Franchise Disputes

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Distribution of goods and services often involves complex relationships among manufacturers, service companies, franchisees, distributors, dealers, and sales representatives. Disputes regrettably arise, however, when one or more parties feel that the relationship is no longer working to their benefit.

Advance planning minimizes the risk of such disputes and saves money in the long run. To see how our advice can help you plan ahead to avoid disputes, visit our franchise and distribution page.

When disputes are unavoidable, Lindquist attorneys have the experience and knowledge to help you reach a favorable resolution. For decades, we have worked closely with franchisors and co-ops, manufacturers, service companies, dealers, distributors, sales representatives, and others whose businesses and livelihoods depend on experienced advocacy in this specialized area. We counsel clients throughout the litigation and dispute-resolution process and focus on the root causes of the dispute in an effort to achieve best results, avoid future disputes and protect the fundamentals of the business model.

  • On a motion to dismiss, obtained dismissal of Minnesota Franchise Act claims against franchisor and its executives, establishing conclusively that the Act’s requirements can be waived through a choice of law term in the franchise agreement. Also obtained dismissal of breach of contract claims against franchisor and all claims of “control person” liability against individual corporate executive officers. Hockey Enterprises, Inc. v. Total Hockey Products & Services, LLC, 762 F. Supp.2d 1138 (D. Minn. 2011). Obtained voluntary dismissal of arbitration petition.
  • Acting as long-time national litigation counsel for a Minneapolis-based franchisor, including enforcement of in-term and post-term restrictive covenants, collection of royalties and other unpaid franchise fees and defense of counterclaims alleging lack of support, misrepresentations in disclosure documents or breaches of the franchise agreement by the franchisor.
  • On behalf of multi-unit restaurant franchisee, negotiated resolution to dispute about franchise fees due following annual audit.
  • The day before a scheduled arbitration hearing concerning disputed sales commissions and termination of a sales representative, obtained an order denying temporary restraining order to stay the hearing. Order decided main issue in dispute in favor of our sales representative client, leading to a favorable settlement of all disputes the same day. Focus Products Group, LLC v. R. L. Cooperman & Assocs., LLC (Ramsey County Dist. Ct., #62-CV-09-7691, 7/8/09).

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