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Our Team Harris J. Chernow

Harris J. Chernow is a partner and chair of the firm’s national Franchise & Distribution Practice Group and an active member of the Corporate & Business Services Group and Hospitality Law Group. He has a national practice representing franchisors, franchisees, and distributors in many sectors, including in the hotel and hospitality industry. His experience is complemented by his significant business and corporate practice, including complex mergers and acquisitions, executive employment, leasing and real estate, and mediation and arbitration practices.

Much more than a franchise and hospitality lawyer, Harris is a well-respected corporate/business lawyer who improves his clients’ companies by delivering guidance through their business transactions and disputes.

With clients ranging from start-ups to large, long-established companies, Harris has worked with an array of businesses. His franchise and business practice extends across a range of industries, representing franchisors/brands, single and multi-unit franchisees/owners, area developers, master franchisees, franchisee associations, distributors, and private equity-backed businesses seeking to expand through franchising or distribution.

Harris is also highly sought after for his dispute resolution acumen in franchise, hospitality, and commercial business disputes. He has a reputation for being strong but reasonable. Harris and the firm’s Litigation Group are often called upon to represent clients in franchise and commercial litigation, arbitration, and mediation cases.

Due to Harris’ reputation for being knowledgeable, fair, and unbiased, he is frequently appointed as an arbitrator and mediator in franchise, hospitality, and commercial matters. 

When clients consult Harris, they work with an attorney who prioritizes their objectives and takes a pragmatic and effective approach. Harris’ general practice:

  • Day-to-day and overall franchise, hospitality, and business law counseling for franchisors, franchisees, brands, owners and businesses in general
  • Franchise Disclosure Documents and related agreements and compliance
  • Asset, stock, and merger and acquisition transactions
  • General business/corporate transactions
  • Hotel Management Agreements and related agreements
  • Licensing agreements and co-branding arrangements
  • Franchise system start-ups
  • Business start-ups
  • Contract negotiation and review
  • Consulting and independent contractor agreements
  • Financing arrangements
  • Confidentiality and non-compete agreements
  • Real estate development and leasing 
  • Trademarks, copyrights, licensing, and technology transfer
  • Dispute Resolution – franchise and business litigation, arbitration, and mediation

Not just all work, Harris enjoys his family time and being out on the pickleball court, the slopes, the baseball field, the water and rooting for his favorite college (Temple) and pro teams, and simply having fun.

47th Annual Forum on Franchising

October 16-18, 2024 – RRD Partner and Chair of our Franchise & Hospitality Practice Group Harris J. Chernow will be attending the 47th Forum on Franchising Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona. The…
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12th Annual Hotel and Lodging Legal Summit

September 26-27, 2024 – Chair of RRD’s National Franchise & Hospitality Practice Group, Harris J. Chernow, will present “Hotel Purchase & Sales Agreements 101” at the 12th Annual Hotel and Lodging Legal…
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Temple University 69th Acres of Diamonds Gala

May 30, 2024 – RRD Partner and Chair of our Franchise and Hospitality Practice Group will attend Temple University’s 69th Annual Acres of Diamonds Gala at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA.…
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International Franchise Association 2024 Legal Symposium

May 5-7, 2024, Washington, DC – Harris Chernow, of the firm’s Franchise Practice Group, will be a speaker at the International Franchise Association 2024 Legal Symposium. The presentation, In House Counsel intensive…
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Managing Franchise Relationships Through Mediation

Harris J. Chernow, Partner and Chair of RRD’s national Franchise & Distribution Group will be attending the New York Law School’s, Managing Franchise Relationships Through Mediation program in New York City. The…
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ABA Franchising Forum

Harris Chernow, of the firm’s Franchise Practice Group, will once again speak at the ABA Annual Forum on Franchising in Dallas, Texas on the topic of “Is a Little Competition Healthy?” The…
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Project Magis Networking Event

Louis Rizzo, Harris Chernow and James Griffith, partners at the firm’s Philadelphia office, will be attending the Project Magis Fifth Annual Cocktail Reception in support of the developmental programs offered through Catholic…
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Externship Program

Louis Rizzo and Harris Chernow, partners at the firm’s Philadelphia office, will be presenting at the American University Washington School of College in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, September 20, 2023.
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Essentials of Franchising

Presenter at the Annual American Bar Association Meeting.

American Bar Association

Presenter for Strategic and Tactical Decision Making; Managing the Organization of a Franchise Association; Effective Opening Statements and Closing Arguments; Road to Perdition: The Case Against Arbitration; Negotiating a Franchise Agreement; Anatomy…
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Legal Aspects of Franchising

Presenter at the Delaware Franchise Showcase.

