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 fraud; enforcement of in-term and post-term contractual restrictions in the franchise and employment settings; unfair competition; 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 franchise-related transactions. Mr. Shelley also represents a number of information technology firms in connection with their activities both domestically and internationally.

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 currently serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Business Law Section of the New York State Bar Association.  Mr. Shelley is currently an Associate Editor of the ABA Forum on Franchising's Franchise Law Journal, and served as an Associate Editor of the Forum’s The Franchise Lawyer from 2011 to 2014. He has published numerous franchise-related articles in Franchise World, Franchise Times, and The International Journal of Franchising Law.  He is the co-author of "Preliminary Agreements: How to Avoid Unintended Contractual Obligations," 25 Franchise Law Journal 15 (2005); "The Uncharted Boundary Between Fair Competition and Tortious Conduct," 22 Franchise Law Journal 184 (2003); and "'Control' in Franchising and the Common Law," 19 Franchise Law Journal 119 (2000). Mr. Shelley served as a contributor and panelist at the International Franchise Association's 2009  and 2015 Legal Symposium; the American Bar Association's 2009 and 2006 Forum on Franchising; the Ontario Bar Association's Second Annual Franchise Law Conference in 2002; and numerous other franchise related legal programs. Mr. Shelley also served as a contributor to the Practicing Law Institute's "Understanding Franchising Business and Legal Issues" Symposium in June, 2001, and to the American Bar Association's Franchise Desk Book (2001, revised in 2007 and 2011).

Mr. Shelley has been designated a New York Metro Super Lawyer for 2013-2016. 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.
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.

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
  • University of Notre Dame

Published Works

  • "Five Years After Leegin, Can Franchisors Safely Establish Resale Price Maintenance Programs?", 11 Int'l Journal of Franchising Law 37 , 2013
  • "Preliminary Agreements: How to Avoid Unintended Contractual Obligations", 25 Franchise Law Journal 15, 2005
  • "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


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

Honors and Awards

  • New York Metro Super Lawyer

Professional Associations and Memberships

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