Mr Zeidman was general counsel to the International Franchise Association throughout his career and has served as special counsel for the Japanese Franchise Association and counsel to a number of US and foreign companies and trade associations. He served as the first chairman of the American Bar Association's antitrust law section's committee on franchising and as chairman of the franchising law committee of the American Intellectual Property Law Association.
Mr Zeidman has written extensively on the subject of international franchising, distribution and licensing, including the regular international columns in Franchising World and Franchise Times and the franchising column in Global Competition Review. He is the author of Franchising in the series Aspects of the Market Economy, which has been translated into Russian and also serves as a textbook for courses on entrepreneurism in eastern Europe. Mr Zeidman also served as the general editor of the American Bar Association's Survey of Laws and Regulations Affecting International Franchising (1982; revised edition, 1990); as associate editor of the International Journal of Franchising and Distribution Law and as consulting editor of CCH's Global Franchising Alert. He has been elected honorary life member of the International Bar Association and has served as chairman of the Association's international franchising committee, as vice chairman of its Asia Pacific forum, as liaison to its Latin American/Caribbean steering group and as representative on its general professional programme committee. He was elected as a member of the council, the governing body of the International Bar Association's section on business law, and served as president of the International Bar Association Foundation Inc.
Mr Zeidman has engaged in a transactional practice, testified on franchising before governmental bodies, participated in judicial and administrative proceedings, taught at universities and appeared before business and professional groups in 35 countries around the world and before the Commission of the European Union, as well as before numerous US congressional committees. A number of international governmental organisations have retained him to advise them on the subject of franchising as a technique for international development and for the privatisation of state-owned enterprises: by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (Paris), for work in central and eastern Europe; by the World Intellectual Property Organization (Geneva), to assist in the development of its Franchising Guide for Developing Countries; by the International Centre for Public Enterprises (Ljubljana), to help create an international franchising databank for use in transitional economies; by the International Executive Service Corps, to introduce franchising into Morocco; by Unidroit, a UN-affiliated agency (Rome), to advise on the issue of the regulation of international franchising; and by the US Agency for International Development (for work with the Indian government, to assist black entrepreneurs in post-apartheid South Africa and to assist the privatisation agencies of the former Soviet Union). He served on the International Chamber of Commerce working group on franchising (Paris).
Mr Zeidman is the editor of Legal Aspects of Selling and Buying (Thomson/West; third edition published in 2004) and Franchising: Regulation of Buying and Selling a Franchise (Bureau of National Affairs). He also serves as a contributing or consulting editor for the International Journal of Franchising and Distribution Law, CCH's Global Franchising Alert and Getting the Deal Through - Franchise edition. He has written for such publications as The Asian Wall Street Journal and Worldlink and has been interviewed on such television programmes as The Today Show, The McNeil/Lehrer Report, WorldNet, CNN Asian Business Report and the CNN financial network, CNNfn. He served as a contributing editor for antitrust and trade regulation of The Legal Times and as a member of the advisory board of the Bureau of National Affairs' antitrust and trade regulation report. For 21 years Mr Zeidman chaired both the annual New York Law Journal distribution seminar and the annual bi-coastal franchising symposium, which then became the franchising segment of the annual PLI advanced antitrust seminars. Mr Zeidman also presented at the 27th annual ALI-ABA course, Production Distribution and Marketing.
Prior to entering private practice, Mr Zeidman served in several positions with the United States government, including trial lawyer, Federal Trade Commission; general counsel, Small Business Administration; and special assistant to the vice president of the United States.
Mr Zeidman has been admitted to practise before the US Supreme Court and in the District of Columbia, New York, Florida and Alabama. He graduated with honours from Yale College, where he was named Scholar of the First Rank. He was elected chairman of the class council of his class at Yale, received its first Distinguished Service Award and was named its representative to the Association of Yale Alumni. He received his law degree from Harvard University and also studied at the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. Mr Zeidman has served as a member of the advisory board of the Yale School of Organisation and Management; as a trustee of the Yale-China Association; and as a member of the advisory board of the DeWitt Wallace Center for Communications and Journalism of the Terry Sanford Institute for Public Policy of Duke University. He is a founding member of The Appleseed Foundation and has been appointed to the position of general counsel.
Today, DLA Piper has 4,200 lawyers in more than 70 offices in the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. With a direct presence in more than 30 countries, DLA Piper represents more clients in a broader range of geographies and practice areas than any other law firm in the world. Its principal practices include commercial contracts; corporate and finance (with particular strength in the technology, venture capital and private equity sectors); employment, pensions and benefits; finance and restructuring; franchise and distribution; intellectual property; litigation and arbitration; projects and infrastructure; real estate; regulatory and government affairs; tax (including international tax); and technology and media. The firm's clients range from multinational, Global 1000 and Fortune 500 enterprises to startups developing industry-leading technologies. They include more than half of the Fortune 250 and nearly half of the FTSE 350 or their subsidiaries.
DLA Piper is a national and international leader in franchise and distribution law, with clients ranging from entrepreneurs and startup companies to the world's largest franchisers and manufacturers. Who's Who Legal, publishers of The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers, dubs DLA Piper "the world's leading firm for franchise law". DLA Piper has gained this recognition eight consecutive times, having won the award in every year since its inception in 2005.
By valuing people, clients and community, DLA Piper is committed to making the world a better place. In 2011, DLA Piper donated more than 200,000 hours through pro bono and community engagement initiatives, for a contribution of over $110 million worldwide. This makes the firm one of the largest providers of pro bono legal services in the world. New Perimeter, DLA Piper's nonprofit affiliate, provides pro bono legal assistance to projects in the developing and post-conflict world supporting social and economic development as well as transparent, sound legal institutions. Mr Zeidman is a member of the board of New Perimeter. Learn more about New Perimeter at www.newperimeter.com.
This biography is an extract from The International Who's Who of Franchise Lawyers which can be purchased from our Shop.
It is not possible to buy entry into any Who's Who Legal publication
Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.