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.
Ritchie Taylor, Franchise Practice Leader at Manning Fulton: As the leader of Manning Fulton’s franchise practice, I represent franchisor clients as their strategic advisor through all phases of growth and protecting their brand. I have decades of experience helping domestic and international franchisors design and grow their franchise systems with innovative but compliant franchise disclosure documents, franchise agreements, area development agreements and master franchise agreements. Manning Fulton has one of the largest franchise practices in the Southeast, representing over 50 brands in their franchise compliance and business matters.
1851: What are some must-ask questions when franchisors and franchisees are vetting potential franchise attorneys?
Taylor: They should ask, “What makes a successful franchisor-franchisee relationship?” and “How will you as a franchise attorney add value to my business?”
In broad terms, do you have a particular case that stands out to you as an industry learning experience?
Taylor: Broussard v. Meineke Discount Muffler Shops stands out.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?
Taylor: I enjoy helping clients grow their businesses and achieve success.
What are your top concerns for the franchise industry in the next year?
Taylor: I’m concerned about the decreasing availability of commercial real estate at reasonable prices slowing development; the impact of a tight labor market; and risks from government regulation attempting to inappropriately create liability to franchisors for a franchise’s operations, such as the so-called joint employer standard.
What are you most optimistic about in the franchise industry in the next year?
Taylor: I’m optimistic about the great economic environment and the ingenuity of franchise executives to adapt to changing market conditions.