John Gessner

Fox Rothschild LLP

$ $$$

West Peachtree Street Northwest 1180
Atlanta 30309 GA US

John B. Gessner is a seasoned corporate lawyer who provides comprehensive legal guidance to growth-stage businesses, primarily in the Food & Beverage and Hospitality sectors. Serving in an outside general counsel capacity, John advises clients on :

  • business operations and strategic planning
  • corporate formation and governance
  • employment and human resources
  • franchising
  • real estate and leasing.

John is adept at helping companies chart a path for growth by identifying and achieving their short- and long-term goals. He leverages significant experience working in-house with multiple restaurant development companies where he built his skills as a legal adviser to emerging brands.

In addition, John has deep experience defending hospitality clients in employment and commercial litigation, as well as class actions. He has represented clients before the EEOC, the Department of Labor and OSHA. He is also well versed in licensing and compliance actions before the alcoholic beverage regulatory agencies.

Prior to joining Fox, John served for more than a decade as general counsel to both national franchisees and franchisors, as well as restaurant development and management companies. Before that he represented hospitality clients in commercial and employment litigation.

John is a frequent lecturer on hospitality topics and since 2005 has been a regular participant in the Cornell University Hospitality Roundtable. He has also taught business law courses at Brookhaven Community College.


  • Tulane University (J.D., 1984)
  • University of St. Thomas (B.A., summa cum laude, 1981)


  • Dallas Bar Association
  • Texas Bar Association


  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas



  • Greater Dallas Restaurant Association
    • Board of Directors and Executive Committee, 2008-2019
  • Texas Restaurant Association
    • President Elect, 2018
    • Vice President, 2017
    • Executive Committee, 2010-2019
  • Texas Restaurant Association PAC
    • Chairman, 2010-2011, 2016-2019


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West Peachtree Street Northwest 1180
Atlanta 30309 GA US
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