James A. Ullman, Partner


Now a franchise attorney with more than 35 years of industry-specific experience, Jim Ullman began his career as in-house counsel for a company seeking to become a franchise system, which means he personally understands the process from his clients’ perspectives — he helped that first employer develop its franchise system from scratch, back in 1979, when the federal rules for disclosure obligations governing franchise businesses were first established. Because of his hands-on knowledge and professional experience since then, Jim appreciates entrepreneurialism and franchise systems to a degree that few other attorneys, if any, can boast. Today, he is a member of the Quarles Franchise & Distribution Team, a signature practice area for the firm, working with other uniquely and powerfully experienced franchise attorneys to serve the industry with nearly unmatchable strength. Jim fully comprehends the needs of franchise businesses as an advisor who is flexible and accountable as well as responsive and successful. He recognizes that the work he performs represents a cost to his clients and that he has solemn obligations to deliver real value in return for his services.

Jim has worked on a number of huge deals during his career, including some for national and multinational corporations. He has been credited with orchestrating a “Latin American Deal of the Year” for one of the largest fast-food restaurant chains in the world, and he has also worked for major international financial institutions, handling all business-law aspects of franchising, licensing, distribution, and intellectual property.

There’s no mistaking Jim’s love for his work and area of law. He is unabashedly excited to learn about the many businesses he serves — Jim likes to “trade places” with his clients, telling them, “I’m going to teach you about the franchising industry, and then you’re going to teach me about the business you run.” In this sense, he is a true partner to his clients, building great things with them, together.

Legal Services

Education and Honors

  • State University of New York at Buffalo (J.D., 1971)
  • University of Michigan (B.A., 1968)

Bar Admissions

  • Arizona
  • New York (inactive)

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Arizona
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Professional and Civic Activities

  • State Board of Education (Member: 1991–1997; President: 1995)
  • Community Colleges of Arizona (Member, State Board of Directors: 1990–1997; Chairman: 1995)
  • American Arbitration Association (Member, Panel of Arbitrators: 1992–present)
  • American Bar Association (Member, Forum Committee on Franchising: 1982–present)
  • State Bar of Arizona (Chairperson, Seminars on Franchising: 1987, 1989)
  • Adjunct professor, Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management, 2014
  • National Organization on Legal Problem of Education (now Education Law Association) (Past President: 1992)
  • Citizenship Counts, Inc. (Vice Chairman: 2008–present)

Professional Recognition

  • Listed in Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona list by AZ Business Magazine (2015)
  • Named a 2014 Arizona Business Leader by AZ Big Media
  • Selected for inclusion in Southwest Super Lawyers® lists (2007–present: Franchise/Dealership) and named among the Top 50 attorneys in Arizona (2012–2014)
  • Listed in Arizona’s Top Lawyers list by AZ Business Magazine (2014: Franchise/Specialty Law)
  • Listed in 2013 Arizona Business Leaders, published by AZ Big Media
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® (1995–present: Franchise Law)
  • Martindale-Hubbell Ranked AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5
  • Received M&A Deal of the Year Award from Latin Lawyer Magazine (2008)
  • Recipient of Distinguished Service Award as Outstanding State Education Board Member, National Association of State Board of Education, 1996
  • Selected as one of Arizona's Finest Lawyers (2011)
  • Received "Best of the Bar Award," Business Journal (2005: Franchising & Licensing)