John Fitzgerald

John Fitzgerald concentrates his practice in the areas of franchise, real estate, and business law. He acts as outside general counsel for many businesses, some of whom have been with him as long as he has been practicing law. John is former co-chair of the Franchise & Distribution Practice Group.

John also handles a multitude of business and regulatory matters for emerging, as well as nationally recognized franchisors. He has designed and negotiated all types of business agreements, including business mergers and acquisitions, franchise and other product and service distribution agreements, real estate acquisitions and financings, corporate financings, employment and shareholder contracts, real estate leases, and development agreements.

Representative Experience

  • Structured and negotiated a client’s acquisition of the United States’ rights to a restaurant brand from the owner of the concept, who had developed approximately 100 units in Canada. He designed and registered the client’s franchise program in the U.S., enabling sales of the new franchise to occur in this country.
  • Represented a franchise client in the sale of three retail properties, the purchase of four parcels of undeveloped ground, and the refinancing of two of its retail properties, all in the same year.
  • Assisted a client in the successful workout of a significant trade debt that threatened to prevent the client from continuing its 30+ year business.

Court Memberships

  • Minnesota


  • “Legal Eagles Hall of Fame,” Franchise Times
  • “Legal Eagle,” Franchise Times, 2004, 2006–2019
  • The Best Lawyers in America©, 2013–2020
  • “Minnesota Super Lawyer®,” Thomson/Reuters, 2005–2019
  • The International Who’s Who of Franchise Lawyers


Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • International Franchise Association, Legal/Legislative Committee, member
  • Minnesota State Bar Association

Community Involvement

  • Twin Cities Diversity in Practice, former board member
  • Volunteer Lawyers Network, Real Estate Law Clinic

Press releases

Legal alerts

Photo of John  Fitzgerald
  • Minneapolis

    80 South Eighth Street
    500 IDS Center
    Minneapolis, MN 55402
F: 612.632.4064


Linda Grutza

Jessica Tauer



William Mitchell College of Law, J.D., 1979

University of St. Thomas