Lynne’s practice concentrates on franchising and distribution regulatory law, and she has represented franchisors in general business, regulatory, and transactional matters for more than 20 years. Lynne has worked with dozens of franchise systems, many of which she represents in the capacity of outside general counsel. Her work spans clients of all sizes and across many industries, including retail, home care, food and beverage, both in the United States and internationally.
Outside General Counsel
In her practice, Lynne works closely with franchisors, providing guidance on the day-to-day operation of their businesses, frequently serving as “outside general counsel” for clients that do not have in-house counsel, establishing and implementing new operational programs, and advising on a wide variety of legal issues, including regulatory compliance and intellectual property matters. She counsels franchise sales departments on disclosure issues and guides franchisors through default, termination, and dispute resolution processes, in addition to preparing franchise disclosure documents and franchise agreements, and preparing financial performance representations (FPRs, or earnings claims). She also guides franchisors through the process of registering disclosure documents in applicable states and preparing disclosure documentation for expansion into other countries.
Mergers & Acquisitions and Finance
Lynne counsels franchisors in the due diligence review process, the purchase and sale of the entire franchise system, and mergers of competing franchise systems. She handles the acquisition of franchised businesses by franchisors and the resale of those businesses to new franchisees. Lynne also advises private equity investors interested in expanding their portfolios through investments in the franchise industry and has headed up due diligence for more than a dozen private equity funds purchasing franchise systems.
New and Emerging Franchises
Lynne regularly counsels new and emerging franchise companies in the development of business structures that facilitate healthy and regular growth. She counsels clients on entity formation and structure, and writes franchise disclosure documents, franchise agreements, and all related documents, paving the way for a business to grow from a handful of locations to a national or international franchise system. During her tenure, she has helped many franchise clients grow from one location to as many as hundreds of locations in the United States and internationally. In addition, she has counseled clients on how to avoid being characterized as a "franchise" under federal and state laws. Lynne was awarded the title of Legal Eagle in 2016, 2017 and 2018, by Franchise Times, the industry’s leading publication.
Lynne helps franchisors realize the full value of one of their most valuable assets, their intellectual property. Through evaluating, monitoring, protecting, and defending trademarks, she helps clients avoid infringement and maintain brand integrity.
Lynne is experienced in helping franchisors expand internationally, guiding them through all stages of developing legally compliant international franchise programs. She works closely with franchisors to navigate complex international laws and has assisted clients expand into Canada, Mexico, Japan, China, South Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, the Middle East, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, and beyond.
Pro Bono and Community Involvement
As counsel and Board Member, Lynne represents Cocktails for a Cause, a Denver-based nonprofit organization that hosts networking events for women with community giving in the form of much-needed product contributions as its core mission.
Publications & Presentations
- Co-author, “The New Federal Gift Card Regulations,” ABA’s Franchise Law Journal, Winter 2011
- Co-author, “Federal District Court Case Involving Classification of Franchisees Raises Concerns,” Shopping Center Legal Update, Fall/Winter 2010
- “Disclosure Changes,” American Bar Association’s The FTC Franchise Rule, 2008
- “What is an Earnings Claim?” American Bar Association’s Earning Claims, 2007
- “Alternative Distribution Arrangements,” American Bar Association Forum on Franchising, 2003
- “Annual Judicial & Legislative Update,” American Bar Association Forum on Franchising, 2001
- “Developing a Franchise Program for a Franchisor,” Franchise Law, CLE International, 2000