“Franchise King” Robert Zarco On The Expansion Of His Highly-Regarded Litigation Practice

Robert ZarcoPhoto Credit: Romain Maurice

Robert Zarco is a visionary. From the ripe tender age of 7, he started and successfully earned himself entrepreneur status after building his lucrative landscaping business over the next 12-year period. Eventually—over the course of his 30-year legal career—he cemented his name in the industry as the Franchise King, a testament to the fruits of his labor as an internationally recognized expert in franchise law. But, consistent with Zarco’s ever-changing, creative legal and business mind, over the past 15 years he has refined and expanded his expertise into an expanse of other areas of complex commercial law.

To say that the firm he founded 25 years ago, Zarco Einhorn Salkowski & Brito, is thriving and hugely successful is an understatement. Yielding both prolific and substantial dividends for his clients and the firm, the Zarco firm represents franchisees from more than 500 different franchised brands in over 20 countries and 40 states. But underneath the firm’s proverbial umbrella of expertise, resides litigation talent that reaches way beyond franchising.

“We have not necessarily marketed or promoted the expanse of our legal skill set to the public because of fear that it would create an impression that my franchise practice was slowing down,” Zarco says. “The reality is that these other areas of law have developed into their own niche practices and only serve to enhance our ever-flourishing franchise practice.”

Robert Zarco and Don Shula
Robert Zarco and Don Shula

Photo Credit: Robert Zarco

An automobile or yacht dealer/distributor ends up in a dispute with the manufacturer over required excessive facilities and physical plant improvements or site selection issues. A real estate dispute between a buyer and a developer goes sour. A developer desires to buy a large historical piece of real estate owned by120 individuals, and the selling group needs a sharp negotiator with skills in dealing with human psychology―i.e., the historic Surf Club, a $120 Million transaction and now the Four Seasons. A developer and a contractor undergo construction-defect contract disputes. Restaurants or hotels develop disputes over management agreements or purchase and sale transactions with the branding companies or third parties. These are just a few examples of how complex litigation and business transactions are wrapped up in the “one stop shop” that is Zarco Einhorn Salkowski & Brito.

Why does Zarco take on such a vast number of legal realms? At his core, Zarco loves what he does. The man who once scrubbed toilets as a young janitor to support himself while studying economics at Harvard, possesses a tremendous amount physical and mental energy with a fierce commitment to and respect for his clients; a large portion of his cases are primarily contingency/results—accomplished fee-based structures—guaranteeing every client to have access and “a key to the courthouse.”

“I am focusing on providing high-quality, full-service access to all of my clients whether in franchise matters or not,” he says, “I have been able to service and provide legal representation to many commercial clients that, but for my creative fee structure, would not be able to avail themselves of the judicial system.”

With emphasis on his mantra that a great reputation comes first and money will follow, Zarco is truly committed to solving his clients’ problems and addressing their personal, emotional and business needs. His clients are exceedingly impressed and acquainted with the firm’s quality of work; he says that they frequently request work typically considered outside of the franchise area of specialty, proving that Zarco Einhorn Salkowski & Brito embodies the essence of a trusted advisor, counselor and lawyer-to-client relationship.

Zarco’s partners of 21-25 years each work closely together and possess an “all for one and one for all” mentality that focuses on continuing the tremendous momentum that this trial boutique firm has built over the years, embracing new changes that arise. With this in mind, the firm is set to take over a brand-new and state-of-the-art sprawling, 26,000-square-foot office, on the 34th floor of One Biscayne Tower by late December or mid-January 2018.

Robert Zarco
Robert Zarco

Photo Credit: Romain Maurice

“The new, modern office is designed to reignite the already-existing excitement into the law firm, but at a whole different level,” Zarco says. “I
am a creature of convenience and design, and like to provide those comforts to my loyal team. For instance, the law firm will have a locker room with a shower for its employees to be able to exercise during lunch with the firm-provided personal trainer and gym and be able to come back and freshen up. Contrary to a popular recent trend, the offices are all oversized for all the lawyers and staff. The firm will have the latest in litigation-support technology, as well as in audiovisual technology and computer support. And for the clients’ intrigue and pleasure, the reception area will feature a 1,000-gallon aquarium manufactured by the creators of the TV series Tanked.”

But also within the shimmer of freshly manufactured technology and extra-luxurious spacious office dimensions is a deep, emotional connection to the skyscraper and its extraordinary bay views.

“The firm is coming full circle from where it first started,” Zarco says. “For poetic reasons, it’s very significant to me because… I started as a young lawyer at Floyd Pearson Richman Greer on the 25th floor of One Biscayne Tower and am likely to end my legal career in that same building, because I just signed a new lease for 20 years.”

According to Zarco, out of all his business ventures, investing in himself has yielded the highest level of financial return. An out-of-the-box innovator of the highest caliber, he has been climbing the career ladder from his childhood entrepreneurial endeavors to his Harvard schooling and his legal and creative business accolades. And it is for these gradual rungs that he never mentions the word “retirement” in any conversation when others are discussing their 5-10 year winding-down plan. “My career has not yet reached its peak “says Zarco.

“I foresee that the next 20 years will provide our firm and I with continued personal and professional growth as human beings, as well as a lawyer and entrepreneur,” Zarco says. “I’m in no rush to see what the next 20 years will bring me, so long as I can live, love and laugh each day—we’ll take it one fun day at a time.

“Let’s hope the next 20 years stretches out to 40 years of great health and success for our entire team and families!”

Robert ZarcoPhoto Credit: Robert Zarco