franchise law virtual summit

Franchise Law Virtual Summit

Since we were not able to host our in-person Legal Symposium this spring, please join us for this year’s Franchise Law Virtual Summit. Registration fee is $199 per person.
CFE Credits Available
Yes
August 12 - 13, 2020
|

United States

Elevating Franchise Law

IFA’s Franchise Law Virtual Summit is designed by a task force of member volunteers with a particular emphasis on how legal and regulatory issues affect the everyday business operations of the franchise system.
📖
Pioneer the future of franchise law
👥
Meet industry trailblazers
Earn CLE credits

Join us later this summer for a virtual event designed for professionals in the legal and business community.  Our multi-day virtual legal event on August 12-13 will focus on continuing areas of interest to franchise counsel with a specific emphasis on how legal and regulatory issues impact everyday business operations of the franchise system.  And of course, while we will feature mainstay topics of interest to both transactional and litigation attorneys, we will also address the most prominent legal issues coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic including employment law, customer safety, liability, compliance, state and federal regulations, policy updates and more.  

CLE credits available.

For immediate questions, please contact the IFA Events team at events@franchise.org.  If you are interested in sponsoring our event, please contact Lynette James at ljames@franchise.org to learn about packages to enhance your brand visibility and take part in valuable lead generation opportunities. 

Let your Facebook friends know you're attending and see who else is planning to join — click here to RSVP to the Franchise Law Virtual Summit Facebook event.

Amy cheng
See why Amy Cheng thinks you should attend!

 

Agenda

Click the information buttons to view Plenary and Breakout Session details and speakers.
Wednesday, August 12
Session Title
Welcome
Time Start
01:00 pm
Time End
01:10 pm
Session Title
Opening Plenary
Session Summary

COVID-19 Liability Threats to Franchising – reopening issues, employment liability & legislation

Hear from Federal policymakers and Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall about liability challenges facing franchised businesses across the country. While some franchise businesses were deemed essential and have remained open, others have just begun welcoming customers back in the doors, but either way, all are faced with potential liability threats related to COVID-19, whether from employees or consumers. This session will discuss both legal and legislative issues surrounding liability concerns for franchised businesses. 

Moderator:  Jeff HanscomState Government Relations & Public Policy, IFA; Steve Marshall, Attorney General, State of Alabama; Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives; Alexandra Cunningham, Partner, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

Time Start
01:10 pm
Time End
02:05 pm
Session Title
Break
Time Start
02:05 pm
Time End
02:15 pm
Session Title
Breakout Sessions
Session Summary
  1. Food for Thought:  Managing the World of Third Party Delivery Services
    Last year’s forum introduced the paradigm shift toward third-party delivery services for the restaurant industry. During the beginning of 2020, there were likely still some systems that were preparing for the world of third party delivery services.  COVID-19 has accelerated that process for most systems as restaurants have struggled to deal with emergency measures, mandatory closures, social distancing and other challenges that severely limited or prohibited business operations.  We will continue the discussion this year by examining the following issues from legal and business perspectives:
     •    Determining the goals for your system when considering engaging a third-party aggregator;
    •    How issues relating to data ownership impact future marketing efforts;
    •    Key provisions to consider when negotiating agreements with a third-party aggregator; 
    •    Exploring the recent proliferation of ghost kitchens and its impact on the food-on-demand industry; and
    •    The impact of COVID-19 on third party delivery.

    Speakers:  John Teza, Former Principal, NRD Capital; Amy Cheng, Partner, Cheng Cohen; Dominic Mochrie, Partner, Osler
     
  2. Conspiracy Theories:  Establishing Third Party Liability in Franchise Litigation
    Often times the deterioration of a franchise relationship involves more parties than just the franchisor and the franchisee. This session will explore varying forms of third party liability that arise in franchise litigation. The presenters will discuss third party liability for breach of restrictive covenants, tortious interference, civil conspiracy, contributory trademark infringement, and trade secret misappropriation. Experienced litigators will teach us how to establish liability under these theories, ways to defend against such claims, and the tactical and strategic considerations involving third party claims.
    Speakers:  Justin Sallis, Lathrop GPM; Susan Tegt, Larkin Hoffman; Joseph Goode, Laffey Leitner & Goode 

