1851 Interviews the Highest Profile Attorneys in Franchising
Name: Elizabeth Sigety
Firm: Fox Rothschild
About Fox Rothschild: Fox Rothschild LLP is a national law firm that delivers strategic, practical solutions for clients ranging from family-run businesses to multinational corporations. Home to more than 800 attorneys in 22 offices coast to coast, Fox offers clients a team of bright, creative, accomplished professionals in 60 practice areas who appreciate the changing nature of today’s competitive business environment. The Franchising, Licensing & Distribution Practice is comprised of a diverse group of attorneys who know the business and the law and are well-positioned to address the needs of all franchise and distribution companies, whether based on industrial, retail, food, entertainment, service, technology or home-based businesses.
1851: How did you fall into franchising?
Sigety: My family were area developers for Houlihan’s for many years. When that began, my husband asked me to take a look at the Franchise Agreement he was being asked to sign. As I had no experience in franchising (indeed had not been an attorney for long), I told him it was horribly one sided and he should not sign it! Of course, since then I have learned that franchise agreements are generally written the way they are to protect the brand and the entire system.
1851: What do you love most about franchising?
Sigety: Many things. I think the two things that immediately come to mind are, from the franchisee’s perspective, giving an individual a chance to own and operate their own business in an industry they love – even if they have never done it before. Also, for an emerging franchisor, a solid model to expand their business.
1851: What makes a great client?
Sigety: Either one with prior experience with building and operating a business and working with attorneys when doing that OR one that is willing and happy to learn (and follow or at least carefully consider the advice of counsel).
1851: What makes a great franchise attorney?
Sigety: One that is not TOO MUCH of an attorney – that can incorporate the mandates of the law with practical business considerations when giving advice to his or her client.