Harold L. Kestenbaum – Franchise Attorney – Spadea Lignana Law
HAROLD L KESTENBAUM franchise attorney has specialized in franchise law and other matters relating to franchising since 1977. From May 1982 until September 1986, Harold served as franchise and general counsel to Sbarro, Inc., the national franchisor of over 1,000 family-style Italian restaurants and, was a director from March 1985 to December 2006. From September 1983 to October 1989, he served as President and Chairman of the Board of FranchiseIt Corporation, the first publicly traded company specializing in providing franchise marketing and consulting services and equity financing to emerging franchise companies, which he co-founded. Harold has authored the first book dedicated to the entrepreneur who wants to franchise his/her business called “So You Want To Franchise Your Business”. It is a step by step guide to what a businessperson needs to know and do to properly roll out a franchise program.
Harold has served as franchise counsel to many regional, national and international franchise companies in many diverse industries. Here is a sampling of some of those companies:
Sbarro – The Italian Eatery, Boulder Creek Steaks & Saloon, Nathan’s Famous, 1-800 Flowers and its subsidiary, Fannie May Candies, Bagel Boss, Manhattan Bagel, Bobby Flay’s Burger Palace, The Original Brooklyn Water Bagels, The Halal Guys, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, U-Swirl Yogurt, Dixie Cream Dream Donuts, Hot & Crusty Bakery, Firkin’s Pubs, Sylvia’s Soul Food Restaurant, Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips, Five Guys Burgers, Blo Blow Dry Bar, JRECK Subs, Austin Grill, Sedutto Ice Cream, Yogen Fruz, Freshii, Wall Street Deli, Original Ray’s Pizza, Ranch*1, Holberton Schools, Clean Image Auto Detailing, AdventMD, Right Accord, Hospitality House, Hyper-Kidz, STEM, Hunter Rowe Real Estate, Woofie’s Dog Walking, Leader of the Pack, Tax Dr., Straetus Debt Collection, Physique57, Ritter’s Custard, CoolBrands International (Tropicana Smoothie’s, Swensen’s, Bresler’s, I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt and Golden Swirl), Curry Up, Camille’s Sidewalk Café, Serafina Restaurants, Arooga’s Grill, Rex’s Fried Chicken, Lemon Tree, Los Taxes, The HomeMag, King Bear Auto Service Centers, GarageTek, Travel Network, Herman’s World of Sports,
Dashing Diva, DCAP Insurance, ATC Healthcare, Carebuilders At Home, ChaiseFitness, Southern Muscle, Tommy’s Car Wash, Tayne Law Group, Teeth Tomorrow, XpressSpa, Golden Heart Senior Care, Changes Home Care, HealthAtLast, Re-Bath, Locali, i9 Sports, Lucille Roberts, I Love Kickboxing, Firkin Pubs International, Prime Pubs, Wholesome Tummies, Butler’s Chocolates, Hand And Stone Spas, Sea Tow Services International, La Bottega, Forever Yogurt, Chocolate Works, Tapioca Express, Extreme Pizza Honest-1 Auto Care, Miami Subs, Mooyah Burgers, Planet Wings, 16 Handles Yogurt, Smokey’s Barbeque, Slapfish, Rock & Brews, Gyro Shack, Glaze Teriyaki, Zooga Yoga, Melt Shop, Big Daddy’s, FreshBerry Yogurt, Koala Center For Sleep Disorders, Mr. Sandless, Museum of Illusions, My Elder Care Advocate, Paws & Remember, Tossed, The Taco Maker, Skinny Pizza, Snowdays, Squisito’s Pizza and Pasta, Calexico, Tasti D-Lite, Pokeatery, Boardwalk Burgers and Fries, Rachel’s Kitchen, Garage Living, The Counter, Creative Playthings, Maki of Japan, National Jean Company, Black Rock Grill, City Wok, IM=X Pilates, Moby Dick House of Kebab, Santa Fe Cattle Co., Cody’s Steakhouse, Duff’s Famous Wings, Sky Zone, Launch Trampoline Park, Funtopia, Flatbread Grill, Knockout Hair Cuts for Men, Sharkey’s Hair Cuts for Kids, Jiffy Junk, Trick Shots Billiards, Peterbrooke Chocolatier, Prime Pubs, Zpizza, Cauldron Ice Cream, Personal Training Institute, Parisi Speed School, CKO Kickboxing, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Burger Hut, Brother Jimmy’s Barbeque, Naked Pizza, Waffle Cabin, Little Greek, West Shore Pizza, Popbar, Famous Toastery, Tommy Pastrami Deli, Newks Restaurant, The CrepeMaker, Vapiano’s Italian Restaurants, Chyten Educational Services, The Tutoring Center, Rapid Realty and College Hunks Hauling Junk.
Harold’s expertise in franchise law is enhanced by his practical experience in serving as the Chief Executive Officer of a national franchisor and in serving as a Director of numerous nationally and internationally known franchisors, experiences that are rare and unique in the area of franchise law.
During the 42 years that Harold has been representing franchisors, many have gone on to be wildly successful. For example, one client that started from scratch with Harold, sold out to a private equity company for $35,000,000; another sold out to a private equity company for $30,000,000, also having started with Harold from scratch; another client just did an IPO and raised $45,000,000; one client has sold over 150 franchises in less than two years, also starting with Harold; and another has sold over 1,000 units, also starting with Harold, not to mention Sbarro and their 950 locations.
His track record clearly speaks for itself.
Harold’s firm was named as one of the top 10 franchise law firms in America as voted by Entrepreneur Magazine.
Harold is a member of the American Bar Association’s Antitrust Section, a member of the Antitrust Section’s Forum Committee on Franchising since 1978, a member of the Subcommittee on Franchising of the American Bar Association’s Corporation Banking and Business Law Section, is a founding member and past Chairman of the New York State Bar Association’s Franchise, Distribution and Licensing Law Section, and he currently serves as Chairman for its Education and Seminar Subcommittee (he and has chaired a Statewide seminar programs for New York State attorneys in 1997, 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2005 and chaired seminars on Franchise Law for the Nassau and Suffolk County Bar Associations) and was a member of the International Franchise Association’s Supplier Forum Advisory Board.
He has published many articles related to franchising and frequently lectures and appears before numerous organizations and law schools speaking on various topics in franchising. He has been chosen one of the top 100 franchise attorneys in North America by Franchise Times in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 and was named to its Hall of Fame.
He was named one of the three best franchise attorneys in the New York metro area by New York Magazine for 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, and was named New York Super Lawyer as one of the Top Attorneys in the New York Metro Area for the years 2007-2018. In addition, he has written two articles for the ABA Forum Committee, one appearing in the Franchise Law Journal and the other appearing in the Franchise Lawyer.
He has appeared on two International Franchise Association Legal Symposium panels, in 2001 and in 2004. He also participates in the IFA Speakers Bureau and has spoken on its behalf, and has been a facilitator at ten IFA Convention Roundtables, and is a Certified Franchise Executive (CFE). He has attended over 30 ABA Forum Committee annual programs since 1978 and over 30 IFA Legal Symposia. Harold’s book is available at major book stores and on Amazon.com.
Harold received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1971 from Queens College, Queens, New York and earned his Juris Doctor Degree from the University Of Richmond School Of Law, Richmond, Virginia, in 1975, where he was a member of Law Review.
He is listed in “Who’s Who in American Law”, “The Best Lawyers in America” (Franchising), and is on the Martindale- Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers.
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