Franchise 2017: Analysis

In this edition we identify 542 leading lawyers from 73 countries, whom our research has highlighted for their expertise in franchising law and their experience assisting clients in the establishment, maintenance and growth of their franchise businesses. The individuals listed here boast a diverse range of expertise encompassing compliance matters, strategic counsel and dispute resolution, and have come highly recommended by market sources. 


Thought Leaders
1. John H Pratt Hamilton Pratt, Warwick
2. Mark Abell Bird & Bird, London
3. Karsten Metzlaff Noerr, Hamburg
4. Marco Hero SGP Rechtsanwälte, Munich
5. Chris Wormald Fieldfisher, London
6. Babette Märzheuser-Wood Dentons, London
7. David Bond Fieldfisher, London
8. Anders Fernlund Advokatfirman NOVA AB, Stockholm
9. Melissa Murray Bird & Bird, Dubai
The Thought Leaders are those individuals who received the highest number of nominations from peers, corporate counsel and other market sources this year. Our research has identified them as being truly outstanding practitioners and the very best in their field.

Leading Firms

Who's Who Legal does not list law firms, only individual lawyers. The leading firms are those in each region whose listed practitioners received the most total nominations in our research.

International commercial law firm BIRD & BIRD is a major player in the region and achieves an impressive seven listings.  
Mark Abell leads the firm’s global franchising practice and is a key figure at the forefront of the UK market. He is “very knowledgeable” across a broad range of franchising matters, and stands out for his strategic commercial insights and expertise in international expansion and business restructuring.
Melissa Murray is a leading practitioner in the UAE, known for her “prompt, thorough work”. According to one client, “She is a real asset in situations that can be tricky to manoeuvre and is very helpful in her detail-orientated approach to overcoming sensitive issues.”
Graeme Payne is widely recommended for his vast experience assisting franchises expand internationally, particularly into emerging markets. Peers speak highly of his expertise in a broad range of franchise models and his superb strategic counsel.

FIELDFISHER sees four practitioners listed here.
The “outstanding” Chris Wormald co-chairs the franchising group and is a leading name in the London market. He advises clients from the hospitality and restaurant industries and is commended for his “particular and detail-orientated approach” to joint venture and franchise expansion strategies.
David Bond also co-heads the franchising practice and impresses clients with his “clear, focused advice and great attention to detail”.
Gordon Drakes is widely endorsed for his strategic approach to business development and IP management. According to one peer, “There is absolutely no doubt that he is a rising star in the field of franchise law.”
Andrew Dodd is an excellent and “very technical” litigator, commended for his high-quality advice and representation at all stages of a dispute proceeding. Peers speak highly of his strategic mind and acute ability to identify potential risks.

Specialist franchise firm HAMILTON PRATT achieves two listings in the region.
John Pratt is at the forefront of the European market. He is an “extremely talented and experienced franchise lawyer”, described by sources as “the number one” lawyer for franchise agreements. 
Emma Lusty is well thought of in the market and is endorsed for her expertise in franchise sale and purchase.

Italian firm BUFFA BORTOLOTTI & MATHIS – STUDI LEGALI ASSOCIATI sees two practitioners listed.
Fabio Bortolotti stands out for his exceptional knowledge of Italian franchise law. He is a highly experienced practitioner who is commended by peers and clients alike for his “excellent analytical skills and thorough, practical approach”.
Silvia Bortolotti draws praise for her outstanding expertise in contract negotiation and drafting. She has extensive experience of franchise agreements in both domestic and international contexts.

Boutique disputes firm HANOTIAU & VAN DEN BERG is home to two highly regarded lawyers in the franchise space.
Pascal Hollander is “the best franchise lawyer in Belgium”, effuses one peer. He has a well-established arbitration practice and draws praise for his expert handling of high-stakes disputes.
Pierre Vermeire is highlighted for his intricate knowledge of the law of commercial agency. His approach is “very pragmatic and flexible to the needs of our business”, says one client.

