People often ask what it takes to become a Legal Eagle. Well, it’s not easy. It takes experience, smarts and the wisdom to connect the two.
All of the 2017 class of Legal Eagles share those three key attributes. They are intelligent attorneys who have chosen to specialize in the complex world of franchising with the experience needed to chart a path through murky legal waters.
And given our nomination process based on peer and client nominations, the Legal Eagles are also a part of a tight-knit group of franchise attorneys who see each other a lot. So on top of all those traits, they have to be personable with their peers as well—not an easy task when competing clients want to win. In short, the Franchise Times Legal Eagles are the first people the industry calls when it needs help with an acquisition, a franchisor-franchisee dispute or a legal snafu.
Then there’s the Legal Eagles Hall of Fame. This year, 15 of the best franchise lawyers hit the 10-year mark on our list, earning a coveted spot in the hall of fame. These lawyers have made franchising their business, and have elevated the model to what it is today. Without their talented legal voices, the franchise disclosure documents might be a bit shorter, but franchising would be radically different.
We connected with two of the newest hall of famers, Kerry Bundy, of Faegre Baker Daniels, and David Paris, of Paris, Ackerman & Schmierer, to see how they work. And their clients came along to describe how they became two of the most favored franchise attorneys in North America. (Hint, they work their butts off.)
Each year, we also survey our Legal Eagles about what is going on in the boardrooms and courtrooms across the franchise landscape. Their insightful comments are peppered throughout our list. Despite this year of monumental change, many of the same old legal issues persist. But these attorneys are here to help with everything from joint employer concerns to penning that next transaction.
Read on for the more than 200 of the best and the brightest attorneys franchising has to offer. Each embodies the intelligence, experience and wisdom necessary for the ever-shifting sands of franchise law.