IFA Secretary; Partner
DLA Piper

Stuart Hershman has focused his practice for 35 years in the franchising, general dealership and distribution, and antitrust areas.

Stuart has structured, documented, and helped implement hundreds of franchise programs, dealership and distribution relationships, and intellectual property licensing arrangements in multiple industries. He also has engaged in antitrust counseling, particularly in pricing, supply, and other dealership and distribution matters, for public and private companies.

Stuart counsels companies on the whole spectrum of franchise, dealership, and distribution law, including structuring new franchise programs and restructuring existing franchise programs; structuring dealership and distribution relationships; re-branding franchise systems; counseling on and documenting refranchising programs; terminating and renewing franchise relationships; establishing the business parameters of the franchise program (including supply and distribution relationships); re-structuring franchise organizations and preparing franchise documents in the context of whole-business-asset and royalty securitizations and counseling various participants in the franchise securitization process; assessing the applicability of federal and state franchise and business opportunity laws and, where appropriate, structuring dealership and distribution relationships to avoid coverage by these laws; trouble-shooting with state franchise regulatory agencies; preparing franchise agreements, dealership and distribution agreements, and franchise disclosure documentation; preparing financial performance representations (f/k/a earnings claims); complying with applicable franchise registration, disclosure, and relationship laws; complying with business opportunity filing and disclosure laws; establishing franchise legal compliance programs; preparing franchise legal compliance guides and conducting franchise legal compliance training sessions; working through the transfer and right of first refusal processes; counseling companies in the trademark area; assisting clients in expanding internationally, preparing appropriate international documents, and complying with country-specific franchise laws; counseling clients in buying and selling franchise companies and investing in franchise companies; counseling on dispute resolution; and analyzing and addressing federal and state legislative initiatives.