1851 Interviews the Highest Profile Attorneys in Franchising
Name: Stuart Hershman
Firm: DLA Piper
About DLA Piper: With lawyers located in more than 30 countries and 76 offices throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East, DLA Piper is a global law firm positioned to help companies with their legal needs throughout the world. We have practiced franchising, distribution and related areas of law for more than 40 years. The 20 partners and senior lawyers in our franchising and distribution law group average in excess of 25 years of experience in those fields.
Our clients operate in most of the business sectors that have adopted franchising as a method of distribution. They represent a broad spectrum of size and experience, from entrepreneurs and startup companies to large franchisors, manufacturers and distributors, with networks ranging from dozens to thousands of outlets. We have worked for clients in more than 100 countries and are respected around the world for our experience. Chambers and Partners calls us “The most distinguished player in the franchising area” and “the world’s most recognizable force in franchising,” commenting that DLA Piper “stands in a class of its own.” The International Who’s Who of Franchise Lawyers singles out 17 of the group’s lawyers for recognition, more than double the number from any other practice. The Franchise Times names 17 of our lawyers among its “Legal Eagles” (more than any other firm)—the top franchise lawyers in the US. The publication calls them “super lawyers, the go-to guys and problem solvers who have earned the respect of their peers, clients and advisors.”
Additionally, we serve as General Counsel to the International Franchise Association. We practice franchise and distribution law from offices in Chicago (312-368-4000), Washington, DC (202-799-4000), Northern Virginia (703-773-4000), Atlanta (404-736-7800), San Francisco (415-836-2500), Houston (713-425-8400), and Palo Alto (650-833-2000).
1851: How did you fall into franchising?
Hershman: I was an antitrust lawyer 30+ years ago when a franchise project came in the door at the firm where i was working. I was assigned the project, and then the next one, and then next one. Once I realized how much i enjoyed the area, I made it a point—30 years ago—to transition to a different law firm that specializes in franchising (i.e., Rudnick and Wolfe). I am still there (though now it is DLA Piper).
1851: What do you love most about franchising?
Hershman: The array of clients, industries, and people with whom and which I have crossed paths, the numerous different clients I have had the opportunity to counsel, the incredibly interesting projects on which I have had the opportunity to work, and all the friends I have made.
1851: What makes a great client?
Hershman: Intelligence, sense of purpose, vision, creativity, commitment to best practices, conviction and willingness to listen and do things the right way.
1851: What makes a great franchise attorney?
Hershman: Intelligence, practicality, experience, ability to listen, loyalty, candor/honesty, work ethic, empathy and sense of fairness.