Practice Overview

Max represents franchisors, manufacturers, distributors and suppliers in the areas of franchise and distribution law. He counsels clients ranging from startups to nationally recognized franchisors across multiple brands. Max focuses his practice on assisting clients in structuring their domestic and international franchise programs. Max also counsels clients on issues of disclosure and registration, relationship matters, supply chain maintenance, advertising, licensing, and acquisitions.

With over 25 years of practice, Max has a unique understanding of the business challenges facing franchisors and his clients appreciate the insight and experience he is able to provide.  Max is a frequent writer and speaker on franchise topics. He is also a former Editor-in-Chief of The Franchise Lawyer

Representative Experience

  • Work with franchisors to prepare and update franchise disclosure documents, and file and maintain all related state registrations.
  • Strategize and consult with franchisors to prepare meaningful financial performance representations.
  • Negotiate and prepare agreements on behalf of franchisors and distributors, including franchise agreements, development agreements, area representative agreements, distribution agreements, test agreements, management agreements, confidentiality and noncompete agreements, licensing agreements, advertising agreements, and supply chain agreements.
  • Assist clients with conversion from a license model to a franchise model, and addressing potential “accidental franchise” issues.
  • Structure distribution systems to avoid application of franchise and business opportunity laws.
  • Assist franchisors in the acquisition or sale of franchise systems, or the reacquisition of rights from existing franchisees.
  • Negotiate and prepare international agreements for franchisors and distributors.

Bar Admissions
  • Minnesota, 1993 
  • United States District Court, District of Minnesota


  • University of Iowa College of Law, Iowa City, IA, 1993, J.D. with distinction
  • Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa, 1990, B.A. Political Science


  • Certified Franchise Executive™,  International Franchise Association
  • Chambers USA, Franchise, 2011–2020
  • “Legal Eagle,” Franchise Times, 2007–2019
  • “Legal Eagles Hall of Fame,” Franchise Times
  • The International Who’s Who of Franchise Lawyers, 2011–2020
  • “North Star Lawyers,” Minnesota State Bar Association, 2012, 2014–2018
  • The Best Lawyers in America©, 2016–2021
  • Gray Plant Mooty Pro Bono All-Star Award, 2018

Professional Associations & Memberships

  • American Bar Association, 1993-present
  • American Bar Association, Member, Forum on Franchising, 1993-present
  • American Bar Association, Member, ABA Forum on Franchising Marketing Committee, 2020-present
  • American Bar Association, Editor-in-Chief, ABA Forum on Franchising The Franchise Lawyer, 2010 to 2013
  • International Franchise Association, Member, Legal Legislative Committee
  • The Advocates for Human Rights, Member Development Committee, 2018-present
  • The Advocates for Human Rights,  Board Member, 2000 to 2019