Best Law Firms | Ranked By Best Lawyers | United States | Franchise law | Tier 1 | 2024

National Leading Franchise Law And Commercial Litigation Firm

Powerhouse Trial Lawyers And Strategic Problem-Solvers In Complex Business Disputes And Transactions

Robert Zarco

Robert Zarco

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Lawyer of the Year- 2020 Robert Zarco
Super Lawyer 15 years - Robert Zarco
Zarco Einhorn Salkowski, P.A. 2024 Recognized By Best Lawyers
AAFD Lifetime Achievement 2021 - The Center for Total Quality Franchising
LCA | Proven Trial Lawyers | Litigation Counsel of America Fellow
Legal Eagles - Franchise Times
Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability
Recommended in WWL - Who's Who Legal
Page Title 10.0Robert Zarco


Robert Zarco, Founding Partner of Zarco Einhorn Salkowski, P.A., has been at the forefront of protecting the legal rights and interests of business clients in the USA and internationally for over 35 years, handling complex commercial trials, legal transactions, disputes and other litigation in Federal and State Courts, as well as Arbitration and Mediation.  A very well-known and experienced aggressive and creative Trial Lawyer and negotiator, Zarco is frequently awarded legal industry distinctions including “Lawyer of the Year” in 2020 for Franchise by Best Lawyers of America©, “Top Dealmakers of the Year” for Real Estate by Daily Business Review, Most Effective Real Estate Lawyer in S. Florida, “Legal Eagle” by Franchise Times, “South Florida’s Top Lawyers” by Miami Herald, “Top Attorneys in Florida”, and Florida’s “Super Lawyers” for over 15 years.  The Firm is repeatedly listed in U.S. News and World Report among “Best Law Firms” by Best Lawyers of America ©, listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers and has an AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

Mr. Zarco leads a team of experienced attorneys who have a long track record of helping franchises and other businesses form, manage, grow, restructure, exit, and defend their legal transactions and disputes, including but not limited to disputes in commercial real estate, insurance, intellectual property and trademarks, C- level employment, and so much more.  Robert Zarco is especially renowned by the legal world nationwide as a trial lawyer and advocate for franchisees in all aspects of franchise law, and argues for clients nationally in many state and federal courts.  He also actively lobbies federal congresspersons and state legislators representing the franchisees’ interests and promoting the enactment of “Fair Franchising” legislation among their other business interests. As a verteran Franchise and Litigation Attorney, Robert Zarco was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in Total Quality Franchising by the American Association of Franchisees and Dealers (AAFD).  Mr. Zarco is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, The Trial Lawyers Honorary Society.  He also qualifies as a Barrister in the Order of Centurions.

Mr. Zarco travels extensively lecturing and teaching seminars on vital legal business issues and topics to attorneys, business organizations, franchisee associations, franchisors, universities, the American Bar Association (ABA), the International Franchise Association (IFA), the Coalition of Franchisees Association (CFA), the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, and many others.  Broadly recognized as one of the nation’s top franchise trial lawyers, Robert Zarco has provided professional testimony before various state legislatures including California (“Why Venue Provisions in Franchise Agreements Must be Void as a Matter of Law”), Maryland (“The Way to Bring Fairness to Franchising”), Arizona (“The Necessity of Franchise Legislation”), Connecticut (“The Benefits of Enacting Franchise Legislation”), and New York (“From Litigation to Legislation – Leveling the Playing Field Between Franchisees and Franchisors”).  Additionally, Mr. Zarco travels nationwide presenting lectures on topics vital to franchisees and has appeared on radio and television programs, including CNBC “Minding Your Business,” CNBC “How To Succeed In Business,” PBS “Nightly Business Report,” “Your Financial Future with Jonathon Pond,” “The Judy Jarvis Show,” and CBS “Eye To Eye with Connie Chung,” to provide expert commentary on specific franchise cases, and franchising in general.  Mr. Zarco has also published articles including “Practical Aspects of Franchisee Representation; Alternative Dispute Resolution: Which Method is Best for Your Client,” “Know Your Legal Rights,” and “Tips for the Franchisee in Pursuit of the American Dream.” He has authored and been quoted in a multitude of magazine and newspaper articles and videos and has appeared on several radio and television programs, throughout the United States and internationally, in order to provide professional commentary on a variety of business issues and trends in general, as well as on specific legal cases which the firm has handled in which the rulings have served as important legal precedents for the franchise community. 