     
  3. Item 19 in 2020 - FPRs in the New Decade 
    With the adoption of the 2017 NASAA Franchise Commentary on Financial Performance Representations and 2020 NASAA Guidance on Disclosing Financial Performance Representations in the Time of COVID-19, franchisors are facing greater obstacles in presenting key financial performance data in Item 19.  This session will discuss:
    •Best practices in drafting compliant FPRs, including those for emerging brands and non-traditional locations
    •Common objections from state examiners during the registration process and best practices in crafting effective responses 
    •Issues confronting franchisors and their attorneys in making Item 19 financial performance representations, including the use of FPRs in the franchise sales process
    •Factors to evaluate in determining whether a reasonable basis exists to include an FPR in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

    Moderator:  Joy Ann Kenny, Associate, Fisher Zucker
    Speakers:  Max Staplin, In-House Counsel, Brightway Insurance; Megan Center, Associate, Fox Rothschild; Diana Vilmenay, Attorney & Shareholder, Polsinelli
     
  4. Meeting the Challenges of Running an In-House Legal Department in a COVID -19 Environment
    The COVID 19 environment has already changed how in-house legal work is done. The economic impact is likely to be severe.  Use of benchmarking for rates and costs  , allocating work to a lesser number of firms or shifting to lower cost offices , improving ways for teams to work together and  insourcing are just a few of the strategies being used. The question is whether in –house legal departments will return to prior ways of functioning or will they be required to adapt to a different normal and what will that look like ? This panel will take this question on , addressing how their legal departments are meeting the challenge and providing recommendations for the future.
    Moderator:  Kathleen Panek, General Counsel, U.S. Business Holdings, Inc.
    Speakers:  Gail Sharps Myers, General Counsel, Denny’s;  Tina B. Watts, Associate Counsel, Commercial Law, Darden 
Time Start
02:15 pm
Time End
03:10 pm
Session Title
Closing Plenary
Session Summary

Government Relations Update

IFA’s Government Relations team will provide an overview of the federal and state legislative challenges facing the franchise business model in the wake of COVID-19, including liquidity, liability, and employment-related policy matters.

Speakers:  Matt Haller, Senior VP, Government Relations & Public Affairs, IFA; Suzanne Beall, CFE, VP, Government Relations & Public Policy and Counsel, IFA; Jeff Hanscom, VP, State Government Relations & Public Policy, IFA; Michael Layman, VP, Federal Government Relations, IFA

Time Start
03:10 pm
Time End
04:00 pm
Session Title
Happy Hour
Time Start
05:00 pm
Time End
06:00 pm
Thursday, August 13
Session Title
Welcome
Time Start
01:00 pm
Time End
01:05 pm
Session Title
Opening Plenary
Session Summary

Franchise Regulator Panel: State of Play in the COVID Era

This program will cover a wide range of current issues in franchise registration and disclosure regulation, with practical guidance on state franchise regulatory compliance in the wake of COVID-19.

Speakers:  Suzanne Beall, CFE, VP, Government Relations & Public Policy and Counsel, IFA; Michelle Webster, Senior Financial Legal Examiner, Washington Department of Financial Institutions; Dale Cantone, Assistant Attorney General, Maryland Attorney General's Office; Theresa Leets, Assistant Chief Counsel, California Department of Business Oversight

 

Time Start
01:05 pm
Time End
02:00 pm
Session Title
Break
Time Start
02:05 pm
Time End
02:15 pm
Session Title
Breakout Sessions
Session Summary
  1. Drafting Trends - What's New in Franchise Agreements?
    As franchise arrangements evolve, so should your franchise documentation. This session will explore select provisions in light of current trends.  The program will include:
    •        Private equity acquisitions 
    •        Encroachment
    •        Social media
    •        Third party deliveries 
    •        National accounts
    •        Data breaches
    •        Joint employment
    •        Customer list ownership
    •        Liquidated damages
    •        Anti-poaching
    Moderator:  Thomas Pitegoff, Principal, Offit Kurman Attorneys At Law
    Speakers:  Samuel Wieczorek, Attorney, Cheng Cohen; Dawn Diaz, General Counsel, Sun Holdings 

