Gianfranco A. Pietrafesa is a lawyer who represents businesses and advises them on a variety of corporate, contract, real estate and employment matters. Franco has significant experience representing clients in the following areas:
Business Formation and Governance. Formation of business entities and the preparation and negotiation of governing documents, such as shareholder, buy-sell, partnership and limited liability company operating agreements. He has significant experience with limited liability company laws.
Mergers and Acquisitions. Purchase and sale of businesses, including asset purchases and stock purchases, as well as joint ventures and other strategic alliances.
Financing. Equity and debt financing, including private placement of securities.
Contracts. Preparation and negotiation of various contracts, including licensing, employment, consulting, manufacturing, distribution and supply agreements.
Protection of Business Information. Preparation of confidentiality and noncompetition agreements to protect confidential and proprietary information and trade secrets.
Litigation. Complex and ordinary litigation in state and federal courts, with a focus on corporate, business and commercial litigation, such as breach of contract, business torts, minority shareholder oppression and deadlock, business divorces and other disputes among business owners. In the past, he has also represented clients in employment, real estate and land use litigation.
Franco has experience representing clients in a broad range of industries, including manufacturing, wholesale distribution, technology, food and beverage, advertising, professional services, jewelry and diamonds, and construction.
Franco maintains leadership positions in several professional and business organizations. He has served on the board of directors of the Business Law Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association since 2002 and served as its chairman for two years (2010-2012). He has served on the board of trustees of the Hudson-Bergen Inn of Transactional Counsel, a non-profit, tax-exempt organization, since 2009 and currently serves as its vice president. He has served on the Manufacturing Steering Committee of Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey (CIANJ) since 2014. He is also a member of many other professional organizations.
Franco was appointed by the Supreme Court of New Jersey to serve on a district fee arbitration committee, where he served as the committee chairman for two years, and a district ethics committee. He was also appointed to serve as a condemnation commissioner several times by the Superior Court of New Jersey.
Awards and Recognition
Franco is well-respected by his peers, as is evidenced by his selection to be listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Corporate Law and as a Super Lawyer in the area of Business/Corporate Law. He has also been selected by The Best Lawyers in America as the 2013 and 2016 Hackensack Corporate Law “Lawyer of the Year.” (Please note that no aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the New Jersey Supreme Court. For the selection methodology of Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers, please visit www.BestLawyers.com and www.SuperLawyers.com.)
Franco is a member of the select committee that drafted the New Jersey Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act, and he received the 2012 Distinguished Legislative Service Award from New Jersey State Bar Association in recognition for his work and advocacy on the New Jersey’s new LLC law. He also has been quoted in Commerce Magazine, New Jersey Business Magazine, NJBiz and New Jersey Law Journal on a variety of business law issues.
Articles and Presentations
Franco is a prolific writer and speaker. He has written book chapters and numerous articles on business law, litigation and legal ethics topics that have appeared in such legal periodicals as the New Jersey Law Journal, New Jersey Lawyer Magazine, ABA’s Trial Practice Journal and DRI’s Trials and Tribulations. He served on the Editorial Board of New Jersey Lawyer Magazine for fifteen years. He has given numerous lectures, presentations and seminars on business law, litigation and legal ethics topics for legal, accounting, banking and other professional and business organizations, firms and companies. He has also taught the transactional skills course at Seton Hall University School of Law and the law of business organizations at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Franco has been an active member of his community of Hawthorne, New Jersey. He was elected to and served on the Hawthorne Board of Education for ten years, including a term as its Vice President, and was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Louis Bay 2d Library in Hawthorne. He has served as pro bono general counsel to the St. Anthony Education Foundation, the Hawthorne Education Foundation, and the Hawthorne Soccer Association. He also coached his children in baseball, softball, basketball and soccer for many years.
A comprehensive biography, list of credentials, publications and presentations, and copies of most of his articles, can be found on Franco’s personal website at www.GianfrancoPietrafesa.com.