Attorney David J Kaufmann 

David J Kaufmann

Senior Partner & Founding Member

David J Kaufmann

Practice Areas

  • Franchising
  • Litigation & Appeals
  • Securities Law
  • Contracts
  • Business Organizations


  • Columbia Law School, New York, New York
    • J.D.
  • State University of New York at Binghamton, Binghamton, New York
    • B.A.
    • Honors: magna cum laude
    • Honors: Phi Beta Kappa


David began his professional career as a franchise regulator - - David was Assistant and Special Deputy Attorney General of New York in which capacity he authored New York's franchise law (the New York Franchise Act), generally viewed as the toughest pro-franchisee disclosure law in the country. David also prosecuted franchise fraud both criminally and civilly (in one case securing the largest franchise restitution fund ever secured in New York, $15 million).

David is one of the founding partners of Kaufmann Gildin & Robbins LLP primarily representing franchisors and very large franchisees owned by private equity firms, requiring him to master not just the legal but the business complexities of clients in a vast number of different business sectors. Over the years, David and the firm have represented some of America's largest, most complex and certainly cleanest (from a regulatory perspective) franchisors, including: YUM! Brands, Inc. (Pizza Hut/KFC/Taco Bell/Habit Burger Grill); IHG Hotels and Resorts (Intercontinental Hotels/Crowne Plaza/Holiday Inn/Holiday Inn Express/Staybridge Suites/Kimpton Hotels and 8 other hotel networks); Abbey Road Studios, Hilton Worldwide; Arby's; Wendy's; 7-Eleven; Enterprise Holdings, Inc. (Enterprise/National/Alamo vehicle rental networks); Nest Seekers; Engel & Volkers; Weichert Realtors; OTG (one of the world's largest operators of airport-based restaurants and take-out facilities); Pearle Vision; Ripley's Attractions; Serta/Simmons; England’s Marks & Spencer; and, Wyndham Worldwide.

As well, David and the firm have served as franchise counsel for some of America's largest law firms, private equity firms and investment banks in a vast number complex transactions - - over $50 billion in acquisition activity and over $35 billion in franchise securitizations.

David has served as an expert witness on franchising in a number of different settings - - including serving as an expert witness for the Attorney General of New York and for some of our nation's foremost franchise law firms. Moreover, for decades David has served as an Advisor to the North American Securities Administrators’ Association (NASAA) Franchise Project Group, the quasigovernmental body of federal and state franchise regulators which coordinates and determines franchise regulatory policies and initiatives.

 David appears in New York's statute book, McKinney s New York Statutes, as an expert on franchise law. He authors the New York Law Journal franchise column (and has done so for 28 years). David also served as principal author of An Introduction to the Law of Franchising, CCH’s FTC Disclosure Rules for Franchising – Highlights and Analysis and numerous treatises for the ABA Franchise Law Journal. David has been featured in Best Lawyers in America and Best Lawyers - New York City since the inception of those publications over two decades ago and Kaufmann Gildin & Robbins LLP has been listed in Best Lawyers in America as "Nationwide Tier One - - Franchising" for over a decade.

David has served as a member of the Governing Committee of the ABA Franchise Forum and is a past Chair of the New York Bar Association’s Franchising, Licensing and Distribution Committee.

Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York

Professional Associations

  • NASAA (North American Securities Administrators Association), Franchise Project Group, Advisor
  • American Bar Association Franchise Forum, Member, Governing Committee
  • International Franchise Association Legal/Legislative Committee, Chair, Franchise Law Committee

Representative Litigation

  • Successfully arguing the only franchise case ever heard by New York’s highest court, the New York Court of Appeals, resulting in that court’s reversal of two lower courts and instead deciding in favor of a Fortune 500 company.
  • Having the New York Supreme Court rule that securing franchise registration in New York is an activity protected by the United States Constitution (franchisor in this case was Lee Myles Transmissions).
  • Persuading the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to reverse 25 years of precedent and rule in favor of franchisor 7-Eleven.
  • Also on behalf of franchisor 7-Eleven, getting the Supreme Court of New York to decree that franchisors are free to negotiate franchise agreements which vary from the form of agreements appearing in their disclosure documents, defeating the Attorney General of New York’s determination that such negotiations were illegal.

Representative Transactions

Over the years, David has been honored to represent the following stellar clients:

  • The $25 billion acquisition of one of the world’s largest guest lodging network’s by one of America’s largest private equity firms and that firm’s$25 billion securitization financing of that network..
  • Two whole business securitization financings of Wendy’s.
  • Two whole business securitization financings of Taco Bell.
  • Creation of the world’s first game specific esports league for Activision-Blizzard.
  • A $1.6 billion whole business securitization of Dunkin Brands.
  • $830 million acquisition of Holiday Station Stores by the parent of Circle K convenience stores (Alimentation Couche-Tard).
  • Acquisition of Hooters of America by Nord Bay Capital and TriArtisan Capital Advisors (price confidential).

Representative Clients

  • YUM! Brands, Inc.
  • Wendy's International, Inc.
  • Arby's Restaurant Group, Inc.
  • 7-Eleven, Inc.
  • InterContinental Hotels Group plc (Holiday Inns/Crowne Plaza/InterContinental Hotels/Hotel Indigo)
  • Enterprise Holdings, Inc. (Enterprise, National and Alamo vehicle rental networks)
  • Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (Wyndham Hotels & Resorts/Ramada Inns/Days Inns/Howard Johnson/Super 8/Travelodge)
  • Weichert Realtors
  • Jani-King, Inc.
  • Wok & Roll
  • Ripley's Attractions, Inc.
  • The Museum of Modern Art
  • Pizza Hut, Inc.
  • KFC Corporation
  • Taco Bell Corporation
  • Marriott International, Inc.


  • The Best Lawyers in America, "Franchising-New York City"
  • "New York Area Franchise Lawyer of the Year", New York Magazine
  • "Legal Eagle Hall of Fame"
  • Martindale-Hubbell: "AV Preeminent" ("Highest Possible Peer Review Rating in Legal Ability and Ethical Standards")
  • Franchise Times Legal Eagle
Best Law Firms | Ranked by Best Lawyers | Franchise Law | Tier 1 | 2024 | Franchise Times | Legal Eagles | AV Preeminent