Keri McWilliams is co-leader of the Franchise & Distribution team. She represents franchisors across numerous industries, including restaurants, retail, education, cannabis, and health and wellness, in all aspects of their corporate relationships. Keri is also a member of the Health and Wellness initiative, a member of the Cannabis team, and a deputy co-leader of the Food, Beverage, and Agribusiness team. Keri is also a leader in the franchise industry, serving as an associate editor of The Franchise Lawyer from 2015–2021 and the current vice-chair of the International Franchise Association Legal Legislative Committee. She is a regular writer and presenter on franchise law topics, including as a recurring speaker and presenter for the International Franchise Association Legal Symposium, the American Bar Association Forum on Franchising, and the Georgetown University Franchise Management program.
I represent a variety of franchise systems on compliance matters, ranging from emerging brands developing their franchise programs to well-established concepts with more than 1000 units. I work with franchisors to prepare and update franchise agreements and disclosure documents, to obtain and manage franchise registrations in the United States, and to provide guidance regarding compliance with state, federal, and international franchise laws.
I counsel franchisors regarding ongoing franchise system issues, such as franchisee defaults, vicarious liability, joint employer liability, and franchisee associations. In addition, I provide strategic counsel on franchise transactions and system evolution, such as negotiation of large multi-unit development deals, sales of franchise systems to strategic investors, and conversions of businesses to and from the franchise model.
I routinely advise U.S. franchisors regarding international development. I have a trusted network of local counsel with whom I regularly collaborate and have helped U.S. franchisors expand into more than 25 countries around the world. In addition, I regularly assist international concepts entering the U.S. market by advising on local compliance and strategic expansion.
I see continued growth in domestic and international franchising as franchisors look for new opportunities to expand and business owners see franchising as an investment that complements their business goals.
District of Columbia
Georgetown University Law Center, J.D.
Washington University, B.F.A.
In this roundup of promotions to partner and firm management positions, 14 attorneys from Nixon Peabody are highlighted. The 11 attorneys promoted to partner are Ellie Altshuler, Mark Beaudoin, Erik Birkeneder, Hannah Bornstein, Chris Browning, Barry Carrigan, Keri McWilliams, Matt Mullen, Steven Richard, Charles Tamuleviz and Alison Torbitt. In addition, Kenneth C. Lind was promoted to leader of the firms’ public finance practice group, Justin Thompson was promoted to office managing partner in LA, and Aaron Yowell was promoted to chief innovation officer.
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