About the Authors

About the Authors
Victoria Black well
Victoria Blackwell is Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary of
Papa Murphy’s International, LLC, franchisor of the Papa Murphy’s Take ‘N’ Bake
Pizza stores since 2001. As General Counsel, Ms. Blackwell handles all legal mat-
ters for the company including litigation, franchising, corporate compliance,
intellectual property, franchise compliance, and contract negotiation. Papa Mur-
phy’s recently completed a merger acquisition with private equity investors, the
second such event since 2004. Prior to joining Papa Murphy’s, Ms. Blackwell was
Associate Attorney with KinderCare Learning Centers, Inc. focusing on real estate
transactions. In addition, Ms. Blackwell has been in private practice and started
her career as a public defender after graduating from Northwestern School of Law
at Lewis and Clark College. Ms. Blackwell is a past speaker at the Franchise
Forum and IFA Legal Symposium.
Brian H. Cole
Brian Cole has been practicing law for over 30 years. He is currently a sole prac-
titioner from the Los Angeles, California, area, after having spent almost 15 years
in-house with Pizza Hut, Inc. (a subsidiary first of PepsiCo and then of the com-
pany now known as Yum! Brands) and almost as many years with three different
law firms. Mr. Cole attended law school at the University of Texas at Austin, and
completed his undergraduate education at Rice University in Houston, Texas. He
is admitted to the bars in Colorado (currently on inactive status), California, and
Mr. Cole focuses his practice on franchise and distribution law, an area in
which he has been named a Certified Legal Specialist by the State Bar of Califor-
nia Board of Legal Specialization. Mr. Cole has over 20 years’ experience repre-
senting franchisors and franchisees in transactional and regulatory matters. He
has spoken over 10 times to bar-related groups and authored or coauthored more
than a dozen articles or papers on a wide variety of franchise-related topics. Mr.
Cole is in his second term on the Franchise Law Committee of the State Bar of
California; during his first term, he served as Committee Chair during 2006 to
2007, as a Vice-Chair during 2005 to 2006, and as Secretary during 2004 to 2005.
Leslie D. Curran
Leslie Curran is a partner in the law firm Plave Koch PLC in Reston, Virginia. She
has practiced in the field of franchise law for over 10 years. Ms. Curran represents
a broad range of clients in domestic and international franchising, licensing, and
distribution matters, across diverse industries, including restaurants and food
service, dry cleaners, waste disposal, hotels, retail, health care, business services,
and product distribution. She has extensive experience in structuring franchise
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