Franchise and Distribution Experience
Franchise Group Assists Franchisor in Implementing New Program, Defeating Franchise Challenge
One of our franchisor clients wanted to implement a new program in its system. While the program was not provided for in the existing franchise agreements, the franchisor wanted all franchisees to participate in, and pay all fees associated with, the program. We assisted the client in structuring the program so as to fall within the provisions of the existing franchise agreements. When the fees associated with the program were nevertheless challenged by nearly two dozen franchisees, our transaction and litigation groups worked together to develop a strategy that ultimately led to the dismissal of the claims of more than half the franchisees, and settlement with the remaining franchisees without any change in the program or program fees.
Negotiation of New Financing Arrangements
One of three owners of a franchise system Larkin Hoffman represented wanted to “cash out.” Larkin Hoffman first assisted in negotiating an agreement with one owner to sell his interest, then negotiated the venture capital financing that redeemed that shareholder. Two years later, the team assisted the franchisor in simultaneously closing three transactions to refinance the venture capital financing with bank financing and equity.
Franchisor Saves Market, Protects Customer List From Competitor
A franchisor client contacted Larkin Hoffman after it received a letter from one of its largest multi-unit franchisees, indicating they were closing all their stores, and demanding a six figure payment to protect from having more than 10,000 customer names and information delivered to a competitor. On one day’s notice, we obtained an injunction, prohibiting disclosure of the confidential information. That injunction led to the client taking over the entire business.
Franchisor Restructures Its National Franchise Program
Larkin Hoffman's franchise team advised a client with a long-standing, nationwide franchise system in restructuring its franchise program when it was acquired by a Fortune 500 company. Throughout the conversion process, the team also assisted the client in dealing with existing franchisees’ issues and concerns, with the objective of minimizing disputes, and maximizing franchisee buy-in to the new program.
Courts Grant Two Separate Franchisors’ Motions to Dismiss Lawsuits and Enforce Contractual Mediation Provision
Despite having mandatory mediation and binding arbitration provisions in their franchise agreement, two franchisees of two different franchisors we represent brought suit in California, 18 months apart, seeking both damages and injunctive relief against our franchisor clients. In each case, we had the lawsuit dismissed, and each dismissal led to favorable settlements for our clients.
Protection of Franchisor Confidential Information
A national franchisor contacted Larkin Hoffman when their Minneapolis franchisee ceased operations and transferred customer records to a competitor.
Rewriting Operating Manuals -- The Devil is in the Details
An international franchise company turned to Larkin Hoffman to help rewrite, and in some cases create, operating manuals for multiple brands.
Streamlining Franchisor Contracting Process
An international franchisor seeking to streamline its contracting process turned to Larkin Hoffman.
Withdrawal from Selling Group
When an international distribution company needed advice about its rights related to withdrawal from a selling group, the company turned to Larkin Hoffman.
Negotiation of Cooperative Turnover Agreement
Larkin Hoffman negotiates a cooperative turnover agreement between a franchisor and its lender.
Negotiation of New Agreements with Master Franchisees
Larkin Hoffman negotiates agreements to repurchase master franchisees.
Mediation Between Franchisor and Multi-Unit Franchisee
Larkin Hoffman mediates an agreement between a multi-unit franchisee and its franchisor following the franchisee’s defection from the system.
FTC Franchise Rule Enforcement
Larkin Hoffman assists a client in FTC Franchise Rule enforcement action.
Acquisition of Franchise System
Larkin Hoffman represents a client interested in identifying and acquiring a franchise system in a specific industry.