About David


David E. Holmes


Executive Summary

• Practiced domestic and international franchise law from 1975 until his retirement in 2008.

 • Associate General Counsel - International House of Pancakes.

• Vice President and Counsel - Century 21 Real Estate Corporation.

• Partner - Homes & Lofstrom, LLP, specializing exclusively in domestic and international franchise law.

• Three Times Co-Chair, State Bar Franchise Law Committee - current member of that committee and various subcommittees re special legislative and regulatory projects.

• Past Member and Secretary, State Bar Business Law Section Executive Committee.

• Past Chair, State Bar Franchise and Distribution Law Advisory Commission.

• Past Chair, State Bar Board of Legal Specialization  

• Certified Specialist Franchise and Distribution Law - The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.

• Executive Editor, CEB practice book: California Franchise Law and Practice.


Detailed CV

 David practiced law in the domestic and international franchising area beginning in 1975, having graduated from the University of Southern California in 1966 and its Law School in 1969. 

 From 1975 to 1980 David was Associate General Counsel for International House of Pancakes, where his responsibilities included legal aspects of multi-brand franchise operations (including franchise disclosure), related training of marketing and operations personnel, real estate matters and acquisitions/dispositions of various units.

From 1980 through 1983 David was Vice President and Counsel for Century 21 Real Estate Corporation, where his duties covered franchise and other legal compliance matters and related training, governmental relations, litigation supervision, acquisitions, and system-wide legal training programs.

 David and a partner owned and operated a subfranchise company in Southern California, Fantastic Sam’s, from 1983 to 1984, and was in private practice as a solo attorney from 1985 to 2001, specializing in franchise law.

 From 2002 to late 2008, David was a Partner with Holmes & Lofstrom, LLP, which represented businesses in a wide range of industries and professions, and with a concentration in franchising. During David’s tenure, the firm's clients were located throughout North America and abroad, and included mature franchise systems, as well as new and beginning franchise companies.

 From 1985 to 2008, David was in private practice, specializing exclusively in franchising, including structuring and development of new and established franchise systems, system design, drafting of documents for registration and legal compliance, management of litigation, franchise system negotiations and legal aspects of system compliance, along with related training.

He has been involved in the structuring and negotiation of international expansion activities for American franchisors in a number of foreign markets, as well as entry by foreign-based franchise systems into North America.

David has actively contributed to the International Franchise Association (“IFA”) by serving on its Legal/Legislative and Franchise Relations committees, including serving as a senior liaison, has spoken and presented papers at IFA Annual Conventions, Legal Symposia and other events, has been a member of the IFA Legal Symposium Task Force (which determines the content and speakers for each year’s Legal Symposium), and has authored various IFA publications (or portions), including being a co-author of the IFA publication A Dispute Resolution Handbook for Franchisees and Franchisors.  In 2007, David assisted the IFA’s Franchise Relations Committee and its Best Practices Product Review Task Force in updating their materials.  David moderated a panel discussion at the 2005 IFA Legal Symposium on Franchise Disclosure and was a member of the IFA Supplier Forum Advisory Board. 

Shortly after adoption of the revised FTC Franchise Rule, he presented, as part of an IFA panel, an educational program on the (then) most recent revisions to the Federal Trade Commission Franchise Rule and its disclosure requirements.  He led various roundtables at IFA events, including at IFA Conventions and Legal Symposia.  He was also a chapter Editor for an American Bar Association monograph on Earnings Claims.  David also, at the request of the IFA, prepared revisions to the IFA’s Handbooks on Best Practices in Transfers and Succession Planning.

David has presented papers and seminars at various IFA and other meetings and seminars, in the United States and abroad, as well as conducting franchise law training sessions for domestic and foreign franchise systems.

 He has appeared at hearings before legislative and administrative bodies in California and other states and has testified on the business and legal aspects of franchising and the possible effects of proposed legislation and regulations.

