Our franchise and distribution team has substantial experience and a track record of success in addressing the rights and obligations of suppliers, manufacturers and franchisors, including the protection of their distribution strategies, systems, trademarks, service marks and trade dress.
Our litigators have represented major distribution and franchise systems in counseling and litigating a broad range of issues within the consumer and industrial products, hospitality, food and beverage, and real estate industries.
We bring substantial efficiencies to regional and national representation of a distribution or franchise system, as well as the depth of resources necessary to address a "bet the company" challenge.
We have represented a major soft drink supplier, for example, for almost two decades in helping resolve disputes with its bottler system.
We also serve as counsel for nationally known franchisors, and have obtained preliminary and permanent injunctions, summary judgments and other rulings by former franchisees, unauthorized transferees and other infringers.
We offer valuable guidance to our clients in the pre-litigation stages as well, with substantial experience in negotiating and preparing distribution agreements, providing advice on issues that arise in the operation of distribution systems, and planning for disputes that may arise with current and former distributors, franchisees, dealers and sales representatives.
Many on our team have held leadership positions with organizations like the ABA Forum on Franchising.Franchise Law Journal and The Franchise Lawyer.
Schiff Hardin's representative franchise and distribution cases include:
- Danforth & Associates, Inc. v. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC (W.D. Wash. 2011)
- em>Broderick v. Baymont Franchise Systems, Inc. (E.D. Mich. 2009)
- Muno v. Better Value Inns, et al. (Cir. Ct. of Lake County, Ill. 2009)
- Monugian, et al., v. Desarollo Marina Vallarta S.A. de C.V., et al. (C.D. Cal. 2008)
- Egli v. Days Inns Worldwide (Cir. Ct. of Cook County, Ill. 2008)
- Days Inns Worldwide v. Growth Property Investment Group, Inc. (C.D. Ill. 2007)
- Days Inns Worldwide v. CP Partners II (N.D. Ill. 2007)
- Days Inns Worldwide v. Gold Coast Investors (N.D. Ill. 2007)
- Ramada Worldwide Inc. v. Homewood Hotel, Inc. (N.D. Illinois 2007)
- Schwab Realty Ltd. v. Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corporation (Winnebago Co., Wisconsin 2005)
- PepsiCo, Inc. v. Marion Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company (S.D. Illinois 2003)
- Howard Johnson Int'l v. Ariff (C.D. Illinois 2003)
- Travelodge Hotels Inc. v. People's Hospitality (N.D. Illinois 2003)
- Bunn-O-Matic Corporation v. Bunn Coffee Services, Inc. (C.D. Illinois 2000)
- Howe Corporation v. Scotsman (American Arbitration Association 2000), worldwide distributor dispute presenting tort, contract and antitrust claims, tried for three weeks before the Hon. Richard Curry, Chicago, acting as AAA arbitrator (affirmed by Cook County Circuit Court and Illinois Appellate Court).
- Jerry Martin Associates Inc. v. Thermos (D. South Carolina 1997) (defended client against legal and equitable claims brought by former sales representative; claims resolved by settlement reached during course of jury trial).
- Bratton v. Safeguard Business Systems, et al. (Riverside Co., California 1996)
- Safeguard Business Systems, Inc. v. Reed-Rite (N.D. Illinois 1995)