A decade before Spadea Lignana was named the No. 1 franchise law firm by Entrepreneur magazine, Tom Spadea was selling franchises during the day and going to law school at night. By Brianna Bohn
A decade before Spadea Lignana was named the No. 1 franchise law firm by Entrepreneur magazine, Tom Spadea was selling franchises during the day and going to law school at night. A third-generation entrepreneur, Spadea struggled with the poor service lawyers often gave to business founders and entrepreneurs. These experiences led him to an epiphany.
“When I interacted with attorneys before I was an attorney, there was a lack of service, understanding and empathy toward business owners. The joy, pain and stress of owning your own business is something I intuitively understand,” he said.
After he and his best friend from high school, Josh Lignana, graduated from law school in their late 30s, the duo created something franchise founders desperately needed but never had: a premier law firm that truly understands the nuances and needs of franchise founders.
Since 2012, Spadea Lignana has offered affordable, predictable methods for starting and growing a franchise system. The law firm focuses on the regulatory, compliance and contract needs of franchisors, from the annual FDD update to every signed franchise agreement. Clients get a dedicated and experienced team of a franchise attorney, a paralegal and a client relations manager.
Spadea Lignana has built its firm to solve the three things people dislike most about lawyers:
Most lawyers bill hourly in six-minute increments; Spadea Lignana charges flat fees.
“We charge a fair, flat monthly fee for the core of what you need as a franchisor. You pay one number that covers all of your regulatory compliance related to the FDD, state registrations and the issuing of franchise agreements. Call us as much as you want. Ask us any question,” Spadea said.
The law firm believes transparency is paramount.
“We’ve invested a tremendous amount of money, time and energy in our technology, especially our client access portal, or CAP, which gives clients real-time access to their state filings and their FDD update. We’re an open book,” he explained.
Spadea Lignana understands that time kills deals.
“Maybe because I sold franchises, I understand the importance of time when you are trying to close a deal. Responsiveness is baked into our DNA. We’re on our client’s team, and our goal is to help them grow,” Spadea said.
Not only is the law firm’s approach to client relationships and success refreshingly different, but it also is reassuring. Spadea Lignana is invested in helping founders achieve generational wealth and get on the road to a solid private equity exit.
In addition to helping dozens of founders navigate a successful exit over the last few years, Spadea Lignana is proud of its many other achievements. Several of its team members have been named to Franchise Times’ Legal Eagles list, which recognizes exceptional lawyers. A glance at Spadea Lignana’s 90-plus five-star reviews also reveals that the law firm has many fans.
“We have built a tremendous team of rock-solid professionals who have grown and been with us for many years, and we love our clients,” Spadea said. “We’re not transactional; it’s a relationship.”