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Melissa Bernheim

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Melissa Bernheim’s practice focuses on franchise law, licensing, business transactions, commercial litigation, intellectual property and real estate matters. As the former General Counsel for Smoothie King Franchises, she has experience representing both franchisors and franchisees in all business aspects of franchising as well as extensive licensing experience and general commercial litigation. In addition, Melissa has extensive corporate transactional experience having served as the General Counsel for the artist Romero Britto and having also spent time as the Senior Legal Counsel for Perry Ellis International, Inc.

Melissa has represented clients spanning from major international corporations to small businesses and individuals. She has counseled clients on matters such as business and partnership formation, business torts, franchise disclosure documentation, unlawful terminations, covenants not to compete, franchise litigation, general commercial litigation and alternative dispute resolution. In addition to her franchise, licensing and corporate experience, Melissa has experience in real estate and bankruptcy law where she has represented corporate debtors and trustees.

Melissa has spoken at numerous international professional forums including the International Franchise Association’s National Convention and Legal Symposium and Franchise and License Asia events in Singapore. Melissa’s work has also been published in the International Franchise Association’s educational materials. In addition, Melissa has been recognized by her peers as the American Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division, “Star of the Quarter” Fall 2011.

Melissa received her B.A. from Emory University in 1999 and her Juris Doctor from the Washington College of Law at American University in 2002. She is admitted to practice law in Florida as well as before the Southern District Court of Florida and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Current Employment Position

  • Of Counsel

Practice Areas

  • Franchise Law
  • Licensing
  • Business Transactions
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Intellectual Property
  • Real Estate

Past Positions

  • Romero Britto, General Counsel
  • Senior Legal Counsel for Perry Ellis International, Inc.
  • Smoothie King Franchises, General Counsel


  • American Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division, “Star of the Quarter” Fall 2011
  • Best Lawyers in America, Franchise Law and Commercial Litigation, 2021
  • Lawyer of the Year in Franchise Law, USA by Lawyer Monthly’s ‘Women in Law Awards’, 2021

Classes & Seminars

  • International Franchise Association’s National Convention


  • American University, Washington College of Law, Washington, District of Columbia
    • Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
      • B.A. - 1999
      • Major: Political Science

    Bar Admissions

    • Florida
    • U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida
    • U.S. Bankruptcy Court Southern District of Florida
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