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Liz Dillon

With over 15 years of experience, Liz Dillon counsels growing and experienced franchisors to expand and maintain their franchise systems. She also assists startup franchisors to develop and position their franchise systems for growth both domestically and internationally. Liz serves as the leader of the firm’s Franchise & Distribution Practice Group. 

Liz manages the franchise registration process for many well-known and emerging brands every year and has worked with numerous startup franchisors. She has helped franchisors expand into Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. She brings extensive knowledge and experience in preparing and registering disclosure documents, as well as franchise, development, and supply agreements. Liz is the co-editor of Lathrop GPM's Global Franchise Regulation Update - a comprehensive update on international regulatory developments compiled from publications and correspondence with franchise counsel throughout the world, published around twice annually. 

Liz also assists clients through mergers and acquisitions, providing franchise, licensing and distribution expertise for transactions.

In addition to representing franchisors, Liz represents other companies in the myriad of legal issues involved with the distribution of goods. She advises on matters including dealer / distribution agreements, international sale of goods, and avoiding franchise and business opportunity laws (accidental franchise).

Clients value Liz's ability to provide real-life solutions to challenging problems. They depend on her responsive and pragmatic, yet creative, advice. Tenacity is a strength that has helped Liz gain the recognition of being named a “Legal Eagle” by Franchise Times, honored as a “Minnesota Rising Star” by peers, recognized by Chambers USA and Chambers Global, and acknowledged as an “Up and Coming Attorney” by Minnesota Lawyer. In addition, she has earned the Certified Franchise Executive designation from the Institute of Certified Franchise Executives.

Presentations

  • Co-presenter, "Registrations & Disclosures Track: International," International Franchise Association 54th Annual Legal Symposium, May 16, 2022
  • Co-presenter, "The Annotated International Franchise Agreement, or How to Turn a Domestic Agreement into an International Agreement," American Bar Association 44th Annual Forum on Franchising, Atlanta, Georgia, October 2021
  • Co-presenter, "Updating Internet Strategies After the Pandemic," 2021 International Distribution Institute Annual Conference, June 17, 2021
  • Moderator, “A Comprehensive Legal Review of the Creation of a Start-Up Franchise System,” American Bar Association's 42nd Annual Forum on Franchising, Denver, Colorado, October 2019
  • Moderator, "Impact of Accounting Standards Change on International Transactions," International Breakfast Panel, American Bar Association's 40th Annual Forum on Franchising, October 19, 2017
  • Co-presenter, “Judicial Update,” International Franchise Association’s 49th Annual Legal Symposium, Washington, D.C., May 17, 2016
  • Co-presenter, “Negotiating Challenging Provisions in Franchise Agreements,” American Bar Association Webinar, February 2, 2016
  • Co-presenter, “Drafting and Negotiating Challenging Provisions in Franchise and Development Agreements,” American Bar Association's 38th Annual Forum on Franchising, October 1, 2015
  • Co-presenter, “10 Commandments of Franchise Sales,” International Franchise Association's Franchise Expo, June 20, 2015
  • Co-presenter, “Tools for Taking Your Franchise Model to the Next Level,” International Franchise Association's Franchise Expo, June 18, 2015
  • Moderator, “Annual Leadership Conference: Digging Deeper: Mining for the Leader Within,” International Franchise Association's 54th Annual Convention, February 1, 2014
  • Co-presenter, “Be Prepared: Retirement and Succession Planning,” International Franchise Association’s 53rd Annual Convention,  February 18, 2013
  • Co-presenter, “Seizing International Opportunities: Five Ways to Maximize Your Return on Investment Through International Franchising,” International Franchise Association's Franchise Expo, June 1, 2012
  • Moderator, “Panel: To Err is Human: Remedying Mistakes in the Pre-Sale Disclosure Process,” International Franchise Association’s 44th Annual Legal Symposium, May 1, 2011
  • Co-presenter, "Taking Your Franchise System to the Next Level: Examining Common Traits of Successful Franchisors," Franchise Expo South, January 14, 2011
  • Co-presenter, "Franchise Law Series: Look Before You Leap—Navigating the Franchise Disclosure and Registration Maze," Webinar, May 14, 2010
  • Moderator, “Roundtable: Embracing the Amended FTC Franchise Rule,” International Franchise Association’s 41st Annual Legal Symposium, May 1, 2008
  • Moderator, “Roundtable: Market Saturation—Determining the Delicate Balance Between Market Maximization and Cannibalism,” International Franchise Association’s 48th Annual Franchise Expo, February 1, 2008
  • Co-presenter, “Maximizing Expansion Opportunities While Minimizing Territorial Conflict,” International Franchise Association’s Franchise Expo South, January 1, 2008
  • Co-presenter, “10 Commandments of Franchise Sales,” International Franchise Association’s Franchise Expo South, January 1, 2008
  • Co-presenter, “Beyond Single Unit Franchising: Expanding Franchise Systems Through Multiple Unit and Third-Party Arrangements,” International Franchise Association’s Franchise Expo South, January 1, 2007
  • Co-presenter, “Exporting Franchise and Distribution Networks: Avoiding the Snares of International Regulation,” Minnesota CLE Business Law Institute, Minneapolis, May 1, 2006

