Wiggin and Dana Announces New Co-Chairs for firm's Nationally Ranked Franchise and Distribution Practice Group

January 12, 2011

New Haven - Wiggin and Dana LLP is pleased to announce that Partners Dean Fournaris and Bethany Appleby have been named co-chairs of the firm's Franchise and Distribution Practice Group. The prior practice group chair, Jack Dunham, who is widely recognized as one of the leading franchisor trial lawyers in the United States, is now serving as Chair of the firm's Litigation Department.

Mr. Fournaris, a partner resident in our Philadelphia office, has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America in franchise law since 2007, and is ranked by Chambers as a leading U.S. franchise lawyer. He has intimate knowledge of the restaurant industry as a third generation member of a restaurant family and has served as national franchise counsel for several leading franchise systems. Ms. Appleby, a partner resident in the New Haven office, represents internationally known franchisors in litigation and arbitration and has been included in The Best Lawyers in America since 2008 for franchise law. She is also an Associate Editor for the American Bar Association Franchise Law Journal and has written extensively on franchise and arbitration matters.

"Our Franchise and Distribution Group represents some of the most prominent and innovative franchisors in the world" comments Jack Dunham, Partner and Chair of the Firm's Litigation Department. "The firm is delighted to have a new generation of leadership for the Group. With their experience, talent and energy, Dean and Bethany will no doubt help our franchise group continue to grow into the future."

Our Franchise and Distribution Group provides a wide range of services to franchisors and product manufacturers – from counseling companies on the initial decision to franchise, to navigating the myriad state and federal registration and disclosure laws; from drafting franchise agreements and disclosure documents, to developing internal policies and best practices for managing a franchise and distribution system; from negotiating with suppliers, distributors and other third parties, to litigating and arbitrating when necessary to enforce contracts with franchisees, area developers, and others, and defeat antitrust, RICO and other high stakes claims.

Wiggin and Dana's franchise and distribution lawyers regularly represent many prominent, innovative industry leaders, including Doctor's Associates (the Subway franchisor), Goddard Schools, DirectBuy, Auntie Anne's, MAACO, Ethan Allen, Wyndham Hotels, Realogy and Automotive Technologies, Inc. (Wireless Zone). Our significant experience in the business of franchising allows us to provide practical, real-world advice and solutions to franchisors and manufacturers of all sizes in many different industries, including quick-service restaurants, early childhood education, consumer buying clubs, furniture retailing, real estate brokerage, alcoholic beverages, automotive aftermarkets and hotels.