THOMAS R. MERRITT has practiced for more than 30 years in Orange County, California as an attorney and Certified Public Accountant. As an experienced transactional attorney, Mr. Merritt has been involved in the negotiation, documentation and coordination of numerous retail, commercial, office, industrial and residential real estate developments, including purchase, sale, leasing, financing and franchising transactions, loan originations and workouts, foreclosures, construction and general corporate transactions.
As Consulting Counsel to Taco Bell Corp. for 10 years, Mr. Merritt handled the negotiation, documentation and closing of numerous multi-million dollar transactions involving the sale and franchising of hundreds of Taco Bell restaurants. Mr. Merritt was also engaged in the financial restructuring of numerous multi-unit Taco Bell and Burger King franchisees, often involving multiple lenders, bankruptcy complications and purchase leaseback financing.
Prior to completion of the successful bankruptcy reorganization and sale of Edwards Theatres to Regal Entertainment in 2001, Mr. Merritt handled all the legal affairs for the real estate and property management departments at Edwards Theatres, including the closure, termination, assignment, sublease and/or renegotiation of over 45 theatre development projects. As part of the bankruptcy reorganization, Mr. Merritt spearheaded the legal strategy for the defeat or reduction in creditor’s claims.
Prior to starting his own law practice in 1996, Mr. Merritt served as Assistant Vice President in the franchise law department at Coldwell Banker Corporation’s headquarters in Mission Viejo, California. Mr. Merritt graduated in 1985 from the University of California, Hastings College of Law, San Francisco, California.