Attorney Lee Plave


  • Partner


F 703-774-1201

3120 Fairview Park Drive
Suite 420
Falls Church, VA 22042

Practice Areas

  • Franchising
  • Distribution & Supply Chain
  • International
  • Domain Names, Internet & Technology
  • Advertising & Trade Regulation


Lee has extensive experience counseling distributors and franchisors, including drafting and negotiating franchise agreements for complex international and domestic transactions and advising clients on all aspects of franchise and distribution law.

Lee also counsels clients on the application of technology to franchise and distribution systems. He focuses his attention on matters such as social networking and social media issues, e-commerce, data use and security policies, cybersquatting and domain name disputes, consumer complaint and cybersmear sites, as well as software and hardware licensing. In addition, he serves as an expert witness and also represents clients in matters before the Federal Trade Commission.



  • New York Law School, New York, New York
    • J.D.
    • Honors: cum laude
  • Clark University
    • B.A.


  • Who’s Who Legal
    • Thought Leaders – Global Elite
  • Who’s Who Legal
    • Global Franchise Lawyer of the Year (2018, 2019, and 2020)
    • Top Practitioner, North America (through 2017)
  • Lexology Client Choice Award
    • Top Franchise Lawyer, United States (2023)
  • American Bar Association, Lewis G. Rudnick Award, 2019
  • Certified Franchise Executive (IFA)
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (Band 1)
  • Chambers Global (Band 2)
  • Best Lawyers in America
    • Franchise Lawyer of the Year, Washington, D.C. (2011, 2016, 2018)
  • International Journal of Franchising Law, Co-editor (2015-2017)
  • International Who’s Who of Information Technology Lawyers
  • Franchise Times “Legal Eagles” – Hall of Fame
  • Who’s Who in America
  • Who’s Who in American Law
  • Who’s Who in the South and Southwest
  • Washington, DC Super Lawyers
  • Virginia Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers – Corporate Counsel Edition
  • Smart CEO – Legal Elite
  • Board of Trustees, Clark University (2016-2026)

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • Virginia

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association Forum on Franchising: Director, International Franchise and Distribution Division (2012-14), Forum on Franchising
  • International Bar Association, Officer, Committee on International Franchising
  • International Franchise Association, Vice-Chair, Legal Legislative Committee (2019-2021); Revenue Recognition (FASB ASC 606) Task Force; Merchant-Cybersecurity Working Group on Cyber Risk Mitigation (IFA representative); President’s Council on Year 2000 Conversion (IFA representative to the White House); Information Technology Committee; FASB FIN46 Working Group; Social Media Task Force; PCI Compliance Task Force; Convention Planning Committee (2012).
  • Bar Association of the District of Columbia
  • New York State Bar Association Subcommittee on Revisions to the N.Y. Franchise Law
  • Virginia State Bar Association
London-based Who’s Who Legal recognized Lee its global “Franchise Lawyer of the Year” for 2018, 2019, and 2020, as ranked by his peers. In 2021, as in the last few years, he has again been listed among the Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders – Global Elite.

The respected U.K. publisher Chambers & Partners includes Lee in its Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business – The Client’s Guide (Band 1). They wrote that:

Lee Plave has left DLA Piper to start Plave Koch PLC in Falls Church. According to commentators, “this passionate transactional advocate is focused more than most on the cutting-edge areas.” These include counsel on the use of technology in franchise and distribution systems and on regulatory issues arising out of Sarbanes-Oxley and new accounting rules. Clients were quick to praise his blend of client service and a contemplative methodology: “He is not a lawyer who would give you an answer first and go and check later.”

More recently, Chambers USA wrote:

Sources are effusive in their praise for Lee Plave, describing him as “a very impressive and talented lawyer.” Interviewees note: “He is very knowledgeable and on the cutting edge of the technology side of things.” One peer added: “He is a wonderful franchise attorney and a great character – I can’t say enough good things about him.”

“A real thought leader who is trying to make a difference in the overall health of franchising.” Chambers US 2018

“According to sources, Lee Plave (Band 1) is “a top-notch lawyer” who is “a significant player with a good practice.” He is a top choice for distributors and franchisors on matters such as negotiating franchise agreements and cross-border transactions. Lee is a personable and brilliant lawyer.” Chambers US 2020

Who’s Who Legal wrote:

“His advice is orientated around the business background of the franchise relationship – he focuses on the relationship, rather than just the agreement.” — Who’s Who Legal, 2018

He has broad expertise in matters relating to franchising agreements, technology and private equity transactions. One client describes him as “a well-rounded operator in all areas of business. He thinks outside the box, is steeped in nuances and is well-versed in the intricacies of franchise law.” — Who’s Who Legal, 2017

Of Lee Plave, peers say that “any question you have, he has an answer to it based on his depth of knowledge and experience”. He is described as “very business-oriented and practical lawyer who takes the technical answer and thinks about it in the frame of the business situation”. Who’s Who Legal, 2020

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