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Top Franchise Lawyers: Elizabeth Sigety of Fox Rothschild LLP

1851 Franchise’s annual compilation of great franchise attorneys.

1851 interviewed Elizabeth Sigety of Fox Rothschild LLP about the state of franchising, what makes a franchise attorney awesome and her advice for growth-minded franchisors.

About Elizabeth Sigety:

Elizabeth Sigety graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in political science and later went to attend law school at the University of Chicago. Currently, Sigety dips her toes in many aspects of the law — she’s Partner at Fox Rothschild LLC, Co-Chair of the Emerging Companies Practice and even a committee member of the International Franchise Association Women’s Franchise Committee. She is well-rounded in the industry and focuses on emerging and middle-market businesses including franchise, life science, hospitality and technology companies.

About Fox Rothschild (from firm’s website):

Fox Rothschild has grown to a 950-lawyer national law firm with 27 offices by focusing on client service and responsiveness, and by attracting bright and creative lawyers who know how to deliver.


In a word, by listening.


Listening to our clients. Listening to our lawyers.


We give our clients the focus and service of a boutique – with the reach and resources of a national firm.


We provide our lawyers with a national stage and equip them with the platform to nurture innovation and drive client success.


Individuals and businesses – public, private and nonprofit; startup, family-run and multinational – receive our unwavering commitment to client satisfaction.

1851 Franchise: Tell us about your experience with Fox Rothschild.

Elizabeth Sigety: Fox Rothschild is a firm of approximately 950 attorneys in 27 offices across the United States. I am a Partner at Fox Rothschild and co-chair the Emerging Companies Practice, which encompasses the franchise practice as we work with many emerging franchise systems. Though attorneys at Fox Rothschild have worked with franchise clients for many years, I founded and formalized the practice in 2004 and was chair of the practice until a couple years ago, when Elle Gerhards and Craig Trachtenberg took over the reins. We have a national practice in franchising, with regulatory and litigation attorneys as well as attorneys who focus on other fields — like data security, intellectual property and employment — who understand the franchise world. 

1851: What drew you to franchise law?

Sigety: My family was an area developer for a restaurant franchise, and that is how my interest began — on the business side. I loved watching the restaurants open and the training team come in from the franchisor to get everything up and operational. My family asked me to look at the franchise agreement, and, not knowing anything about franchising at the time, I told them not to sign such a one-sided document. Little did I know. That was around 25 years ago.

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

Sigety: An emerging franchisor should know that there are many legal considerations outside of franchise regulation that have to be considered — don’t get too narrow in your focus. And I think an emphasis on protecting the brand and what that involves from a legal point of view is important to understand.

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

Sigety: Franchisees have to be team players — they have to really enjoy the team aspect of the business. And they need to be prepared to speak to other franchisees about the system and to their advisors about how to do due diligence about the system they’re interested in. 

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

Sigety: The regulations are certainly getting better for the franchise industry and the guidance is clearer, but I am concerned it could swing back the other way depending upon the political winds. 

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

Sigety: I don’t know if it is the most interesting, but compliance with data privacy laws is a topic that should be followed closely, and I’m very interested to see how that will affect the operations of franchise systems.