The State Bar of California
State Bar of California

Client Testimonials

“After being sued by our franchisor, it became evident that legal representation was necessary to protect myself. I researched the many options that were available, but the one name that stood out was Mr. Peter Lagarias. Not only did Mr. Lagarias come highly recommended by associates, the research and information I found online made it clear that he was the right attorney for me. I could not have been happier with my decision. Mr. Lagarias is not only an incredibly intelligent and knowledgeable attorney, he took the time and effort to make certain that I was coping with this incredibly stressful time. Mr. Lagarias went above and beyond at all times in a manner of the utmost professional level yet made me feel that he truly cared about myself and my family. I would recommend Mr. Lagarias to all who seek the best legal care and I thank him for getting me the result I hoped I would get.”

“We are pleased to recommend the services of Lagarias, Napell & Dillon, LLP. They represented us when our franchisor came after us when we chose not to renew our franchise contract. Our franchisor hired an aggressive attorney who made many unreasonable demands. All of this because we did not want to renew our contract upon end, although we had fulfilled all its obligations.

Peter Lagarias was a lifesaver for us. He is extremely knowledgeable regarding franchise laws, and helped us when we were up against a franchisor with deep pockets and a crowd of lawyers. He worked tirelessly on our case, oftentimes reaching out on weekends and during times that were most convenient for us. He was very easy to work with, thinks creatively, and effectively communicates his ideas. He helped us with an emergency preliminary injunction to keep our store open, and with document discovery and depositions. We had to travel across the state for arbitration, and Peter was always with us throughout the duration of the long arbitration.

Peter and his partner were able to save us thousands of dollars and more grief than we could bear. The franchisor also threatened for us to be responsible for paying their attorney’s fees. Pete was successfully able to prevent what would have been a devastating financial setback and we kept our business and did not pay the franchisor anything. We are now out of the franchise and have a successful independent business. And Peter has become not only a client, but a friend.

If you have any additional questions or would like to speak with us about our experience, we would be happy to discuss further.”

John & Cheri Verrastro

“Good Morning Pete,

I write to strongly recommend your firm following your excellent representation in my case against sandwich and salad franchisor.

I retained you based on a recommendation from another lawyer, and I am so glad we did.

I had invested our family’s life savings in this sandwich franchise.

The franchise area developer told us that they were growing rapidly in northern California and were implementing a “National Ad Campaign” that would increase visibility and awareness of this new franchise in the market.

I visited a nearby franchise location with the area developer, and I was impressed with the style of the store and quality of the products. He answered all my questions, and he also recommended that I purchase a book that stated how much the average operator earned per store.

Later the area developer told me an owner in Oakland was selling his store, and we could start immediately. We were excited and believed we were buying into a successful business.

After I purchased the Oakland store, the area developer was no longer available to me. The “National Ad Campaign” ended up being commercials in the wee hours of the morning on cable television. As I was losing money I started speaking to the other new franchisees and found many were failing and were mortgaging houses and deleting retirement funds to keep their stores open only to be forced to close their stores, No one was making near what was stated in the book. I had to invest several thousand dollars every month to keep the store open.

Along with many of the other owners I sought legal counsel. But it was very difficult to find an attorney with any knowledge of franchises. The attorneys I found wanted to try and help me get out of the lease but had no plans to obtain recourse for my franchisor’s business practices.

I was ready to give up until I was referred to Peter Lagarias. I set up a meeting with Peter and he listened to my story and immediately accepted my case. He said I had fraud and earnings claims violations among other claims which he carefully explained.

Lagarias told me that unfortunately I had signed an arbitration provision in my franchise agreement, and would have to arbitrate my case in New York City. First, he told me to try to settle the case, but my franchisor said only that they were going to countersue me if I proceeded.

I had never been in a lawsuit or arbitration, but Pete guided me through every step of the way including document discovery, depositions, and the process of selecting an arbitrator. When the time came Pete filed an arbitration brief, organized witnesses and we flew to Manhattan. This was my first time to the big city which I wanted to enjoy but first the arbitration.

Pete was reassuring to me when I testified, and he was dogged and brilliant when he cross-examined my franchisor’s witnesses. He knew much more about their practices and company structure than anyone expected.

When the arbitration award arrived, we won, and I was awarded damages for the losses I sustained.

I was made whole because of Peter Lagarias.

I strongly recommend him to any franchise owner seeking counsel.”

Ray Upchurch

It is hard to believe that fifteen months ago as the pandemic was rolling into North America and I was cutting my business trip short overseas, that we would embark on this journey to completely remove myself from the franchise business, go through a complete end to end lawsuit with the franchisor and be sitting here in mid-2021 with everything satisfactorily resolved. What the franchisor tried to do to my dozens of franchises built over seventeen years, employing over 1,000 people in total with hundreds of millions in revenue, was both heart breaking and shocking and just shows what is wrong with some of the capitalism in our country today. And their trying to steal the business was just crushing. 

When our franchisor began terminating our franchises, I instructed our in house lawyers to find the best franchise lawyers. We had traditionally tried to handle all of these things as simply and easily (read inexpensively) as we could and for some reason my intuition told me to “lawyer up” with the best. We came up with a list of five top individuals and we spoke to them all. We chose you to lead the team with one other lawyer. You helped focus our options and develop a strategy. We sued them and everything escalated, but you steadily steered the ship, and it was worth every penny.

I truly appreciated working with you and the opinions and perspectives you brought to the team. We spent considerable time after the terminations rolling it all out, divesting, dealing with issues, mediation and arbitration and you name it.  I bet I averaged one hundred hours a week for about six straight months between all of my jobs. This being a big part of that. I am thankful that you two gave us the time and focus to get through this. The story was deep and complex. You dug in and we strategized even further, pivoted and played the smart game and the right path.  It was awesome to laugh and cry and work with you both to get to a great outcome. And the deserved outcome.

You should know that we are appreciative. That you are true pros. Not surprising. That you did a massive justice and maybe one of your largest ever cases from the size of business and outcome?  It’s one to hang your hat on in my opinion. Had we not done what we did literally another 300-400 people would lost their jobs. This saved them.  And are free and likely loving life. I am grateful for that.

I just want to say THANK YOU.  If I can ever help you or be of service.  Let me know.  Call, email or easiest to text me.  I owe you both one…. Or two…. Or five!!!

D. W.

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