Two lawyers from full-service German firm BUSE HEBERER FROMM are recognised here.
Dagmar Waldzus is “well known on the circuit” for her meticulous contract drafting abilities and strategic counsel on business structuring and expansion.
Jasper Hagenberg is a prominent name in the German market. He receives endorsements from peers around the world for his expertise in competition and trademark law. He represents franchisors from a broad range of industries and is commended for his superb standard of client service.  

Other Leading Individuals

We highlight individuals at other firms who also scored very highly in our research.


At DENTONS, Babette Märzheuser-Wood draws praise for her strategic insights and strong transactional expertise. She assists clients with global expansion and has particular expertise in emerging markets across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.


Olivia Gast of GAST AVOCATS occupies a prominent position at the forefront of the French market. She has a well-established practice and enjoys an excellent reputation for her work in the space. 

At GM AVOCATS, managing partner Gilles Menguy is highly visible in the market and boasts a strong franchise practice. He receives international endorsements for his strategic advice and “outstanding” expertise in the area.


At NOERR, Karsten Metzlaff is a leading authority on competition law matters relating to franchise law. He is described as “one of the very best” franchise lawyers in the European market.

SGP RECHTSANWÄLTE’s Marco Hero enjoys a fabulous reputation in the market for his “efficient approach” and “good knowledge of business and international issues”. One peer refers to him as “the best franchise lawyer in Germany”.


KENNEDY VAN DER LAAN is home to the “outstanding” Martine de Koning, an exceptionally knowledgeable authority on strategic competition law relating to franchising. She represents domestic franchisors in their international expansion plans and also assists foreign clients with establishing a presence in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

At DE GRAVE DE MÖNNINK SPLIET ADVOCATEN, Tessa de Mönnink impresses clients with “her great knowledge, mastery of franchising law and her ability to implement our wishes”. They add, “She is an expert in her field and it shows.”

South Africa

Eugene Honey of ADAMS & ADAMS is a highly regarded practitioner and leading light in the South African market. He provides sophisticated counsel and is rated highly for his expertise in IP matters relating to franchise work.


ADVOKATFIRMAN NOVA’s star franchising lawyer Anders  Fernlund is a trusted representative to a broad range of Swedish and international clients. He has a well-developed practice and receives wide-ranging endorsements for his “outstanding” work in the space.

North America

Thought Leaders
1. Lee Plave Plave Koch, Reston
2. Larry Weinberg Cassels Brock & Blackwell, Toronto
3. Rupert Barkoff Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, Atlanta
4. Andrew Loewinger Nixon Peabody, Washington
5. Jonathan Solish Bryan Cave, Santa Monica
6. Susan Grueneberg Snell & Wilmer, Los Angeles
7. Erik Wulff DLA Piper, Washington
8. Rochelle Spandorf Davis Wright Tremaine, Los Angeles
9. Philip Zeidman DLA Piper, Washington
10. Peter Snell Gowling WLG, Vancouver
11. Jennifer Dolman Osler Hoskin & Harcourt, Toronto
12. Carl Zwisler Gray Plant Mooty, Washington
13. David Koch Plave Koch, Reston
14. Ann Hurwitz Baker McKenzie, Dallas

Leading Firms

With an exceptional 17 lawyers recognised here, GRAY PLANT MOOTY is a dominant presence in the North American market.
Carl Zwisler is an esteemed expert in matters relating to master franchising agreements, management contracts and joint venture agreements. Market commentators say he is “very solid in international matters” and a real asset to foreign franchisors entering the US market.  
Mark Kirsch is described as “an outstanding attorney who is extremely knowledgeable and practical”. Peers highlight his prowess in sale and acquisition transactions and his “extensive experience” in transactions involving private equity companies. 
Peter Klarfeld is highlighted for his sophisticated expertise across a broad spectrum of issues and the seamless advice he provides franchisors. He is a formidable opponent in litigation and arbitration proceedings and a trusted representative to a range of major clients. 
Gaylen Knack receives global recognition as “an excellent lawyer”, particularly in relation to franchise system structuring. “He is very business-orientated and brings that perspective to the table in every negotiation or discussion”, say clients.

