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For the second consecutive year, U.S. News/Best Lawyers has named Nixon Peabody “Law Firm of the Year” in Franchise Law (2011–2012 and 2012–2013)

 

CRAIG R. TRACTENBERG

Craig Tractenberg is the leader of the Franchise and Distribution Law team as well as the Global Disputes team. He structures and resolves disputes through litigation and arbitration, dealing with franchises, licenses, intellectual property, business torts and insolvency issues. He has represented individuals, companies and governments in litigation before state and federal courts and in international arbitration forums such as AAA, ICDR, ICC and ICSID.

What do you focus on?

I focus on developing and protecting the financial equity and brand equity of franchise companies, real estate projects, and energy projects.

For franchise companies, I regularly structure new franchise programs, many of which are international.

In addition, I lead a team that focuses on international dispute resolution including international arbitration, cross-border interim relief and injunctions, cross-border litigation, enforcement of judgments and insolvency proceedings. The team also provides strategic negotiation of arbitration, venue and choice of law clauses.

Litigation

I have successfully prosecuted several injunctions against unfair competition and trademark infringement in federal courts. I also have over 30 years of experience defending franchise companies against claims by franchisees for fraud and business torts.

I recently obtained a jury trial verdict in favor of my client in a complex fraud scheme. After the jury trial success, related cases were mediated into settlements totaling several millions of dollars.

I’ve prosecuted or defended fraud, defamation and unfair competition cases and also enforce and defend trade secrets and restrictive covenants in state and federal courts.

Global Disputes

I recently successfully defended the Republic of Turkey against an investor claim before the International Centre for Resolution of Investor Disputes in Paris. This follows the successful defense of the Republic of Turkey before the ICC in Geneva. I also successfully represented a claimant U.S. company on an intellectual property licensor’s claim brought against a Brazilian licensee before the ICDR.

Currently, I am representing a plaintiff in a trade secrets case in federal court involving secrets misappropriated from an international company located in China. I anticipate ever increasing franchise brand and licensing issues developing internationally.

What do you see on the horizon?

Dispute resolution has grown from local litigation to national and international litigation and arbitration. I am now drafting clauses, litigating and arbitrating to address global issues.

Representative publications and presentations

  • “International Arbitration in Franchise and Distribution,”Commercial Leasing and Strategy, May 1, 2012.
  • “Ways to Avoid Vicarious Liability for Franchisors,” The Legal Intelligencer, March 23, 2012.
  • “Preliminary Injunctions and TRO’s in Commercial Litigation,” Lorman Educational Services, 2012.  (Author)
  • “Scrutinizing Franchise Legal Claims Under Pennsylvania Law,” The Legal Intelligencer, December 2011. (Author)
  • “The Role of Motive and Intent in Franchise Terminations,” The Legal Intelligencer, September 2011. (Author)
  • “The Economy Needs More Franchise Financing,” The Legal Intelligencer, July 2011. (Author)
  • “How Franchise Companies Avoid Class Action Cases,” The Legal Intelligencer, May 2011. (Author)
  • “Avoiding New Media Threats to Your Brand,” Law Technology News, 2011. (Author)
  • “Avoiding Threats to Your Brand in the Age of New Media,” The Legal Intelligencer, January 2011. (Author)
  • “Mac’s Shell Service, Inc. v. Shell Oil Products: Looking for the Practical Answer,” LJN’s Franchising Business & Law Alert, March, 2010. (Author)
  • “Mergers and Acquisitions for Franchise Companies,” Joint Meeting of ABA Forum and NY State Bar Association, 2010. (Speaker)
  • “Franchise Law: Does Notice Need to Be Given for Incurable Defaults?” The Legal Intelligencer, June 2009. (Author)
  • “Keeping Your Arbitration Agreements Enforceable,” New York Law Journal, 2008. (Author)

Representative Experience

  • Represented licensor of brand, patents and equipment to Brazilian entity before the International Center for Dispute Resolution.
    Represented licensor of brand, patents and equipment to Brazilian entity before the International Center for Dispute Resolution.

  • Defended governmental real estate investment trust entity before International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes in Paris.
    Defended governmental real estate investment trust entity before International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes in Paris.

  • Represented the Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Energy, before the International Court of Commerce in Geneva, Switzerland in a power plant case.
    Represented the Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Energy, before the International Court of Commerce in Geneva, Switzerland in a power plant case.

  • . . . View all . . .
  • Developed new franchise program for iconic brand.
    Developed new franchise program for iconic brand.

  • Represented the Ground Round restaurant system in a hostile acquisition by 60 franchisees.
    Represented the Ground Round restaurant system in a hostile acquisition by 60 franchisees.

