Eric R. Riess

Eric Riess focuses his practice on franchise, distribution, and national and international brand development. He also assists buyers and sellers in the purchase and sale of brands, businesses and business units. Eric is a Certified Public Accountant and has extensive Big Eight accounting, Fortune 500 finance and management experience. 

Eric serves on the Board of Advisors for Franchise Athletes. He was a founder and sits on the Board of Directors of the Franchise Brokers Association. Eric is also an active entrepreneur with interests in both franchising and licensing business models.

Court Memberships

  • Missouri 
  • Illinois


  • Selected among The Best Lawyers in America®, 2021
  • St. Louis Business Journal’s "Innovation Award - Legal", July, 2016

  • St. Louis Small Business Monthly, “Top 100 St. Louisans You Should Know”, April, 2016

  • St. Louis Small Business Monthly, “Top St. Louis Attorney”, 2014 


Professional Affiliations

  • American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants
  • American Bar Association, Franchising Forum
  • Entrepreneurs’ Organization
  • International Business Brokers Association
  • International Franchise Association
  • Southern Illinois Certified Public Accountants Society


  • Quoted, For MidiCi, 329 Units Sold But None Opened, Franchise Times, November, 2016
  • Quoted, Eric Riess Jumps to Lathrop Gage, St. Louis Business Journal, July, 2015
  • Quoted, Belleville Lawyer Will Help You Get Your Franchise Started,Belleville News Democrat, February 2013
  • Quoted, Veteran Franchise Lawyer Named Trainer of the Year by the FBA, St. Louis Business Journal, January 2013
  • Quoted, JobWatch: Franchisees need humility, open minds, St. Louis Post Dispatch, April 2011
  • Quoted, Heavenly Ham Store Sheds Franchise For Independents, St. Louis Business Journal, July 2010
  • Quoted, Stritzel Dreams of Building Pickelman's Into Chain, St. Louis Business Journal, December 2009
  • Quoted, Tipping Point / Pro Players Pumped For Franchising, Franchise Times, September 2008
  • Quoted, A Franchising Forecast, Smart Business St. Louis, July 2008
  • Quoted, Franchising Report: New FTC Rule Puts Parent Companies at Risk of Having to Provide Financial Information for its Franchisor, Franchise Newsletter, August 2007
  • Quoted, Once He Wanted To Put Out Fires, Now He Lights Them Under Franchises, St. Louis Post Dispatch, April 2007
  • Quoted, McCabes Invest $400,000 To Jumpstart BounceU Franchise, St. Louis Business Journal, September 2004


