James Ullman

James Ullman



James is a franchise attorney with more than 35 years of franchise transactional industry specific experience. Mr. 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 employer develop its franchise system from scratch, back in 1979 when the Federal Rules regarding disclosure obligations governing franchise businesses were first established. Because of his hands-on knowledge and professional experience since then, James appreciates entrepreneurialism and franchise systems to a degree that few other attorneys can boast. James fully comprehends the needs of franchise businesses as an advisor who is flexible and accountable as well as responsive.


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



Email: jim@wslaw.net



University of Michigan, B.A., 1968

State University of New York at Buffalo, J.D. 1971



  • 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)
  • Selected as one of Arizona’s Finest Lawyers (2011)
  • Received “Best of the Bar Award,” Business Journal (2005: Franchising & Licensing)
  • Top 50 Attorney Award in Arizona 2012 as listed in AZ Magazine


  • Author, “Is Your Dispute, Subject to Arbitration Under Your Franchise Agreement, Going to be Litigated in Court?”  Dickinson Wright Franchise and Distribution Newsletter, March 2017
  • Co-Presenter, “Are You Ready to Franchise or Expand Your Product or Service Line?,” Quarles & Brady Franchising Workshop Series, January 2015
  • Panelist, “Franchisors and Multi-Unit Franchisees: Plan a Smart Exit Strategy,” October 2014
  • Presenter, “Look Before You Leap – Top 10 Pitfalls for an Upstart Franchisor,” International Franchise Association Law Conference, Washington, D.C., May 2014.
  • Presenter, “Is Your Business Ready to Franchise?,” February 2010