Kevin M. Shelley

  • Partner
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Mr. Shelley represents the firm’s franchise and commercial clients in all phases of litigation, from pre-action investigation through trial and appeal. Mr. Shelley has broad experience litigating and arbitrating commercial cases, including recent cases involving franchise termination; franchise sales fraud; franchise-related statutory provisions; enforcement of in-term and post-term contractual restrictions in the franchise and employment settings; unfair competition; close corporation ownership/management disputes; securities fraud; employment law; and breach of contract. Mr. Shelley has also filed numerous amicus curiae appellate briefs on behalf of the International Franchise Association, in cases involving vicarious liability, franchise fraud and other issues of critical importance to the franchising industry nationwide. Mr. Shelley also regularly represents the firm’s clients before various federal, state, and local administrative agencies. 

In addition to his litigation activities, Mr. Shelley is also active in the firm’s transactional practice, especially in connection with the firm’s representation of buyers and sellers in franchise-related transactions. He also counsels commercial clients on employment-related issues.

Mr. Shelley is a member of the New York State Bar Association’s Franchise Law Committee, the International Franchise Association, and the American Bar Association’s Forum on Franchising. Mr. Shelley served as an Associate Editor of The Franchise Law Journal from 2016 to 2022 and an Associate Editor of the ABA Forum on Franchising’s The Franchise Lawyer from 2011 to 2014. 

Mr. Shelley has been designated a New York Metro Super Lawyer® every year since 2013. Super Lawyers is a rating service of lawyers from diverse practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nomination and peer evaluations. Mr. Shelley has also been recognized for his franchise expertise in The Best Lawyers in America®, another national peer-review recognition platform. 

A graduate of the Villanova University School of Law (where he served as an editor of the Villanova Law Review), Mr. Shelley also holds two undergraduate degrees from the University of Notre Dame. He has been engaged in private practice since 1992 and has been with Kaufmann Gildin since 1996.

Mr. Shelley is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts in New York and Connecticut and has been admitted pro hac vice in various federal courts nationwide.

Areas of Practice

  • Litigation
  • Franchise Termination
  • Franchise Fraud
  • Unfair Competition
  • Securities Fraud
  • Employment Law
  • Breach of Contract

Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • Connecticut
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court Western District of New York
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court Eastern District of New York


  • Villanova University School of Law, Villanova, Pennsylvania
    • J.D.
  • University of Notre Dame
    • B.B.A
    • Major: Finance
  • University of Notre Dame
    • B.A.
    • Major: English Literature

Published Works

  • “Privilege and Other Ethical Considerations in the Work-From-Everywhere Era,” American Bar Association Forum on Franchising Annual Meeting (2023);, American Bar Association Forum on Franchising Annual Meeting, 2023
  • “Franchising (& Distribution) Currents” in Volumes 41-3 (2022), 40-2 (2020), 39-1 (2019), 37-3 (2018) and 36-4 (2017) of the American Bar Association’s Franchise Law Journal;
  • “Hot Issues in Litigation,” International Franchise Association Legal Symposium (2015);
  • “Litigation Decisions and Their Long-Term Effects on Franchise Businesses,” Franchising World, March 2015;
  • “Five Years After Leegin, Can Franchisors Safely Establish Resale Price Maintenance Programs?”, 11 Int’l Journal of Franchising Law 37 (2013);
  • “Legal Issues Surrounding Transfers, Assignments, and Resale Programs,” American Bar Association Forum on Franchising Annual Meeting (2009);
  • “Basics Track: Frequently Arising Issues in Litigation,” International Franchise Association Legal Symposium (2009);
  • “Pushing the Envelope: When Aggressive Sales Tactics are Legal,” Franchise Times, January 2007;
  • “Pushing the Franchise Sales Envelope,” American Bar Association Forum on Franchising Annual Meeting (2006);
  • “Preliminary Agreements: How to Avoid Unintended Contractual Obligations,” 25 Franchise Law Journal 15 (2005);
  • “When Conflicting Principles Collide: The Uncharted Boundary Between Fair Competition and Tortious Conduct,” 22 Franchise Law Journal 184 (2003);
  • “’Control’ in Franchising and the Common Law,” 19 Franchise Law Journal 119 (2000);
  • “Understanding Franchising Business and Legal Issues,” Practicing Law Institute Symposium, June, 2001; and,
  • Contributor (New York), Franchise Desk Book (American Bar Association, 2001, revised in 2007 and 2011).


  • Contributor & Panelist, American Bar Association Forum on Franchising, 2006, 2009, & 2023
  • Contributor & Panelist, Legal Symposium, 2009 and 2015, International Franchise Association's, 2009 to 2009
  • Second Annual Franchise Law Conference, 2002, Ontario Bar Association's, 2002 to 2002
  • Contributor, Practicing Law Institute's "Understanding Franchising Business and Legal Issues" Symposium, 2001 and 2010

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • New York State Bar Association, Member, Franchise Law Committee
  • American Bar Association, Member, Forum on Franchising
  • International Franchise Association, Member

Honors and Awards

  • New York Metro Super Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers
  • Franchise Times Legal Eagle
Franchise Times | Legal Eagles