 David has been a guest speaker on various shows relating to franchising, conducted numerous training sessions for franchisor personnel and franchisees, and has been a regular speaker at educational seminars for franchisors and franchise attorneys.  In addition, David has often spoken on franchising and related matters at IFA quarterly regional meetings.

He has been designated, and testified, as an expert witness on franchising and franchise-related mattersmatters, in both federal and state courts.

During 2003-2004, David served his second term as Co-Chair of the California State Bar Franchise Law Committee (the “FLC”), where he drafted (and oversaw the drafting of) the most extensive changes to the California Franchise Investment Law since its original enactment. During that time, David was the primary liaison between the Franchise Law Committee and senior staff of the Department of Corporations, including working with the Department on new legislation and revisions to the Department’s policies and procedures with respect to franchise registration and disclosure matters, as well as negotiating the final form of the bill with state legislative staff. 

 In the Summer of 2010, David was invited to serve on the State Bar Franchise Law Committee once again.  In that capacity, he primarily focuses on regulatory and statutory matters, and currently sits on the FLC’s Development Agent, Trade Shows and Negotiated Sales Subcommittees, and a subcommittee dealing with possible required financial performance representations.

David continues to be involved in other projects for the FLC, including the formulation of new legislation and the drafting of affirmative legislative and regulatory proposals and related discussions with regulatory officials, most recently involving the regulation of franchise area developers.  He served on a subcommittee of the Franchise Law Committee in a proposed general re-writing and modernization of substantial portions of the California Franchise Investment Law, as well as possible revisions to the California Franchise Relations Act and the California Seller Assisted Marketing Plan law.

For the 2013-2014 State Bar year, David has again been appointed as Co-Chair of the State Bar Franchise Law Committee.

In October of 2004, David was selected to serve on the Executive Committee of the Business Law Section of the State Bar and served, among other duties, as the primary liaison between the Franchise Law Committee and the Executive Committee, as well as Secretary of the Executive Committee.

In October of 2006, David was appointed to the newly formed State Bar Franchise and Distribution Law Advisory Commission as its Vice-Chair.  That Commission was charged with developing and administering standards and procedures for certifying California lawyers as franchise and distribution law specialists, the first bar association in the country to do so.  In 2007 he became that Commission’s Chair and had overall responsibility for the accomplishment of its objectives, and into September of 2009 served that Commission as its former Chair. He was also a member of the State Bar’s Board of Legal Specialization, to which the Commission reports, and served on the New Specialties Subcommittee of the Board of Legal Specialization. 

Effective in September of 2009, David was appointed to the State Bar’s Board of Legal Specialization, which administers all certified legal specialties in California, including franchise and distribution law, and also served as Chair of its Examination Committee.  He was the Chair of the Board of Legal Specialization for the 2012-2013 Bar year, having previously been its Vice Chair, and for 2013-2014 will serve as Immediate Past Chair and Advisor to that body.

David is certified as a Franchise and Distribution Law Specialist by the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization.

He is also the Executive Editor of a special California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) publication: California Franchise Law and Practice, published in 2009, 2011 and 2013.  CEB is a joint University of California - State Bar program, founded in 1947.

In addition, David has been a member of the State Bar-CEB Business & Intellectual Property Law Advisory Committee, which advises CEB with respect to publications, continuing legal education programs and other matters.

David was a member for many years of the American Bar Association’s Franchising Forum, served on the American Association of Franchisees and Dealers’ (AAFD) Fair Franchising Standards Committee and assisted that committee in the drafting of portions of their Fair Franchising Standards.

He has also been a member of the American Arbitration Association’s (AAA) Franchise Advisory Panel, which advised the AAA regarding arbitration policies and personnel and has taught upper division and graduate level classes on business law at The California State University, Long Beach.

David has been selected by his peers as a “legal eagle” in the franchising community, as part of Franchise Times’ Annual Legal Eagle recognition program, and has been also listed in The International Who's Who of Franchise Lawyers.

David is a widower, has two adult sons and resides in San Luis Obispo, California.  He also serves as a volunteer at French Hospital Medical Center, where he is a team captain.