William Sentell

William W. Sentell III

Baker & McKenzie LLP


William Sentell is a member of Baker McKenzie's International Commercial practice. William has an expansive legal background in the areas of franchising, licensing, and distribution. His knowledge also encompasses a diverse range of industry-specific legal developments, and he has assisted established international brands and emerging local concepts.

William frequently writes about legal issues affecting the franchise community, and these writings have appeared in several leading academic and industry publications.

Practice Focus

William focuses his practice on franchise regulatory, transactional and related dispute resolution matters.

Representative Legal Matters

Regulatory & Compliance

  • Managed and delivered multiple franchise disclosure documents and related agreements.*

  • Responded to comment letters and worked directly with state examiners to expedite FDD renewal applications.*

  • Developed and continually improved templates, processes and procedures to proactively manage franchise compliance questions and issues.*

Corporate & Transactional

  • Counseled national and global clients on transactional, regulatory, and related dispute resolution matters in the areas of franchising, licensing, and distribution.*

  • Drafted and revised domestic and international franchise agreements, including master, sub-franchise and area development arrangements, and negotiated favorable terms for pricing, dispute resolution, indemnities, etc.*

  • Assisted with franchise M&A transactions and due diligence.*

Dispute Resolution

  • Provided support and clear risk assessment in all phases of litigation and/or arbitration, including pre-litigation settlement negotiations, discovery, motion practice, mediation, trial, appeal and enforcement of judgments and awards.*

  • Prosecuted claims for trademark infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets, violations of restrictive covenants, and other enforcement matters.*

  • Defended claims related to inadequate disclosure, improper/early termination, fraud, misrepresentation, breach of contract, lack of support, and other system-wide issues.

* Matters were completed prior to joining Baker McKenzie.

Professional Honors

  • Chair’s Award for Substantial Written Work or Presentation, ABA Forum on Franchising
  • Recognized as Legal Eagle, Franchise Times
  • Listed in Franchise & Dealership, Louisiana Super Lawyers Rising Star

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Bar Association Forum on Franchising (Publications Committee)
  • International Franchise Association
  • Colorado Bar Association


  • Colorado~United States (2018)
  • Texas~United States (2017)
  • Louisiana~United States (2008)


  • Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center (JD BCL)
  • Macalester College (BA)


  • English


  • Co-author, "Critical Franchise Agreement Provisions," Thompson Reuters Practical Law, October 2019

  • Author, "Global Franchisors and Suppliers Don’t Be an Accidental Franchisor," Franchising.com, July 2019

  • Co-editor, ABA Franchise Desk Book, June 2019

  • Author, Comment Letter, FTC Franchise Regulatory Review, 16 CFR Part 436, May 2019

  • Co-author, "Drawing Lines in Franchisor Support - Is It Necessary and Where Are the Lines to Draw in Today’s Joint-Employment Environment," 38 Franchise L.J. 327, Winter 2019