The Industry Veteran Brings Decades of Legal Experience to the Position
Marco’s Pizza, an Ohio-based pizza franchisor, announced Kristin Corcoran as vice president of corporate counsel. Leveraging her legal expertise, Corcoran will support Marco’s legal team and provide legal advice.
“It’s an exciting time to join the Marco’s team. With multiple projects in development, franchise expansion surging, and new partnerships being formed, it’s my goal to provide the legal advice needed to keep up with new trends, challenges, and opportunities, as Marco’s continues on the fast track to pizza royalty,” Corcoran said in a statement. Other recent additions to the pizza brand’s leadership team include CDO Gerardo Flores.
After meeting Shannon Iverson, vice president of franchise sales at Marco’s Pizza, at an International Franchise Association (IFA) networking event, Corcoran was impressed by the pizza brand’s vision. “Shannon is a great brand ambassador, and I remember that she told me that Marco’s believes in ‘people first, hospitality always.’” Corcoran liked everything about the pizza franchise and jumped at the opportunity to meet the rest of the leadership team.
“She is a highly accomplished attorney whose leadership, expertise, and business contributions have had a substantial, positive impact on the brands she’s advised. Her experience navigating franchise law in previous positions makes her highly qualified for this new role. She is the right person to support our franchise regulatory and compliance functions as we dive into new and exciting strategic initiatives,” said Marco’s Pizza senior vice president and chief legal officer Todd Watson.
Corcoran’s Legal Path
Shortly after graduating from law school, Corcoran was an associate in a litigation law firm and had the opportunity to represent Dunkin Brands. “I enjoyed learning about franchise law, and eventually those experiences with Dunkin’ led to my position with Subway.”
During her 25 years with Subway, the legacy brand grew from 10,000 units to over 40,000 in more than 110 countries, Corcoran said. “I have always found that understanding the business objectives and providing practical legal advice to the management team is critically important. As a partner in a franchise law firm, I provided guidance to both established as well as new and emerging franchisors on a wide variety of issues.”
Corcoran also served as counsel at DLA Piper, a multinational law firm, and was a partner in Appleby & Corcoran, LLC.
The Importance of Legal Counsel
Corcoran stresses the importance of sound legal counsel for franchisees and franchisors. “I would suggest [franchise professionals] find a lawyer who really understands your business — who tried the product, downloaded the app, and made a concerted effort to independently research and get to know your business.”
Corcoran enjoys seeing franchisors assist franchisees in growing their business. “The franchise model makes that possible.” Corcoran adds that there is “never a dull moment in franchising as it encompasses so many areas of law — regulatory, transactional, international, dispute resolution and litigation.”
She suggests entrepreneurs who are interested in franchising should get involved with the IFA and other organizations, attend trade shows and conferences, and network with suppliers and other franchise professionals. “Many are happy to share information and provide advice. Make sure to consider professional advice from lawyers and tax advisors. Attending to those issues — securing the trademark, considering the appropriate corporate structure, and attending to regulatory matters — will lay the foundation from which your brand can grow.”
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