Phone: 215.525.1165 x115
J.D. Temple University Beasley School of Law, Philadelphia Pennsylvania
B.A. Marquette University, Milwaukee Wisconsin, Business Administration – Finance, Cum Laude
Tom Spadea spent more than 15 years in corporate and entrepreneurial positions before completing law school at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law in 2010. His undergraduate degree is in finance from Marquette University, where he graduated Cum Laude. Tom is a Certified Franchise Executive (CFE), a non-legal designation earned from the International Franchise Association. He has also been named a “Legal Eagle” by Franchise Times and “Top Franchise Influencer” by 1851 Franchise multiple years in a row, both distinguished awards recognize Tom as a leader among his peers in franchising.
Tom has been lead counsel for hundreds of new franchise launches and has assisted dozens of franchisors in private equity transactions where the founder of the business successfully exited. This is Tom’s passion, helping founders navigate a generational wealth event through franchising. It’s not easy or fast, but done correctly franchising is a way many founders have turned a profitable small business into serious wealth.
Tom’s entrepreneurial background goes back to the late 1990’s when he was the co-owner and President of a communications equipment manufacturer where he co-founded a factory in Latin America, successfully created an international sales network in Asia and invented a product for which he was granted a US Patent. Tom internalized what went well and where he struggled as a business owner in his first entrepreneurial endeavor. That scar tissue helps guide his advice for founders seeking exponential growth.
Tom’s next move was into the franchising world working as a Franchise and Business Broker. He acted as an adviser to clients looking to transition into the ownership of a franchise or the purchase or sale of an existing small business. As a business intermediary, Tom handled dozens of transactions every year, ranging from listing businesses for sale to recruiting buyers. His specialty was negotiating transactions that satisfied all stakeholders.
It was while Tom was a broker that he decided to pursue his legal education. Balancing law school, work and a young family Tom persevered to become an attorney at the age of 38. During those years he managed to hold senior executive positions for multiple national franchise concepts throughout law school including a 100-unit fast casual restaurant chain; a franchised chain of over 400 supplemental education centers; and a 500-unit retail chain of franchised frozen dessert restaurants.
Thanks to his background as an entrepreneur and a corporate franchise executive, Tom has a unique perspective as a franchise lawyer. Tom is perhaps the only franchise lawyer that can say he paid for law school at night by selling franchises during the day. Tom understands franchising from the inside, giving his clients valuable counsel to help them map out and meet their business objectives.
More important and valuable, however, to any of Tom’s professional accomplishments is the time he gets to spend with his wife and their two children.