     
  2. Crisis Management in the Era of Fake News
    In the era of instantaneous reporting and less than rigorous fact gathering, how does a franchise system safeguard its hard-earned goodwill and reputation?  This session will examine the role of the lawyer in crisis management, including addressing bad press, protest sites, and customer outrage.  The panelists will also provide advice on:
    •       Preparing for a crisis and weathering the storm once a crisis occurs, and
    •       Managing and responding to "fake news" that is leaked from the system, including attempts to leverage the press to a franchisee's advantage in civil litigation and settlement negotiations, and
    •        Discuss procedural and tactical advice on how to best use the court or private dispute resolution to safeguard and defend one's hard-earned goodwill and reputation

    Moderator:  Bethany Appleby, Member, Appleby & Corcoran, LLC
    Speakers:  John Gessner, Partner - Fox Rothschild LLP; Kathryn Kotel, Interim General Counsel, Smoothie King Franchises, Inc.; Sarah Walters, Of Counsel, DLA Piper
     
  3. Privacy Compliance in the Franchise World: Lessons Learned and New Developments
    Franchise systems can start to hone new compliance strategies as best practices begin to emerge from the first eight months of the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), effective since January 1, 2020. This session will focus on how privacy law developments in 2020 provide franchise systems with new opportunities (and challenges) in their compliance efforts. We will cover the franchise implications of CCPA litigation and enforcement actions in 2020, new compliance strategies and tools, and the latest privacy law developments.
    Moderator:  Paul Luehr, Partner, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
    Speakers:  Heather Buchta, Partner, Quarles & Brady; Elizabeth Harding, Shareholder, Polsinelli

 

Time Start
02:15 pm
Time End
03:10 pm
Session Title
Closing Plenary
Session Summary

Balancing Legal Considerations While Developing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Goals
This program will examine legal considerations in developing system goals related to diversity, equity and inclusion, including the effect of legislation on promoting diversity and balancing free speech in franchise systems with social media sensor.
 
Speakers:  Earsa Jackson, Clark Hill Strasburger, Partner; IFA Diversity Institute Board Chair;  
Marlén Cortez-Morris, Barnes Thornburgh, LLP, Partner; IFA Diversity Institute Board Member;

Richard Chapman, Clark Hill Strasburger, Partner

Time Start
03:15 pm
Time End
03:40 pm
Session Title
Closing Comments
Time Start
03:40 pm
Time End
03:45 pm
Session Title
ADJOURN
Time Start
03:45 pm
Wednesday, August 12
Session Title
Welcome
Time Start
01:00 pm
Time End
01:10 pm
Session Title
Opening Plenary
Session Summary

COVID-19 Liability Threats to Franchising – reopening issues, employment liability & legislation

Hear from Federal policymakers and Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall about liability challenges facing franchised businesses across the country. While some franchise businesses were deemed essential and have remained open, others have just begun welcoming customers back in the doors, but either way, all are faced with potential liability threats related to COVID-19, whether from employees or consumers. This session will discuss both legal and legislative issues surrounding liability concerns for franchised businesses. 

Moderator:  Jeff HanscomState Government Relations & Public Policy, IFA; Steve Marshall, Attorney General, State of Alabama; Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives; Alexandra Cunningham, Partner, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

Time Start
01:10 pm
Time End
02:05 pm
Session Title
Break
Time Start
02:05 pm
Time End
02:15 pm
Session Title
Breakout Sessions
Session Summary
  1. Food for Thought:  Managing the World of Third Party Delivery Services
    Last year’s forum introduced the paradigm shift toward third-party delivery services for the restaurant industry. During the beginning of 2020, there were likely still some systems that were preparing for the world of third party delivery services.  COVID-19 has accelerated that process for most systems as restaurants have struggled to deal with emergency measures, mandatory closures, social distancing and other challenges that severely limited or prohibited business operations.  We will continue the discussion this year by examining the following issues from legal and business perspectives:
     •    Determining the goals for your system when considering engaging a third-party aggregator;
    •    How issues relating to data ownership impact future marketing efforts;
    •    Key provisions to consider when negotiating agreements with a third-party aggregator; 
    •    Exploring the recent proliferation of ghost kitchens and its impact on the food-on-demand industry; and
    •    The impact of COVID-19 on third party delivery.

