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Richard G. Greenstein

Richard G. Greenstein

Chair, Franchise and Distribution Practice

Rich Greenstein is a transactional lawyer with almost 40 years of experience representing clients across multiple industries principally involving different aspects of franchise and distribution law, intellectual property, mergers & acquisitions, and licensing.

Rich has served as the Chair of DLA Piper's Franchise and Distribution practice since 2014, ranked by the prestigious English research firm Chambers & Partners as the leading US franchise practice in their Chambers USA guide for 11 consecutive years and in their Chambers Global guide for each of the 5 years that Chambers has ranked global franchise practices. Rich has repeatedly been recognized in Chambers USA as one of the leading franchise lawyers in the United States, inasmuch as he is "respected by market sources for his skill on transactional matters," and clients have stated that "he knows franchising really well, and answers questions efficiently and quickly." In 2014, Rich received the Franchise Times Magazine Dealmaker Award. He has been listed consistently in The Best Lawyers in America in the franchise law category.

Rich was a founding partner of DLA Piper’s Atlanta office in 2006 and he previously served on DLA Piper’s Policy Committee. He is a member of DLA Piper’s Corporate and Private Equity practices in the Southeast.

Bar admissionsFloridaGeorgiaNew York


Rich advises clients on the establishment and maintenance of domestic and international franchise programs including day-to-day counseling of franchisors on legal compliance issues, relations with franchisees and dispute resolution. He also assists many franchisors by drafting and negotiating franchise agreements, both domestic and international, supplier/vendor agreements, beverage agreements and intellectual property licensing agreements.

In combining his knowledge of franchising with Mergers & Acquisitions, Rich has created a niche practice advising clients, particularly private equity firms, in the acquisition and sale of franchise systems. Over the past 20 years, he has served as lead franchise and intellectual property counsel in the acquisition and disposition of many franchise companies.

Rich’s notable transactions as franchise counsel include representing:

  • Inspire Brands, a Roark Capital Group portfolio company, in its acquisition of Dunkin’ Brands Group, the parent company of Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins
  • Roark Capital Group in numerous transactions including:
  • its sale of Batteries Plus 
  • its investment in Drybar 
  • its investment in Orangetheory Fitness 
  • its acquisition of Driven Brands franchise system (Meineke, Maaco and others) 
  • Driven Brands in its acquisition of the CarStar franchise system 
  • Driven Brands in its acquisition of International Car Wash Group
  • its acquisition of CKE, Inc. (Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s)
  • its acquisition of ServiceMaster Brands
  • its acquisition of Nothing Bundt Cakes
  • Focus Brands, a Roark portfolio company, in its acquisitions of Auntie Anne’s
  • its acquisition of Massage Envy
  • its acquisition of Pet Valu 
  • its acquisition of Primrose Schools
  • its acquisition of Arby’s 
  • ServiceMaster Brands, a Roark portfolio company, in its acquisition of Two Men and a Truck
  • its investment in Anytime Fitness
  • General Atlantic in its acquisition of European Wax Centers and investment in Buff City Soap
  • Blackstone Group
  • in its sales of the Budgetel and Baymont hotel franchise systems and in its acquisition of Hilton Hotels
  • CircusTrix, a portfolio company of Palladium Capital, in its acquisition of Rockin’ Jump 
  • Oak Hill Capital Partners in its acquisition of Checkers Drive-in Restaurants, Inc.
  • Franchise Group, Inc. in a number of transactions including:
  • its acquisition of Pet Supplies Plus, American Freight, Buddy’s Home Furnishings, Sylvan Learning and Badcock Furniture
  • Fastsigns International in the sale of the Fastsigns franchise system 
  • Global Hyatt Corp. in the sale of US Franchise Systems
  • American Tire Distributors in its acquisition of Tire Pros
  • Moe's Southwest Grill in its sale of the Moe's franchise system
  • D.O.G. Enterprises LLC in its sale of the Camp Bow Wow franchise system 
  • Newk’s Holding Company, LLC in its sale of the Newk’s franchise system
  • WJ Partners in its purchase of the Pure Barre franchise system
  • C2 Holdings, Inc. in its sale of the C2 Education franchise system 
  • J.D., University of Miami School of Law 1980
  • B.A., University of Maryland 1977
    with honors


Chambers USA

  • Band 2, Nationwide Franchising (2016-2024)
  • Band 3, Nationwide Franchising (2015)
  • Band 4, Nationwide Franchising (2014)

The Legal 500 United States

  •  Recommended, Commercial Deals & Contracts (2018-2019)


  • Co-author, "US Franchise," Getting the Deal Through, 2018
  • Co-author with Richard Morey, Chapter 5- Valuation of Franchise Companies, Mergers and Acquisitions of Franchise Companies, 2014


  • Co-Presenter, ''The 31st Annual Elements of Successful Franchising,'' IFA's 62nd Annual Convention, San Diego, California, February 26, 2022 
  • Co-Presenter, ''The 29th Annual Elements of Successful Franchising,'' IFA's 60th Annual Convention, Orlando, Florida, February 7, 2020
  • Co-Presenter, ''The 28th Annual Elements of Successful Franchising,'' IFA's 59th Annual Convention, Las Vegas, Nevada, February 24, 2019
  • Co-Presenter, ''The 27th Annual Elements of Successful Franchising,'' IFA's 58th Annual Convention, Phoenix, Arizona, February 10, 2018
  • Co-Presenter, ''The 26th Annual Elements of Successful Franchising,'' IFA's 57th Annual Convention, Las Vegas, Nevada, January 29, 2017
  • Co-Presenter "How to Enter the US Market," International Franchising Week, London, March 2017
  • Co-Presenter, ''The 25th Annual Elements of Successful Franchising,'' IFA's 56th Annual Convention, San Antonio, Texas, February 21, 2016
  • Co-Presenter, ''The 24th Annual Elements of Successful Franchising,'' IFA's 55th Annual Convention, Las Vegas, Nevada, February 2015
  • "Predominant Business Objectives in Owning Competitive Franchise Systems," IFA Legal Symposium, Chicago, May 2014
  • "Capital Market Trends in Franchising," IFA Annual Convention, Las Vegas, February 2013

Memberships And Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • ABA Forum on Franchising