Did You Know?

Amy was the valedictorian of her high school graduation class.

Amy loves pilates.

Amy is grateful to not be allergic to rice.

At one point, Amy was conversational in 5 languages.

Amy taught English in Japan.

Amy lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma for 10 years.

Amy is almost completely devoid of pop culture.

Amy has completed 3 marathons and a half ironman.

Amy wanted to be a concert pianist.

Amy has lived in 3 different countries and traveled to over 17 countries.

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.

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, American University
    • Bachelor of Arts, University of Michigan
  • Associations

    • International Franchise Association
    • American Bar Association Forum on Franchising
  • Bar Admissions

    • State of Illinois
  • Awards & Recogonitions

    • Crain’s Chicago Notable Women Lawyers (2018)
    • Crystal Compass Award, International Franchise Association’s Women’s Franchise Committee (2016)
    • Chicago Business Journal’s Women of Influence (2016)
    • The Best Lawyers Chicago – Franchise Law “Lawyer of the Year” (2014)
    • Franchise Times “Legal Eagle” Hall of Fame
    • Best Lawyers in America® – Franchise Law
    • Ranked by Chambers USA – Franchising
    • International Who’s Who Legal – Franchise Law
    • International Who’s Who Legal – Business Law
  • Speaking & Publications

    • Speaker and Author, “Thorny FDD Disclosure Issues,” IFA Legal Symposium (May 2018)
    • Plenary Speaker, 12th Annual Women of Color Attorneys Leadership Conference
    • Speaker, “M&A Aspects of Acquiring Franchise Businesses”, Midwest Chapter Meeting of the AM&AA (Oct. 2015)
    • Editor and Author, “Franchise & Distribution Currents”, Franchise Law Journal (Winter 2011, Winter 2012, Winter 2014, Winter 2015)
    • Chair, IFA Legal Symposium (2013 and 2014)
    • Author, “The Dangers of Noncompliance”, Franchising World (Feb. 2014)
    • Author, “Lease Negotiations 101”, Multi-Unit Franchisee (Feb. 2014)
    • Speaker, “Basics Track: Registration”, IFA Legal Symposium (May 2013)
    • Author, “Are You Assuming Unnecessary Risks Associated with Franchisee Email Accounts?”, Franchising World (Mar. 2013)
    • Speaker and Author, “Dealing with Thorny Issues”, IFA Legal Symposium (May 2010)
    • Speaker and Author, “Operating Manuals: The Devil is in the Details”, ABA Annual Forum on Franchising (Oct. 2008)
    • Co-Author, “A Roadmap to Due Diligence in the Acquisition of Franchise Companies”, Franchise Law Journal (Summer 2008)