    Speakers:  John Teza, Former Principal, NRD Capital; Amy Cheng, Partner, Cheng Cohen; Dominic Mochrie, Partner, Osler
     
  2. Conspiracy Theories:  Establishing Third Party Liability in Franchise Litigation
    Often times the deterioration of a franchise relationship involves more parties than just the franchisor and the franchisee. This session will explore varying forms of third party liability that arise in franchise litigation. The presenters will discuss third party liability for breach of restrictive covenants, tortious interference, civil conspiracy, contributory trademark infringement, and trade secret misappropriation. Experienced litigators will teach us how to establish liability under these theories, ways to defend against such claims, and the tactical and strategic considerations involving third party claims.
    Speakers:  Justin Sallis, Lathrop GPM; Susan Tegt, Larkin Hoffman; Joseph Goode, Laffey Leitner & Goode 

     
  3. Item 19 in 2020 - FPRs in the New Decade 
    With the adoption of the 2017 NASAA Franchise Commentary on Financial Performance Representations and 2020 NASAA Guidance on Disclosing Financial Performance Representations in the Time of COVID-19, franchisors are facing greater obstacles in presenting key financial performance data in Item 19.  This session will discuss:
    •Best practices in drafting compliant FPRs, including those for emerging brands and non-traditional locations
    •Common objections from state examiners during the registration process and best practices in crafting effective responses 
    •Issues confronting franchisors and their attorneys in making Item 19 financial performance representations, including the use of FPRs in the franchise sales process
    •Factors to evaluate in determining whether a reasonable basis exists to include an FPR in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

    Moderator:  Joy Ann Kenny, Associate, Fisher Zucker
    Speakers:  Max Staplin, In-House Counsel, Brightway Insurance; Megan Center, Associate, Fox Rothschild; Diana Vilmenay, Attorney & Shareholder, Polsinelli
     
  4. Meeting the Challenges of Running an In-House Legal Department in a COVID -19 Environment
    The COVID 19 environment has already changed how in-house legal work is done. The economic impact is likely to be severe.  Use of benchmarking for rates and costs  , allocating work to a lesser number of firms or shifting to lower cost offices , improving ways for teams to work together and  insourcing are just a few of the strategies being used. The question is whether in –house legal departments will return to prior ways of functioning or will they be required to adapt to a different normal and what will that look like ? This panel will take this question on , addressing how their legal departments are meeting the challenge and providing recommendations for the future.
    Moderator:  Kathleen Panek, General Counsel, U.S. Business Holdings, Inc.
    Speakers:  Gail Sharps Myers, General Counsel, Denny’s;  Tina B. Watts, Associate Counsel, Commercial Law, Darden 
Time Start
02:15 pm
Time End
03:10 pm
Session Title
Closing Plenary
Session Summary

Government Relations Update

IFA’s Government Relations team will provide an overview of the federal and state legislative challenges facing the franchise business model in the wake of COVID-19, including liquidity, liability, and employment-related policy matters.

Speakers:  Matt Haller, Senior VP, Government Relations & Public Affairs, IFA; Suzanne Beall, CFE, VP, Government Relations & Public Policy and Counsel, IFA; Jeff Hanscom, VP, State Government Relations & Public Policy, IFA; Michael Layman, VP, Federal Government Relations, IFA

Time Start
03:10 pm
Time End
04:00 pm
Session Title
Happy Hour
Time Start
05:00 pm
Time End
06:00 pm
Thursday, August 13
Session Title
Welcome
Time Start
01:00 pm
Time End
01:05 pm
Session Title
Opening Plenary
Session Summary

Franchise Regulator Panel: State of Play in the COVID Era

This program will cover a wide range of current issues in franchise registration and disclosure regulation, with practical guidance on state franchise regulatory compliance in the wake of COVID-19.