Global heavyweight DLA PIPER achieves 16 listings in the region.
Thought Leader Philip Zeidman is “legendary for his work in franchising across the world”, say peers. He represents US and foreign companies in international transactions and is “certainly a longstanding icon” at the forefront at the franchising field.
Peers say Erik Wulff is “an institution of franchising law”. He draws praise for his exceptional strategic counsel and vast experience in global brand expansion. 
Stuart Hershman is a “very impressive” practitioner. He receives wide-ranging endorsements for his vast expertise in structuring, restructuring and implementing franchise programmes.
Bret Lowell is a longstanding expert with intricate knowledge of international franchise agreements and licencing matters. He is a seasoned negotiator and is commended by peers for his strong dispute resolution practice.

Specialist franchise firm PLAVE KOCH sees eight impressive practitioners listed here.
Lee Plave is a prominent figure at the forefront of the market. He has broad expertise in matters relating to franchising agreements, technology and private equity transactions. One client describes him as “a well-rounded operator in all areas of business. He thinks outside the box, is steeped in nuances and is well-versed in the intricacies of franchise law.”
David Koch comes highly recommended by peers and clients alike for his vast expertise in structured franchise programmes, transactional matters and licence agreements. According to one client, “David is one of the smartest and best attorneys I have ever worked with. He is very responsive and provides legal advice to make the business move forward.”
Leslie Curran impresses market sources with her expertise in franchise structuring and compliance matters. One client describes her as “extremely knowledgeable, down-to-earth and very pragmatic when it comes to the business realities of our company”.

Seven lawyers from boutique franchisee firm DADY & GARDNER are highlighted here.
Ronald Gardner Jr enjoys a strong reputation in the market for his strong disputes practice. He specialises in representing franchisees and gains international endorsements as a go-to litigator in this space. 
Michael Dady is a well-established franchising lawyer and is “very well known for his work on the franchisee side”. He represents a broad range of clients who commend his strategic commercial insights.

Research identifies six outstanding lawyers from NIXON PEABODY.
Andrew Loewinger is a revered franchise specialist with “great knowledge of international franchise law”. He is a go-to authority on both inbound and outbound transactions and boasts vast experience advising franchisors from all over the world on strategic matters relating to international expansion.
Experienced practitioner Arthur Pressman stands out in the market as “the go-to arbitrator for all manner of franchise disputes”.
The “excellent” Steven Feirman counsels clients in matters relating to the domestic and international expansion of franchise systems. He boasts sophisticated expertise of related competition law matters and comes highly regarded for his work in the space.

BRYAN CAVE sees six practitioners listed here.
In the US, Jonathan Solish is widely regarded as “one of the best litigators in the country”. He has a well-established disputes practice and is commended by peers and clients alike for his expert handling of business-critical situations. 
Kenneth Costello is a longstanding fixture in the market. He draws praise for his phenomenal expertise in compliance, franchise structuring and associated IP matters.

Five lawyers from KILPATRICK TOWNSEND & STOCKTON are included in this chapter.
Market sources describe Rupert Barkoff as “a truly exceptional franchise lawyer”. He is an “extremely experienced” practitioner and a leading figure in the international marketplace, known for his expert handling of sensitive franchisor-franchisee matters and detailed, practical advice.
Christopher Bussert impresses clients with his “thorough and effective” counsel and “responsive and collaborative” style of delivery. He is a highly experienced practitioner with sophisticated knowledge of trademark use in franchising contexts.

Two lawyers from HAYNES AND BOONE are listed in this chapter.
Deborah Coldwell has a “stellar reputation as a franchise litigator”. She represents franchisors in a range of disputes and is praised for her commercial approach and client-orientated outcomes.
Robert Lauer is a highly regarded specialist in franchising law. He represents major international clients from the hotel and restaurant industries and is well known for his expertise in sophisticated transactional matters.

