Name: Ryan Palmer
Firm: Gray Plant Mooty
About Your Firm: One of the world’s leading franchise and distribution law practices, lawyers in Minneapolis and Washington, D.C., offices serve franchisors and master franchisees at all stages of development
Website: www.gpmlaw.com https://www.gpmlaw.com/People/Ryan-Palmer
What makes your firm stand out as a resource for the franchise industry?
We work as a team to solve problems for franchisors. Our expertise goes beyond registration and disclosure issues – franchisors frequently call upon us to handle M&A and financing transactions, real estate and leasing matters, employment issues, intellectual property disputes, and everything else a franchisor encounters.
What is the No. 1 thing a franchisor/franchisee should look for when identifying the right franchise attorney?
Look for someone who listens and can understand your business. Franchising is a complex business model and tailoring solutions to meet your business objectives is important. Your solution probably looks different from another franchisor’s.
When it comes to your work, what makes you happiest?
Helping someone expand their business – whether through franchising, licensing, joint ventures, or company-store growth – is rewarding. I love attending new store openings and watching my client tell people the story of the brand.
What are your top concerns for the franchise industry in the next year?
Unit-level economics are the key to successful franchising; we’re going to see continued pressure at that level from rising labor costs, and in some markets, occupancy costs. We’ll see more data breaches and more franchisors facing consumer claims resulting from the loss of their information. Finally, restaurant systems are going to continue their struggle to figure out delivery.
What are you most optimistic about in the franchise industry in the next year?
Franchisors are great problem solvers and the best of them are ready for the challenges of 2018. The fundamentals of the economy look good and if the tax cuts increase consumer spending as anticipated, many franchise systems will benefit.