Attorney Kevin M. Shelley 

Kevin M. Shelley


Kevin M. Shelley

Practice Areas

  • Litigation
  • Franchise Termination
  • Franchise Fraud
  • Unfair Competition
  • Securities Fraud
  • Employment Law
  • Breach of Contract


  • Villanova University School of Law, Villanova, Pennsylvania
    • J.D.
  • University of Notre Dame
    • B.B.A
    • Major: Finance
  • University of Notre Dame
    • B.A.
    • Major: English Literature


Mr. Shelley represents the firm’s franchise and commercial clients in all phases of litigation, from pre-action investigation through trial and appeal. Mr. Shelley has broad experience litigating and arbitrating commercial cases, including recent cases involving franchise termination; franchise sales fraud; franchise-related statutory provisions; enforcement of in-term and post-term contractual restrictions in the franchise and employment settings; unfair competition; close corporation ownership/management disputes; securities fraud; employment law; and breach of contract. Mr. Shelley has also filed numerous amicus curiae appellate briefs on behalf of the International Franchise Association, in cases involving vicarious liability, franchise fraud and other issues of critical importance to the franchising industry nationwide. Mr. Shelley also regularly represents the firm’s clients before various federal, state, and local administrative agencies. 

In addition to his litigation activities, Mr. Shelley is also active in the firm’s transactional practice, especially in connection with the firm’s representation of buyers and sellers in franchise-related transactions. He also counsels commercial clients on employment-related issues.

Mr. Shelley is a member of the New York State Bar Association’s Franchise Law Committee, the International Franchise Association, and the American Bar Association’s Forum on Franchising. Mr. Shelley served as an Associate Editor of The Franchise Law Journal from 2016 to 2022 and an Associate Editor of the ABA Forum on Franchising’s The Franchise Lawyer from 2011 to 2014. 

Mr. Shelley has been designated a New York Metro Super Lawyer® every year since 2013. Super Lawyers is a rating service of lawyers from diverse practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nomination and peer evaluations. Mr. Shelley has also been recognized for his franchise expertise in The Best Lawyers in America®, another national peer-review recognition platform. 

A graduate of the Villanova University School of Law (where he served as an editor of the Villanova Law Review), Mr. Shelley also holds two undergraduate degrees from the University of Notre Dame. He has been engaged in private practice since 1992 and has been with Kaufmann Gildin since 1996.

Mr. Shelley is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts in New York and Connecticut and has been admitted pro hac vice in various federal courts nationwide.

Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • Connecticut
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court Western District of New York
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court Eastern District of New York

Professional Associations

  • New York State Bar Association, Member, Franchise Law Committee
  • American Bar Association, Member, Forum on Franchising
  • International Franchise Association, Member