Robert Zarco graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics.  He further developed his extensive background in business, accounting and finance during his employment at General Motors Corp in New York as a management level Financial Analyst, while simultaneously attending Pace University Graduate School of Business MBA Finance program in New York.  Zarco developed a great curiosity for the Law and ultimately graduated from the University of Miami School of Law.  Mr. Zarco is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Florida Supreme Court, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit and federal courts in many other jurisdictions on a special appearance basis, just to name a few.

With Zarco as Founder and Senior partner, the firm has earned significant victories for clients, and has established legal precedents which have paved the way for courts to understand the complexities of the franchise relationship in particular. Zarco Einhorn Salkowski, P.A. has been repeatedly in the forefront of important franchise law issues, such as encroachment/cannibalization, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, fraud in the inducement, fraudulent concealment, and breach of contract, in addition to statutory violations of state and federal franchise laws. 

Zarco Einhorn Salkowski, P.A. represents franchisees from over 500 brands in more than 40 states and 20 countries on disputes against major franchise systems in the hotel, restaurant, dealership, and other service industries. Past and present clients include franchisees of Holiday Inn, Days Inn, Howard Johnson, Best Western, Ramada, Quality Inn, Planet Fitness, Harley Davidson, McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, Wendy’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Arby’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Tony Roma’s, Miami Subs, Pizza Hut, Johnny Rockets, T.C.B.Y., Haagen Dazs, Checkers, Rally’s, TGI Friday’s, Hard Rock Café, Fat Tuesdays, Little Caesars’, Jack-in-the- Box, Denny’s, Bonanza, Manhattan Bagel, Subway, Blimpie, Schlotzsky’s, 7-Eleven, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Decorating Den, Oil Express, Corner Bakery, Moe’s Southwest Grille, Coldstone Creamery, Carl’s Jr., Camp Bow Wow, Carvel, Chevron, Hair Club for Men, Domino’s, Papa John’s. Golden Corral, Naked Pizza, Papa Murphy’s, Red Brick Pizza, Payless Car Rental, Remax, Sotheby’s, Smoothie King, Steak & Shake, Tutor Time, Wolfgang Puck and ServPro, among many many others.  Mr. Zarco and the Firm have also represented Franchisee Associations including 7-Eleven, TCBY, Johnny Rockets, Little Caesars, Wood You Furniture, Roto-Rooter, Papa John’s, Massage Envy, Edible Arrangements, among many others.

Fluent in the Spanish language, Robert was born in Cuba and came to New York with his parents in 1961 at the age of 2, fleeing Communism and leaving all material possessions behind. The sacrifices of his parents combined with Robert’s personal drive, determination, and hard work led him to great achievements.  Beginning at the age of 7 as an entrepreneur in the landscape business, he converted his substantial earnings into a real estate investment to buy his first rental property as a college freshman.  As a Community Leader and Philanthropist, Zarco has served on the Board of Trustees for the Public Health Trust/Jackson Health System, as well as in the University of Maryland Board of Trustees.  He supports many charitable causes that are dear to his heart such as The Jewish Federation, AIPAC, Rambam Hospital in Israel, Israel Bonds, and Temple Menorah among many others.  Robert is an avid yachtsman who loves the outdoors, boating, and being out in the open water; he is also an amateur Chef, hosting parties and fund-raisers for many great causes.  Zarco loves to collect automobiles and displays his new art collection at the law firm’s luxurious new offices in Downtown Miami. Together with his family and three grown children, Robert loves to travel and lives his life to the fullest.  He truly lives by the mottos he cherishes most: “Work hard, Play hard” and “Live, Learn, Love, and Laugh”. 

With an extensive background in business, including starting a landscape business at the age of seven, they developed a keen understanding of financial matters from an early age. Growing up, visits to various franchise business locations, such as McDonald’s, Burger King, and Taco Bell, sparked a desire to own a franchise and accumulate wealth. However, upon becoming a lawyer, they discovered the challenges faced by franchisees in the country, experiencing oppression from franchisors due to inherent conflicts in their goals.

Realizing that many franchisees lacked access to the court system and couldn’t afford legal representation, they decided to become an equalizer. Their goal was to represent franchisees on a contingency fee basis, leveling the playing field and providing legal rights to those who couldn’t afford traditional legal services. This commitment led to the establishment of their law firm.

