NOV. 17, 2022 – The decades-long partnership between Flynn Restaurant Group (FRG) and Davis Wright Tremaine helped grow one of the country's most admired restaurant companies, all while breaking barriers, advancing DEI goals, and expanding access to pro bono services.
Recognizing this extraordinary partnership, The American Lawyer named FRG and Davis Wright Tremaine "Best Law Firm-Client Team" at the publication's 2022 Industry Awards, honoring "outstanding achievements in the legal profession."
"I'm extremely grateful to our friends at Flynn for allowing us to be part of their amazing growth and success over so many years," said Sarah Tune, co-chair of the corporate and business transactions practice at Davis Wright and longtime relationship partner for FRG. "It's been our privilege to help this remarkable company completely transform the franchise restaurant business and to build such deep relationships with their team along the way."
"This partnership of shared values and vision has played a pivotal role in Flynn's journey," said Jacqueline Lee, General Counsel at San Francisco-based Flynn Restaurant Group. "I look forward to many more years of collaboration with the amazing team of Davis Wright lawyers and professionals who support us."
Led by founder Greg Flynn, FRG launched in the late 1990s with the purchase of eight Applebee's franchises in Washington state, expanding over the following decade to become the largest Applebee's franchisee in the country. Powered by investments from Goldman Sachs, Weston Presidio, the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, and Main Post Partners, FRG has grown to be the leading owner-operator of five more restaurant franchises—Taco Bell, Panera, Arby's, Pizza Hut, and Wendy's— through a series of increasingly large-scale acquisitions.
Today, FRG is the biggest private restaurant company in the nation, with 2,355 properties and $4 billion in sales.
Davis Wright has served as the company's principal outside counsel from the beginning. Tune became relationship partner in 2009 and has built a deal team that includes longtime team members Elisabeth Woare (real estate), Laura Warf (corporate), and paralegal Lonna Beebe, among others. Building on the strength of their success for FRG, this mostly-women team has carved out a position of national leadership in middle-market M&A in the restaurant industry and other multi-unit businesses.
FRG's partnership with Davis Wright extends as well to the firm's Pro Bono & Social Impact department. Led by Joanna Plichta Boisen, chief pro bono and social impact officer, Davis Wright has organized team-building "days of service" for FRG professionals to provide direct legal services to nonprofits serving communities in need. Boisen also collaborated with FRG during the peak of the COVID shutdowns to support the company's furloughed employees.
"Helping in-house counsel develop meaningful pro bono programs is one of the most vital parts of our mission," said Boisen. "Jaci and her entire in-house team have been inspiring partners in this effort. Their commitment to helping communities in-need, and treating employees like family, is real and powerful. I'm thrilled to continue building this side of our FRG partnership and grateful to The American Lawyer for recognizing its impact."
About Davis Wright Tremaine
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP is an AmLaw 100 law firm with more than 600 lawyers representing clients based throughout the United States and around the world. Learn more at www.dwt.com.