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About Chris

Deeply experienced trial and appellate counsel 

Chris Burden is an experienced trial lawyer and commercial litigator focusing on franchise and distributor disputes and representing financial institutions. He has tried dozens of cases in state and federal courts and in arbitration and has authored briefs and presented oral arguments in matters before the Florida Supreme Court, Florida District Courts of Appeal and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Chris regularly advises on matters involving:

  • Business torts
  • Consumer protection claims
  • Commercial foreclosure and receivership matters
  • Intellectual property disputes
  • Claims of unfair trade practices
  • Class actions
  • Employment disputes

Chris collaborates closely with clients in order to develop litigation strategies that align with both their legal and business goals.

Experience in Action

  • Litigating complex disputes relating to franchise and distribution, including disputes involving franchisor/franchisee and distributor relationships and relationship terminations, supply agreements, trademark and restrictive covenant rights, allegations of fraud and alleged violations of consumer protection laws.
  • Supervising hundreds of lawsuits arising from borrower defaults, REO property ownership and consumer protection claims arising from residential and commercial foreclosure proceedings.
  • Litigating intellectual property disputes.
  • Representing employers in lawsuits alleging wrongful termination.
  • Litigating class actions alleging violations of consumer protection laws.


  • Representation of a famous restaurateur in breach of contract and constructive eviction matters against an international mall operator, resulting in multi-million-dollar jury verdicts in favor of his client.
  • Successful defense in arbitration of wrongful termination claims by former franchisees against a child identification business franchisor.
  • Prosecution of a $5 million theft claim against a former franchisee, its owners and related entities receiving stolen property and its proceeds.
  • Defense of a lawsuit brought by a retail alcohol beverage franchisee against a franchisor and its principals for fraud and consumer protection statute violations.
  • Termination of a casualty loss services franchisee and related enforcement of the franchisor's trademark and restrictive covenant rights.

Professional Recognitions

  • Best Lawyers in America® (2013–present: Franchise Law, 2024: Arbitration)
  • International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers Who’s Who of Franchise Lawyers" (2022)

Professional & Civic Activities

  • The Florida Bar, member, Antitrust, Franchise and Trade Regulation Committee
  • Hillsborough County Bar Association, member
  • American Bar Association, Forum on Franchising, member

News & Insights


Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

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