GOWLING WLG achieves two listings.
Peter Snell is an expert in international franchise expansion with vast expertise in strategic planning and IP matters for a range of major clients. Peers hold him in high regard as an “extremely experienced practitioner within the field of franchising law”.
Debi Sutin stands out for her broad experience of Canadian franchise law, her pragmatism in complex disputes and her commercial approach to franchise expansion.

Two GREENBERG TRAURIG practitioners are featured in this year’s research.
Peers do not hesitate to recommend David Oppenheim, who is well known for his “knowledgeable and fair approach” to negotiating franchise agreements, compliance and M&A matters.
Alan Greenfield has extensive experience counselling domestic franchise systems in their international expansion and is a trusted representative of some of the most established franchise systems in the market. He assists clients with their operations all over the world and is described by peers as “an excellent transactional lawyer”.

Other Leading Individuals


At CASSELS BROCK & BLACKWELL, Larry Weinberg is “a leading member of the Canadian franchise bar”, say peers. He excels in his ability to provide sophisticated legal counsel on complex franchising and distribution issues, with peers describing him as “a top lawyer for business-critical franchising matters”.

Jennifer Dolman of OSLER HOSKIN & HARCOURT is a pre-eminent practitioner in the space. She is widely endorsed as a “top franchise litigator” and draws praise for her quick, analytical responses.


At SNELL & WILMER, Susan Grueneberg is known as an “outstanding franchising lawyer” who is “exceptionally knowledgeable on transactional issues”. She counsels domestic and international clients on matters including regulatory compliance, M&A and franchisor-franchisee relationship issues.

Rochelle Spandorf is a leading name at DAVIS WRIGHT TREMAINE. She enjoys an outstanding reputation in the market for her expertise in corporate franchising matters, deep knowledge of regulatory frameworks and effective negotiation skills.

BAKER MCKENZIE’s Ann Hurwitz is “outstanding” in her franchise structuring and implementation abilities. She is a longstanding expert in the field and represents a broad range of household name companies in the hospitality and retail industries.

Michael Joblove of GENOVESE JOBLOVE & BATTISTA is highly regarded as “an extremely effective litigator”, particularly for his experience representing major international franchisors including Burger King and TGI Friday’s. 

FAEGRE BAKER DANIELS’ franchise group leader Brian Schnell has a “tremendous practice”, particularly as counsel to emerging franchisors from a broad range of sectors, and is “always a pleasure to negotiate with”, say market sources.  

At QUARLES & BRADY, John Dienelt is a distinguished practitioner, described by peers as “one of the deans of franchising law”. He is a “superb litigator” and a highly sought after representative in business-critical disputes.

Michael Lindsey is a leading practitioner at STEINBRECHER & SPAN. Market sources highlight him as an “outstanding” litigator and a “very talented franchise lawyer” in transactional matters including asset purchase and area development.

CHENG COHEN’s Amy Cheng is warmly recommended by peers and clients alike for her transactional expertise. One peer comments that she is an “excellent” representative to US and foreign franchisors.

Beata Krakus is “one of the stars” of franchise law at GREENSFELDER HEMKER & GALE. She counsels US and foreign clients on franchise registration and implementation, as well as area development agreements, and stands out for her “solutions-driven and pragmatic approach”.  

Rest of the World

Thought Leaders
1. Penny Ward Baker McKenzie, Melbourne
2. Stephen Giles Norton Rose Fulbright Australia, Melbourne
3. Luiz Henrique do Amaral Dannemann Siemsen Advogados, Rio de Janeiro
4. Jorge Mondragón González Calvillo SC, Mexico City
5. Philip Colman MST Lawyers, Mount Waverly
6. Srijoy Das Archer & Angel, New Delhi

Leading Firms

Melbourne-based MST LAWYERS achieves three listings in the Australian market.
Philip Colman is “knowledgeable, experienced and practical in his approach”. He leads the firm’s dispute resolution group and is highly regarded for his sophisticated litigation strategies and expert handling of sensitive negotiations.
John Sier’s deep expertise in corporate growth strategies and experience establishing networks across North America, Asia and the Middle East make him a firm favourite among major corporations from around the world.
Raynia Theodore is an esteemed expert in franchise agreements, network structuring and acquisition matters. She is “engaging, knowledgeable and a pleasure to deal with”, say peers.

