Don M. Drysdale


Newport Beach

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Don M. Drysdale is a State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization Certified Specialist in Franchise and Distribution Law. His practice is focused on franchise documentation (including franchise disclosure documents, franchise agreements, international master franchise agreements and area development agreements), franchise regulatory compliance (including registration of franchise disclosure documents with state franchise regulators), and franchisor-franchisee relations.

Mr. Drysdale has more than 35 years franchise experience including, preparing and registering with state franchise regulators franchise disclosure documents for more than 75 national franchisors involved in advertising, auto repair, business services, computer training and support, cosmetic and aesthetic salons, discount retail stores, fast food outlets, fitness centers and boot camps, full service restaurants, home improvement, home inspection, home repair, insurance brokerage, Internet services, kickboxing, mail convenience centers, math learning centers, nutritional supplement, pizzerias, quick serve restaurants, real estate brokerage, property investment services, senior home health care, specialty retail store businesses, video game stores, yogurt and ice cream stores and wireless retail outlets.

He has also prepared international master franchise agreements and international disclosure documents for more than 20 international franchisors involved in business services, computer training and support, fast food outlets, physical fitness businesses, full service restaurants, home improvement, mail convenience centers, pizzerias, quick serve restaurants, video game stores, yogurt and ice cream stores.

Mr. Drysdale served as Commissioner on the California State Bar's initial Franchise and Distribution Law Advisory Commission, which established the California Franchise and Distribution Law Specialty. He also served as Vice President and General Counsel of Coldwell Banker Residential Affiliates, Inc., where he established and supervised the legal department of the organization as it grew to more than 1,000 franchisees. He was the co-founder and served as an executive officer of Naut-A-Care Franchising, Inc. and Super Clean Yacht Service Franchising, Inc., two Orange County, California-based franchisors involved in the marine service industry.

He currently serves as Chair of the International Law Section of the Orange County Bar Association and he is an active member of the American Bar Association Forum on Franchising (and former Plenary Session speaker), the Business Law Section of the California State Bar and the Orange County Specialty Law Guild. Previously, he served as Chair of the Franchise Law Committee of the State Bar of California and Chair of the Business Law Committee (with emphasis on international franchising) of the Asia-Pacific Lawyers Association, and he was a member of the International Franchise Association Legal/Legislative Committee, a member of the Franchise Development Task Force to the President Pro Tempore of the California Senate and a member of the Advisory Commission to the California Senate on Franchising Matters.

In each of the past 10 years, Mr. Drysdale has been awarded an "AV Preeminent" rating (the highest possible in legal ability and ethics) from the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory. During his career, he has lectured on franchising and franchise related matters before the International Franchise Association, International Bar Association (in Hong Kong and France), American Bar Association Forum on Franchising, Asia-Pacific Lawyers Association (in Beijing), California Franchise Association, Florida Franchise Association, Japan Franchise Association (in Tokyo), Orange County Bar Association, and University of California Irvine. Mr. Drysdale served as a Naval Flight Officer with the U.S. Navy for 25 years (four years active with the Navy "Hurricane Hunters" and 21 years with Navy patrol squadrons in the reserves) and retired with the grade of Commander.

Practice Areas


  • University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, J.D. (Member of the Law Review), 1976
  • California State University Northridge, B.A., History, 1968

Languages Spoken

  • English