Nixon Peabody LLP
Steven Feirman practices franchise and distribution law, with an emphasis on helping franchisors expand their franchise systems in the United States and in foreign jurisdictions. He has gained renown for his work at the intersection of franchising and antitrust, including pricing strategy and supply chain matters.
What do you focus on?
I am a former Federal Trade Commission lawyer, and I focus on helping well-established and emerging franchise systems develop their business models and expand their businesses. Many franchisors call on me to address their most complex issues, and I serve as both their legal counsel and strategic business advisor.
Much of my work involves the structuring of franchise systems to ensure that they comply with all federal, state and foreign franchise laws. More importantly, I seek to ensure that my clients embrace best franchising practices in their franchise documents and operations. This results in a franchise system that is marketable and collaborative. By using this approach, I have happy clients in a variety of industries, including restaurants, hospitality, financial services, travel, real estate, personal services, business services, retail and health care.
Pricing and Other Competition Issues
I regularly advise franchisors and others on pricing, supply restrictions, acquisitions, joint ventures and other sensitive competition issues. Companies that commit antitrust violations can be subject to serious penalties, including treble damages. With my experience as a federal antitrust enforcement official, I have helped many franchisors navigate through varying federal and state antitrust laws. For example, because franchisors are not permitted to control franchisee prices in some states, my clients have used techniques such as Minimum Advertised Price policies, geographic price fixing, pricing incentives, agency models and consignment arrangements. One of my favorite projects in recent years was the development of a unilateral “Colgate” policy that is thought to be the only such policy in use by a franchisor.