Type of Entity

Presenter, hosted by the Women’s Business Development Center.

Distribution Law

Presenter at Lorman Educational Institute Seminar. 

A Practical Guide to Reviewing and Negotiating Franchise Agreements

Presenter at National Constitution Center Audio Conference.

Reviewing and Negotiating Franchise Agreements (Parts 1 and 2)

Presenter, hosted by the Professional Broadcast Education Network.

The Prevent Defense

Presenter at the International Franchise Association’s Florida Legal Roundtable.

Negotiation in the Franchise Relationship

Presenter at the International Franchise Association’s Legal Symposium.

Under Performing Franchisees

Presenter at the International Franchise Association’s Annual Convention.

Technology Issues

Roundtable Moderator at the International Franchise Association’s Annual Convention.

Dealing with Franchise Associations

Roundtable Moderator at the International Franchise Association’s Legal Symposium.

Multi-Unit Development Issues

Roundtable Moderator at the International Franchise Association’s Legal Symposium.

Ethics and Liability Concerns of Franchise Lawyers

Presenter at International Franchise Association’s Legal Symposium.

Developing and Using Franchisee Associations and FACs

Presenter at the International Franchise Association’s Legal Symposium.

Best Practices for Handling Defaults and Terminations

Presenter at International Franchise Association’s Legal Symposium. 

Update on Franchising Law and Practices

Presenter, hosted by New Jersey State Bar Association.

The Legal Aspects of Franchising

Presenter, hosted by the New Jersey State Bar Association. 

Understanding Franchise and Distribution Law Issues

Presenter, hosted by the New Jersey State Bar Association.

Franchising Your Business

Presenter, hosted by the Montgomery County Bar Association.

Franchising 101

Presenter, hosted by the Montgomery County Bar Association.

International Franchise Association’s 41st Annual Conference

Presenter

Total Quality Franchising

Presenter at American Association of Franchisees and Dealers Annual Convention.

How to Be an Effective Advocate in Mediation

Presenter at American Bar Association’s 28th Annual Forum on Franchising.

A Review of the Fundamentals and Annotated Bibliography of Helpful Resources

Presenter at International Franchise Association’s 40th Annual Legal Symposium.

Addressing Today’s Important Issues in Franchised Hotel Systems, Both Operational and Contractual

Presenter at Georgetown University Law Center’s 3rd Annual Hotel & Lodging Legal Summit.

Coaching Your Client through Buying a Business Opportunity

Panelist, hosted by the Philadelphia Bar Association

Due Diligence When Buying a Franchise System

Moderator at The 2016 International Franchise Association’s Annual Convention.

Hotel Owners & COVID-19: Extended Q&A on General Legal Considerations

Presenter at The Asian American Hotel Owners Association.

Franchisee Point of Views

Presenter at American University Washington College of Law’s Hospitality and Tourism Law Program.

The Hotel Industry – The Hotel Brands, Hotel & Resort Operations, History of the Innkeeper & the Economic Models: Designing a Hotel, Marketing & Operations

Presenter at American University Washington College of Law’s Hospitality and Tourism Law Program. 

COVID-19 Issues Affecting Small Businesses and Franchises

Presenter at The Philadelphia Bar Association. 

Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

Presentation

Philadelphia Bar Association’ Business Law Section Outreach

Presenter

Temple University Beasley School of Law

Presentation

Philadelphia Bar Association’ Business Law Section Outreach

Presenter

Rutgers Law School

Presentation

Philadelphia Bar Association’ Business Law Section Outreach

Presenter

Franchising 101, the Complete Guide to Evaluating, Buying and Growing Your Franchise Business

Chapter Co-Author from The Association of Small Business Development Centers.

Managing Franchise Relationships Through Mediation – Chapter: Franchise Mediation from the Trenches

Co-Author from CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution

The Internet Hits a Brick Wall

From The Franchise Lawyer

Mergers and Acquisitions of Franchise Companies (Second Edition)

Chapter Co-Author from American Bar Association Forum on Franchising.

The Franchise Lawyer

Featured, ABA Forum on Franchising’s publication.

The Legal Intelligencer

Featured, 2016 Top Laterals/New Partners.

I Want To Be A Franchisee – What Should I Do Next?

As a prospective franchisee, and pursuant to the Federal Trade Commission Franchise Rules and various state registration rules, you will receive a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). An FDD outlines various details about…
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Mergers and Acquisitions of Franchise Companies (Second Edition).

