MALVERN, Pa., February 1, 2022 — Franchise law attorneys Thomas J. Kent, Jr. and Amanda D. Dempsey have joined Saxton & Stump as shareholders bringing with them Jarina D. Duffy as senior counsel and paralegal Jessica J. O’Toole. Together, they have formed Saxton & Stump’s Franchising, Licensing and Distribution practice, having previously practiced as Kent Franchise Law Group, LLC, a Stevens & Lee company. The team will continue to focus on partnering with clients on their franchising, licensing and distribution legal needs.
“We are pleased to be joining the Saxton & Stump platform which provides our clients with greater access to resources through the firm’s affiliated companies,” Kent said. “The move allows us to add even more value to our clients’ brands and franchise strategies to help them maximize their assets and continued growth.”
An accessible team with national and international experience
Kent, Dempsey and O’Toole have worked together for nearly 10 years, Duffy with them for 4 years, providing sophisticated legal counsel to franchisors by partnering with them to develop legal and business strategies. With more than 50 years’ combined experience, they advise emerging to middle-market franchisors, distributors, private equity companies and other national and international organizations in the franchise industry to leverage their intellectual property and brand assets to protect and grow their businesses.
“Tom and Amanda bring a highly regarded national and international franchise practice that complements our growing practices and our affiliate companies,” said Saxton & Stump CEO James W. Saxton. “They are client-focused and a great cultural fit for our team and we are excited to welcome them to the firm.”
Prior to founding the Kent Franchise Law Group, LLC in 2018, Kent was Co-Chair of Fox Rothschild’s franchising, licensing and distribution practice. Earlier in his career, he served as in-house counsel for Cottman Transmission Systems LLC, where he became Director of Center Development before entering private practice. He brings a unique focus on the development and implementation of growth, monetization and exit strategies for franchise companies, as well as mergers and acquisitions and other corporate and financing transactions. Kent earned his B.A. from Villanova University and his J.D. from Widener University School of Law.
Dempsey, who brings more than 10 years of experience, concentrates her practice on the representation of emerging and middle-market franchise brands. She counsels franchise brands on regulatory compliance issues, intellectual property and brand protection, mergers and acquisitions, development and growth strategies, and dispute resolution within the franchise system. Prior to entering private practice, Dempsey served as judicial law clerk to the Honorable Robert P. Becker, Jr., Justice of the Superior Court of New Jersey, in both Gloucester and Cumberland counties. She has also worked in the legal department of a private equity real estate firm located in Philadelphia. She earned her B.A from Georgetown University and her J.D. from Villanova University School of Law.
Duffy, who brings nearly 10 years of experience, began her career as an associate at Philadelphia-based franchise law firm Fisher Zucker and is a Certified Franchise Executive (CFE). She earned her J.D. from Villanova University School of Law and a B.S. in Journalism from Boston University.
O’Toole brings nearly 20 years of experience providing support to attorneys and clients including preparing, filling, and prosecuting U.S. and Foreign trademark applications. She previously served at a boutique law firm in New Jersey that focused on the legal needs of start-ups and their investors and at biotech company as an administrative assistant. O’Toole is also a CFE.
A platform designed for business growth
By joining Saxton & Stump, Kent and Dempsey are able to offer their clients access to the firm’s attorneys and consultants who are focused on serving the business community and well-versed in their respective focus areas. Specifically, clients will now have access to Saxton & Stump’s Intellectual Property, Business and Corporate, Mergers and Acquisitions, Real Estate, Labor and Employment and Commercial Litigation teams.
Saxton & Stump has created a number of strategic partnerships with affiliate companies that offer complementary business consulting services. For example, brand strategy group Writ works with clients to create or transform their brands to drive business. The firm also recently launched Palq IP, an intellectual property consulting group that offers IP strategies specifically designed to drive business growth. Granite HR Consulting offers business-minded human resource consulting services including talent acquisition, employee engagement and leadership development programs.
Saxton & Stump’s strategic growth outlook
Having added 53 professionals in 2021, including 22 attorneys, Saxton & Stump has grown to a team of nearly 150 professionals, including 76 attorneys. The firm has added new services and established groups dedicated to white collar defense and environmental, workplace safety and utilities. In addition to bolstering their infrastructure, they have also grown key existing practice areas such as healthcare, senior care, real estate, government affairs and trusts and estates.
The firm continues to grow based on their strategic plan for 2022 and will continue to expand its current team of lawyers and professionals, focusing on bringing additional resources to support client needs.
Saxton & Stump provides solutions for complex legal issues and partners with clients to create a roadmap for their success. The firm is committed to empowering clients by delivering five-star service and results-focused advice.