Franchise Legal Player Awards | Q&A with Tom Spadea
Franchise Legal Player Awards | Q&A with Tom Spadea

1851 Interviews the Highest Profile Attorneys in Franchising

Name: Tom Spadea

Firm: Spadea Lignana


About Spadea Lignana: We are a national, boutique, full-service, business law firm with decades of experience. Our attorneys focus on real world solutions and always consider the return on investment for every legal dollar spent by our clients.



1851: How did you fall into franchising?

Spadea: I started in franchising prior to becoming an attorney as a franchise and business broker. I moved from being a franchise broker to a franchise development and real estate executive at a few well known national brands while going to law school at night. My claim to fame is that I think I am the only franchise attorney that has actually sold a franchise.

1851: What do you love most about franchising?

Spadea: The people and the success stories. Done right, franchising is an exciting business and growth strategy for business owners. It allows the franchisor to exponentially grow a concept using the capital, passion and skills of other entrepreneurs. For the franchisee, it allows them to step into a system where their capital and skills are leveraged to bring them more success than they could otherwise achieve going it alone. The entire system is based on a series of formal and informal agreements and covenants that set the boundaries of the relationships. As an attorney, what is there not to love about franchising. Just about every interaction needs to be documented, vetted for regulatory compliance and negotiated. We get to help clients in the biggest and most important business decisions they will ever make. The energy, enthusiasm and talents of our clients are endless and infectious.

1851: What makes a great client?

Spadea: Someone who is open minded, flexible and willing to listen. Also, clients who want to do the right thing by everyone in their business ecosystem. For franchisors that includes their franchisees, suppliers and customers.

Great franchisors are those with a long term outlook on value. Those companies also make great clients as they appreciate the time and energy it takes to build a strong foundation.

1851: What makes a great franchise attorney?

Spadea: Attorneys who understand their clients and are active listeners. Great franchise attorneys are great problem solvers. The client has business objectives and goals and our role as their attorneys are to assist them in achieving those goals effectively and efficiently. Like great franchisors, great franchise attorneys have a long term outlook and are always trying to think through the impact their advice will have on the entire business ecosystem of their clients.