Amy Cheng
Partner
T 312-243-1716
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Did you know?

  • Amy has completed 3 marathons and a half ironman.
  • Amy is grateful to not be allergic to rice.
  • Amy is almost completely devoid of pop culture.
  • At one point, Amy was conversational in 5 languages.
  • Thanks to her father, Amy has an uncontrollable aversion to rats.
  • Amy has now gone 5 years without breaking a bone.
  • Amy was the valedictorian of her high school graduation class.
  • Amy taught English in Japan.
  • Amy loves pilates.
  • Amy lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma for 10 years.

Amy concentrates her practice in domestic and international commercial transactions, general corporate, and franchise, licensing and distribution law. She represents franchisors on the structuring and operation of their franchise programs through all phases of development.  She also represents non-U.S. based franchisors expanding into the U.S. market.  Amy has extensive experience in structuring and drafting agreements for complex franchise, licensing and distribution relationships and in regulatory compliance. Her experience includes advising clients in connection with complex issues arising from the ownership of multiple brands, non-traditional opportunities, system restructuring and brand acquisition.  Amy also has extensive experience in representing private equity firms in connection with their acquisitions of franchise companies.

Amy represents clients of all sizes, from start-ups to mature companies with multi-national operations. Representative clients include leaders in the restaurant, retail and home services industries.  With her broad range of experience, Amy essentially acts as general counsel to her clients, collaboratively maturing their businesses from infancy to prominence within their various industries.

Amy’s commercial transactional practice includes counseling clients on mergers and acquisitions, complex commercial relationships, structuring, and drafting contracts for business transactions; while her general corporate practice includes corporate formation, strategic business alliances and joint ventures.  Amy’s unique combination of corporate and franchise experience provides franchisors with comprehensive legal services to expand their franchise systems. Her experience includes representing franchisors in a myriad of industries to acquire and sell franchise companies of all sizes.

Amy is a current member of the International Franchise Association Supplier Forum Advisory Board, and Chair of the International Franchise Association’s Annual Legal Symposium.  Amy also serves as a member of the Franchise Advisory Board for the Illinois Attorney General.  For her work in the field of franchise law, Amy was named a “Legal Eagle” by the Franchise Times, recognized by Who’s Who Legal, Leading Lawyers, Chambers and Partners and selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers of America® and was named The Best Lawyers’ 2014 Chicago Franchise Law “Lawyer of the Year”.  In 2016, Amy was bestowed with the Crystal Compass Award for outstanding leadership by the International Franchise Association’s Women’s Franchise Committee and was also inducted in to the 2016 class of Women of Influence by the Chicago Business Journal.

Before forming Cheng Cohen LLC, Amy was a partner with DLA Piper US LLP and its predecessor firms. She was a member of DLA’s Commercial, Corporate and Franchise & Distribution Practice Groups.

Education
  • Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, The American University
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Michigan
Bar Admissions
  • State of Illinois
Awards and Recognitions
  • 2016 Crystal Compass Award from the International Franchise Association's Women's Franchise Committee
  • Inductee to Chicago Business Journal's 2016 class of Women of Influence
  • Named The Best Lawyers 2014 Chicago Franchise Law "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Named a Franchise Times "Legal Eagle"
  • Recognized in the Best Lawyers in America® in the area of franchise law
  • Ranked by Chambers USA (for Franchising)
  • Listed in the International Who's Who of Franchise Lawyers
  • Listed in the International Who's Who of Business Lawyers
Memberships
  • American Bar Association
    • Forum on Franchising
  • International Franchise Association
Recent Speaking and Publications
  • Panelist, M&A Aspects of Acquiring Franchise Businesses, Midwest Chapter Meeting of the AM&AA, October 2015
  • Franchise (& Distribution) Currents, Franchise Law Journal (Winter 2015)
  • Franchise (& Distribution) Currents, Franchise Law Journal (Winter 2014)
  • Author, The Dangers of Noncompliance, Franchising World (Feb. 2014)
  • Author,  Lease Negotiations 101, Multi-Unit Franchisee  (Feb. 2014)
  • Moderator, Basics Track: Registration, International Franchise Association's 46th Annual Legal Symposium, May 5-7. 2013
  • Author, Are You Assuming Unnecessary Risks Associated with Franchisee Email Accounts?, Franchising World (Mar. 2013)
  • Speaker, How to Effectively Enforce System Standards, 2012 Emerging Franchisor Conference, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • Panelist, 10 Decisions Every Franchisor Needs to Make, 2012 Emerging Franchisor Conference, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • Franchise (& Distribution) Currents, Franchise Law Journal (Winter 2012)
  • Franchise (& Distribution) CurrentsFranchise Law Journal (Winter 2011)
  • Implementing System Change Effectively, Q2 2011 Franchise Law News
  • Panelist, Dealing With Thorny Issues, International Franchise Association's 43rd Annual Legal Symposium, May 17, 2010
  • Operating Manuals - The Devil is in the Details, American Bar Association's 31st Annual Forum on Franchising, October 2008
  • Co-Author, A Roadmap to Due Diligence in the Acquisition of Franchise Companies, Franchise Law Journal (Summer 2008)
  Cheng, Amy
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