Maral Kilejian focuses her practice in the areas of franchise and distribution law and advertising, marketing, and promotional law.
Maral is a nationally-recognized franchise attorney who 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, and crisis management. She represents franchisors in all stages of their business life cycle, from those just beginning to venture into franchising, to emerging brands, to mature multi-national franchisors.
Maral is the co-chair of the Advertising, Marketing, and Promotional Law practice group and routinely advises clients on compliance, regulatory, and contract negotiation matters. She provides practical advice and guidance to clients regarding the structure and implementation of marketing and advertising campaigns, and both domestic and international promotions, contests and giveaways across various media, including text message promotions and social media campaigns. She routinely conducts advertising reviews for clients, including in the areas of claim substantiation, comparative advertising, trademark usage, and FTC and state law compliance. Maral also prepares, reviews, and negotiates sponsorship and endorsement agreements, influencer agreements, promotional license agreements, and marketing services agreements and advises in the structuring, advertising, and state regulatory requirements surrounding commercial charitable promotions.
Maral is a Certified Franchise Executive, as designated by the International Franchise Association, a Franchise Times Legal Eagle (each year since 2016), and an active member of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Franchising, currently serving as a member of the Forum’s Marketing Committee. From 2015 until 2019, she served as a Topics and Articles Editor for the Franchise Law Journal, and from 2013 to 2015 she served on the Forum’s Diversity Caucus’s Steering Committee. Maral is routinely asked to speak at national conferences on franchise and advertising law matters.
- Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America, Woodward/White, Inc., 2024
- Included as a Legal Eagle (top 100 franchise lawyers) in Franchise Times, Franchise Times Corp., 2017-2021
- Selected for inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers Rising Stars, Thomson Reuters, 2016-2017
- Named as a Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) as recognized by the International Franchise Association, 2016
- "Franchisor Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) Plans and Brand Standards," moderator, IFA Legal Symposium, May 2023.
- “2021 Regulatory Update,” speaker, Forum on Franchising Annual Meeting, Fall 2021.
- “Global Expansion in a Stay at Home World: How Franchise Systems Expand Internationally Today,” speaker, IFA Legal Symposium, May 2021.
- “Franchise Agreement Provisions You Should Expect to Negotiate When Entering into Non-Traditional Locations and in Other Unique Situations,” speaker, International Franchise Association Legal Symposium, Washington, D.C., May 2019.
- “Click to Win: Boosting the Brand with Sweepstakes and Contests,” author and speaker, Form on Franchising Annual Meeting, Fall 2017.
- “Trademark Infringement Claims in Keyword Advertising,” co-author, Franchise Law Journal Vol. 36, No.1, Summer 2016.
- “Franchising (& Distribution) Currents”, author, Franchise Law Journal Vol. 36, No.1, Summer 2016.
- “Franchising to Large and Sophisticated Franchisees: A Whale of an Opportunity or the Elephant in the Room?” author and speaker, Forum on Franchising Annual Meeting, Fall 2015.
- “Franchising (& Distribution) Currents”, co-author, Franchise Law Journal Vol. 18, No.4, Fall 2015.
- “Forum Selection and Choice of Law: Drafting and Enforcement,” Presenter, North Dallas Bar Association, Dallas, Texas, September 2014.
- “How Does the Americans with Disabilities Act Affect Both Franchisors and Franchisees?” The Franchise Lawyer, Fall 2013.
- “Legal Issues Affecting Franchise Development,” Presenter, International Franchise Association Franchise Development Seminar, Dallas, Texas, November 2012.
- “Enforceability of Contractual Forum Selection and Choice of Law Provisions,” Franchise Law Journal, Fall 2012.
- “What is a Franchise?” Presenter, International Franchise Association Legal Symposium Basics Track, Washington, D.C., May 2011.
- “The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act: A Safety Quilt for Franchisees Called to Duty,” The Franchise Lawyer, Fall 2009.
- “Cross Border Franchising” Presenter, Best Practices in Franchising Breakfast and Roundtable Series, Toronto, Canada, September 2008.
B.A., Texas Tech University
J.D., University of Houston Law Center
M.B.A., University of Houston Bauer School of Business
Texas Supreme Court
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
Takeaways The National Labor Relation Board (“NLRB”) issued a Final Rule effective Dec. 26, 2023 (if it survives pending legal challenges) that changes the standard for determining whether two or more companies are joint employers under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). The Final Rule provides that indirect control of or the reserved right to control (even if never exercised) another [...]