In an opinion rendered by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Gary Leydig was described by the court as “a Franchise Act maven” and “one who…actually understands franchise law.”
At every stage in the life of a franchise, a franchisor can take action that seriously impacts or even destroys your business and your investment. Gary Leydig can assist at each stage and help you maximize your investment.
During the preliminary disclosure period, a handful of franchisors continue to disseminate false or misleading information about their brands and systems. This misinformation, or outright fraud, may have pulled you into an investment you never would have otherwise made.
The franchise agreement or contract may itself present numerous problems. That these contracts are one-sided is a given. However, they may also contain provisions that are unlawful and unenforceable under state laws. Unfortunately, many franchisees assume the terms of the agreement must be lawful. That could be a very costly assumption.
During the term of the franchise, there are as many ways a franchisor can harm a franchisee as there are words on these pages. These might include changes to your territory, failure to provide promised advertising or marketing support, substantial changes to the nature or quality of the services or products sold, placement of another franchisee inside your market area or even going into head-to-head competition with you by opening a company store or by selling the same products through other retail outlets or over the internet.
Then, at the end of the franchise term, you face termination or non-renewal. Many franchisees are unaware that the law may require that the franchise be renewed and not terminated – no matter what the franchise agreement says – unless the franchisor has “good cause.” This typically means the franchisee has failed to perform in some material way.
Gary Leydig can help you maximize your investment in your franchise at each of these stages in the life of your business. We achieve this by providing sound counseling and advice, by engaging your franchisor in serious negotiations and, when necessary, through the initiation of legal actions in the courts or through arbitration.
Some of the situations where our expertise has been sought include:
- Terminations and material changes to the franchise
- Changes in or incursions into territories
- Fraud and misrepresentation
- Unfair competition
- Breach of contract
- Material changes to policy manuals or system requirements
- Franchisor competition through company-owned stores or sales through other retail outlets
- Franchisor market withdrawal
- Franchisor rebranding or system mergers
- Refusals to allow sales or succession of franchises