Offering advice to clients entering business relationships, they emphasize the importance of due diligence. This involves investigating the business, consulting with others who have dealt with the entity, and, specifically in the franchise world, talking to other franchisees. The franchise disclosure document, provided by franchisors, contains valuable information about existing franchisees. Additionally, they recommend hiring a specialist in the relevant industry rather than a general lawyer, ensuring comprehensive assistance in due diligence and business ventures.

Current Employment Position

  • Founding Partner

Practice Areas

  • Franchise Law
  • Complex Business & Commercial Law
  • Commercial Trial Lawyer
  • Business Litigation & Disputes
  • Appeals, Arbitration & Mediation
  • Real Estate & Insurance Disputes Resolution and Litigation
  • Intellectual Property Disputes Resolution & Litigation
  • Employment Law Disputes Resolution & Litigation

Honors & Awards

  • Fellow and Order of the Centurions, Trial Lawyers Honorary Society, Litigation Counsel of America (LCA), Since 2021
  • Lifetime Achievement Award in Total Quality Franchising by the American Association of Franchisees and Dealers (AAFD)
  • Lawyer of the Year; by Best Lawyer's, Franchise Law, 2020
  • Best Lawyers of America – Franchise Law and Commercial Litigation, Since 2013
  • “AV Pre-Eminent” Rating, Martindale-Hubbell/LexisNexis, Highest peer review rating for legal ability and ethical standards, Since 1995
  • Chambers USA National Ranking in Franchising (mainly Franchisee)
  • Super Lawyers, Franchise/Dealership and Business Litigation, Florida, 2006 to the present
  • Legal Eagles Hall of Fame – Franchise Times, Since 2015
  • Legal Eagles – Franchise Litigation, Franchise Times, Since 2008
  • “Top Dealmakers of the Year”, Real Estate Development – Daily Business Review, 2013 (Four Seasons Surf Club)
  • ‘Franchise Advocate of the Year’ SWAG™ Award - Ask April Porter, 2023
  • “Top 1% of America’s Most Honored Lawyers” - The American Registry
  • “Top Lawyer” Franchisees & Automotive Dealerships, South Florida Legal Guide
  • “Florida’s Legal Elite” - Florida Trend Magazine’s
  • Haute Living Magazine’s Haute 100 List of Most Influential Names in Miami
  • Haute Lawyer- Franchise Law, Commercial Litigation & Trial Lawyer
  • “Men of Influence” – Lifestyle Magazine, 2022
  • Who’s Who Legal (WWL) ‘Thought Leaders’ and ‘Global Leaders’ in Franchise Law
  • South Florida’s Top Lawyers - Miami Herald
  • Top Attorneys - Best in Class, Franchise Times
  • Top Attorneys in Florida – “Franchise/Dealership Law”
  • Biggest Restaurant Newsmakers – Restaurant Business Online, 2018
  • “High- Flying Franchise Attorneys”, Franchise Times Magazine
  • “Top Franchise Attorneys’ – Top Legal Minds in the Business”, Franchise Times
  • Power Player, South Florida Business Leader Magazine
  • “Top Lawyers in Franchise” - South Florida Legal Guide, Since 2009
  • Key Partners Award - South Florida Business Journal Magazine
  • The International Who’s Who of Franchise Lawyers, Since 2011
  • National Register’s Who’s Who in Executives & Professionals
  • “South Florida’s Top Lawyers”, Miami Metro Magazine

