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About JohnstonVanderpool

Duke Johnston, MBA, JD


Duke is passionate about helping franchisors and craft brewers successfully grow their businesses and for the past 25 years his practice has been devoted to franchise and distribution law, brewery law and business law.  Prior to founding JohnstonVanderpool PLLC he worked for the United States Bankruptcy Court in Houston, Texas, as a trial lawyer for a litigation boutique in Austin, Texas, as the general counsel of a public company in Waco, Texas, and for 20 years he managed the legal affairs of one of the country’s largest service-based franchise organizations.


During this time Duke successfully resolved hundreds of franchise and business disputes. He also implemented franchise compliance procedures for franchise companies and handled a wide variety of transactional matters including the preparation and registration of franchise disclosure documents, the negotiation and drafting of numerous business and distribution agreements, due diligence investigations of franchise and other companies, acquisitions, mergers, divestures, private equity deals, strategic alliances, and international franchise expansion.


In addition to his law degree Duke has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Political Science from Trinity University, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Dallas, and he graduated from Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation - the premier program on negotiation and dispute resolution theory.  This education in organizational thinking and advanced business concepts, when combined with Duke's legal knowledge and firsthand experience in the operation of small, medium and large franchise organizations, allows Duke to better understand his clients’ businesses and thereafter use that knowledge to help his clients identify business opportunities, implement and streamline systems, protect their businesses, and find cost-effective legal solutions.


He has been a speaker at many franchise conferences, published articles and co-authored books on business and franchise law topics, and he has been profiled and quoted in various legal magazines.  Since 1994 he has been a member of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Franchising and for many years he was an active member of the International Franchise Association. In addition to chairing the Corporate Counsel Committee and being a member of the Legal Symposium Steering Committee, Duke was one of the first lawyers in the country to be designated as a Certified Franchise Executive by the International Franchise Association.  He has received numerous awards, recognition and honors over the course of his legal career but being recognized by Texas Lawyer magazine as one of the Top 50 in-house attorneys in the State of Texas is at the top of the list.


The majority of Duke’s time is spent serving as outside general counsel to franchisors and other businesses but Duke always has time to help anyone interested in the franchise and/or distribution of products and services.  In his spare time Duke can be found outdoors spending time with his family.  He also serves on or advises various non-profit boards dear to his heart.

Terry L.Vanderpool, JD

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For over 25 years, Terry has been providing businesses with specialized information and strategies to help their businesses grow and avoid litigation.  Prior to partnering with Duke to form JohnstonVanderpool PLLC, Terry worked for a law firm in Houston, Texas specializing in representing oil and gas clients and business clients, as general counsel of a national company for many years, and in private practice representing businesses and business owners, breweries and distilleries.


During this time Terry conducted and managed complex litigation, formed and advised for profit and non-profit companies, advised business owners on asset protection and litigation avoidance, strategically used arbitration to mitigate costs, and successfully resolved hundreds of business disputes.  Terry has conducted a wide variety of transactional matters including the preparation of software license agreements, private placements, due diligence, complex state compliance registrations, state complaint resolutions, brewery negotiations with the TABC, distillery transactions and litigation, the negotiation and crafting of contracts, strategic partnerships, and international license agreements.


In addition to his law degree from the University of Houston, Terry received his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy  from Trinity University.   Deep and critical thinking, and over 25 years experience advising business owners, gives Terry the skills to efficiently advise and relate to his clients giving them a strategic advantage in moving their business forward.


When not helping clients advance their objectives, Terry spends time with his family hiking and mountain biking or visiting breweries, distilleries, and pubs with Duke testing out their excellent products. Terry has been active and on the board of several Christian and non-profit organizations.

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