Blumstein will Provide Counsel to Candidates and Franchise Owners
Stephanie Blumstein has joined A.Y. Strauss as partner in the firm’s franchise group. The boutique law firm focuses on litigation and commercial transactions in real estate, franchise law, construction contracting, and bankruptcy. Blumstein will provide counsel to candidates and franchise owners.
“I am thrilled to be joining the team of talented professionals at A.Y. Strauss. My franchise and business clients will benefit tremendously by gaining access to the broad range of legal services that A.Y. Strauss can provide,” Blumstein said in a statement.
She was attracted to A.Y. Strauss because of the opportunity to join a growing firm and great team. “I have known the Chair of the Franchise Group, Marisa Rauchway, for several years through our involvement with various franchise groups; she is a knowledgeable franchise attorney and an even better person. I am looking forward to teaming up and working closely with her – along with Aaron Strauss, the firm’s exceptional managing partner, and the rest of the attorneys and staff – to expand the firm’s franchise law practice.”
Blumstein also appreciates that the firm has “a full slate of other practice areas and talented attorneys who can help our franchise clients with other aspects of their businesses. These include business formation and real estate and leasing matters.”
Leaders at the firm believe that Blumstein will be an asset to the franchise group. “I am thrilled to welcome Stephanie to the team. As a veteran of the national franchise community, her broad legal talents and deep industry knowledge will add immediate value to both existing and future clients of our practice,” Rauchway said in a statement.
In his own statement, Aaron Strauss praised Blumstein’s “skillset and breadth of litigation experience,” which will “add tremendous depth to our growing franchise practice group.”
Blumstein’s Legal Background
Early in her legal career, Blumstein joined a boutique law firm with a well-established franchise law practice. “While I somewhat fell into it initially, I found that I really enjoyed practicing franchise law.” Her favorite part of the franchise industry is its changing nature and how “there are always new and exciting franchise concepts coming up.”
She also appreciates that franchising makes owning a business accessible to entrepreneurs who don’t want to go it alone. “As a franchise lawyer, I enjoy working with clients in a variety of different franchise systems and industries.” Not only does this keep the practice of franchise law fresh and interesting, but it allows Blumstein to keep learning about the latest developments and expanding her base of knowledge.
The Importance of Franchise Lawyers
For those who are interested in getting into franchise law, Blumstein advises getting an education. “There are several national franchise groups, like the American Bar Association Forum on Franchising, that offer educational opportunities and CLEs directed to franchise attorneys. Local bar associations also periodically offer courses on state franchise laws.”
In Blumstein’s view, not only will the courses be helpful, but they often provide the opportunity to learn from and network with other franchise attorneys. “We also welcome anyone interested in learning more about franchise law to reach out to our firm’s franchise group; we are always happy to speak to aspiring franchise law practitioners.”
She cannot overstate how important it is for franchisors and franchise owners to work with an experienced franchise lawyer. Over the years, Blumstein has met many franchisees who either did not hire an attorney to review their franchise agreement or who asked a lawyer friend or relative with no experience in franchise law to do it.
“This is generally an expensive mistake. For prospective franchisees, an experienced franchise attorney will be able to advise on contract provisions that are likely to cause issues or perhaps are out of line with industry norms (like unusually high royalties or other fees). Later, if issues develop in the franchise relationship, a franchise attorney will be well positioned to advise on what franchise laws might apply and what claims and remedies might be available.”
On the franchisor side, Blumstein notes that mistakes in the registration process can have devastating impacts. “Experienced counsel can help franchisees and franchisors successfully navigate these issues.”
Blumstein earned a B.A. from Tufts University and a J.D. from Boston University Law School. Additionally, she is an active member of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Franchising and the International Franchise Association. Blumstein was recognized in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the area of franchise law.