In Counterpoint: Bankruptcy and Assignment of Franchise Agreements Over Franchisor’s Objection,1 published in the Spring 2013 issue of the Journal, William J. Barrett disagreed with the analysis in my article, Assigning a Franchise Agreement over the Franchisor’s Objection: Bankruptcy May Make It Possible,2 published in the Journal’s Fall 2012 issue. The Journal has granted me the opportunity to respond, for which I am grateful.
The counterpoint summarizes my article as a viewpoint piece offering up the opinion that a bankrupt franchisee has a “fair chance of compelling its franchise to accepting a replacement franchisee.” This is incorrect. In fact, the article states that successfully assuming and assigning a franchise agreement “could be an uphill legal battle and often requires a special set of circumstances,”3 and that a franchisor relying on established case law such as In re XMH Corp.,4 written by the inﬂuential jurist Richard Posner, is “arguing from a relative position of strength.”5 Moreover, the article does not offer any viewpoint in favor of franchisees or franchisors. Although the article discusses how a franchisee may be able to use bankruptcy law to assume and assign a franchise agreement, an equal amount of analysis is dedicated to how a franchisor could use bankruptcy law to prevent assignment.
1. William J. Barrett, Counterpoint: Bankruptcy and Assignment of Franchise Agreements Over Franchisor’s Objection, 32 FRANCHISE L.J. 247 (2013).
2. Jason B. Binford, Assigning a Franchise Agreement over the Franchisor’s Objection: Bankruptcy May Make It Possible, 32 FRANCHISE L.J. 71, 71 (Fall 2012).
3. Id. at 71.
4. 647 F.3d 690 (7th Cir. 2011).
5. Binford, supra note 2, at 71.