  • Represented KnowledgePoints education system in an amicable acquisition by 30 franchisees.
    Represented KnowledgePoints education system in an amicable acquisition by 30 franchisees.

  • Provided bankruptcy advice for U.K. based law firm acquiring German offices of a U.S. based law firm.
    Provided bankruptcy advice for U.K. based law firm acquiring German offices of a U.S. based law firm.

  • Defended manufacturer against scaffold collapse.
    Defended manufacturer against scaffold collapse.

  • Defended successor liability in toxic tort cases.
    Defended successor liability in toxic tort cases.

  • School of Rock v. Smith (3d. Cir.), Represented School of Rock in affirming arbitration award appeal for franchise breach and trade secret violations, awarding damages, injunctive relief and counsel fees.
    School of Rock v. Smith (3d. Cir.), Represented School of Rock in affirming arbitration award appeal for franchise breach and trade secret violations, awarding damages, injunctive relief and counsel fees.

  • School of Rock v. Rock Nation LLC (Cal. Super. Ct.), Represented School of Rock in confirming arbitration award granting injunctive relief, damages, and counsel fees for unfair competition and cybersquatting.
    School of Rock v. Rock Nation LLC (Cal. Super. Ct.), Represented School of Rock in confirming arbitration award granting injunctive relief, damages, and counsel fees for unfair competition and cybersquatting.

  • Keepers of Eden v. Historical Media (S.D.N.Y.), Represented the plaintiff in confirming arbitration award with counsel fees in motion picture distribution dispute.
    Keepers of Eden v. Historical Media (S.D.N.Y.), Represented the plaintiff in confirming arbitration award with counsel fees in motion picture distribution dispute.

  • Philips Services Corp. v. Luntz (D. Del.), Represented Luntz in successful defense of preference action and asserted $1 billion fraudulent conveyance defense.
    Philips Services Corp. v. Luntz (D. Del.), Represented Luntz in successful defense of preference action and asserted $1 billion fraudulent conveyance defense.

  • Lakes Gas Co v. Fencl Oil & L.P. Co., Inc., et al. (N.D.Iowa) Secured a unanimous $2.7 million jury verdict in contract action involving propane distribution on behalf of Lakes Gas Company.
    Lakes Gas Co v. Fencl Oil & L.P. Co., Inc., et al. (N.D.Iowa) Secured a unanimous $2.7 million jury verdict in contract action involving propane distribution on behalf of Lakes Gas Company.

Media Clips

  • Business as Usual for Franchisors During Class Action Litigation
    The Legal Intelligencer | May 23, 2014
    New York City partner and leader of the firm’s Franchise team Craig Tractenberg authored this column discussing class action and multiparty litigation involving franchisors.
  • Differing Types of Fraud and the Franchise Relationship
    The Legal Intelligencer | March 28, 2014
    In this column New York City partner and leader of the Franchise & Distribution practice Craig Tractenberg discusses alleged fraud claims that result when franchise relationships go awry.
  • Amend Your Arbitration Clause to Comply With New Rules
    Franchising Business & Law Alert | February 1, 2014
    New York City partner and leader of the firm’s Franchise & Distribution practice Craig Tractenberg discusses new rules from the American Arbitration Association creating a mechanism for appellate review from arbitrations with an elite appellate panel.
  • . . . View all . . .
  • Post-Termination Enforcement of Franchise Agreements
    The Legal Intelligencer | August 23, 2013

    This column, authored by New York City partner and leader of the firm’s Franchise & Distribution practice Craig Tractenberg, discusses issues faced by franchisors while trying to enforce the post-termination obligations.

  • Does Your Franchise Agreement Have an Ambiguity?
    The Legal Intelligencer | July 26, 2013

    New York City partner and leader of the firm’s Franchise & Distribution practice Craig Tractenberg authored this column discussing the need for franchisors to draft comprehensive franchise agreements.

  • Defaults in Franchise Relationship That Constitute Irreparable Harm
    The Legal Intelligencer | May 24, 2013

    New York City partner and leader of the firm’s Franchise & Distribution practice Craig Tractenberg authored this column discussing factors that can negatively affect a franchise relationship.

  • Within Reason? Years after USA Baby's demise, one exec pursues justice, alone
    Franchise Times | May 1, 2013

    New York City partner and leader of the firm’s Franchise & Distribution practice Craig Tractenberg discusses a case involving the litigious former president of baby-goods retailer USA Baby, a now liquidated chain of 70 stores.

  • Necessary Formality in Franchise Agreements
    Commercial Leasing Law & Strategy | March 1, 2013

    The article, co-authored by franchise & distribution practice group leader Craig Tractenberg and Boston franchise & distribution partner Gregg Rubenstein, discusses a recent federal court decision suggesting that expansive and formal franchise agreements are a necessary evil.

