Southwestern Law School,- Juris Doctor (1973)University of California, Los Angeles- B.A. Political Science (1970)Pepperdine University School of Law- Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution (2001)
Publications & Speaking
Noteworthy Legal Activities
Barry Kurtz is the Chair of our Franchise and Distribution Practice Group, currently one of the largest law departments dedicated to that practice area in California. A Certified Specialist in Franchise and Distribution Law designated by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization and Certified Franchise Executive under the auspices of the International Franchise Association, Mr. Kurtz also has a wealth of experience in related business matters – including corporate, mergers and acquisitions, business transactional law, and commercial real estate leasing. He is a Shareholder at our Firm.
Mr. Kurtz represents franchisors, manufacturers, franchisees and distributors. His familiarity with franchising – as an attorney, a franchisor executive and franchisee developer – spans decades, and provides both domestic and international clients with a unique perspective on the issues and demands that franchised and independent business owners face in the expansion, sale, purchase, financing and operation of their companies. Mr. Kurtz's practical, hands-on experience includes:
Outside General Counsel, Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of National/International Expansion for a national retail franchisor with 100+ units and $60M in annual sales
Development and co-administration of 22 franchised quick service restaurants
Founder, Officer and Director – Franchise Advisory Council and Independent Franchisee Association
Mr. Kurtz regularly represents clients regarding:
Preparation of domestic and international franchise registration and disclosure documents (FDD)
Structuring franchisors, franchisees, management teams and affiliated companies
Work-out arrangements for distressed franchisees in lieu of termination
Development and enforcement of franchise system-wide standards
Franchisor and franchisee disputes and termination matters
Acquisitions and dispositions of franchisors, franchisees and independent businesses
Commercial real estate leasing and acquisitions
Development/implementation of regional, national and international franchise expansion programs
Structuring, negotiating and drafting documentation for mergers and acquisitions, business purchases and sales, joint ventures, and other business arrangements
Mr. Kurtz is a prolific author of published articles on franchise and distribution law and has provided expert witness testimony in franchise litigation and arbitration proceedings for both franchisors and franchisees. Mr. Kurtz is certified as a mediator by Pepperdine University School of Law, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. Mr. Kurtz has been a member of the American Bar Association Section on Business Law and Forum on Franchising since 1982 and was a member of the International Franchise Association's Legal/Legislative Committee from 1991 to 1998. In addition, Mr. Kurtz served as an appointed member of the Franchise Law Committee of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of California from 1983 - 1985, 1998 - 2000 and 2011 - 2013, and was appointed to the State Bar of California Franchise and Distribution Law Advisory Commission for a four year term in 2014.
Rated 5.0 AV Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell's highest award for legal ability and ethics, Mr. Kurtz has been listed in the directory's National Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers since 2008. ALM Media and LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell both recognize him as one of Southern California’s Top Rated Lawyers.
The San Fernando Valley Business Journal selected Mr. Kurtz as one of the Top 25 Lawyers in the Valley and as one of the Valley's Most Trusted Advisors in 2012, 2015 and 2018 - and selected him as 2018 Attorney of the Year for its Client Services Award. The Pacific Coast Business Times has twice singled out Mr. Kurtz as one of the top attorneys in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura Counties – based on the quality and quantity of his efforts advising clients – in those three counties. Mr. Kurtz is also a Southern California Super Lawyer, chosen for this honor by the Journal of Law & Politics, every year since 2010.
Mr. Kurtz is admitted to practice in the state courts in California, before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.
A strong proponent of education, Mr. Kurtz is a former member of the Board of Trustees of Woodbury University in Burbank, California and the University’s President’s Executive Council. He served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Westmark School in Encino, California – an organization devoted to the education of children with dyslexia and related language-based learning disabilities, from 1994 - 1998. Mr. Kurtz was also a member of the Board of Directors of Dubnoff Center in North Hollywood, California – a school for children and adolescents with combinations of severe emotional disturbances, developmental delays and learning disabilities, serving from 2005 - 2011. Mr. Kurtz is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Southwestern Law School Alumni Association and of the Board of Directors of the charity-focused Valley Community Legal Foundation of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association.