Speakerships & Seminars

  • May 2024: “The Impact of Private Equity on Your Franchise Relationship, ” AAFD’s 2024 Franchisee Leadership Summit and Annual Conference, St. Louis, MO
  • April 2024: “The Impact Private Equity Has On The Franchisor/Franchisee Relationship,” Coalition of Franchisee Associations (CFA) Day Forum & Legal Symposium, Washington D. C.
  • 2023, CFA DAY Forum, Panelist sharing his legal opinions on the Federal Trade Commission’s recent Request for Information about franchising, Wash. DC.
  • 2023, Keynote Speaker at the SWAG Conference, “From Cuba to Court: How an Immigrant Created a Life of Sanity, Wealth & Gratitude,” St. Louis, MO.
  • 2022, AAFD’s 30th Anniversary Franchisee Leadership Summit and Conference, Keynote Speaker “It’s Our Time”, Mesa, AZ.
  • 2022, CFA Membership Webinar on ‘Encroachment and Cannibalization in Franchising.’
  • 2021, AAFD Franchisee Leadership Summit, Speaker and Awarded the AAFD “Total Quality Franchising Award for Lifetime Achievement,” Virtual.
  • 2019, Panelist Speaker, CFA Legal Symposium, “How to handle Encroachment issues”, Las Vegas, NV.
  • 2019, AAFD Franchisee Leadership Summit “When Private Equity Buys Your Franchise System” and lead a Panel Discussion on “Protecting Franchisee Goodwill”, Mesa, AZ.
  • 2019, Speaker, “Jack in the Box” National Franchisee Association Convention, Scottsdale, AZ.
  • 2017, February 24. “Alternative Fee Arrangements”, Inaugural Corporate Counsel Summit, Coral Gables, FL.
  • 2017, CFA Day Forum, “Franchisor Control – The Impact on Joint Employer Liability and Vicarious Liability,” Washington D.C.
  • 2017, 25th Annual AAFD Franchisee Leadership Summit and Conference “Threat of NLRB to Joint Employer Doctrine,” Indian Wells, CA.
  • 2016, November 10. “Where to Draw the Line – Is your Franchise Agreement an Unconscionable, Illusory Contract?”, 39th Annual ABA Forum on Franchising, Miami Beach, FL
  • 2016, May 4. “NLRB Decision: Joint Employer”, 7-Eleven Franchisee National Coalition Conference, Fort Lauderdale, FL.
  • 2015, December 14. “Launching into the World”, Florida International University Commencement Ceremony, Miami FL.
  • 2015, October 8-11. “Legal implications of the recent National Labor Relations Board decision on franchisors, franchisees and franchising in general”, 56th Annual HADA convention, Maui, HI
  • 2015, September 21-22. “Joint- Employer: What it really Means for You and Franchisors”, 2015 DDIFO National Conference, Las Vegas, NV
  • 2015, February 26. “Affordable Care Act – The Employer Mandate in Summary”, DDIFO District Member Meeting, Orlando, FL
  • 2014, Florida International University Graduation Commencement Speaker.
  • 2014, October 15-17. “The 7 Most Significant Franchise Cases of all Time”, 37th Annual ABA Forum on Franchising, Seattle, WA
  • 2014, October 9-12. “Hawaii’s Motor Vehicle Industry Licensing Act” , 55th Annual HADA Convention, Wailea, HI
  • 2013, May: “A Seat at the Table-The Case for Franchisee Advisory Councils,” International Franchise Association (IFA), 46th Annual Legal Symposium, Washington, D.C
  • 2013, May 5-9. “Alternatives to Default: Managing Underperforming Franchisees”, 46th Annual IFA Legal Symposium
  • 2010, November. Lecture: University of Maryland
  • 2009, October. “Franchise Litigation”, ABA Forum on Franchising, Toronto, ON, Canada
  • 2009, May 30-31. “Tips for Franchisees in Pursuit of the American Dream”, Franchise & Business Opportunities Expo, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • 2009, June. “Tips for the Franchisee In Pursuit of the American Dream”
  • 2009, March. “Guest satisfaction Still First Priority for hospitality Industry in Weathering Challenging Economic Times”
  • 2009, February. “Creative Strategies for Franchise Businesses to Navigate Challenging Economic Times”
  • 2006, October 11-13. “The Practical Considerations on Litigation Franchise Disputes” ABA 29th Annual Forum on Franchising, Boston, MA
  • 2006, February 9-12. “Investing in a Hotel Franchise”, National Society of Minorities in Hospitality, Dallas, TX
  • 2005, March 24-25. “Maximizing your Franchise Agreement”, 2005 AAHOA Annual Convention & Trade Show, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • 2004, November 5. “Understanding the UFOC and Franchise Laws”, Hampton Roads Franchise Roads Expo 2004, Hampton, VA
  • 2004, September 8. “Getting the Most of the Franchisor/Franchisee Relationships”, Tennessee Hospitality Alliance Exposition with Tennessee Restaurant Association, Nashville, TN
  • 2004, August 6. “Benefits of a Franchise Association & Medicine Shoppe Franchise”, Pharmacy Franchise Owner Association, Anaheim, CA
  • 2004, January 22. “Hospitality Franchising Issues”, Conrad N. Hilton College, University of Houston, Houston, TX
  • 2003, September 22. “Lawsuit Trends and Thoughts on Avoiding Litigation”, Multi-Unit Food Service Operators Conference, Atlanta, GA
  • 2003, June 12. Nova’s Fast Track MBA Training in Franchise Management – International Institute of Franchise Education, H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business & Entrepreneurship, Nova Southeastern University, Davie, FL
  • 2003, June 3. “Franchising Today UFOC Night”, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s “Franchise Today”, Orientation Seminar, New York, NY
  • 2003, April 9. “Franchising Today UFOC Night”, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s “Franchising Today”, Orientation Seminar, Orlando, FL
  • 2003, January 22. "Franchise Relationship Laws in US Territories", U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's "Franchising Today" Orientation Seminar, Caguas, Puerto Rico.
  • 2003, January 17. "The Ten Most Dangerous Provisions in a Franchise Agreement", Florida Bar Franchise Seminar, Miami, FL.
  • 2002, October 30. “Financial Management of a Franchised Business and The Role of the CPA”, The Cuban American CPA Association, Miami, FL
  • 2002, October 19. “Franchising Today: Exploring New Markets & New Opportunities”, The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2002, October 6. “The 10 Most Dangerous Contract Clauses in The Hardee’s Franchise Agreement”, The Hardee’s Convention, Miami, FL
  • 2000, April. “The Top Ten Issues Facing Hotel Counsel”
  • 2000, Convention. Fairness and Good Faith and McDonald’s Remodeling Requirements.
  • 2000, April. Alternatives in Resolving Franchisor– Franchisee Disputes— Part One: The Mediation Option
  • 2000, March. “Liquidated Damages Clauses – Do You Always Have to Pay?”
  • 2000, February. The American with Disabilities Act–An Overview for Franchisees in the Lodging Sector
  • 2000, January. Premises Liability– Is the Franchisor or Franchisee Responsible When a Guest is Injured on Hotel Property
  • 1999, December. To Pay or Not to Pay…(Royalties)…That is the Question.
  • 1999, November. Part II of the Most Potentially Dangerous Contract Clauses in Your Franchise Agreement
  • 1999, September. Ten of the Most Dangerous Contract Clauses Which May Be in Your Franchise Agreement
  • Know Your Legal Rights.
  • Practical Aspects of Franchisee Representation Alternative Dispute Resolution: Which Method is Best for Your Client
  • The Sounds of Silence in the Franchise Agreement, co-author with Lawrence V. Ashe, Franchise Law Journal, vol. 19, no. 1, American Bar Association

