Barry Kurtz is the Chair of our Franchise Practice Group, currently one of the largest franchise and distribution law departments in California. A Certified Specialist in Franchise and Distribution Law designated by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, Mr. Kurtz also has a wealth of experience in other franchise and distribution-related business matters – including corporate, mergers and acquisitions, business transactional law, and commercial real estate leasing. He is a Shareholder at our Firm.
Mr. Kurtz represents franchisors, manufacturers, franchisees and distributors. His familiarity with franchising – as an attorney, a franchisor executive and franchisee developer – spans decades, and provides both domestic and international clients with a unique perspective on the issues and demands that franchised and independent business owners face in the expansion, sale, purchase, financing and operation of their companies. Mr. Kurtz's practical, hands-on experience includes:
*Outside General Counsel, Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of National/International Expansion for a national retail franchisor with 100+ units and $60M in annual sales
*Development and administration of 22 franchised quick service restaurants
*Founder, Officer and Director – Franchise Advisory Council and Independent Franchisee Association
Mr. Kurtz regularly represents clients regarding:
*Preparation of domestic and international franchise registration and disclosure documents (FDD)
*Structuring franchisors, franchisees, management teams and affiliated companies
*Work-out arrangements for distressed franchisees in lieu of termination
*Development and enforcement of franchise system-wide standards
*Franchisor and franchisee disputes and termination matters
*Acquisitions and dispositions of franchisors, franchisees and independent businesses
*Beer distribution throughout the U. S.
*Commercial real estate leasing and acquisitions
*Development/implementation of regional, national and international franchise expansion programs
*Structuring, negotiating and drafting documentation for mergers and acquisitions, business purchases and sales, joint ventures, and other business arrangements
Mr. Kurtz is a prolific author of published articles on franchise and beer distribution law and has provided expert witness testimony in franchise litigation and arbitration proceedings for both franchisors and franchisees. Mr. Kurtz is certified as a mediator by Pepperdine University School of Law, Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution. Mr. Kurtz has been a member of the American Bar Association Section on Business Law and Forum on Franchising since 1982 and was a member of the International Franchise Association's Legal/Legislative Committee from 1991 to 1998. In addition, Mr. Kurtz served as an appointed member of the Franchise Law Committee of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of California from 1983 - 1985, 1998 - 2000 and 2011 - 2013.
Rated 5.0 AV Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell's highest award for legal ability and ethics, Mr. Kurtz has been listed in the directory's National Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers since 2008. ALM Media and LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell both recognize him as one of Southern California’s Top Rated Lawyers.
The San Fernando Valley Business Journal selected Mr. Kurtz as one of the Top 25 Lawyers in the Valley and as one of the Valley's Most Trusted Advisors. The Pacific Coast Business Times has twice singled out Mr. Kurtz as one of the top attorneys in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura Counties – based on the quality and quantity of his efforts advising clients – in those three counties. Mr. Kurtz is also a Southern California Super Lawyer, chosen for this honor by the Journal of Law & Politics, every year since 2010.
Mr. Kurtz is admitted to practice in the state courts in California, before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.
A strong proponent of education, Mr. Kurtz is a member of the Board of Trustees of Woodbury University in Burbank, California and is a former member of the University’s President’s Executive Council. He served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Westmark School in Encino, California – an organization devoted to the education of children with dyslexia and related language-based learning disabilities, from 1994 - 1998. Mr. Kurtz was also a member of the Board of Directors of Dubnoff Center in North Hollywood, California – a school for children and adolescents with combinations of severe emotional disturbances, developmental delays and learning disabilities, serving from 2005 - 2011.
Professional Associations & Memberships
Presenter, American Bar Association Forum on Franchising
Presenter, National Association of Corporate Real Estate Executives
Lecturer, UCLA Extension School
Presenter, Santa Barbara County Bar Association
Presenter, San Fernando Valley Bar Association
Presenter, Craft Brewers Annual Conference
Honors and Awards
AV Rating of 5.0 Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell's highest rating awarded by peers of the bar and judiciary for legal ability and ethics.
Valley's Most Trusted Advisors, San Fernando Valley Business Journal
Top Attorneys in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura Counties, The Pacific Coast Business Times
Top 25 Attorneys of the Valley, San Fernando Valley Business Journal
Southern California Super Lawyer, The Journal of Law & Politics, 2010-current
Order of Distinguished Attorneys, Beverly Hills Bar Association