American Bar Association Forum on Franchising.

Fundamentals of Franchising

Harris Chernow, Chair of Reger Rizzo & Darnall’s national Franchise & Distribution Practice Group, will join with an esteemed panel of legal professionals to present Fundamentals of Franchising on Wednesday, October 16th in Denver,…
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How to Advise and Protect Your Franchise Clients

Harris J. Chernow, Chair of Reger Rizzo & Darnall’s National Franchise & Distribution practice group, will present How to Advise and Protect Your Franchise Clients in conjunction with the New Jersey Institute for Continuing…
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The Big Business of Franchise Law

Harris Chernow, Chair of Reger Rizzo & Darnall’s National Franchise & Distribution Practice Group, will present The Big Business of Franchise Law during the New Jersey State Bar Association’s 2018 Annual Meeting…
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Fundamental Legal Aspects of Franchising

Harris Chernow, Chair of Reger Rizzo & Darnall’s national Franchise & Distribution Practice Group, will serve as moderator during the presentation, Fundamental Legal Aspects of Franchising. The seminar will be presented during the Philadelphia…
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Permission or Forgiveness: Dealing with Brands and Brand Standards

Join Harris J. Chernow, Chair of Reger Rizzo & Darnall’s national Franchise & Distribution Practice Group for a panel discussion entitled, Permission or Forgiveness: Dealing with Brands and Brand Standards, during the 5th Annual Georgetown…
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Franchise Law: From Soup to Donuts

Join Harris J. Chernow, Chair of Reger Rizzo & Darnall’s national Franchise & Distribution Practice Group for this always well-received program, focusing on the wide range of legal services related to the special business needs…
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Death by Dangled Carrot: Litigating Financial Performance Representations

Join Harris J. Chernow, Chair of Reger Rizzo & Darnall’s Franchise & Distribution Practice Group, as he presents Death by Dangled Carrot: Litigating Financial Performance Representations at the International Franchise Association’s 49th Annual Legal Symposium in Washington, D.C.…
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  • Included in the Who’s Who Legal: Franchise List
  • Included in the Franchise Times list of Legal Eagles
  • Included in the list of Franchise Super Lawyers by Franchise Times
  • Included in the Top 100 Attorneys by Franchise Times
  • Selected as one of only three franchise lawyers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and one of only 169 internationally, to be included in the list of International Who’s Who of Franchise Lawyers
  • Received the Member of the Year award from the American Association of Franchisees and Dealers
  • Included in list of The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Franchise Law
  • Included in the list of 50 on the Fast Track by the Pennsylvania Law Weekly
  • Included in the list of Pennsylvania Super Lawyers by Philadelphia Magazine
  • Rated as an AV Preeminent® attorney by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Recipient of the Temple University F. Eugene Dixon Jr. Inspiration Award
  • Included in the list of 2017 Franchise Legal Players by 1851 Magazine

Temple University, Vice President of the Temple University Owl Club
Member of the Board of Directors of the Temple University Owl Club
Former President of the Temple University Owl Club
Member and Executive Committee Member of the Temple University Owl Club
Appointed Non-Voting Member of Trustee’s Committee on Student Affairs
Appointed to Trustee’s Task Force on Athletics
Appointed to Head Football Coach Selection Committee
Counsel for the Temple University Alumni Association
Upper Dublin/Beth Masada B’nai B’rith Lodge, Former Vice President
Temple Sinai, Board Member and Legal Committee Chair

  • Philadelphia Bar Association – Chair, Business Law Section; Co-chair, Franchise Law Committee; Vice Chair, Mid-Size Firm Committee
  • International Franchise Association – Legal Symposium Task Force Member; Speaker
  • Center for Public Resources Institute for Dispute Resolution – Distinguished Franchise Panel Neutral; Franchise Mediation Committee Member
  • American Association of Franchisees and Dealers – Past Chair of the Legal Education Subcommittee; Speaker at Annual Conventions and Forums
  • National Franchise Mediation Program – Steering Committee Member
  • American Franchisee Association – Speaker at Legal Symposia
  • New Jersey State Bar Association – Franchise Law Committee Co-Chair
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association – Franchise and Business Sections Member
  • Montgomery County Bar Association – Vice Chair of the Franchise Law Committee; Past Chair of the Franchise Law Committee
  • Georgetown Law School Hotel & Lodging Summit Advisory & Planning Committee Member
  • American Bar Association Forum on Franchising