Press Release

Franchise Times Names Deborah S. Coldwell and Maral Kilejian 2020 Legal Eagles

April 06, 2020
Franchise Times has again ranked Haynes and Boone, LLP Partners Deborah Coldwell and Maral Kilejian among the top franchise practitioners in the U.S., naming them 2020 Legal Eagles.

This marks the fourth time that Kilejian has been selected as a Legal Eagle and the 16th year for Coldwell. In 2013, Franchise Times also inducted Coldwell into its inaugural Legal Eagles Hall of Fame, which comprises lawyers who have been on the list for 10 years.

Legal Eagles are “star legal professionals” who have been nominated or recommended by peers, clients and the publication editors, according to Franchise Times.

“These attorneys live and breathe franchising and understand the nuances of this unique business model at a deep level,” the publication states. “Whether they’re working for a franchisor, a franchisee or an association, they are the people to find when something goes wrong—and, of course, to keep things going right—in a franchise business.”

The publication asked Legal Eagles what issues they think more people in franchising should know about. Coldwell offered her general wisdom: “The faster you can figure out what the other side really wants, the more quickly you can get to a solution.”

About the Honorees

Based in Dallas, Coldwell represents franchisors, distributors, joint ventures, limited liability companies, partnerships and the individuals who run those companies in jury trials, bench trials and arbitrations. She has litigated across several industries – from hotels and restaurants to health clubs and tax preparation services to product and service-based franchise and distribution networks. She is a past chair of the American Bar Association Forum on Franchising. She also served the Forum as the editor-in-chief of the Franchise Law Journal and as its publications officer. Coldwell channels her love of sports by litigating sports law-related matters and serving as co-chair of Haynes and Boone’s Sports Law Practice Group. She is also a passionate member of the Food, Beverage and Restaurant Practice Group.

Coldwell is recognized among The Best Lawyers in America, Woodward/White, Inc., for Franchise Law (2007-2020) and listed by Chambers USA, Chambers and Partners, as a nationally recognized franchise lawyer in America (2009-2019).

Also based in Dallas, Kilejian focuses her practice in the areas of franchise and distribution law, and advertising, marketing, and promotional law. She provides practical initial and ongoing counsel and legal support to franchisors in the structuring and operation of domestic franchise programs and international expansion, including in the drafting of franchise-related agreements, franchise compliance issues, franchise and business opportunity registrations and exemptions, non-traditional venues, alternative distribution channels, managing franchisee relationships, crisis management, operations manuals, marketing materials, gift card programs, and development and implementation of social media policies and guidelines. Kilejian also helps clients with nationwide and international advertising and marketing campaigns and initiatives, as well as promotions, including sweepstakes and contests.

Kilejian is co-chair of the firm’s Advertising, Marketing, and Promotional Law practice group. She was selected for inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers Rising Stars, Thomson Reuters (2016-2017). She was also named as a Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) as recognized by the International Franchise Association in 2016.

Haynes and Boone’s Franchise and Distribution Practice Group ranks consistently among the top global and domestic franchise practices in Chambers USA, Chambers Global and U.S. News/Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms.” Members of the group have experience in-house with franchise companies and outside in the real world working in the industries served and seek to combine business skill and legal knowledge to balance the business objectives and economic expectations of franchise and distribution clients.

Haynes and Boone is an international corporate law firm with offices in Texas, New York, California, Charlotte, Chicago, Denver, Washington, D.C., London, Mexico City and Shanghai, providing a full spectrum of legal services in energy, technology, financial services and private equity. With more than 575 lawyers, Haynes and Boone is ranked among the largest U.S.-based firms by The National Law Journal, The American Lawyer and The Lawyer. It also ranks among the nation’s most recommended law firms by general counsel, according to BTI Consulting Group’s “Most Recommended Law Firms 2019” report.

To see the full list of Legal Eagles, click here.
Media Contacts