  • Speaker, The Eric Show, Episode 10 / Breaking Down the Broker / Franchisor Contractual Relationship, FBA Series Seminar, October 2017
  • Speaker, The Eric Show, Episode 9 / The Difference Between a Business Broker, a Franchise Broker and a Used Car Salesman, FBA Series Seminar, September 2017
  • Speaker, The Eric Show, Episode 8 / Financial Performance Representations, FBA Series Seminar, August 2017
  • Speaker, The Eric Show, Episode 7 / Eight Steps to Successful Franchising, FBA Series Seminar, July 2017
  • Speaker, The Eric Show, Episode 6 / Red Flags and How to Spot Them in Franchise Systems, FBA Series Seminar, June 2017
  • Speaker, The Eric Show, Episode 5 / Franchising Cannabis, Dazed and Confused, FBA Series Seminar, May 2017
  • Speaker, The Eric Show, Episode 4 / What’s In a Brand?, FBA Series Seminar, April 2017
  • Speaker, The Eric Show, Episode 3 / The Psychology of the Deal, FBA Series Seminar, March 2017
  • Speaker, The Eric Show, Episode 2 / Your FDD Sucks, FBA Series Seminar, February 2017
  • Speaker, The Eric Show, Episode 1 / I Think I Just Sold A Pig-In-A-Poke, FBA Series Seminar, January 2017
  • Speaker, How to Set Up Your Consulting Business, FBA Seminar, January 2017
  • Speaker, Spotting Clients for Franchise and Franchise Related Work, Lathrop Cross-Selling Training, August 2016
  • Speaker, Who’s Brand is it Anyway?, Association of Corporate Counsel, July 2016
  • Speaker, The Business of Cannabis, Los Angeles Educational Program, April 2016
  • Speaker, Your Brand is Your Promise, Tips for Protection and Enforcement, Lathrop State of Litigation Presentation, March 2016
  • Speaker, To Maximize Value, Maximize Your Brand, University of Missouri Professor for a Day, March 2016
  • Speaker, Franchise Transfers, Client Seminar, January 2015 
  • Speaker, Basic Business Laws Impacting Business and Franchise Brokers, Client Seminar, January 2015
  • Speaker, End of Year Review/Beginning of Year Planning, Client Seminar, December 2014 
  • Speaker, Franchise Development II, Client Seminar, December 2014
  • Speaker, Franchise Development I – An Introduction To Development, Client Seminar, December 2014 
  • Keynote Speaker, Creativity, Risk, Attitude, Perseverance – It’s all about CRAP, Franchise Brokers Association National Convention, November 2014
  • Speaker, Are Franchisors and Franchisees Joint Employers?, Client Seminar, October 2014
  • Speaker, Top 10 Compliance Issues, Client Seminar, September 2014
  • Speaker, How to Set Up Your Consulting Business, Client Seminar, August 2014
  • Speaker, Trademark, Trade Dress and Other Intellectual Property Nightmares, Client Seminar, July 2014
  • Speaker, Franchise Sales Compliance Training, FBA Workshop, June 2014
  • Speaker, How to Read a Franchise Disclosure Document, Client Seminar, June 2014
  • Speaker, Franchising, A Legal Perspective (aka How To Buy One Of These Things), National Black MBA Association, April 2014
  • Speaker, The Changing World Of Legal Fees and The Demand For Fixed Fee Engagements, Client Seminar, April 2014
  • Speaker, From Lead to Legacy: Building A Legacy To Be Proud Of, FBA Workshop, March 2014
  • Speaker, Non-Competition, Non-Solicitation, Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreements. Legal and Business Issues, Client Seminar, January 2014
  • Speaker, FBA/FranVest EB-5 – Significant Business and Legal Issues, Client Seminar, December 2013
  • Speaker, Conflicts of Interest / Ethical Considerations in Franchise Sales, Franchise Brokers Association, November 2013
  • Speaker, Making Documents More Saleable and Closing More Deals, Franchise Brokers Association, November 2013
  • Speaker, Counseling Clients and Franchisees To Follow The Brand, Client Seminar, March 2013
  • Speaker, Making More Money By Protecting Your Brand, Orange Leaf National Convention, March 2013
  • Speaker, Basic Business Laws Relevant to Brokers, Client Seminar, February 2013
  • Speaker, Franchising from the Franchisor's Perspective, Client Seminar, January 2013
  • Speaker, Annual Update - The State of Franchising, Client Seminar, December 2012
  • Speaker, Sales Compliance, Client Seminar, November 2012
