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Top Franchise Lawyers: Andrew Bleiman of Marks & Klein LLP

1851 Franchise’s annual compilation of great franchise attorneys.

1851 Franchise interviewed Marks & Klein LLP’s Andrew Bleiman about the state of franchising, what he loves about the industry and the challenges facing franchisors.

About Andrew Bleiman:

Andrew Bleiman graduated with a B.A. in english from the University of Texas at Austin and later went on to attend law school at the Chicago-Kent College of Law, where he earned his J.D. and graduated with honors. Bleiman has been practicing law for over 20 years and is currently working at Marks & Klein LLP as a franchise and business attorney. 

About Marks & Klein LLP:

Marks & Klein LLP is a full service, boutique business law firm. We represent privately held businesses and concentrate in the area of franchise law—representing franchisors and franchisees in litigation and arbitration actions involving breach of contract, fraud, unfair competition, trademark infringement and trade secret claims. 

1851 Franchise: What drew you to franchise law and what are some of the things you like about working in the field?

Andrew Bleiman: I got involved in franchising at a large, international law firm, where I was encouraged to delve into as many areas of practice as I could. I found the fast-paced nature of franchising to be interesting and exciting. I enjoy that franchise law involves many aspects of law and that I find myself dealing with different issues and tasks on a daily basis. 

1851: What is something you think every franchisor should know about franchising?

Bleiman: It sounds obvious, but franchisors should know and pay attention to the terms and provisions of their franchise agreements. Surprisingly, oftentimes franchisors do not have a great understanding of what their own documents actually say. 

1851: What is something you think every prospective franchisee should know about franchising before diving into the industry?

Bleiman: Franchisees should understand that the franchisor’s obligations under the franchise agreements are generally very limited. Franchisees need to understand that they must take the reins of their own businesses and work hard to achieve success. You can have the best brand in the world and do poorly, or have a below-average brand and do well, but that success — or lack thereof — is often determined by the work ethic, diligence and commitment of the franchisee. 

1851: What do you expect to see as a result of the new NLRB joint-employer ruling?

Bleiman: As much as franchisors do not want to be a joint-employer of a franchisee’s employees, franchisees do not want to be micromanaged by the franchisor in connection with employment issues. Hopefully, in light of recent developments, we now have more clarity on this issue and we can move past it. With the upcoming election, we will see. 

1851: What do you see as the biggest or most interesting topic in franchising over the next year and why?

Bleiman: The continued launch and roll-out of new franchise systems without the proper infrastructure, history or track record of success, which impacts the viability of those concepts and hurts the industry overall.