Pro-Bono Activities

  • City of Miami Beach Budget Advisory Committee
  • Several committees for Greater Miami Jewish Federation
  • Board of Directors of Temple Menorah
  • Affiliate of American Franchisee Association
  • Member of Beacon Council
  • Delegate to White House Conference on Small Businesses
  • University of Maryland Board of Trustees
  • Jackson Memorial Hospital/Public Health Trust Governing Board of Trustees

Published Works

  • Tips for the Franchisee in Pursuit of the American Dream
  • Know Your Legal Rights
  • Practical Aspects of Franchisee Representation Alternative Dispute Resolution: Which Method is Best for Your Client (Co-Author)
  • The Sounds of Silence in the Franchise Agreement, co-author with Lawrence V. Ashe, Franchise Law Journal, vol. 19, no. 1, American Bar Association
  • Fairness and Good Faith and McDonald's Remodeling Requirements, Consortium Members Inc. Equity Forum, A Publication for McDonald's Franchisees, 2000

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association, Member (ABA)
  • Florida Bar Association, Member
  • Dade County Bar Association, Member
  • Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, Member
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Member
  • American Bar Association Franchise Forum
  • Cuban American Bar Association (CABA)
  • Dade Country Trial Lawyers Association
  • Federal Trial Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Florida Justice Association
  • International Franchise Association (IFA)
  • American Association of Franchisees and Dealers (AAFD)
  • Coalition of Franchisee Associations (CFA)
  • Litigation Counsel of America (LCA), Fellow and Trial Law Institute Member
  • Diversity Law Institute, Member – Litigation Counsel of America


  • English
  • Spanish


  • University of Miami School of Law, Coral Gables, Florida
    • J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence - 1985
  • Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
    • B.A., Bachelor of Arts
    • Major: Economics

Bar and Court Admissions

  • Florida
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court District of Arizona
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Supreme Court of Florida
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court District of Colorado
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit