Growth from Within: Announcing Five Newly Appointed Firm Partners
At Spadea Lignana, we focus on business building and growth, primarily for our clients, but within our own firm as well. This allows us to do more of what we do best! We are proud to announce five new firm partners, all superstars in their own way, that we have profiled below. When asked about the new partners, founding partner Tom Spadea stated, “our success and growth over the last decade is a direct result of the tremendous team that helps our clients win in franchising year after year. This is a huge step for us, by sowing the seeds of the next generation of firm leaders. Each of these five individuals is exceptional and has earned the respect and trust of their peers and clients. Each of them embodies our culture of trust, transparency, problem solving and most of all continuous improvement which has propelled our firm from a boutique local franchise firm to the elite industry leader we have become.”
The newly promoted partners continue to bring a myriad of backgrounds and experiences to their work at the firm, all with a focus on understanding what business owners go through and just how difficult it can be to build a sustainable franchise system over the long term. Each are individuals who contribute in their own way, both professionally and personally, to the collaborative culture the firm is known for. Ask anyone who works in the office or who has hung out with the team at a trade show to describe the culture of Spadea Lignana and they will use words like family, transparency, and support.
Meet the Partners (in no particular order)
Stephanie has been with the firm since inception. In her years here, there likely isn’t an industry she hasn’t touched, or a legal issue she hasn’t faced. Having seen some franchise clients through their business inception to business maturity, with an understanding that business goals and exit strategies differ for each client, Stephanie finds the work she does fulfilling. “There’s nothing better than helping business owners achieve their goals; to build that generational wealth and create the lifestyle that fits them.”
With her broad expertise, Stephanie finds herself working primarily with franchisors, and thoroughly enjoys it. “I just love meeting so many different people and learning about their businesses.” It’s what drew her to franchise law in the first place. “I take great pleasure in helping them build and grow their brands.”
As busy as she is, and as much as she misses the Florida beaches of her hometown, when asked what she enjoys most about coming into work each day, Stephanie says, “Oh, it absolutely has to be the people. Tom and Josh have built an incredible group. We not only work as a team, but as a family.”
Will continues to bring extensive business and franchise law experience to the firm and is a go-to guy for exceptional challenges and dispute litigation. He’ll tell you the work he does is simply about serving others well, and that “if helping people is not in your DNA, you can’t be an effective franchise attorney.”
It’s the specific nature, or specialty of franchise law that drew Will into this practice. “While I know many good general practitioners, I like to focus my practice in one area, which gives me the ability to service my client with an increased advantage in franchise situations. I like that.” His clients do too!
Will joined the firm in 2015, after sixteen years as an in-house General Counsel for industry giants like AAMCO brands. He is in the business of creating and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships, and generally enjoys working with people. When asked why he is so good at what he does, he says he has “a focused desire to overcome challenge and disagreement to get that just and best result the client is looking for.” It’s a philosophy that fits the firm well.
“The atmosphere in our office is like none that I have ever known. The unique team concept approach employed at Spadea Lignana is extraordinary. Our team members work together in a true community of common interests focused on client service.”
First, Matt is not a guy you’ll have to wait to hear from. Lightning-fast response time to clients and colleagues is something he prides himself on. Equally passionate about business and the law, he consistently serves his clients in a way that values both.
“I had always been intrigued by franchising, and how much it has grown throughout the years, so I saw a lot of opportunity melding business experience and entering into a niche such as franchise law.”
Matt’s MBA in Business is as much use to him as his law degree. “Much of what I do is actually grounded in business law, as my primary focus is assisting people with either their franchises or those looking to buy existing franchise locations. The best part of the process, working with clients, is how excited and happy they are when a deal we are working on closes, whether they are the seller who is looking to move to the next chapter of their life, or a buyer who is entering into a new venture.”
As for being a part of the team at Spadea Lignana, there is much Matt appreciates. “The managing partners of the firm have always made sure to emphasize to everyone the importance of a work-life balance (he plays a mean guitar), and everyone at the firm is willing to help each other out whenever they can. Those elements make for a great foundation in any industry workplace, but especially law firms. The managing partners always have their doors open and are transparent about all things involved with the firm.”
As a former franchise owner, Andrew can see through a similar lens as his clients and listen to them with a different perspective than someone who has not been in their shoes. That business building spirit has been with Andrew since his youth. When he was 12 years old, he started a lawn cutting business in his neighborhood that lasted a few years. It is of no surprise that he has built a career devoted to small business owners of service type businesses and those with a budding entrepreneurial spirit like his own. He doesn’t have a favorite industry to work in, but says, “I definitely enjoy representing blue collar service type businesses.”
Andrew is a member of the National Cannabis Bar Association. “We represent a number of brands in both canna and CBD that are involved in this newly emerging area of franchising.” Indeed, each franchise in this industry has differing requirements by state, and even at the municipal level, so each client may have different circumstances or processes to attend to. Andrew is an asset to the team because of his unique perspective in this area. “I have been involved with canna in various ways since 1990. I was diagnosed with a seizure disorder when I was seventeen and am confident that one of the main reasons I was able to have success in law school had to do with the medical use of canna instead of prescription drugs I had been on.”
When it comes to being a part of the firm, it’s the culture he appreciates most. “We have a great team of people. There is a great mix of support and freedom.”
Cameron began his career with the firm as part of his law school’s co-op program, joining full time immediately after graduation. He has since utilized his skills, interests, and experience to work helping franchisors grow within the framework of the franchise regulatory environment which lets him touch on multiple areas of law and business.
“One of the main draws of franchising is that, while it is its own legal field in its own right, it becomes that by touching on all sorts of different legal fields – corporate structuring, regulatory compliance, intellectual and real property, mergers and acquisitions, etc., so by joining Spadea Lignana as a franchise attorney, I was immediately able to put my education into practice.”
Of his many talents is his ability to help clients digest large, oftentimes overwhelming documents like FDDs or Franchise Agreements. “I’ve found it very helpful to break things down into more digestible portions or find out the specific concerns that a client has, and then focus on making sure they’re comfortable with the way things are written before moving on.” Like the overarching philosophy of Spadea Lignana, providing comprehensive guidance and support throughout the entire legal process is what is most important to Cameron. The firm focuses on the clients long term goals and ambitions, using the law and the legal documents to further that aim and to fit within the client’s strategy.
“I think the culture that we have is very different than most law firms. We have a truly collaborative and open environment, and everyone wants to work together toward the benefit of each of our clients as a whole.”
Managing partners Tom Spadea and Josh Lignana, best friends since high school, continue to grow and develop a unique, collaborative culture for their growing family of legal professionals. It’s this culture that spills over into the comprehensive services we offer each of our clients. Franchise law is about relationships. We’re helping people achieve their life-long goal of building a huge business. We care about them and their businesses and make sure we have helped them in every way possible to stay on track to meet their business goals. We celebrate them and make their goals our goals.
Likewise, we celebrate our team, and the new partners at the firm. These are amazing individuals who serve their clients determinedly, with passion, and with great track records! Broadening the scope of our leadership team can only lead to better things for the firm, our culture, and our clients.