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Top Franchise Lawyers: Andrew Beilfuss of Quarles & Brady

1851 Franchise’s annual compilation of great franchise attorneys.

1851 interviewed Quarles & Brady’s Andrew Beilfuss about the state of franchising, what makes a franchise attorney awesome and his advice for growth-minded franchisors.

About Andrew Beilfuss (from firm’s website):

Andrew Beilfuss is the National Chair of Quarles & Brady LLP's Franchise, Distribution, and Direct Sales Industry Groups. His national practice focuses primarily on representing franchisors, manufacturers and marketers of products and services.

Beilfuss frequently handles franchise termination matters, as well as more complex franchise cases involving issues affecting the entire franchise system. He has extensive experience handling cases involving, among other issues, termination, fraud, transfers, rights of first refusal, implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, trade secrets, covenants against competition, trademark infringement, franchisee associations, unfair competition, sales representatives, territorial infringement, and statutory relationship laws.

In addition to franchise litigation, Beilfuss frequently counsels clients on day-to-day operational issues, including contract matters, regulatory compliance. His clients range from very large franchise systems and manufacturers to start-up systems.

Beilfuss also regularly litigates complex commercial disputes outside of the franchise and distribution context. His recent experience includes representing State governments in complex disputes, businesses in operational disputes, and individuals. Beilfuss also has experience with government protests and securities disputes. 

About Quarles & Brady (from firm’s website):

For 125 years, Quarles & Brady LLP has provided quality legal services to a wide range of industries on a national stage. We've strived to learn our clients' businesses—to see the horizons through their eyes. We don't just counsel, but invest in the success of each client, partnering with them to achieve their business goals. This dedication and investment is what sets Quarles & Brady apart: we provide a true partnership, in every sense of the word.


Quarles & Brady is a multidisciplinary AmLaw 200 legal services provider with about 500 attorneys practicing at the top of the profession in Chicago, Indianapolis, Madison, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Naples, Phoenix, Tampa, Tucson, and Washington, D.C. Our national presence allows us to draw upon a group of highly skilled attorneys from all across the country to ensure the right people are working on our clients' matters. We have extensive experience working with the full industrial gamut, from cutting-edge technology to traditional manufacturing, and we have developed an extensive network of relationships with international legal counsel around the world, allowing us to effectively handle important matters for our clients on a global scale.


Our clients include major national and multinational corporations, technology companies, educational and research institutions, municipalities and government agencies, charitable organizations, industry executives, and high-net-worth individuals. They are industry leaders in technology, energy, financial services, health care, insurance, pharmaceuticals, real estate, and manufacturing, to name just a few.

1851 Franchise: What do you love most about franchising?

Andrew Beilfuss: The entrepreneurial spirit. Whether it’s an established business or a start-up franchisor, the passion that our clients’ have for building their brands is always energizing. I’m always honored to play a part in helping them reach their goals. 

1851: What makes a great franchise attorney, as in, what makes you awesome?

Beilfuss: My business and legal background, diverse advanced education, and work ethic.  In addition to my legal experience, I have advanced degrees in business and years of business experience. I understand how legal issues impact business objectives. That allows me to provide business-savvy advice and be a true partner to my clients. There are times that the overly legal response impedes business and drives up costs, without the corresponding benefit. There are other issues that demand a strong and unwavering legal response. Knowing the difference between the two and how/when to use the various legal tools to advance the business objective is the true differentiator. I also take great pride in being ultra-responsive to clients to help them head off issues before they escalate, or simply being a resource to talk through issues and help connect them to people and resources in my networks, whether legal or otherwise.   

1851: What is the most important question to ask a franchise attorney when looking to make a change in representation?

Beilfuss: How can you help me advance my brand? Doing great legal work is a given, and I take great pride in providing elite quality legal advice. But, the attorney/franchisor fit is a partnership that goes beyond legal skill. In my experience, each brand that is seeking a change has a different challenge. It may be relationship issues in the system, a litigation issue, needing a larger legal platform to support their growth, a more cost-effective approach to legal services, or other issues. It is essential to outline the challenges (both legal and otherwise) that your brand is facing, and really drill a prospective new attorney for how they can help address those challenges. As the National Chair of one of the largest franchise practices in the country, I am really proud of the platform we’ve built to assist clients of any size, from the world’s largest franchisor down to start-ups. I’m even more proud of the success stories of the clients that have retained us to move their systems forward.

1851: What is the number-one piece of advice you would give franchisors as to how to grow their brand?

Beilfuss: This is a difficult question or answer without more facts related to the unique challenges they are facing at their current stage of development. That said, I think virtually every brand would be well-advised to focus on the franchisor/franchisee relationship. So many issues that we see could be avoided with improved communication and an early discussion and understanding of the roles that each party plays in the franchise relationship. Once that understanding is established, brands generally get much better buy in to business advancement objectives, have fewer issues, and advance their development initiatives, as happy franchisees are powerful validators. We believe this issue is so important that we provide free training to our franchisor clients at the onset of every new relationship to go over their current practices and suggest process improvements, where needed.    

1851: What do you see as the top legal worry for franchisors in the next year?

Beilfuss: Dealing with and recovering from the impact of COVID-19. This pandemic has taken the world (not just the franchise world) by storm. It has and will impose significant issues to franchisors, from lost revenue to insurance recovery, to franchisee support, and even the potential (likely) delays in getting franchise registrations through the states. We have been at the forefront of these issues and have been in contact with resources for multiple aspects of our franchisor clients’ business, from ways to address financial strain on the franchisor and franchisees, to dealing with development issues related to delayed registrations, to addressing outbreak messaging. We’ve also developed handbooks, scripts, and have free resources (e.g. webinars, etc.) to help with other aspects of their businesses.