Blackwell Sanders Peper Martin LLP
Kansas City - St. Louis - Omaha - Springfield
Washington, D.C. - London

Blackwell Sanders Peper Martin LLP is a leading commercial law firm in the Midwest, recognized nationally for transactional and litigation practice. Corporate Board Member magazine has consistently ranked the firm as one of the Best Corporate Law Firms in America. With over 300 lawyers, concentration is focused on more than 45 significant practice areas including: franchising and distribution, intellectual property, labor and employment, securities and finance, real estate, mergers and acquisitions, creditors rights and bankruptcy, litigation, employee benefits & executive compensation and estate planning.

Our firm has earned the trust of Fortune 500, multinational, middle-market public companies and some of the largest privately held companies in the United States. Many of these clients are global leaders in their industries, including agribusiness, energy, finance, manufacturing, communications, transportation, franchising, design and engineering. Our lawyers have earned distinction for legal strategies and innovative solutions provided to meet the business and regulatory challenges of our clients in these industries.

The Franchising & Distribution practice focuses on the design, implementation, financing and maintenance of franchise and distribution businesses. Our franchise attorneys coordinate work with practice areas vital to franchise and distribution clients, such as Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment, Real Estate, Securities, Mergers & Acquisitions, Tax and Antitrust.

Our services include proactive counseling to franchise and distribution clients. Our franchise attorneys design policies and procedures aimed at maintaining positive relationships between franchisors or suppliers and their franchisees and distributors. Legal and business guidance is provided to start-up companies in the development stages of their franchise and distribution concepts.

The franchise practice covers federal and state regulatory compliance, area development and single-unit franchise offerings, development of non-franchise distribution systems, relationship issues, dispute resolution, trademarks and licensing of intellectual property, capital raising and acquisitions. Practice experience and expertise is used to effectively and efficiently assist clients in defining and achieving development goals.

Donald A. Culp, chair of Blackwell Sanders Franchise & Distribution department, has long been recognized as an industry expert in franchising and distribution law and has guided clients in structuring, implementing and maintaining comprehensive franchise systems in product and service industries. Don is a frequent speaker at legal symposiums and seminars on franchising and distribution. He is listed in Best Lawyers in America: 1997 through 2006.

Wade Kerrigan, focuses primarily in the areas of Franchising & Distribution, Mergers & Acquisitions, Intellectual Property and Technology. He provides emerging technology companies legal and business guidance that helps them strategically plan corporate alliances, technology development and intellectual property protection.

John Moore, focuses on federal and state regulatory compliance for franchisors and acquisition, financing and securities offerings.

Christina L. Weis, concentrates her practice in general corporate, securities, mergers and acquisitions and franchising. She advises clients on franchise transactions and counsels clients with respect to the formation of business entities, management and transformation of contractual relationships, asset and stock acquisitions and compliance with securities regulation.

Michelle Gruber, an Associate of Blackwell Sanders, directs her attention to commercial transactions and assisting clients on franchising issues.