Mark Kirsch

Mark Kirsch focuses his practice on domestic and international franchising and distribution matters. He represents and counsels clients on various corporate, commercial, licensing, franchise, and business development matters. His work involves primarily transactional and regulatory matters, mergers and acquisitions, international franchising and distribution, as well as counseling on dispute resolution, and mediation of franchise-related disputes. Mark also serves as an operating partner for Atlanta-based investment firm 10 Point Capital, where he leverages his deep knowledge of the franchise industry to identify investment opportunities for the firm’s portfolio companies.

Mark enjoys working with a variety of clients, which range from large national and international chains to emerging systems, across a wide range of industries, including restaurants and food service, hotels and the hospitality industry, health care, equipment manufacturing and distribution, educational and training businesses, technology and telecommunications, car rental and automotive services, employment and personnel agencies, convenience stores, real estate, publishing, cosmetics and hair care, and various retail product and service businesses. This has given him extensive experience including developing and structuring franchise and distribution systems; drafting and negotiating franchise, licensing, and distribution agreements, asset purchase agreements and related commercial contracts; drafting contracts and counseling clients on advertising and purchasing cooperatives; and counseling clients on compliance with state and federal regulatory issues.

Mark has been involved in numerous corporate, commercial, and merger transactions, including many private equity backed deals, related to the acquisition, sale and/or combination of franchise systems.

Mark is also an Operating Partner for 10 Point Capital, a private equity firm that invests in franchise concepts.

Mark often lends his franchise insight to others by writing articles and speaking at industry seminars about a variety of issues including branding, licensing, franchising, and distribution issues. Mark is active in the franchise industry, including past service as chair of the International Franchise Association’s Supplier Forum, and was a member of the IFA’s Board of Directors.

Court Memberships

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland 
  • Virginia 


  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Franchise, 2014-2019
  • The Best Lawyers in America©, 2014-2020
  • “Legal Eagles Hall of Fame,” Franchise Times
  • The International Who’s Who of Franchise Lawyers, 2013-2019
  • The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers
  • “Legal Eagle,” Franchise Times
  • Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers
  • Lexology Client Choice Award, District of Columbia - Franchising, 2016-2017

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association, Business Law Section and the Forum on Franchising
  • Maryland State Bar Association, Chair of the Committee on Franchise & Distribution Law of the Section on Business Law, 1999-2001
  • District of Columbia Bar Association


  • "The State of Franchising in the USA," International Journal of Franchising Law, December 31, 2018
  • “Intellectual Property for Franchisors in the United States,” co-author, The Licensing Journal, Vol. 18, No. 10, December 21, 2018
  • "Franchising in the United States," Lexology, co-author, November 24, 2017
  • "International Franchising," chapter co-author, Fundamentals of Franchising, October 16, 2015
  • "Franchising in the Health Care Industry," ABA Forum on Franchising, October 15, 2014
  • "6 Quick Lessons from Jimmy John’s POS Data Breach," October 2, 2014
  • “IFA Supplier Forum: Advancing IFA Goals and Initiatives,” Franchising World, October 2014
  • "Due Diligence of Franchise Systems," chapter co-author, Mergers and Acquisitions of Franchise Companies, July 2014
  • "Health Care Changes Present Challenges and Opportunities for Franchising," Franchising World, February 7, 2014
  • “Mergers and Acquisitions of Franchise Systems,” chapter co-author in ABA Forum on Franchising’s law school casebook Franchising: Cases, Materials & Problems, January 1, 2013
  • “Business Laws and Regulations That Affect Franchise Systems,” American Bar Association’s 33rd Annual Forum on Franchising, San Diego, California October 2010
  • “Building a Co-Branding Alliance: Success Means Working Together,” Canadian Business Franchise, March 2010
  • “Building a Co-Branding Alliance: Contracts Explored,” Canadian Business Franchise, January 2007
  • “Building a Co-Branding Alliance: Can 2+2= 5?,” Canadian Business Franchise, November 2006
  • “The FDA’s Food Security Guidelines,” Franchise Times, May 2002
  • The Accidental Franchise, October 10, 2001
  • “Extranets - Getting Inside Your Website,” Maryland Bar Journal, November 2000
  • “Multiple Unit Franchising: Area Representation,” Franchise Legal Digest November 2000
  • “Franchisor Liability for Failure by Franchisees to Comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act – Compliance Drafting Issues,” Franchise Law Journal, Vol. 19, No. 4, April 2000
  • “Healthcare Services: An Accidental Franchise?” Maryland Bar Journal, November 1999
  • “Dual Branding: The New Franchising Phenomenon,” Leader's Franchising Business and Law Alert, November 1995
  • “Franchisors and Franchisees Brace for New Disclosure Regime,” Lodging Magazine, November 1994
  • “Growth by Franchising,” Hotels Magazine, February 1991


