Distributorship and Franchise Law


Robinson+Cole’s distributorship and franchise lawyers work with our clients to help them manage the complex issues regarding negotiations and obligations, as well as litigation or prelitigation dispute resolution, involving distributorships and franchises. Along with our far-reaching capability and experience in these matters, we employ a collaborative approach to deliver the appropriate level of service needed in each client’s situation.

Our Services

We represent companies in distributorship and franchise relationships, and those considering entering into such relationships, in their analysis of the requirements and obligations of manufacturers and distributors, as well as franchisors and franchisees. Among our principal services are the following:

  • analyzing the obligations and requirements of distributor and franchise relationships
  • negotiating distributor and franchise agreements
  • amending, extending, and terminating distributor and franchise agreements
  • analyzing litigation or other options in the event of disputes
  • representing clients in litigation, arbitration, and mediation involving franchise and distributorship disputes

Our Team

Our franchise and distributorship lawyers work in partnership with other lawyers in the firm to provide all-inclusive advice and guidance from the inception of a project to its conclusion:

  • We team with Robinson+Cole’s Business Transactions Group to successfully advise clients on corporate structure, recommendations, and options regarding corporate structure and franchise or distributorship relationships.
  • We team with lawyers in our Employment Group to review issues and analyze contracts, agreements, and disputes regarding franchise and distributorship employee issues.
  • We team with lawyers in our Real Estate + Development Group to coordinate and implement transactional components of projects, including purchase and sale agreements, financing, and related matters.
    • Experience
      • Obtained decisive victory in federal court in Massachusetts for an international manufacturer in defending multiple claims by a local distributor (C.N. Wood Company, Inc. v. Labrie Environmental Group; Docket No.1:12-cv-11778).

      • Represented regional distributor (northeastern U.S.) in connection with multimillion-dollar claims against a foreign manufacturer in federal court in Connecticut.

      • Represented foreign manufacturer with regard to both litigation claims in the United States and advice regarding revising and improving distributorship agreement documents for U.S. distributors along with compliance issues.  

      • Represented fast-growing foreign restaurant franchisor in litigation and arbitration in Boston, Massachusetts, with regard to franchise dispute claims and ownership and investment disputes with business partners.  

Our Team