Brian Loffredo is an attorney with Offit Kurman, P.A., a mid-Atlantic law firm. Brian has assisted hundreds of franchisees nationwide with their FDD and franchise agreement reviews. If you have questions about this article or would like an initial consultation to discuss your FDD review, call him at (301) 575-0345. A typical FDD review can be completed for under $2,000.00.
Over the past 17 years, I have assisted hundreds of franchisees with their FDD reviews. In the past, many franchisees were not interested in understanding their FDDs and opted to simply sign and move on. However, the growing trend for franchisees is to have their FDDs reviewed by experienced franchise counsel. The increase in FDD reviews can likely be attributed to many factors, including the increased coverage of franchise failures in the news. Additionally, many franchisors now strongly suggest that their prospects obtain FDD reviews to avoid conflict later on in the relationship. Whatever the reason, FDD reviews in Virginia and Maryland appear to be on the rise.
For franchisees, the question is what value they will receive when having their FDD reviewed. The answer to this question depends, of course, on the particular attorney they hire. One important reason franchisees obtain a review is so that they can understand their obligations under the franchise documents and negotiate changes where applicable. An experienced franchise attorney can spot the correct issues and effectively work with the franchisor to make changes. If the franchisor will negotiate, then franchisees can get additional value and protections added to their relationship. Of course, some franchisors are unwilling to negotiate changes. However, most franchisors will correct and clarify issues that are not clear. An effective franchise attorney can spot clarifications and changes that should be made, and can also identify irregular practices to their clients.
Franchise attorneys can also serve another important purpose; that is, to educate and advise their clients on the nature of the franchise relationship. Many franchisees are completely unaware of how franchises actually work. Some franchisees already have a business background, while others are completely new to the business world. Each potential franchisee comes to the table with different skills, beliefs, and tolerances. An experienced franchise attorney can tailor his representation to fit his client’s needs and help his client fully invest himself or herself in the concept of a franchise.
The best way to understand how a franchise attorney will approach an FDD review is to call the attorney and find out. A simple 10-minute call can give a franchisee a good sense of the attorney’s personality, approach, and compatibility.
Brian is a commercial litigator with more than seventeen years of experience representing clients in the franchise industry. Brian routinely assists clients during the licensing and franchise/FDD review process, as well as with the resolution of franchise-related disputes, including those involving terminations, territorial disputes, fraud, disclosure/relationship law violations and breaches of contract.
In addition, Brian represents and counsels clients in the construction industry on matters involving litigation, construction defects, licensing and compliance, collections, mechanic’s liens, payment bond and Miller Act claims, contract drafting, and compliance with home improvement laws and other construction industry laws.
ABOUT OFFIT KURMAN
Offit Kurman is one of the fastest-growing, full-service law firms in the Mid-Atlantic region. With over 135 attorneys offering a comprehensive range of services in virtually every legal category, the firm is well positioned to meet the needs of dynamic businesses and the people who own and operate them. Our eleven offices serve individual and corporate clients in the Virginia, Washington, DC, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York City. At Offit Kurman, we are our clients’ most trusted legal advisors, professionals who help maximize and protect business value and personal wealth. In every interaction, we consistently maintain our clients’ confidence by remaining focused on furthering their objectives and achieving their goals in an efficient manner. Trust, knowledge, confidence—in a partner, that’s perfect.
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