  • "Structuring Relationships: Avoiding Traps and the Accidental Franchise," AIPLA Annual Meeting, October 25, 2018
  • “Data Privacy Protection & Cyber Security Concerns for Franchise Systems,” Maryland State Bar Association, Franchise & Distribution Law Committee, April 1, 2015
  • "Franchising in the Health Care Industry," Colorado Health Law Symposium, March 13, 2015
  • Colorado Health Law Symposium, March 13, 2015
  • “Cyber Security & Data Privacy Protection: Practical Steps to Manage this Potentially Brand Threatening Risk,” moderator, IFA 55th Annual Convention, Las Vegas, Nevada, February 17, 2015
  • International Franchise Association Annual Convention 2015, February 15, 2015
  • “Reviewing ‘Heavily Regulated’ Franchise Businesses: Special registration and disclosure issues for franchises in heavily regulated industries including medical, and health care businesses,” NASAA Franchise and Business Opportunity Training Program, November 15, 2014
  • "Franchising in the Health Care Industry," ABA Forum on Franchising, October 15, 2014
  • “Entrepreneurship and Franchising,” guest lecturer at the University of Rochester Simon School of Business, Rochester, New York, May 1, 2014
  • “Business Solution Roundtables: Creative Financial Performance Representations,” facilitator at the International Franchise Association Annual Convention, New Orleans, Louisiana, February 24, 2014
  • “Concurrent ICFE Special Session: Ignite Brand Growth by Integrating Social Media Into Your Overall Marketing Strategy,” copresenter, IFA's 54th Annual Convention, New Orleans, Louisiana, February 1, 2014
  • “Financing, Due Diligence, Deal Structuring and Exits,” panel moderator at Capital Roundtable’s Private Equity Investing in Franchise Companies, New York, November 1, 2013
  • “Social Media Strategies Beyond the Basics: How to Market, Monitor and Defend Your Brand,” International Franchise Association’s 52nd Annual Convention, Orlando, Florida, February 2012; IFA’s 53rd Annual Convention, Las Vegas, Nevada,
    February 1, 2013
  • “Franchising Fundamentals,” Loudoun County Small Business Development Center, Ashburn, Virginia, December 2005, November 2006, November 2007, September 2009, September 2010, and November 2012
  • “Franchising in Regulated Industries, 27th Annual Joint Conference,” IFA and International Bar Association, Washington, DC, May 1, 2011
  • “Business Laws and Regulations That Affect Franchise Systems,” American Bar Association’s 33rd Annual Forum on Franchising, San Diego, California, October 1, 2010
  • “A Seller’s Guide to Preparing to Sell the Franchise System,” International Franchise Association 42nd Annual Legal Symposium, Washington, DC, May 1, 2009
  • “Franchising Your Business, “ International Concierge and Errand Association Annual Convention, San Diego, California, October 1, 2007
  • “When the Relationship Sours: Creating an Amicable Plan,” International Franchise Association 47th Annual Convention, Las Vegas, February 1, 2007
  • “Structures and Operational Strategies for Successful Expansion Within the US,” International Franchise Expos, Washington, DC, January 1, 2007
  • “Co-Branding and Multi-Brand Alliances,” International Franchise Expos, Washington, DC, January 1, 2007
  • “Rescission of Franchise Agreements Under Maryland Law,” Maryland State Bar Association Franchise and Distribution Committee Meeting, Baltimore, April 1, 2006
  • “Resolving Franchise System Disputes Without Litigation,” International Franchise Association 46th Annual Convention, Palm Springs, California, February 1, 2006
