Pittsburgh Business Attorneys

Franchising Law

Increased competition is one of the most significant challenges the franchising industry faces today. In recent years, it has become increasingly difficult for franchisors to sustain a competitive edge.

The attorneys of Keevican Weiss & Bauerle LLC understand the franchise business and can provide the edge to help position companies to compete effectively in today's markets.

How can Keevican Weiss & Bauerle LLC serve the operator whose main concern is focused on what happens "within the four walls"? The answer is simple. Our knowledge of franchising and the many concerns faced by franchisors and franchisees has provided invaluable assistance to franchisors whose interests range from on-property concerns to franchise-building to capital raising to litigation.

The following partial list of franchisors and franchisees that we have represented demonstrates the depth of our experience.



Examples of the variety of matters on which we have worked include:

Many of our practice areas are used by our franchising clients, including:

Corporate Finance

Whether the goals of a franchise are accessing conventional debt financing through traditional sources such as banks or equipment lenders; negotiating venture capital investments; structuring private placement offerings; preparing for an initial public offering; or negotiating a merger or acquisition, the lawyers of Keevican Weiss & Bauerle LLC have the experience necessary to achieve the desired results creatively with the unique understanding of the challenges inherent in the franchising industry.

Real Estate

One of the most significant factors in the success of any franchise is securing a good location. Saturated markets are causing franchisors to be more creative in selecting territories. Operators must ensure that a suitable site with strong visibility and easy access is obtained at a reasonable cost. Keevican Weiss & Bauerle LLC has worked with franchisor clients to develop site selection criteria with the attributes uniquely suited to their industries as well as the processes to assure compliance by their franchisees.

Some concepts require placement in areas with high volumes of pedestrian traffic. Other concepts are destination-oriented, relying less on "high cost, high visibility" locations and more on demographics and access. Whether the location ultimately selected is a shopping mall, urban shopping area, strip center or free-standing location, we have worked with companies to ensure all of their needs are met in construction, contracts, zoning and leases.

Franchising & Joint Development Agreements

Franchising and area development agreements often prove to be the proper vehicles to enable quick expansion of their chains, establish market presence and gain wide acceptance of a concept with minimal outlays of cash.

Keevican Weiss & Bauerle LLC regularly develops franchise and area development plans for restaurateurs. We have also identified where these techniques would not be successful strategies and advised clients accordingly while developing feasible alternatives.


As most operators are aware, attracting and retaining key personnel is crucial to the success of any multiunit franchising concept. Entrepreneurs are often faced with the difficulty of finding management candidates to assist in generating growth. Keevican Weiss & Bauerle LLC helps to develop programs to motivate management personnel and ensure the loyalty of workers while protecting against violations of proprietary rights.

Trademarks and Trade Secret Protection

We understand the importance of brands and trademarks, particularly for our franchising clients. We work with them to develop and analyze the probability of getting their marks registered and then prosecute their registrations. In addition, we assist them in policing their marks against infringements, including through demand letters, bringing infringement actions and obtaining judgments or favorable settlements for them.

We also know that it is important to our franchising clients that they protect their trade secrets. From making sure they properly take the steps and use the methods and documents they need to protect their confidential and proprietary information to seeking patent protection for technical expertise or specialized equipment or processes, if and when appropriate, we make sure they obtain and preserve their trade secrets to the full extent possible.


Disputes, commercial or otherwise, are facts of life. Depending on how disputes are dealt with, they either end up in litigation or reach settlement. The cost and consumption of time to reach either resolution, however, may have a significant impact on your business. In today's highly regulated workplace, disputes create constant jeopardy to franchise operators.

The goal is to avoid these disputes through preventative planning. The litigation attorneys of Keevican Weiss & Bauerle LLC have significant experience in representing companies in all facets of dispute resolution whether through litigation, mediation, arbitration or informal settlement. Our experience includes representing clients in class-action securities law suits, franchisor/franchisee disputes, termination actions, workers' compensation claims and product liability disputes, as well as other types of claims.

Whether you are faced with sexual harassment charges by your employees, dram shop claims, defiant franchisees, shareholder/partner disputes or securities fraud action, our litigation attorneys have the experience necessary to resolve these matters efficiently and effectively, with a concern for controlling costs and reducing disruption to your business.


  • Leo A. Keevican
    Keevican Weiss & Bauerle LLC
    Managing Director
    210 Sixth Avenue, 35th Floor
    Pittsburgh PA,15222
    Phone:Work 412.355.2604
    Fax:Fax 412.355.2609