Lathrop GPM Grows Franchise & Distribution Practice with New Partner and Associates


Am Law 200 firm expands internationally-ranked franchise practice to Dallas and Chicago offices

(June 2022) – Lathrop GPM is pleased to welcome partner Carlos White and associates Kevin Graff, Jason Johnson and Rachel O’Connor to the firm’s internationally-ranked Franchise & Distribution Practice Group. The firm will now have a dedicated Franchise attorneys in its Dallas and Chicago offices, expanding its ability to serve clients throughout the nation.   

“These are exciting additions to the team,” said Cameron Garrison, Managing Partner. “Our Franchise & Distribution group is a strategic area of focus for the firm and these attorneys will help us expand this practice into two new offices and play an integral role in the expansion of the practice.”

“I am delighted that Carlos, Kevin, Jason and Rachel have joined the firm’s Franchise & Distribution team,” said Liz Dillon, Partner and Franchise & Distribution Practice Group Leader. “With the addition of Carlos and Kevin, we will now have a franchise presence in the firm’s Dallas and Chicago offices, expanding our national footprint for clients in those regions.”

White counsels clients across all stages of their lifecycle in all matters relating to franchise and distribution systems. He has created franchise programs domestically and internationally in the restaurant and food service, hotel and hospitality, real estate and senior assisted living, healthcare and wellness, business and computer services, manufacturing, transportation and logistics, and online dating industries. Active in the community, he serves on the Board for the Desoto Economic Development Corporation, a former Board Member of the Southern Dallas Development Corporation and involved with B.U.I.L.D. Collaborative, a coalition of Dallas small business ecosystem partners that promotes equitable and inclusive entrepreneurial growth. White earned his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and his B.S. from Southern University. White joins Lathrop GPM as a Partner based in the firm’s Dallas office.

“I look forward to working with the Franchise practice group at Lathrop GPM and building our presence in Dallas,” said White. “The group’s international reputation and deep bench of attorneys will allow me to provide more extensive support to our clients.”

Graff assists clients in asset acquisitions and dispositions, commercial contracts and franchise matters. Prior to joining Lathrop GPM, he was a transactional attorney with a franchise-focused law firm, where he assisted clients in drafting franchise disclosure documents, franchise and development agreements and all other applicable governing documents. Graff is also a former detective for the Cook County Sheriff’s Department, detailed to the FBI Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Task Force. He earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law in 2021 and his B.A. from National Louis University in 2018. Graff joins Lathrop GPM as an Associate based in the firm’s Chicago office.

Johnson focuses his practice on franchise litigation, including antitrust and class actions. Prior to joining Lathrop GPM, he was an associate attorney with another Minnesota firm, and a judicial law clerk for the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota and the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Johnson earned his J.D. from Mitchell Hamline School of Law, summa cum laude, in 2018 and his B.A. from St. John's University in 2014. Johnson joins Lathrop GPM as an Associate based in the firm’s Minneapolis office.

O’Connor counsels clients on transactional, business law, and franchise matters, including corporate governance and compliance, acquisitions and sales of businesses, corporate finance, and commercial agreements. She advises clients in the due diligence process of transactions, identifying key issues and risks. O’Connor joins Lathrop GPM from a law firm in Minneapolis where she advised individuals, businesses, private equity funds, franchisees, and developers. She earned her J.D., cum laude, from the University of St. Thomas School of Law, magna cum laude, in 2016 and her B.A. from Marquette University in 2013. O’Connor joins Lathrop GPM as an Associate based in the firm’s Minneapolis office.