Ryan C. Whitfill

Partner & Franchise Practice Chair
Ryan C. Whitfill
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Professional experience

Mr. Whitfill is a transactional attorney focused on franchise and licensing law.  Throughout his career with the leading franchise law practices at some of the largest law firms in the world, Mr. Whitfill has developed his skills and knowledge working on high level franchise matters for national and international franchisors, franchisees, licensors, distributors, master franchisees and area developers.

His experience includes advising and assisting clients in all legal aspects of structuring, operating and growing their franchise systems in compliance with U.S. and international franchise registration and disclosure laws, as well as state franchise relationship laws.

Mr. Whitfill has represented franchise concepts both large and small in a myriad of industries, including regional, national and international quick service restaurant chains, full service restaurants, childcare/pre-school concepts, pool care/maintenance stores, car rental companies, professional education franchises, in-home senior care service concepts, oil-change shops, auto parts supply chains, high-end ice cream, yogurt and gelato shops, home renovation companies, day spas, technology/service companies, check cashing franchises and various retail concepts.

Awards & Recognitions

  • Named a “Legal Eagle” by Franchise Times magazine (2017 – 2020)
  • Recognized among Best Lawyers in Dallas by D Magazine (Franchise Law, 2014-2017)
  • Former Chair of the Dallas Bar Association’s Franchise Law Section
  • Former Young Lawyer’s Committee member, American Bar Association Forum on Franchising
  • Mr. Whitfill proudly serves as a Volunteer Advocate for Dallas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)

Representative Experience

  • Negotiating, drafting, interpreting and enforcing franchise agreements, license agreements, area developer and area representative agreements, master franchise agreements, confidentiality and non-compete agreements and all related documents
  • Preparation and updating of franchise disclosure documents in accordance with federal and state franchise laws, and managing and implementing state registrations, amendments and annual updates for franchisors throughout the U.S.
  • Negotiation and structuring of international master franchise and area developer transactions (includes deals in Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and South America)
  • Advising clients regarding franchise disclosure compliance issues and advertising laws
  • Resolution of various disputes between franchisors and franchisees
  • Review and analysis of franchise agreements and franchise disclosure documents for prospective franchisees.

Selected Presentations & Publications

  • Franchising Seminar Presenter: Legal Aspects to Consider when Purchasing a Franchise (9/12/2013)
  • Mr. Whitfill has spoken at many franchise conventions and gatherings, including the International Franchising Association’s Legal Symposium in Washington, D.C.
  • Mr. Whitfill has authored a number of franchise related articles, including articles appearing in the Texas Bar Journal and Franchise Update Magazine.

Client Accolades

Ryan has been more than top notch for us.  We have a lot of moving parts in a fairly complex business and Ryan has been prompt, professional and invariably spot on in his work for us.  I have complete confidence in him.I can’t say enough about how much he has helped us navigate the sometimes murky waters of our business. Plus, he’s a pleasure to work with.

Robert Fix, Vice President
Cups Frozen Yogurt, LLC

Ryan represented me on a franchise matter recently, and I was extremely impressed with his knowledge of the law, his attention to detail and the sound advice he gave me. He walked me through the legal issues step by step and overcame each obstacle that could have derailed our franchise development project.  I would have been lost without him.  I highly recommend him to anyone I know in need of a franchise attorney.

Brian Cardinal,
Retired NBA Player
NBA Champion (Dallas Mavericks, 2011)

Interesting Facts
He was in attendance at the Texas Rangers game when Nolan Ryan pitched his 7th no-hitter. He once hiked from the top of the Grand Canyon down to the bottom and back to the top in a single day.  He was the salutatorian of his high school class.

Professional experience
  • DLA Piper LLP (US)
  • Haynes & Boone LLP
  • Jenkens & Gilchrist LLP
  • University of Texas School of Law, J.D., with honors
  • Texas A&M University, B.A. Psychology