Back Bio

Susan A. Grueneberg

Susan A. Grueneberg

Partner| Los Angeles|Orange County

Certified as a Franchise & Distribution Law Specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization.

Susan Grueneberg focuses on advising clients on franchise and distribution law, including regulatory compliance. Her practice emphasizes both domestic and international franchises and licensing, as well as area development arrangements and sub-franchises. She has advised on mergers and acquisitions of franchise companies, franchisor-franchisee relationship issues and exemption-based franchising.

  • UCLA School of Law (J.D., 1979)
  • University of California, Los Angeles (B.A., cum laude, 1973)
    • Phi Beta Kappa
  • University of Beijing, China, fellowship for post-graduate study in Chinese law and economics awarded by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Committee on Scholarly Communication with the People's Republic of China (1979-1981)
  • Yale-in-China Studies Center, Chinese University of Hong Kong, U.S. State Department Teaching Fellowship (1976-1978)
  • Advisory Committee to the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) Franchise Project Group (1996-present)
    • Chair (2006-present)
  • American Bar Association, Forum on Franchising
    • Chair (2001-2003)
    • Governing Committee, Member (1998-2001)
    • Annual Program Co-Chair (2001)
    • Women/Diversity Officer (1998-2001)
    • Nominating Committee, Chair (2004-2005), Member (1996, 2007, 2010)
  • State Bar of California
    • Franchise and Distribution Law Advisory Commission, Chair (2012-2013), Member (2009-2013)
    • Business Law Section, Executive Committee (1990-1992)
    • Franchise Law Committee, Chair (1988-1989), Member (1986-1989, 2006-2009), Education Liaison (2008-2009)
  • International Franchise Association Legal/Legislative Committee, Member (1995-present)

Representative Legal Publications

Representative Presentations

  • "What’s New and What’s Next: The New Administration and Beyond," Speaker, ABA 40th Annual Forum on Franchising, Palm Desert, CA (October 19-20, 2017)
  • "The New Item 19 Commentary and Other Advanced Financial Performance Representation Issues: The Devil is in the Details," Speaker, IFA Legal Symposium, Washington, DC (May 8, 2017)
  • "How to Franchise Your Business," Speaker, The Emerging Business Seminar SeriesTM, Scottsdale, AZ (March 1, 2017)
  • "Corporate Counsel Focus: Key Provisions in International Franchise Agreements," Speaker, International Franchise Association/International Bar Association Joint Symposium, Washington, DC (May 18, 2016)
  • "Financial Performance Representations: What Franchisors Need to Know About the Latest Regulatory Evolution and How It Affects Their Item 19," Speaker, IFA Convention, San Antonio, TX (February 20-23, 2016)
  • "Walking the Line: Best Practices for Advising Franchise Clients on Avoiding Employment Risks," Speaker, American Bar Association 38th Annual Forum on Franchising, New Orleans, LA (October 14-16, 2015)
  • "Walking the FPR Tightrope: Managing the Expectations of Prospective Franchises, Lenders and Regulators in Preparing Financial Performance Representations," Speaker, 48th Annual IFA Legal Symposium, Chicago, IL (May 3-5, 2015)
  • "Hot Topics in the 2015 Franchising Registration and Disclosure Season," Speaker, American Bar Association CLE Webinar (March 18, 2015)
  • "FDD 'Warning Signs,'" Speaker, North American Securities Administrators Association, Franchise & Business Opportunities Training, Pittsburg, PA (November 15-16 2013)
  • "Fundamentals of Franchising®: Structuring the Franchise," Speaker, American Bar Association 36th Annual Forum on Franchising, Orlando, FL (October 16-18, 2013)
  • "Taking the Leap: Bringing a Foreign Brand to the United States," Speaker, Annual Conference of the International Bar Association, Boston, MA (October 9, 2013)
  • "Financial Performance Representations," Speaker, WednesdayWise Webinar, International Franchise Association (November 7, 2012)
  • "Keep It Simple! Drafting a Pragmatic Franchise Agreement Against the Backdrop of Over Fifty Years of Franchise Law Precedent," Speaker, American Bar Association 35th Forum on Franchising, Los Angeles, CA (October 4, 2012)
  • "How to Identify and Avoid Problems in International Franchising," Panel Member, International Franchise Association, 51st Annual Franchise Convention, Las Vegas, NV (February 13-16, 2011)
  • "How to Identify and Avoid Problems in International Master Franchising," Speaker, International Franchise Association, 43rd Annual Legal Symposium, Washington, D.C. (May 16-18, 2010)
  • "Roundtable on Best Practices in Dealing with Difficult Franchisees Through Non-Confrontational Methods," Moderator, International Franchise Association, 42nd Annual Legal Symposium, Washington, D.C. (May 19, 2009)
  • "What is (And is Not) a Financial Performance Presentation?," Speaker, North America Securities Administrators Association, Inc., Franchise Examiner Training, Los Angeles, California (February 28, 2009)
  • "What You Need to Know to Set Up an Electronic Disclosure System," Moderator, International Franchise Association's 49th Annual Convention, San Diego, California (February 15, 2009)
  • "Developments Under the Amended FTC Rule - Learning from our Mistakes," Speaker, American Bar Association 2008 Forum on Franchising Moderator, Austin, Texas (October 15, 2008)
  • "Roundtable on Exemption Based Franchising," Moderator, International Franchise Association 41st Annual Legal Symposium, Washington, D.C. (May 11-13, 2008)
  • "Eight Months and Counting - Open Issues under the FTC Rule and How To Resolve Them," Speaker, North American Securities Administrators Association, Inc., Franchise Examiner Training, San Francisco, California (March 2, 2008)
  • "The Future of the UFOC and Commentary; Electronic Disclosure; Phase-In Periods; NASAA Statement of Policy, and Other Open Issues Under the Revised FTC Franchise Rule," Speaker, North American Securities Administrators Association, Inc., Franchise Examiner Training, Newport Beach, California (June 3, 2007)
  • American Bar Association Teleconference on the New FTC Rule, Moderator (April 12, 2007)
  • Southern California Super Lawyers, Franchise/Dealership (2006-2018)
    • Southern California Women's Edition, Franchise/Dealership (2016)
    • Listing appeared in "The Top Women Attorneys in Southern California," Los Angeles Magazine (September 2014)
    • Super Lawyers, Franchise/Dealership - Corporate Counsel Edition (2008-2013)
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Franchise Law (2006-2018)
    • Los Angeles Lawyer of the Year, Franchise Law (2012, 2016)
  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business®, Franchising (Nationwide) (2007-2018)
    • Quoted by Chambers USA: Susan Grueneberg of Snell & Wilmer LLP is "unbelievably practical - she really understands the business side," clients say. She is highly experienced advising clients on transactional and regulatory distribution and franchise law.
  • Who's Who Legal, Franchise (2004-2017)
  • Legal Eagle, Franchise Times (2004-2018); Hall of Fame (2013-2018)
  • The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers
  • Corporate LiveWire Lawyer of the Year 2014: Franchise Law - Los Angeles, California
  • Community Services Award, Will Rogers Elementary School (1999)
  • Press Interpreter, Chinese National Basketball Teams, 1984 Summer Olympics, Los Angeles, CA
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • California
  • Supreme Court of California