Three outstanding lawyers from full-service firm HWL EBSWORTH are highlighted here.
Tony Garrisson leads the firm’s franchising practice. He is an expert in establishing, structuring and restructuring franchise systems, and he impresses clients with his “expert advice alighted with our values and objectives”.
Derek Sutherland is a “highly specialised and engaged” practitioner with “superb technical skills”. One peer describes him as “the leading commercial franchising specialist in Australia”. 
Sean O'Donnell receives wide-ranging endorsements as a leading name in Australia’s franchise market. He is a dispute resolution specialist who stands out for his sophisticated style of delivery and expert handling of complex cases.

Full service Mexican firm GONZÁLEZ CALVILLO SC achieves four listings. 
Jorge Mondragón “is extremely knowledgeable on matters related to Mexican franchise law and really stands out for his practical approach”, effuse peers. 
Pablo Hooper is referred to as “the best in Mexico” for franchise-related IP advice. He represents Mexican and international clients and draws praise for his broad expertise and top-quality counsel. 

Regional heavyweight DANNEMANN SIEMSEN ADVOGADOS sees four practitioners listed here.
Luiz Henrique O do Amaral is a leading name in the Brazilian market. He impresses peers with his flawless knowledge of IP issues relating to sophisticated franchise transactions.
Luciana Gonçalves Bassani stands out as a “pragmatic and solution-orientated” lawyer with meticulous contract-drafting skills and deep knowledge of Brazilian franchise law. 

Boutique firm KHQ LAWYERS sees two impressive practitioners listed here.
Iain Irvine “is a true leader in the franchise legal market”, say market sources. Clients commend his strong understanding of the industries they operate in and his “extensive knowledge bank” in relation to compliance and structuring advice.
Peter Buberis is a prominent and “highly responsive” lawyer in the market. He impresses peers and clients alike with his “strong client base and impressive understanding of the industry”.

RIBEIRO HUI is home to two highly regarded franchise lawyers.
Peers describe Dominic Hui as “the very best franchise lawyer in China” and provides top-quality advice to franchisors entering the Chinese market. He is a “go-to” name in the region and is commended for his exceptional level of client service.
Shirley Kwok regularly represents clients in international franchise transactions and is known for her top-quality contractual advice.

Other Leading Individuals


Penny Ward is a leading light in the region and head of franchising at BAKER MCKENZIE’s Melbourne office. She counsels Australian and international clients on a broad range of issues and is “well recognised for her outstanding knowledge of international expansion issues”.

NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT AUSTRALIA is home to Stephen Giles, a highly experienced lawyer within the field of franchising. He has been involved in a number of significant matters relating to major international franchises, is well versed in negotiating sophisticated franchise agreements and has deep knowledge of competition law.

At HOLMAN WEBB Corinne Attard is praised for her solution-focused approach and deep commercial insights into complex franchising matters. She counsels clients from the health and food and beverage industries, among others.


At TRIANA URIBE & MICHELSEN, Juan Carlos Uribe is “the go-to” lawyer for contractual and IP matters relating to franchise systems in Colombia.


OLIVARES is home to Gustavo Alcocer, a prominent name in the Mexican market who impresses peers with his impressive transactional expertise and his insightful approach to complex commercial issues.


Srijoy Das is a leading name at ARCHER & ANGEL. Peers say “he really knows his stuff” and describe him as “the very best” franchise lawyer in India.

New Zealand

Stewart Germann of STEWART  GERMANN LAW OFFICE is at the forefront of the franchise market in New Zealand and receives wide-ranging endorsements for his phenomenal depth of expertise in this area.

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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.

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