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About John

Experienced commercial litigator with a focus on franchise matters

John Hughes is a commercial litigator who assists franchisors and manufacturers on matters involving franchisees, suppliers, distributors and competitors in individual actions, class actions and group actions. He has experience helping clients with a wide variety of disputes in federal and state courts and alternative dispute resolution forums throughout the United States. His clients span the spectrum of industries and products.

John invests the time to understand what matters most to clients. His strategic approach to addressing issues delivers solutions that are always aligned with his client's business goals.

Experience in Action

  • Represents franchisors and manufacturers on a wide variety of issues. John frequently represents clients in actions involving claims for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, tortious interference with contract, fraud, consumer fraud, encroachment, employee misclassification, joint employment and trademark infringement.
  • Provides reliable counsel on ending franchise relationships. He assists clients on issues involving franchise terminations and the enforcement of post-termination covenants.
  • Frequently counsels clients on critical nonlitigation issues. John routinely acts as a trusted advisor to clients on key issues such as terminations and nonrenewals, enforcement of system standards, managing relationships with franchisees and franchise transfers.


  • Obtained and confirmed a $9 million arbitration award on behalf of a global hotel franchisor.
  • Successfully represented a major hardware retail cooperative in an arbitration hearing involving fraud and breach of contract claims.
  • Secured a judgment on the pleadings on behalf of a global restaurant franchisor on claims for unfair trade practices under Georgia and Illinois statutes, fraud and breach of contract.
  • Successfully represented a janitorial cleaning franchisor in an administrative hearing before the Illinois Department of Employment Security involving a claim for employee misclassification.
  • Obtained a summary judgment in favor of a global hotel franchisor dismissing a $100 million damages claim.
  • Successfully represented an airline affiliated with a restaurant chain in a dispute involving claims for misappropriation, fraud and unjust enrichment relating to the development of the airline.
  • Obtained a preliminary and permanent injunction, as well as the dismissal of counterclaims, on behalf of an international chain in a dispute with a terminated franchisee.
  • Obtained a summary judgment in favor of a large convenience store franchisor in a matter involving issues of first impression under the Michigan Franchise Investment Law.

Professional Recognitions

  • Best Lawyers in America® (2021-2024: Franchise Law)
  • Franchise Times "Legal Eagle" (2021-present)
  • International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers “Who’s Who of Franchise Lawyers” (2022)
  • Illinois Super Lawyers® (2019, 2024: Franchise/Dealership)
  • Illinois Super Lawyers® "Rising Stars" (2010-2016)
  • "Leading Lawyer" (Franchise and Distribution, Commercial Litigation)

Professional & Civic Activities

  • International Franchise Association Legal Symposium Task Force, member (2016)

News & Insights


Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

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