Whether you are thinking about buying a franchise or you are facing a dispute with your franchisor, you need to choose your legal representation wisely. The decisions you make will have long-term consequences, so you need to feel confident that you are relying on sound legal advice. With this in mind, here are seven key considerations when choosing a franchise law firm.
1. Focus on Franchise Law
Franchise law is a niche area, and it is unique in many respects. While many law firms claim to be “franchise law firms,” few of these firms actually focus their practice on franchise law. Most handle other legal matters as well, and as a result, they do not offer the same level of insights as firms that only handle franchise matters on a day-to-day basis.
2. Exclusive Representation of Franchisees
In addition to choosing a true franchise law firm, it is also important to choose a law firm that exclusively represents franchisees. Law firms that represent franchisors have different priorities, and they often cater to their (higher paying) franchisor clients.
3. Transparent Legal Fees
As a current or prospective franchisee, your legal budget is limited. You cannot afford to sign on for indeterminate and unending legal fees. Instead, you need a law firm that offers transparent pricing—including fixed-fee pricing for franchise business reviews and other appropriate legal matters.
4. One-on-One Representation By Senior Attorneys
At many law firms, franchisees work primarily with junior associates and paralegals. But, if you are preparing to make a substantial investment in a franchised business or your franchised business is at risk due to a dispute, you need experienced counsel on your side. So, rather than entrusting your purchase or dispute to just anyone, you should choose a firm where you will work one-on-one with a senior attorney.
5. Experience in All Aspects of Franchisee Representation
Knowing what happens in franchise litigation helps with making informed decisions during the buying process. Likewise, having an in-depth understanding of franchisors’ disclosure obligations and the franchise buying process can provide key insights during franchise litigation. So, rather than choosing a firm that handles one aspect or the other, it is better to choose a firm with attorneys who have experience in all aspects of franchisee representation.
6. No Hide-the-Ball Tactics
Some firms try to get clients by using hide-the-ball tactics. Then, there are firms that educate potential clients so they can make informed decisions. Which type of firm would you prefer?
7. Availability on Your Schedule
Finally, whether you need to speak with an attorney about your franchise opportunity after work or your dispute is keeping you up at night, you need an attorney who is available on your schedule. While attorneys at some franchise law firms work nine-to-five, attorneys at other firms cater to their clients’ schedules.
Schedule a Free Consultation at the Goldstein Law Firm
The Goldstein Law Firm is a national franchise law firm that exclusively represents franchisees and dealers. To discuss your legal needs with senior attorney Jeffrey M. Goldstein in confidence, call 202-293-3947 or request a free consultation online 24/7.