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.
David Almeida, Class-Action Partner at Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP: I focus my nationwide practice on navigating clients through class-action lawsuits, complex business litigation and regulatory investigations across a variety of industry sectors, including retail, telecommunications, marketing and advertising, hospitality and healthcare. I graduated with my J.D. from Cornell University Law School and completed my undergraduate degree at Salisbury University.
Benesch is an AmLaw 200 business law firm known for providing highly sophisticated legal services to national and international clients that include public and private, middle-market and emerging companies, as well as private equity funds, entrepreneurs, not-for-profit organizations, trusts and estates.
Our firm celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2018 and continues to expand geographically and grow steadily. Since 2015, we have had extraordinary success in welcoming many new attorneys, increasing our number of attorneys firm-wide to our current total of 225, opening a Chicago office that is now nearly 50 attorneys strong, and establishing a San Francisco office in early 2019.
1851: What are some must-ask questions when franchisors and franchisees are vetting potential franchise attorneys?
Almeida: Clients need to inquire about a franchise attorney’s experience with the given issue, as well as their value proposition – what is the client getting for their money? Their attorney should be responsive, agile, business-oriented and practical.
1851: In broad terms, do you have a particular case that stands out to you as an industry learning experience?
Almeida: There are several, but those that are currently top of mind currently are media transparency investigations we are conducting for franchise systems.
1851: What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?
Almeida: Devising creative and outside-of-the-box solutions to seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
1851: What are your top concerns for the franchise industry in the next year?
Almeida: My top concerns involve greater transparency in the media buying ecosystem.
1851: What are you most optimistic about in the franchise industry in the next year?