Speakers:  Suzanne Beall, CFE, VP, Government Relations & Public Policy and Counsel, IFA; Michelle Webster, Senior Financial Legal Examiner, Washington Department of Financial Institutions; Dale Cantone, Assistant Attorney General, Maryland Attorney General's Office; Theresa Leets, Assistant Chief Counsel, California Department of Business Oversight

 

Time Start
01:05 pm
Time End
02:00 pm
Session Title
Break
Time Start
02:05 pm
Time End
02:15 pm
Session Title
Breakout Sessions
Session Summary
  1. Drafting Trends - What's New in Franchise Agreements?
    As franchise arrangements evolve, so should your franchise documentation. This session will explore select provisions in light of current trends.  The program will include:
    •        Private equity acquisitions 
    •        Encroachment
    •        Social media
    •        Third party deliveries 
    •        National accounts
    •        Data breaches
    •        Joint employment
    •        Customer list ownership
    •        Liquidated damages
    •        Anti-poaching
    Moderator:  Thomas Pitegoff, Principal, Offit Kurman Attorneys At Law
    Speakers:  Samuel Wieczorek, Attorney, Cheng Cohen; Dawn Diaz, General Counsel, Sun Holdings 

     
  2. Crisis Management in the Era of Fake News
    In the era of instantaneous reporting and less than rigorous fact gathering, how does a franchise system safeguard its hard-earned goodwill and reputation?  This session will examine the role of the lawyer in crisis management, including addressing bad press, protest sites, and customer outrage.  The panelists will also provide advice on:
    •       Preparing for a crisis and weathering the storm once a crisis occurs, and
    •       Managing and responding to "fake news" that is leaked from the system, including attempts to leverage the press to a franchisee's advantage in civil litigation and settlement negotiations, and
    •        Discuss procedural and tactical advice on how to best use the court or private dispute resolution to safeguard and defend one's hard-earned goodwill and reputation

    Moderator:  Bethany Appleby, Member, Appleby & Corcoran, LLC
    Speakers:  John Gessner, Partner - Fox Rothschild LLP; Kathryn Kotel, Interim General Counsel, Smoothie King Franchises, Inc.; Sarah Walters, Of Counsel, DLA Piper
     
  3. Privacy Compliance in the Franchise World: Lessons Learned and New Developments
    Franchise systems can start to hone new compliance strategies as best practices begin to emerge from the first eight months of the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), effective since January 1, 2020. This session will focus on how privacy law developments in 2020 provide franchise systems with new opportunities (and challenges) in their compliance efforts. We will cover the franchise implications of CCPA litigation and enforcement actions in 2020, new compliance strategies and tools, and the latest privacy law developments.
    Moderator:  Paul Luehr, Partner, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
    Speakers:  Heather Buchta, Partner, Quarles & Brady; Elizabeth Harding, Shareholder, Polsinelli

 

Time Start
02:15 pm
Time End
03:10 pm
Session Title
Closing Plenary
Session Summary

Balancing Legal Considerations While Developing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Goals
This program will examine legal considerations in developing system goals related to diversity, equity and inclusion, including the effect of legislation on promoting diversity and balancing free speech in franchise systems with social media sensor.
 
Speakers:  Earsa Jackson, Clark Hill Strasburger, Partner; IFA Diversity Institute Board Chair;  
Marlén Cortez-Morris, Barnes Thornburgh, LLP, Partner; IFA Diversity Institute Board Member;

Richard Chapman, Clark Hill Strasburger, Partner

Time Start
03:15 pm
Time End
03:40 pm
Session Title
Closing Comments
Time Start
03:40 pm
Time End
03:45 pm
Session Title
ADJOURN
Time Start
03:45 pm

FAQs

To contact the IFA Conferences Department, please email
events@franchise.org 

What does my registration include?

What is the registration cancellation policy?

How many CFE credits will I receive for my participation?

How many CLE credits will I receive for my participation?

What are the future dates?

Impact of the coronavirus in our community