Whether you are considering buying a franchise or you are facing a legal dispute with your franchisor, it is important to make an informed choice about your legal representation. While you certainly want an attorney who devotes his or her practice to franchise law and franchise-related issues, this shouldn’t be your only consideration. For a variety of reasons, it is also important that you hire an attorney who exclusively represents franchisees.
Three Reasons to Hire a Lawyer Who Exclusively Represents Franchisees
Here are three reasons why current and prospective franchisees should strongly consider choosing a lawyer whose practice does not include representing franchisors:
1. Focused on the Issues from the Franchisee’s Perspective.
First, when an attorney splits his or her time between representing two different client bases, he or she is necessarily going to split time between protecting those client bases’ respective interests. This issue is magnified when each client base’s interests are diametrically opposed to the other’s. For example, let’s take the increasingly-complex issue of franchise renewal.
If your lawyer only represents franchisees, he or she will consistently be approaching franchise agreement negotiations and renewal scenarios from the perspective of, “How can I make sure my client has the greatest amount of flexibility when it comes to choosing whether or not to renew?” On the other hand, an attorney who also represents franchisors will have to spend time focusing on ways to make their franchisor clients’ agreements more restrictive while maximizing franchisor control.
2. No Conflicts of Interest.
Beyond this issue, when an attorney represents both franchisees and franchisors in litigation, there is a very real possibility that the attorney could end up making new law that is disadvantageous to his or her franchisee clients.
For example, imagine a dispute over a non-competition clause in which the franchisor’s attorney successfully argues that the courts should be more liberal in their enforcement. Imagine that this is the same attorney you have chosen to represent you as a franchisee. Now, all of a sudden, your lawyer has just made it more difficult for you to start an independent business once your franchise agreement expires.
3. Representing Franchisees Isn’t a Side Business.
Finally, at many franchise law firms that represent both sides, representing franchisees is essentially a side business. Franchisors are typically much larger clients, and as a result earning their business often takes priority over fighting to protect the interests of franchisees. Attorneys at these firms may occasionally perform franchise reviews or represent franchisees in franchise litigation, but you will often find that the bulk of their practices are devoted to franchisor representation.
Contact Franchise Litigation Attorney Jeffrey M. Goldstein | 30 Years’ Experience Representing Franchisees Nationwide
Attorney Jeffrey M. Goldstein have over 30 years’ experience practicing franchise law, and he exclusively represent franchisees and dealers. For more information on the benefits of choosing franchisee-only legal representation, call the Goldstein Law Firm at (202) 293-3947 or contact us online today.