Ryan R. Palmer

Ryan Palmer serves domestic and international clients across the restaurant, hospitality, retail, and service sectors. He counsels brand and concept owners in the development of franchise and distribution systems and helps businesses resolve disputes with franchisees and licensees. Ryan’s multi-unit retail experience includes representing clients in refranchising and franchise finance transactions and in the sale and acquisition of franchised brands. Ryan advises clients on a wide range of franchise finance transactions and represents lenders in franchise transactions.

Because of his extensive background and reputation advising clients in the restaurant sector, Ryan is frequently interviewed by the media on matters affecting restaurants and hospitality. In 2020, his viewpoint was frequently sought out by journalists reporting on how restaurants could survive through the early weeks of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ryan helps clients build and protect their brands through the strategic use of copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. He has reviewed and cleared hundreds of federal trademarks and assists clients in policing and defending their intellectual property assets. Clients rely on Ryan to provide day-to-day advice on all aspects of business law, including sales, acquisitions, contract review and drafting, and corporate and shareholder matters.

A member of Lathrop GPM's Executive Committee, Ryan is also a member of the adjunct faculty at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, where he teaches negotiations and mergers & acquisitions.


  • Presenter, "Fresh Ideas for the Lunchtime Daypart," Food on Demand Conference, November 11, 2021
  • Presenter, "Franchisor/Franchisee Conflict – Tips for Narrowing the Differences," Restaurant Finance Monitor - Restaurant Finance & Development Conference, November 2021
  • Moderator, "Changing the Game: Training and Support During a Period of Rapid Innovation," IFA 2021 Annual Convention, February 17, 2021
  • Speaker, "COVID-19 Strategy Summit for Food & Restaurants," The Spoon, April 6, 2020
  • Panelist, "Survival Mode: What a Restaurant Needs to Do Over the Next Three Months," Franchise Times, April 3, 2020 
  • "Introduction to Third-Party Delivery,” panelist, Food On Demand Virtual Workshop, webinar, June 13, 2018
  • “Franchise 2.0: Tools for Taking Your Franchise Model to the Next Level,” co-presenter, International Franchise Expo, New York, NY, May 31, 2018
  • “Legal/Liability/Finance Landmines,” panelist, Food on Demand Conference, Dallas, TX, March 20, 2018
  • “10 Commandments of Franchise Sales,” presenter, International Franchise Exposition, New York, NY, June 16, 2017
  • “Selecting the Best Franchise Structure for Domestic and International Expansion,” presenter, International Franchise Exposition, New York, NY, June 1, 2017; June 2, 2016
  • “Franchise 2.0: Tools for Taking Your Franchise Model to the Next Level,” presenter, International Franchise Exposition, New York, NY, June 1, 2016
  • (Re)invigorating Franchise Systems Through Transfers and Repurchases,” panelist, IFA Franchise Business Network (FBN) meeting, May 3, 2016
  • “You Can Finance Anything: 21st Century Funding Options for Your Restaurants,” moderator, National Restaurant Association Show, May 16, 2015
  • “What Franchisees Want,” moderator, Franchise Finance & Growth Conference, April 1, 2015
  • “Crowd Funding and Peer-to-Peer Lending: What It Means for the Future of Restaurant Finance,” moderator, Restaurant Finance & Development Conference, November 1, 2014
  • “Franchise Lending Today,” moderator, BoeFly Franchise Lending Spotlight, October 1, 2014; Franchise Finance & Growth Conference, March 1, 2014
  • “How to Grow and Sell Your Restaurant Business,” co-presenter, National Restaurant Association Show, May 1, 2014
  • “Best Practices & Strategies to Implement to Attract Banks to Approve Your System Operators,” facilitator, International Franchise Association Convention, February 1, 2014
  • “Case Study: Popeye’s and KFC,” Minnesota Real Estate Journal Retail & Restaurant Summit, June 1, 2013
  • “Should I Franchise My Restaurant?” National Restaurant Association Show, May 18, 2013
  • “Up and Comers,” moderator, Franchise Finance, Development and Growth Conference, April 25, 2013
  • "Packaging Up a Better Experience," moderator, Food On Demand Conference, May 5, 2022


News Releases

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association: Business Section – Forum on Franchising
  • Minnesota Bar Association
  • Hennepin County Bar Association


  • Selected among The Best Lawyers in America®, 2020-2023
  • Legal Eagle, Franchise Times, 2010-2022
  • Legal Eagle Hall of Fame InductionFranchise Times, 2019
  • "Top Franchise Legal Player," 1851 Franchise, 2018
  • “Minnesota Rising Star,” Thomson Reuters, 2007-2012, 2015-2019
  • The International Who’s Who of Franchise Lawyers, 2021-2022