  • Helpful Amendments Made to the Pennsylvania Health Club Act
    The Legal Intelligencer | February 22, 2013

    New York City partner and leader of the firm’s Franchise & Distribution practice Craig Tractenberg discusses new amendments to the Pennsylvania Health Club Act.

  • Forum Selection Clause an Important Provision in Franchise Agreements
    Commercial Leasing Law & Strategy | February 1, 2013

    Partner and leader of the firm’s Franchise & Distribution practice Craig Tractenberg and Boston Franchise & Distribution partner Gregg Rubenstein authored this article discussing a case in which a franchisor’s action to enforce its post-term restrictive covenant was dismissed for being in violation of its own forum selection clause.

  • Impact of Private Equity on Franchising
    Franchising Business & Law Alert | January 1, 2013

    New York City partner and leader of the firm’s Franchising & Distribution practice Craig Tractenberg and Boston Franchising & Distribution partner Gregg Rubenstein discuss how the franchise industry is being transformed by major investments in franchise systems by private equity funds.

  • Report from Restaurant Development and Finance Conference
    The Legal Intelligencer | November 30, 2012

    In this recurring column, leader of the firm’s Franchise & Distribution practice Craig Tractenberg recaps the annual Restaurant Development and Finance Conference that brings together chain restaurants, franchisees, franchisors, and capital sources.

  • Forum Selection Clause an Important Provision in Franchise Agreements
    The Legal Intelligencer | October 26, 2012

    Leader of the firm’s Franchise & Distribution practice Craig Tractenberg and Boston Franchise & Distribution partner Gregg Rubenstein co-authored this column discussing the importance of forum selection clauses in franchise agreements.

  • Hospitals' Lawsuit against State Moves Forward with Court Decision
    The Legal Intelligencer | September 28, 2012

    Partner and leader of the firm’s Franchise practice Craig Tractenberg and Boston Franchise & Distribution partner Gregg Rubenstein coauthored this column discussing franchise agreements.

  • When a Franchisor Files, Can the Franchisee Keep the Name?
    The Legal Intelligencer | August 24, 2012

    Leader of the firm’s Franchise & Distribution practice Craig Tractenberg authors this column addressing the question as to whether or not a franchisee can keep its name after its franchisor files bankruptcy.

  • Domino's Delivery Problem Shows E-mail Peril
    Franchise Times | August 1, 2012

    New York City partner and leader of the firm’s Franchise & Distribution team Craig Tractenberg provides commentary discussing potential legal issues in digital communications used by franchisors and franchisees as illustrated in Grosso Enterprises v. Domino’s Pizza.

  • Limiting Wrongful Franchise Termination Claims
    The Legal Intelligencer | July 27, 2012

    This contributed article authored by New York City partner and leader of the firm’s Franchise practice Craig Tractenberg provides a legal analysis of the Bell v. Bimbo Foods Bakeries Distribution and its implications for franchises.

  • Positive Outlook for Franchising Amid Economic Pressures
    The Legal Intelligencer | February 24, 2012

    This column, authored by New York City partner and leader of the firm’s Franchise & Distribution team Craig Tractenberg, discusses the outlook for the franchise industry in 2012 and how franchise professionals are expressing cautious optimism.

  • International Arbitration in Franchising and Distribution
    The Legal Intelligencer | February 6, 2012

    This column, authored by New York City partner and leader of the firm’s Franchise & Distribution team Craig Tractenberg, discusses the growth of international franchising and distribution and corresponding international dispute resolution.

  • International Arbitration—What’s in it for your franchise?
    Franchising World | February 1, 2012

    This column, authored by New York City partner and leader of the Franchise & Distribution team Craig Tractenberg, discusses how international arbitration can be leveraged in an increasing global economy.

  • Cheers for Listening
    Philadelphia SmartCEO | February 1, 2012

    Franchise & Distribution practice group leader Craig Tractenberg provides commentary in this feature article addressing how communication is key to building relationships.

  • Finding Bright Spots in Franchising; Observations from Industry Leaders
    Franchising Business & Law Alert | January 1, 2012

    This feature story highlights key observations from franchising industry leaders, including New York City partner and leader of the firm’s Franchise & Distribution team, Craig Tractenberg.

  • Veterans’ Benefits: Can a Tax Credit Spur Franchise Development and Get Vets Working?
    Philadelphia Business Journal | August 19, 2011

    The feature story discusses the expected reintroduction of a bill in Congress next month that would give military veterans a tax credit to offset part of the cost of buying a new franchise. Franchise and distribution team leader Craig Tractenberg is among the third-party sources who provide commentary.

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Craig R. Tractenberg