As part of its annual Franchise Legal Players issue, 1851 profiled the top franchise attorneys in the field to shine a spotlight on the work they do for the franchise industry.
1851: Tell us about your background and your firm.
Charles Internicola, Partner, The Internicola Law Firm, PC: We are a team of entrepreneurs that represents entrepreneurs. We believe that all emerging brands can win big at franchising and we provide emerging franchise brands with the legal support they need, resources to grow and strategies to win at franchising.
1851: What are some must-ask questions when franchisors and franchisees are vetting potential franchise attorneys?
Internicola: For franchisors, vetting should be focused on the capabilities, level of support and core beliefs that a potential franchise attorney and his or her team offers and believes in. Equally important to the technical aspects of preparing and updating a FDD are factors that include the core beliefs of your franchise legal team, whether or not they measure their success through your success, and how well they will support your team and the growth of your brand.
For franchisees, the vetting process should include an evaluation of the franchise attorney’s experience in reviewing FDDs and whether or not the franchise attorney possesses the right mindset to understand your individual goals and how they may or may not blend in with your franchise investment.
1851: In broad terms, do you have a particular case that stands out to you as an industry learning experience?
Internicola: Like many things in life, the best legal lessons and learning experiences have not come from one big case or one big event but, rather, the many cases (big and small) that, over time, have added up to a great knowledge base that we leverage for our clients. The most important experiences come from the countless calls, discussions, meetings and experiences that our clients share with us as we work together.
1851: What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?
Internicola: Winning relationships with our clients. We enjoy being a part of the entrepreneurial journey of our clients.
1851: What are your top concerns for the franchise industry in the next year?
Internicola: Overall, I am concerned that too many start-up franchisors lack the necessary support and capital to succeed and properly support their franchisees.
1851: What are you most optimistic about in the franchise industry in the next year?
Internicola: Franchising as a model works and, overall, the franchise industry itself is supported by some great organizations, professionals, and attorneys.