News Releases

Hurwitz, Woods Bring Franchise, Distribution Law Expertise to Baker Botts L.L.P

New Firm Partners Provide Broad Range of Practice Area Knowledge to National, International Clients


DALLAS, Texas, February 4, 2009 -- Ann Hurwitz and Will K. Woods, who have each built strong international reputations by providing domestic and international franchise advice to major franchise companies, joined the Intellectual Property Department of Baker Botts L.L.P. as partners on February 2, 2009. They will be based in the firm’s Dallas office.

Hurwitz concentrates on the operational, relationship and regulatory issues arising from the ownership of multiple concepts, refranchising programs, concept acquisition and disposition, the integration of alternative distribution channels with existing systems and the restructuring of distribution systems. She represents a wide variety of companies in the hotel, restaurant, automobile rental, convenience store, consumer services, real estate and communications industries.

Woods focuses his practice on providing clients counsel on the structuring of international and domestic franchise transactions, distribution of products and services, as well as franchise registration and disclosure matters. He represents franchisors throughout their business life cycle from the start-up stage to a global presence.

“Ann and Will provide depth to our Intellectual Property Department, particularly in franchise and distribution law,” said Walt Smith, Baker Botts’ Managing Partner. “As a leading international law firm across a number of major platforms, it is essential that we have the ability to provide our clients the highest level of service in this area of the legal profession.”

Bart Showalter, chair of the firm’s IP Department, said: “The number of franchise companies based in the Texas market makes it imperative for us to provide the highest level of expertise in this area. We believe we’ve achieved that by the addition of Ann and Will.”

During the past few years, Hurwitz and Woods have handled matters for major national and international clients. In the United States, they worked with a large convenience store chain to restructure its franchise agreement. After extensive negotiations with the franchisee advisory council, the new franchise agreement was accepted by virtually all of the chain’s 3,000-plus franchisees in the United States.

On the international front, Hurwitz and Woods managed all international franchise transactions for a major international hotel chain. They employed their international franchising expertise in completing deals for the chain in many European and Middle Eastern countries as well as in Mexico and other Latin American countries.

“We are excited to join a firm with an outstanding reputation and history of client service that Baker Botts enjoys, both nationally and internationally,” Hurwitz and Woods said. “The Baker Botts team and the platform from which it operates will enable us to provide our clients with responsive, practical, and efficient franchise legal services.”

Hurwitz and Woods joined Baker Botts from DLA Piper where they both were partners.

Hurwitz has been recognized as one of the leading franchise and distribution lawyers by the International Who’s Who of Franchise Lawyers. She has also been noted for her international work by the International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers, Franchise Times and Chambers USA. She earned her law degree from the University of North Carolina and her bachelor of arts degree from the University of South Carolina. She is a member of the Texas Bar.

Woods is a frequent speaker and author of articles on franchising. He earned his law degree from the Baylor University School of Law and his undergraduate degree from Baylor University. He is a member of the Texas Bar.

Additional background on Hurwitz is available here.

Additional background on Woods is available here.

Additional information on Intellectual Property at Baker Botts is available here.

About Baker Botts L.L.P.
Baker Botts L.L.P., dating from 1840, is a leading international law firm with offices in Austin, Beijing, Dallas, Dubai, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Moscow, New York, Palo Alto (California), Riyadh and Washington. With approximately 800 lawyers, Baker Botts provides a full range of legal services to international, national and regional clients. For more information, please visit

For more information, please contact:
Michael Cinelli
Associate Director, Public Relations
Baker Botts L.L.P.
713.229.1764 (office)
281.546.4295 (cell)

Read More