Publications

  • Quoted, "Burger King Caught in Complex Legal Web, Thwarting Russia Exit,The Economic Times, June 3, 2022. 
  • Co-Author, "Franchise Law Compliance Manual, 3rd Edition," American Bar Association, October 8, 2021
  • Co-Editor, "Global Franchise Regulation Update," Lathrop GPM, 2021-present
  • Chapter Co-Author, "Exemptions and Exclusions Under New York Law," Exemptions and Exclusions Under Federal and State Franchise Registration and Disclosure Laws, American Bar Association, Forum on Franchising, March 1, 2017
  • Author, "An Outline For Franchising Your Business," Enterprising Women March 15, 2011
  • Author, "Avoiding Comments When Preparing FDDs In 2009: Top Twelve Traps," The Franchise Lawyer, January 1, 2009
  • Co-author, "Outsourcing Franchise Sales: Growth Strategy Or Desperation Move," Franchise Times June 15, 2007
  • Co-author, "Franchise Expansion In China In The Aftermath Of China’s 2007 Franchise Regulation," International Bar Association's International Franchising Committee newsletter on Franchising in China, January 1, 2007
  • Author, "New Legislative Changes For Franchisors Doing Business In Canada," Franchising World, August 1, 2005

News Releases

Professional Affiliations

  • International Franchise Association, International Committee 2022- Present
  • International Franchise Association, Planning Committee, 2020-2021
  • International Franchise Association’s Women’s Franchise Committee, past member
  • American Bar Association, Forum Committee on Franchising, International Division Steering Committee, past member
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Wisconsin Bar Association
  • Women in Franchising Network, Twin Cities, former co-chair

Community Involvement

  • Minnesota Land Trust, board member
  • Minnesota Land Trust, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, chair
  • Advocates for Human Rights, volunteer attorney
  • Call for Justice, former board member

Honors

  • 2021 Flex Success® Award, Diversity & Flexibility Alliance, 2021
  • “North Star Lawyers,” Minnesota State Bar Association, 2019
  • Selected among The Best Lawyers in America©, 2018–2023
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Nationwide Franchise, 2011–2022
  • Chambers Global, Franchising, 2013–2022
  • “Legal Eagle,” Franchise Times, 2007–2011, 2013–2020, 2022
  • “Minnesota Super Lawyer®,” Thomson Reuters, 2022
    • “Minnesota Rising Star,” Thomson Reuters, 2007, 2009–2018
  • “Minnesota's Top Lawyers,” Minnesota Monthly, 2022
  • The International Who’s Who of Franchise Lawyers, 2013–2022
  • “Up and Coming Attorney,” Minnesota Lawyer, 2009
Photo of Liz  Dillon
  • Minneapolis

    80 South Eighth Street
    500 IDS Center
    Minneapolis, MN 55402
F: 612.632.4284

Assistant

Michelle Rice
612.632.3306
Email

Court Memberships

  • Minnesota
  • Wisconsin

Education

University of Wisconsin-Madison, J.D., cum laude, 2004

University of Wisconsin-Madison, with honors, 2001, undergraduate degree