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  • Jeff Vail

Franchise Litigation - Take on your Franchisor and Win

A franchise can be great business investment—and they are so prevalent in our economic system for good reason. But a certain percentage of franchisees have horror stories to tell about their franchisor. They can feel trapped by lengthy franchise agreements, handbooks, and Uniform Franchise Offering Circulars (UFOCs) or Franchise Disclosure Documents (FDDs).

If you have a problem with your franchisor, we can help - we have the experience and skills to help, and we can often do so on a hybrid or contingency fee basis. At Vail Law, we have a significant track record of representing franchisees in litigation or arbitration against their franchisor—not only protecting franchisees but obtaining significant damages awards against their corporate-franchisors:

Quizno’s Litigation: we’ve taken on one of the largest franchisors and won. When the Quizno’s tried to cut payments and squeeze out our franchisee, we filed a lawsuit alleging breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract. Not only did we win at trial—$2 million—but we prevailed on our alter ego claims, defeating Quizno’s attempts to leave only an asset-less shell corporation liable for their abusive tactics.

Dental Franchise Arbitration: we’ve also arbitrated a major dispute where a franchisor tried to terminate our client’s franchise. After a 2-week AAA arbitration hearing, we obtained a net award of over $4.6 million for our client.

Internal Franchise Arbitration Systems: We’ve also represented one franchisee in arbitration against another franchisee that was infringing on their territory. Taking advantage of the national franchisor’s good faith efforts to help resolve the conflict efficiently and internally, we arbitrated the dispute and won—not only an injunction against the infringing behavior, but also money damages and attorney fees.

If you are a franchise owner, and have experienced serious issues with your franchisor, other franchisees, or other competitors, contact Vail Law to discuss your potential claims. We’re frequently able (including in the examples above) to represent clients on a hybrid, flat, or contingency-fee basis, nullifying the franchisor’s financial advantage.

In addition, give us a call to talk about subscribing to our “Business Risks” plan—likely all the legal services your franchise will need on a regular basis for a fixed and very affordable $399/month.

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