Tom Spadea spent more than 15 years in corporate and entrepreneurial positions before completing law school at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law. His undergraduate degree is in finance from Marquette University, where he graduated Cum Laude. Tom is a Certified Franchise Executive (CFE), a non-legal designation earned from the International Franchise Association. He has also been named a “Legal Eagle” by Franchise Times, a distinguished award recognizing Tom as a leader among his peers in franchising.
Tom is the founding member of the Philadelphia Franchise Association and is the current President and Chairman. The Philadelphia Franchise Association holds quarterly networking and educational meetings, bringing together franchisors, franchisees, and suppliers.
Tom has been lead counsel for dozens of new franchise launches and has assisted franchisors and franchisees alike with a variety of legal issues, including private equity transactions, litigation, trademarks, partnerships, and real estate deals.
Tom’s entrepreneurial background goes back to the 1990’s when he was the co-owner and President of a communications equipment manufacturer where he co-founded a factory in Latin America, successfully created an international sales network in Asia and invented a product for which he was granted a US Patent.
Tom’s next move was into the franchising world working as a Franchise and Business Broker for Sunbelt of Philadelphia. He acted as an adviser to clients looking to transition into the ownership of a franchise or the purchase or sale of an existing small business. As a business intermediary, Tom handled dozens of transactions every year, ranging from listing businesses for sale to recruiting buyers. His specialty was negotiating transactions that satisfied all stakeholders.
It was while Tom was a broker that he decided to pursue his legal education. Balancing law school and a young family, Tom also managed to hold senior executive positions for multiple national franchise concepts throughout law school including a 100-unit fast casual restaurant chain; a franchised chain of over 400 supplemental education centers; and a 500-unit retail chain of franchised frozen dessert restaurants.
Thanks to his background as an entrepreneur and a corporate franchise executive, Tom has a unique perspective as a franchise and business lawyer. When combined with his experience and acumen as a lawyer, he can vigorously defend his client’s legal rights without losing sight of their business goals. Tom understands franchising from the inside, giving his clients valuable counsel to help them map out and meet their business objectives.
More important and valuable, however, to any of Tom’s professional accomplishments is the time he gets to spend with his wife and their two children.