Butzel has extensive experience with franchise, dealership, and distribution issues. Our clients have included dealers of machinery and manufactured products, consumer electronics, retail, food and restaurants, beer and beverage distributorships, cleaning and janitorial franchises, oil company franchises, automobile dealerships, and healthcare software. We also represent individual franchisees, and our team serves as primary legal counsel for several trade organizations and advise both the full organization and individual members.

Our work in the franchise, dealership, and distribution area includes not only advising on the structure of franchise agreements, licensing agreements, sales agency agreements, and dealership agreements but also antitrust concerns, price discrimination claims, predatory pricing, evaluation of businesses, operations, and dealer/franchisee networks advertising and marketing issues claims of negative business impact, covenants not to compete, territorial or customer restrictions, tying arrangements, and refusals to deal.

Representative clients include: Arbys, Inc., Associated Underground Contractors, Burger King, Hexagon Metrology, Inc., McDonalds Corporation, Michigan Road Builders Association, Mobil Oil Corporation, Molly Maid, Stroh Brewery Company, and Thetford Corporation.


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  • Representation of franchisors and franchisees in "good cause" termination disputes
  • Counsel an international consumer electronics company with respect to pricing and distribution issues, including minimum and maximum resale price maintenance, MAP programs, and Robinson-Patman compliance.
  • Represented the largest car rental firm in defense of an antitrust case brought by smaller car rental firms alleging exclusionary practices in obtaining on-airport franchise locations
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