everything in language I could understand. I now have more confidence in knowing what I am getting into. I would definitely recommend Jeff.
Jon W.
Jeff Wheelock is a MUST for anyone considering purchasing a franchise whether new or resale. There is no better return on investment than having an experienced franchise attorney review an often one-sided agreement. Jeff will identify red flags and other clauses you will want to negotiate. Do NOT buy a franchise without first having Jeff review all of the documents. The small investment will pay huge dividends in the long run.
Mark B.
I can not recommend Jeff highly enough. From the very first time I spoke to him on the phone, through to the very thorough line by line review of the franchise agreement he was very informative, explaining issues, both good and bad, in simple easy to understand language. In addition to line by line analysis, the amendments and negotiating points were invaluable. I will definitely use Jeff in the future and would recommend him to anyone thinking of starting a franchise.
Ralph T.

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