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 took me through my franchise agreement line by line making sure i understood every detail i was signing. He focused on two main categories - am i protected if things go really well and am i protected is if things do not go well. I had no idea how exposed i was in the downside scenario until he walked me through a few example situations. I also did not understand the exposure i was taking on the upside scenario. When i read the agreement i read the part about territory completely wrong and because of his accurate assessment of territory i chose to not pursue this franchise. He created a simple to read addendum that i was able to send on to the franchise owners and gave me great tips on negotiating terms. When i find another franchise i intend to pursue i will definitely contact Jeff again to review any agreements before i sign.
Diane H.
Jeff Wheelock provides excellent service at a very reasonable rate. After his review of all the documents related to a franchise in which I was interested, he then took the time to meet one-on-one to review all of his thoughts and concerns, while offering suggestions not only for potential amendments to the agreement but strategies on how best to brooch issues with the franchisor. Exceedingly knowledgeable about franchise agreements. Very helpful! I would highly recommend him.
Alice H.
Jeff has the right amount of guidance to tailor any of your franchise needs. Dealing with his company was a pleasure. I appreciate his knowledge and diligence in handling my franchise disclosure and agreement. Jeff is detailed, personable, charismatic,and professional. Step by step directions were given in every phase leading up to my closing. His expertise made me feel comfortable in making my decisions. He is definitely one of the best. I’m extremely satisfied!
Becky M.

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