Representative Matters

  • Filed numerous amicus curiae appellate briefs on behalf of the International Franchise Association in cases involving vicarious liability, franchise fraud and other issues of critical importance to the franchising industry nationwide.
  • Representing a global real estate brokerage franchisor/defendant, obtained summary judgment three related cases filed by three franchisees alleging claims of fraudulent inducement, breach of contract, and multiple violations of the New York Franchise Act and the Rhode Island Franchise Investment Act. The court dismissed the statutory claims (a ruling of first impression under both statutes), and further limited plaintiffs’ sole remaining common law claim, making settlement on extremely favorable terms inevitable.
  • On behalf of a global convenience store franchisor in an action commenced by a franchisee claiming, inter alia, breach of contract and violation of the New York Franchise Act in connection with its acquisition of a franchise, obtained dismissal of the New York Franchise Act claim based upon contractual disclaimers in the parties’ franchise agreement — the first time any court had ever dismissed claims under the New York Franchise Act on that basis.  As a result of this ruling, the case was thereafter settled, on a confidential basis, on extremely favorable terms.
  • On behalf of a childcare center franchisor and its affiliates, obtained dismissal of claims under the New Jersey Franchise Practices Act, common law fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and claims against the franchisor’s officers under the New York Franchise Act. Thereafter, at the conclusion of discovery, successfully defeated plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment on both its claims and the franchisor’s counterclaims. Before trial, the case was settled on favorable terms.
  • On behalf of a fast-casual restaurant franchisor, successfully enforced termination of multi-unit franchisee through preliminary injunction and further litigation.
  • On behalf of international hospitality franchisor, successfully enforced termination of franchised hotel at Kennedy Airport, obtaining dismissal of all claims against franchisor and obtaining judgment against franchisee and its principals in excess of $3 million.
  • On behalf of a Singapore-based licensee of an international indoor skydiving equipment manufacturer/licensor (Skyventure/iFly), defeated claims by the licensor in an international arbitration forum seeking to enjoin the licensee from purchasing and operating additional indoor skydiving venues outside of Singapore with equipment purchased from third-party manufacturers. After extensive discovery, briefing and hearings, the arbitrator denied the licensor’s principal claims and granted the licensee’s counterclaim seeking a declaratory judgment that it was free to purchase from another manufacturer and that the parties’ agreement terminated on a date certain.  The arbitrator also awarded our client its reasonable attorneys’ fees.
  • Represented numerous franchisors (including Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc., IHG Hotels Group, Inc. (Holiday Inn/Crowne Plaza), Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., Bonchon Franchise LLC, Taco Bell Corp., KFC Corp., 7-Eleven, Inc., and Kidville Franchise Company LLC) in franchise termination and post-termination litigation in state and federal courts and bankruptcy courts nationwide.
  • On behalf of a nationally-recognized business strategy coach, obtained summary judgment on breach of contract claims asserting that a signed term sheet constituted a binding and enforceable agreement, rather than an unenforceable “agreement to agree,” resulting in settlement of all other claims on favorable terms.
  • Won six-day trial where client, trustee, was sued by trust beneficiaries seeking to remove client as trustee and to reverse transactions conducted in All claims by beneficiaries were denied (Rosato v. Rosato, Supreme Court, N.Y. County 2020).
  • Successfully appealed to Appellate Division, Second Department, lower court dismissal of Petition seeking to restore police officer to union, after officer had been improperly removed from union, which resulted in granting of Petition and restoration of officer to union with full benefits. (Matter of Montero Police Assn. of the City of Yonkers, Inc., 148 A.D.3d 1023, 49 N.Y.S.3d 746, 2d Dep’t 2017).
  • Successfully drafted motion to dismiss commercial holdover proceeding against coin operated laundry machine company resulting in further clarification of the factors to be applied in analyzing whether an agreement is a lease or license, as addressed in Realty Law Digest article which can be found at 5/28/2008 NYLJ 5, (col. 1). (Harlen Housing Associates, LP v. Metered Appliances, Inc., 19 3d 1101(A), 859 N.Y.S.2d 895, 2008 WL 656274, 2008 N.Y. Slip Op. 50460, N.Y. City Civ. Ct. 2008).
  • Served as lead counsel for medical practice and its principal in several disputes with former partner and other related parties involving millions of dollars in New York State Courts and before the American Arbitration Association, including: taking and defending numerous depositions, interviewing and preparing witnesses, participating in several court-ordered mediation sessions, handling review and production of tens of thousands of pages of documents, drafting and arguing motions and acting as lead counsel in back-to-back four and five day AAA arbitration hearings, including successful defense of claim for approximately $4 million dollars in deferred

Published Works

  • “Privilege and Other Ethical Considerations in the Work-From-Everywhere Era,” American Bar Association Forum on Franchising Annual Meeting (2023);, American Bar Association Forum on Franchising Annual Meeting, 2023
  • “Franchising (& Distribution) Currents” in Volumes 41-3 (2022), 40-2 (2020), 39-1 (2019), 37-3 (2018) and 36-4 (2017) of the American Bar Association’s Franchise Law Journal;
  • “Hot Issues in Litigation,” International Franchise Association Legal Symposium (2015);
  • “Litigation Decisions and Their Long-Term Effects on Franchise Businesses,” Franchising World, March 2015;
  • “Five Years After Leegin, Can Franchisors Safely Establish Resale Price Maintenance Programs?”, 11 Int’l Journal of Franchising Law 37 (2013);
  • “Legal Issues Surrounding Transfers, Assignments, and Resale Programs,” American Bar Association Forum on Franchising Annual Meeting (2009);
  • “Basics Track: Frequently Arising Issues in Litigation,” International Franchise Association Legal Symposium (2009);
  • “Pushing the Envelope: When Aggressive Sales Tactics are Legal,” Franchise Times, January 2007;
  • “Pushing the Franchise Sales Envelope,” American Bar Association Forum on Franchising Annual Meeting (2006);
  • “Preliminary Agreements: How to Avoid Unintended Contractual Obligations,” 25 Franchise Law Journal 15 (2005);
  • “When Conflicting Principles Collide: The Uncharted Boundary Between Fair Competition and Tortious Conduct,” 22 Franchise Law Journal 184 (2003);
  • “’Control’ in Franchising and the Common Law,” 19 Franchise Law Journal 119 (2000);
  • “Understanding Franchising Business and Legal Issues,” Practicing Law Institute Symposium, June, 2001; and,
  • Contributor (New York), Franchise Desk Book (American Bar Association, 2001, revised in 2007 and 2011).

Classes & Seminars

  • Contributor & Panelist, American Bar Association Forum on Franchising, 2006, 2009, & 2023
  • Contributor & Panelist, Legal Symposium, 2009 and 2015, International Franchise Association's, 2009 to 2009
  • Second Annual Franchise Law Conference, 2002, Ontario Bar Association's, 2002 to 2002
  • Contributor, Practicing Law Institute's "Understanding Franchising Business and Legal Issues" Symposium, 2001 and 2010


  • New York Metro Super Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers
  • Franchise Times Legal Eagle
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