Add a bookmark to get started

Philip F. Zeidman

Philip F. Zeidman

Retired Partner

Philip Zeidman devotes his practice to domestic and international distribution, licensing and franchising law.

Philip has been admitted to practice before the US Supreme Court and in the District of Columbia, New York, Florida and Alabama. He graduated with honors from Yale College, where he was named Scholar of the First Rank and was Managing Editor of the Yale Banner Publications. At Yale he received both the Jonathan Davenport Award and the William Houston McKim Award.  He was elected Chairman of the Class Council of his class at Yale, received its first Distinguished Service Award and was named its representative to the Association of Yale Alumni. He received his law degree from Harvard University and also studied at the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. Philip has served as a member of the advisory board of the Yale School of Organization and Management; as a trustee of the Yale-China Association; and as a member of the advisory board of the DeWitt Wallace Center for Communications and Journalism of the Terry Sanford Institute for Public Policy of Duke University.

Philip has written extensively on the subject of international franchising, distribution and licensing, including regular columns in Franchise Times. He has also written for Franchising World and Global Competition Review. He is the author of Aspects of the Market Economy: Franchising, which has been translated into Russian and also serves as a textbook for courses on entrepreneurism in eastern Europe. Philip also served as the general editor of the American Bar Association's Survey of Laws and Regulations Affecting International Franchising; associate editor of the International Journal of Franchising and Distribution Law; and consulting editor of CCH's Global Franchising Alert and editor of (Lexology) Getting The Deal Through: Franchise and the Franchise Practice Guide. 

Philip is the editor of Legal Aspects of Selling and Buying (Thomson/Reuters) and Franchising: Regulation of Buying and Selling a Franchise (Bureau of National Affairs). He has written for publications including The Asian Wall Street Journal and Worldlink, and has been interviewed on such television programmes as The Today Show, The McNeil/Lehrer Report, WorldNet, CNN Asian Business Report and the CNN financial network, CNNfn. He served as a contributing editor for antitrust and trade regulation of The Legal Times and as a member of the advisory board of the Bureau of National Affairs' antitrust and trade regulation report. For 21 years Philip chaired both the annual New York Law Journal distribution seminar and the annual bi-coastal franchising symposium, which then became the franchising segment of the annual Practicing Law Institute advanced antitrust seminars.

Philip is counsel to a number of US and foreign companies and trade associations. He served as a Trial Lawyer for the Federal Trade Commission; General Counsel to the Small Business Administration (when he was named to that position, at age 30, he was the youngest chief legal officer of any department or agency of the federal government); and Special Assistant to the Vice President of the United States. Politically, in addition to serving the Vice President, he was a speech writer in two presidential campaigns; Executive Director of the Democratic Platform Committee in a third; and travelled with Governor Jimmy Carter as an advisor to him throughout his successful general election campaign). He served as General Counsel to the International Franchise Association throughout his career and also served as Special Counsel to the Japan Franchise Association.  

Philip has engaged in a transactional practice, testified on franchising before governmental bodies, participated in judicial and administrative proceedings, taught at universities and appeared before business and professional groups in 35 countries around the world and before the Commission of the European Union, as well as before numerous US congressional committees. He has advised a number of government bodies on franchising as a technique for international development and the privatisation of state-owned enterprises: these include the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (Paris), on work in central and eastern Europe; the World Intellectual Property Organization (Geneva), assisting in the development of its franchising guide for developing countries; the International Centre for Public Enterprises (Ljubljana), helping to create an international franchising databank for use in transitional economies; the International Executive Service Corps, introducing franchising into Morocco; Unidroit, a UN-affiliated agency (Rome), advising on the regulation of international franchising; the US Agency for International Development, working with the Indian government to assist black entrepreneurs in post-apartheid South Africa and assisting the privatisation agencies of the former Soviet Union; the Middle East Investment Initiative, to introduce franchising into Tunisia; and the World Bank, on franchising as a non-equity mode of investment in developing countries and on international franchising generally and on proposed regulation in Saudi Arabia. Most recently, he was retained by the Egyptian Franchise and Development Association and the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration to participate in the first seminar on franchising in Egypt, and to conduct a discussion of the proposed Egyptian franchise legislation with government officials, legal and business leaders. He also served on the International Chamber of Commerce's working group on franchising (Paris).

Bar admissionsDistrict of ColumbiaNew York
  • LL.B., Harvard Law School
    Studied at the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration
  • B.A., Yale University
    cum laude
    Scholar of the First Rank


  • Chambers Global
    • Senior Statesperson, USA - Nationwide Franchising (2012-2022) 
  • Chambers USA
    • Senior Statesperson, Nationwide Franchising (2012-2022)

Who's Who Legal named Philip the Global Franchise Lawyer of the Year at the Who's Who Legal Awards for the nine consecutive years. It noted that when it tallied the votes for Global Franchise Lawyer of the Year, he "received more votes from clients and peers in the course of our research than any other individual worldwide." The publisher noted, "As one of our respondents commented, 'He is, without doubt, the number one franchise practitioner in the world.'" 

