IFA’s Legal Symposium Celebrates 50 Years

Event Coverage
Franchising World

The 50th IFA Legal Symposium, which takes place May 7-9, is the can’t-miss event for franchise legal professionals, bringing together some of the brightest legal and business minds for three days of educational enrichment, professional development and networking in Washington, D.C. 

By Jan Gilbert
Fifty years is a major milestone for the IFA Legal Symposium, and this year’s Task Force has made sure to surpass all expectations. For a half century, this event has brought together leaders, lawyers and business people from across the industry to share knowledge, best practices and prepare for the year of legal and regulatory challenges (and opportunities!) that lie ahead. The audience has grown in diversity as a wider range of franchise professionals encounter legal questions in their day-to-day work, and as the regulatory environment becomes more complex and fluid. With major developments and big questions about the changes that a new administration, new judges and new appointees to organizations like the National Labor Relations Board will bring, this year’s symposium comes at a critical time.

Diverse Topics

The 2017 Legal Symposium will feature a record-breaking amount of sessions, both general and concurrent, and will cover a broad range of topics relevant to franchise businesses of all sizes and across all industries. From a look at the latest developments on joint employer legislation to topics in international expansion, labor law, franchise agreements and contract litigation, the symposium will cover a truly diverse set of topics and issues. Whether your delegation includes legal professionals or business professionals, the event will include sessions geared toward both advanced legal practitioners and those looking to build up more basic knowledge on topics like mergers and acquisitions, franchise litigation and trademarks and disclosures.  
This year’s Legal Symposium will offer an excellent forum for addressing and tackling some of the most challenging issues in the franchising world today in a collaborative, collegial environment. In addition to sessions that will educate you, bring you up to speed and give you a chance to ask your most pressing questions to expert panelists, the symposium is also an invaluable networking opportunity, with the chance to reconnect with friends and colleagues, and meet potential future partners. The program has built-in networking and social sessions including luncheons and receptions. Moreover, attendance at the symposium qualifies for Continuing Legal Education Credits in most states, and for 300 Education Credits and 100 Participation Credits toward the completion of the Certified Franchise Executive accreditation. 

Make it A 2-for-1 

For those already doing business in multiple countries and across borders and for those considering international expansion in 2017 or 2018, you’ll have an opportunity to extend your stay in Washington, D.C. to attend the joint International Bar Association/IFA conference May 9-10, following the symposium. The IBA’s Franchise Committee along with IFA have put together a comprehensive program covering the ins and outs of international franchise law, emerging topics, global trends and new markets. The IFA/IBA Conference Reception and Dinner is considered one of the hottest tickets in town for the international business crowd, and the networking opportunities are unparalleled. Attending the conference qualifies you for additional CLE and ICFE credits, so be sure to separately register for this event in addition to the Legal Symposium. 
Jan Gilbert is the Legal Symposium Task Force Chair for 2017 and a Principal with GrayPlant Mooty.