Did You Know?

Michael developed and owned a restaurant/wine bar/jazz club.

Michael is a reality TV fan.

Michael has a Great Dane.

Michael moonlighted as a wedding singer in college.

Michael is a music fanatic.

Michael would be a piano bar singer in another life.

Michael is a Cajun.

Michael’s first sighting of snow was when he went to college in Michigan.

Michael became a franchise lawyer because of the World’s Fair.

Michael’s unique experience drives his client-centric point of view as a lawyer. Before returning to private practice in 2008, Michael spent 20+ years as chief legal counsel and senior business executive for companies such as Blockbuster, Quiznos, Boston Market and Einstein Bagels, where he was a front-line player in building those companies’ brands both domestically and overseas. Having worn the shoes of a client for most of his career, Michael has faced and made the same critical business and legal decisions that his clients are forced to make as they either begin their journey as a franchisor or take their systems to the next level. This, together with his experience developing and operating his own restaurant and jazz club, have armed him with valuable insight and empathy that is unique among lawyers.

As a lawyer, Michael’s roles have put him on the front line of issues and challenges ranging from aggressive domestic and international growth, management transitions, class actions and other complex litigation, general business matters, and mergers and acquisitions. He has spent years honing his versatile experience in three key roles: law firm partner, chief legal officer for several prominent brands and an executive-level business leader for aggressive growth franchisors. In those roles, Michael was charged with both business and legal responsibilities, including developing and implementing global expansion strategies, negotiating multi-national business deals and documenting transactions around the world ranging from direct operations, joint ventures, licenses, master franchises and area development transactions in over 50 countries in every region of the world.

  • Education

    • Juris Doctor, cum laude, Tulane Law School
    • Bachelor of Arts, honors, Eastern Michigan University
  • Associations

    • International Franchise Association
    • American Bar Association Forum on Franchising
    • American Bar Association International Law Section
    • American Bar Association Business Law Section
  • Bar Admissions

    • State of Illinois
    • State of Colorado
  • Awards & Recogonitions

    • Franchise Times “Legal Eagle”
    • Fellow of the American Bar Foundation
    • International Who’s Who – Business Lawyers
    • International Who’s Who – Franchise Lawyers
  • Speaking & Publications

    • Co-Author, “International Expansion: Maximizing the Risk for Smaller Franchise Systems”, Franchise Update (Dec. 2015)
    • Speaker, “M&A Aspects of Acquiring Franchise Businesses”, Midwest Chapter Meeting of the AM&AA (Oct. 2015)
    • Editor,  Newsletter of the International Commercial Transactions, Franchise & Distribution Committee of the ABA’s Section on International Law (Fall 2013, Summer 2013)
    • Speaker, “Franchising Primer”, Business and Industry Forum of the North Shore Chapter of the Illinois CPA Society
    • Guest Contributor, “Franchising in America – Tips for Representing Franchisors Entering the US Market”, Distribution Commission of the AIJA Newsletter (May 2013)
    • Author, “Developments in International Franchising – Year in Review”, The International Lawyer (2012)
    • Speaker, “10 Decisions Every Franchisor Needs to Make”, IFA Emerging Franchisor Conference (Nov. 2012)
    • Speaker, “Getting Ahead of the Curve: Controlling the Risk of Social Media”, IFA Legal Symposium (May 2012)
    • Author, “The Rewards and Risk of Outsourcing”, Franchise Law News (Q1 2012)
    • Speaker, “Global Overview of Current Development in the Regulation of the Offer and Sale of Franchises”, ABA’s Section of International Law Fall Meeting, Dublin, Ireland (2011)
    • Speaker, “Building an Empire on a Borrowed Foundation”, Franchise Law News (Q1 2011)
    • Speaker, “Control vs Freedom? Negotiating International Franchise Agreements”, ABA’s Section of International Law Fall Meeting, Paris, France (2010)
    • Speaker, “Avoiding and Managing Systemwide Litigation in International Litigation”, IBA and IFA Joint Conference on International Franchising (2010)