  • Speaker, Why Are Lawyers So Expensive?, Client Seminar, November 2012
  • Speaker, What Is A Franchiseable Concept?, Client Seminar, October 2012
  • Speaker, My Franchisee Wants To Back Out - Now What?, Client Seminar, September 2012
  • Speaker, FTC's Biz Opp Rule, Client Seminar, August 2012
  • Speaker, Legal Blockers to Business / Real and Perceived, Client Seminar, July 2012
  • Speaker, The Top Ten Compliance Issues Facing Franchisors, Biz Ops and Brokers, Client Seminar, June 2012
  • Speaker, To Maximize Value Maximize The Brand, Orange Leaf National Convention, May 2012
  • Speaker, Brand-Aid: A Seminar To Proactively Address Common Branding Problems And Protect Your Brand, Franchise Brokers Association, May 2012
  • Speaker, Brand-Aid: A Seminar To Proactively Address Common Branding Problems And Protect Your Brand, Meritas and Association of Corporate Counsel, May 2012
  • Speaker, What You Need to Know Before Signing on the Dotted Line, The International Franchise Association (IFA) and National Black MBA Association Entrepreneur Think Tank, St. Louis, MO, April 2012
  • Speaker, Seven Deliverables of Start-Up Franchisors, Client Seminar, April 2012
  • Speaker, Basic Business Laws Relevant to Brokers, Client Seminar, March 2012
  • Speaker, How to Investigate and Purchase a Franchise, Client Seminar, March 2012
  • Speaker, Negotiated Changes: Franchisee and Franchisor Perspective, Client Seminar, March 2012
  • Speaker, What's Holding You Back? Changes In Your FDD and Biz Plan To Increase Sales, Client Seminar, February 2012
  • Speaker, The Business Goals and Psychology of the Deal, Franchise Brokers Association, January 2012
  • Speaker, Selling A System: Unique Issues Presented When A System Is Sold, October 2011
  • Speaker, The Start-Up Franchisor Strategy Session, Client Seminar, September 2011
  • Speaker, Negotiating the Area Rep Agreement, Client Seminar, August 2011
  • Speaker, Making Your Business Plan Fit Reality, Client Seminar, July 2011
  • Speaker, Trademarks and Trade Slogans and Other Valuable Stuff, Client Seminar, June 2011
  • Speaker, Alternative Fee Arrangements - Charging Fees Other Than Commissions, Client Seminar, May 2011
  • Speaker, Negotiated Changes - Franchisee and Franchisor Perspective, Client Seminar, April 2011
  • Speaker, Litigating Franchise Disputes, Client Seminar, February 2011
  • Speaker, Understanding Operating Agreements, Shareholder Agreements and Stock Restriction Agreements, Client Seminar, January 2011
  • Speaker, The Future of Franchising, Client Seminar, January 2011
  • Speaker, Fee Based Consulting, Client Seminar, January 2011
  • Speaker, Sales Compliance, Client Seminar, January 2011
  • Speaker, Growing Your Client’s Concept, Client Seminar, December 2010
  • Speaker, Finding Foreign Investors for Your Franchise Concept, Client Seminar, November 2010
  • Speaker, Understanding The Triple Net Commercial Lease, Client Seminar, September 2010
  • Speaker, Failing Franchises, Client Seminar, August 2010
  • Speaker, How to More Effectively Work with Brokers, Client Seminar, August 2010
  • Speaker, Franchising: Growing Your Client's Concept Using Someone Else's Money, Client Seminar, May 2010
  • Speaker, 16 Characteristics of Successful Brokers, Client Seminar, May 2010
  • Speaker, Attorney / Broker Partnering – Closing The Deal, Client Seminar, December 2009
  • Speaker, Immigration Options for Foreign Investors, Client Seminar, September 2009
  • Speaker, Investigating And Doing Due Diligence, Franchise Athletes Cancun Convention, August 2009
  • Speaker, Financial Viability of a Concept, Client Seminar, July 2009
  • Speaker, The New Franchise Disclosure Rule, June 2009
  • Speaker, Branding - How to Protect Your Competitive Edge, Client Seminar, June 2009
  • Speaker, Why Your Prospects Should Hire An Attorney (Understanding the Proper Legal Review and Amendment Process), Client Seminar, May 2009
  • Speaker, How To Negotiate The Deal, Franchise Athletes Vegas Convention, August 2008
Photo of Eric R. Riess
  • St. Louis

    7701 Forsyth Boulevard
    Suite 500
    Clayton, MO 63105
F: 314.613.2800


Kim Whittelsey



Washington University School of Law, J.D., 1992

University of Arizona, B.S., 1984