  • “Franchisors’ Role in Franchisee Financing,” International Franchise Expos, Washington, DC, January 1, 2006
  • “FTC Franchise Rule Seminar,” International Franchise Association, Washington, DC, September 1, 2005
  • “Fundamentals of Franchising,” IFA Educational Foundation and the Association of Small Business Development Centers, Baltimore, September 1, 2005
  • “Special Issues Involving Multiple Concept Franchising,” International Franchise Association 38th Annual Legal Symposium, Washington, DC, May 1, 2005
  • “How Franchisors Can Attract Multi-Unit Franchisees to Their Systems,” Franchise Finance and Development Conference, Las Vegas, April 1, 2005
  • “Franchise and Licensing Issues for Lenders & Workout Professionals,” Turnaround Management Association, Baltimore, June 1, 2004
  • “Understanding and Negotiating a Franchise Agreement,” Joint Maryland Bar Committee on Franchise and Distribution Law, MICPEL, Virginia State Bar Committee, and DC Bar Committee continuing legal education program, Alexandria, Virginia, November 1, 2003
  • “The Accidental Franchise,” ABA’s 24th Annual Forum on Franchising, San Francisco, October 10, 2001
  • “Business Opportunity Laws,” Maryland Bar and MICPEL, Baltimore, April 1, 2001
  • “The Prevent Defense,” IFA Legal Roundtable Series, Denver, March 1, 2001
  • “Practical Solutions to Franchise Conflicts,” IFA Legal Roundtable Series, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 1, 1999
  • “Mergers and Acquisitions Involving Franchise Networks,” International Franchise Association 32nd Annual Legal Symposium, Washington, DC, May 1, 1999
  • “Co-Branding and Multi-Branding,” International Franchise Expo, Washington, DC, April 1, 1999
  • “Licensing, Branding and Co-Branding,” Tortilla Industry Association 9th Annual Convention, Las Vegas, September 1, 1998
  • “Understanding and Negotiating a Franchise Agreement,” Maryland Bar Committee on Franchise and Distribution Law and the Virginia State Bar Antitrust, Franchise and Trade Regulation Section, Baltimore, June 1, 1998
  • “Strategic Alliances: Expand Your Business through New Brand Partners and/or Alternate Locations,” Specialty Coffee Association of America’s 10th Annual Conference, Denver, April 1, 1998
  • “Understanding and Negotiating a Franchise Agreement,” Maryland Bar Committee on Franchise and Distribution Law and MICPEL, Baltimore, September 1, 1997
  • “Solving the Franchising Puzzle: Branded Foodservice at Convenience Stores,” National Association of Convenience Stores Foodservice Conference, Chicago, June 1, 1997
  • “Co-Branding and Non-Traditional Distribution,” IFA Second Tuesday Program, Rosslyn, Virginia, January 1, 1997
  • “Co-Branding: The Next Frontier for Profits – Legal Issues in Structuring Co-Branding Relationships,” Branding America ’96 Conference, Atlanta, April 1, 1996
  • “Franchising in Maryland and the New UFOC,” Maryland Bar Committee on Franchise and Distribution Law and MICPEL, March 1, 1996
  • “Legal Issues in Structuring Branding Alliances,” National Association of Convenience Stores Food Service Forum, March 1, 1996
  • “Franchise Law for the Non-Lawyer,” IFA Foundation Certified Franchise Executive Program, Washington, DC, May 1, 1995
  • “The New UFOC Guidelines,” IFA Legal Roundtable Series,” Washington, DC, December 1, 1994
  • “The Franchise Contract,” International Franchise Expo, April 1, 1994

Press releases

Legal alerts