Additional Honors
  • Rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Washington, DC Super Lawyer
  • Listed in Marquis Who's Who in American Law
  • Listed in Marquis Who's Who in America
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America
  • Global Franchise Lawyer of the Year, International Who's Who of Business Lawyers (2005-2013)
  • Global Elite Thought Leader in Franchise, Who’s Who Legal (2021)
  • Named Best Lawyers' Washington, DC Franchise Law Lawyer of the Year (2012)
  • Listed in Franchise Times' "Legal Eagles," as one of the top franchise lawyers in the US and Canada
  • Recipient, William Rosenberg Leadership Award, the International Franchise Association's highest honor

Pro Bono

Philip is on the board of New Perimeter, DLA Piper's nonprofit affiliate established to provide pro bono legal support for projects of global concern. Through New Perimeter, lawyers from DLA Piper's offices around the globe provide legal assistance on projects addressing issues including health care, hunger, economic development, law reform and human rights. He is also a former member of the Council for Excellence in Government.

He is a Founding Member of Appleseed, and has served as its General Counsel. Appleseed creates and supports 17 centers in this country and Mexico, designed to address systemic legal and economic problems through the combined efforts of lawyers, other professionals and civic leaders.

He is an honorary life member of the International Bar Association and its Council, and is Emeritus Trustee and a former president of the International Bar Association Foundation. He has been elected a trustee of Eye Witness to Atrocities. Created by the International Bar Association and based in London, the Trust harnesses technology to bring to justice perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity.


Philip writes regularly on both domestic and international distribution, licensing and franchising matters. He is the author of "With the Best of Intentions: Observations on the International Regulation of Franchising," Stanford Journal of Law, Business & Finance, based on his Stanford Law School presentation and available for viewing on YouTube; that paper earned him the Burton Award (American Bar Association/Library of Congress) for Excellence in Writing. 

He writes regular columns for Franchise Times (International column)and Franchising World, the magazine of the International Franchise Association (International Dateline column). He is the author of Franchising in the Aspects of the Market Economy series, published in English and Russian; and contributed to the World Intellectual Property Organization's Franchising Guide for Developing Countries (Geneva) and A Guide to International Master Franchise Arrangements (published by UNIDROIT (Rome)) and Managing Intellectual Property Issues in Franchising, published in five languages. He is also the co-author of an article in Franchise Magazine (Paris) as well as the chapter on Franchising in the 3rd Edition of Corporate Counsel's Guide to Doing Business in China

Philip is an editor of several publications, including Legal Aspects of Selling and Buying, 3d (Thomson Reuters/West), the American Bar Association's Survey of Laws and Regulations Affecting International Franchising and Franchising: Regulation of Buying and Selling A Franchise (Bureau of National Affairs). He also serves as a contributing or consulting editor for the International Journal of Franchising and Distribution Law, CCH's Global Franchising Alert and Getting the Deal Through - Franchise Edition. Additionally, Philip's articles have appeared in other publications, including The Asian Wall Street Journal, Worldlink, Legal Times and the National Law Journal.


Philip speaks and writes frequently on both domestic and international distribution, licensing and franchising matters. He was a regular speaker on the American Bar Association/American Law Institute Seminar on Marketing and Distribution. He regularly presents sessions at the International Franchise Association's annual conventions and annual legal symposia and the international franchising programs of the International Bar Association. He chairs the global expansion track of the educational programs at the International Franchise Exposition and spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Philip is frequently interviewed about franchising by the media and has given numerous video presentations and webinars for public and private organizations.

  • Speaker, IFA's 50th Annual Legal Symposium, Washington, DC, May 7, 2017
  • Co-Presenter, "Franchise Expansion: Strategies for Lucrative and Planned Growth," International Franchise Expo in New York, June 16, 2016
  • Co-Presenter, ''The 25th Annual Elements of Successful Franchising,'' IFA's 56th Annual Convention, San Antonio, Texas, February 21, 2016

Media Mentions

Recent Media Mentions

Memberships And Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
    • First Chairman, ABA Antitrust Law Section, Committee on Franchising
  • New Perimeter
    • Advisory Board
  • Appleseed Foundation
    • Founder Trustee
  • International Bar Association
    • Honorary Life Member
    • Council of the International Bar Association
    • Former Co-chair, Pro Bono and Access to Justice Committee
    • Former President, International Bar Association Foundation, Inc.
    • Former Chairman, IBA International Franchising Committee
    • Former Member, Council, IBA Section on Business Law
    • Former Vice Chairman, IBA Asia-Pacific Forum
    • Former Liaison, IBA Latin American/Caribbean Steering Group
    • Honorary Life Member of The Governing Council and the Association
    • Trustee, Eyewitness to Atrocities Trust
    • Trustee Emeritus (Former President) 
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association
    • Former Chairman, Franchising Law Committee
  • Federal Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
    • Former Member, Nominations Committee, DC Bar Board of Governors
    • Former Member, Legal Ethics Committee, DC Bar Board of Governors
Former Positions
  • General Counsel, American Business Conference
  • Franchise Counsel, Emerging Markets Franchise Acceleration Fund
  • President's Advisory Committee to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
  • Administrative Conference of the United States
  • General Counsel, US Small Business Administration
  • Special Assistant to the Vice President of the United States