HAROLD L. KESTENBAUM is a lawyer who has specialized in franchise law and other matters relating to franchising since 1977. From May 1982 until September 1986, Harold served as franchise and general counsel to Sbarro, Inc., the national franchisor of more than 1,000 family-style Italian restaurants and, was a director from March 1985 to December 2006. From September 1983 to October 1989, he served as president and chairman of the board of FranchiseIt Corporation, the first publicly traded company specializing in providing business franchise marketing and consulting services and equity financing to emerging franchise companies, which he co-founded. Harold has authored the first book dedicated to the entrepreneur who wants to franchise his/her business, called So You Want To Franchise Your Business. It is a step-by-step guide to what a businessperson needs to know and do to properly roll out a franchise program. Harold’s book is available at major book stores and on Amazon.com or you can click here for more info on his book So You Want to Franchise Your Business.
Harold has served as franchise counsel to many regional, national and international franchise companies in many diverse industries. Click here to view a list of clients.
Harold’s expertise in being a business franchise lawyer is enhanced by his practical experience in serving as the chief executive officer of a national franchisor and in serving as director of numerous nationally and internationally known franchisors; experiences that are rare and unique in the area of franchise business law.
Harold is a member of the American Bar Association’s Antitrust Section, a member of the Antitrust Section’s Forum Committee on Franchising since 1978, a member of the Subcommittee on Franchising of the American Bar Association’s Corporation Banking and Business Law Section, is a founding member and past Chairman of the New York State Bar Association’s Franchise, Distribution and Licensing Law Section, and he currently serves as Chairman for its Education and Seminar Subcommittee (he has chaired statewide seminar programs for New York State attorneys in 1997, 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2005 and chaired seminars on Franchise Law for the Nassau and Suffolk County Bar Associations) and was a member of the International Franchise Association’s Supplier Forum Advisory Board and is thus an experienced business franchise lawyer.
He has published many articles related to franchising, franchise law, and frequently lectures and appears before numerous organizations and law schools speaking on various topics in franchising. He has been chosen one of the top 100 franchise lawyer in North America by Franchise Times in 2004-11 and 2013, and was named one of the three best franchise lawyers in the New York metro area by New York Magazine for 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, and was named New York Super Lawyer as one of the Top Lawyers in the New York metro area for 2007-13. In addition, he has written two articles for the ABA Forum Committee, one appearing in the Franchise Law Journal and the other appearing in the Franchise Lawyer. He has appeared on two International Franchise Association Legal Symposium panels in 2001 and in 2004. He also participates in the IFA Speakers Bureau and has spoken on its behalf, and has been a facilitator at 10 IFA Convention Roundtables, and is a Certified Franchise Executive (CFE). He has attended more than 30 ABA Forum Committee annual programs since 1978 and more than 30 IFA Legal Symposia.
Harold received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1971 from Queens College, Queens, New York and earned his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Richmond School of Law, Richmond, Virginia, in 1975, where he was a member of Law Review. He is listed in “Who’s Who in American Law,” “The Best Lawyers in America” (Franchising), and is on the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers.
2017 AV Preeminent™ Rating is the highest possible qualification that Martindale-Hubbell® can bestow upon an attorney.