Rupert M. Barkoff

Chairman of the Franchise Team

Rupert Barkoff has been practicing franchise, distribution and corporate law since 1973. His franchise practice emphasizes solutions to registration and structuring issues and developing individual and collective solutions to franchisor-franchisee relationship problems.

During the course of his career, Mr. Barkoff has represented numerous start-up, national and regional franchisors in establishment and operation of their franchise systems. He has negotiated encroachment policies, counseled clients on the establishment and operation of purchasing cooperatives, and acted as mediator and arbitrator in the resolution of franchisor-franchisee disputes. He is also the Founder of the Franchise Law Institute, a newly formed group whose purpose is to study franchise law throughout the world.

Mr. Barkoff was recognized as one of the country’s leading franchise attorneys by The Best Lawyers in America® in 2018 and the 17 years immediately preceding, as well as the 2011 and 2016 Franchising Attorney of the Year in Atlanta. In 2010, he received the prestigious Lew Rudnick Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Bar Association's Forum on Franchising. He received top ranking nationally in the 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 editions of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business for Franchising, and he was listed as Tier 1 in the 2011 and 2012 editions. Mr. Barkoff was ranked as a leading practitioner for franchising globally by Chambers Global 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. He was named a Georgia "Super Lawyer" in the area of Franchise/Dealership in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and again in 2017 and the five years immediately preceding by Super Lawyers magazine. Mr. Barkoff was named a “Most Highly Regarded Individual for Franchise” by The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers for 2006, ranking #9 globally. This peer-nominated distinction is based upon a comprehensive and independent survey of both general counsel and private practice attorneys worldwide. He was also named to The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers for Franchise in 2013 and 2014. Mr. Barkoff has been named a "Legal Eagle" for 14 consecutive years by Franchise Times and in 2013, he was inducted into its Legal Eagles Hall of Fame. He is a recipient of the 2016 Client Choice Award USA & Canada in the Franchising category for Georgia from Lexology and the International Law Office (ILO). In 2017, Mr. Barkoff was recognized by the Franchise Council of Australia with its Outstanding Contribution to Franchising Award. He was recently referred to in the Chambers Global as the "godfather of franchise law." Mr. Barkoff is AV® rated by Martindale-Hubbell.*

Mr. Barkoff has published over 300 articles, columns, and books on franchise law, and is the creator and Co-Editor-in-Chief of Fundamentals in Franchising, which is used to teach novices about the intricacies of franchise law. He has testified before Congress on franchise law issues and is a columnist for the New York Law Journal. Mr. Barkoff is an adjunct professor at the University of Georgia School of Law and has spoken at major franchise law seminars for over 30 years, as well as at numerous colleges and law schools. He served as Chair of the American Bar Association Forum on Franchising for three years and was a member of its governing committee for nine years.

*CV, BV, and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedure's standards and policies.

Professional & Community Activities

American Bar Association, Business Law, Antitrust Law and Intellectual Property Law Sections, Member, Past Chair of Forum on Franchising, and Past Member of Governing Committee

International Bar Association, Member

North American Securities Administrators Franchise and Business Opportunities Task Force, Advisory Committee, Former Member

Southeast Franchise Forum, Director, Secretary and General Counsel

State Bar of Georgia, Franchise Section, Chair

ToolBank USA, Board of Directors, Member

Second Wind Dreams, Director


  • University of Michigan, J.D. (1973)
    magna cum laude
  • University of Michigan, B.S. (1970)
    high distinction

Bar Admissions

  • Georgia (1973)

Who We Are

Suite 2800, 1100 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, GA, 30309-4528
t +1 404.815.6366
f +1 404.541.3122

Rupert M. Barkoff

Experience Highlights

Litigation for national athletic training facility franchisor
Served as lead counsel for an athletic training facility franchisor and approximately 14 of its current and former officers and directors in a suit more
Formation and implementation of franchise program for multiple clients
Represents multiple clients with the formation and implementation of their franchise program, including franchise registration and disclosure issues, more
Franchise litigation related to technology licenses for entertainment technology company
Represented an entertainment technology company regarding claims that it had unlawfully sold franchises in California in violation of state franchise more
Fraudulent marketing claims of one of the nation's largest fast food franchisors
Successfully represented one of the nation's largest fast food franchisors and its franchisees in an investigation of claims associated with a more