Joseph Benton

Areas of Concentration

General Corporate, Business, and Contract Law; Employment Law; Franchise and Licensing Law; Commercial Real Estate and Construction Law; Non-Profit / Charitable Law; Professional Practice Law

Legal Experience

Corporate, Business, and Contract Law

  • Legal services to a myriad of companies and businesses—Fortune-50, start-up, and non-profit — encompassing all aspects of business law, including formation of corporations, limited liability companies, co-operative corporations, and partnerships; registration of copyrights and trademarks; and consultation on day-to-day business/legal issues.
  • Legal advice relating to purchase, sale, and merger of operating businesses, including asset and stock acquisitions and divestitures.
  • Counsel involving shareholder and partner disputes and resolutions, and implementing buy-out procedures.
  • Business-owner succession planning, including preparation of wills, powers of attorney, living trusts, and living wills.
  • Drafting of contracts, memoranda of understanding, letters of intent, and amendments.

Commercial Real Estate and Construction Law

  • Multi-state commercial, retail, and industrial real estate transactions involving purchase, sale, tax-free "like-kind" exchange, and lease of real property; zoning, development, and construction issues; title, survey, and environmental matters; condominium creation and conversion; debt and equity financings; and real estate broker/ agent issues.
  • Approved attorney for Commonwealth/Fidelity Title.

Professional Practice Law

  • Legal counsel relating to the creation of professional practice entities, and acquisition, sale, and merger of operating practices. [Professional clients include: accountants, acupuncturists, architects, attorneys, auctioneers, business brokers, childcare directors, chiropractors, cosmetologists, CPAs, dentists, engineers, nurses, occupational and physical therapists, ophthalmologists, optometrists, orthodontists, pharmacists, physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, real estate brokers and agents, social workers, surveyors, and veterinarians)
  • Legal services involving professional employment agreements, non-compete and restrictive covenant agreements, hospital/physician recruiting and compensation agreements, shareholder buy-sell agreements, and severance agreements.

Employment Law

  • Preparation of and updates to employee manuals.
  • Legal advice and counsel to management on discrimination, harassment, employee theft, and drug matters, and compliance with ADA, FMLA, ADEA, and other employment laws.

Franchise, Distribution, and Licensing Law

  • Counsel to franchisors and licensors in planning, structuring, and implementing nationwide programs; drafting FDD's, Area Development Agreements, Franchise/License Agreements, and ancillary agreements; securing state registration of FDD's, advertising material, and brokers; and handling franchisee defaults, terminations, transfers, and buy-outs. [Valvoline Instant Oil Change, Family Tree Care Services, Fazoli's Restaurants, Jump International, Reno's Roadhouse]
  • Counsel to franchisees and distributors involving FDD and license review, contract negotiation, and site acquisition. [AAMCO, Arby's, Auntie Annes, BP, California Tortilla, Candy Bouquet, CertaPro Painters, Children's Orchard, Concerto Networks, Direct Link, Domino's, Dry-B-Lo, Famous Dave's, Five Guys, Fresh Coat, Giovanni's Pizza, Goin' Postal, Great Harvest Bread, Hallmark, Handyman Matters, Home Helpers, HuHot Mongolian Grills, Jersey Mike's, Jimmy John's, Kona Ice, Medicine Shoppe, Meineke, Menchie's, Merle Norman, Monkey Joe's, Movie Warehouse, My Gym, New Horizons, Paint With A Twist, Paul Davis Restoration, PostNet, Quizno's, RescueCom, ReTool, Servpro, Skyline, Smart Choice Insurance, Snap Fitness, State Beauty Supply, Subway, Sunbelt Business Brokers, SuperCoups, Thrifty Car Rental, WingZone, Zaxby's]

Law-Related Employment

Slone & Benton PSC—1994-Present
Ashland Oil, Inc/Valvoline/Instant Oil Change, Corporate Counsel and Vice President of Law—1979-1993
Spalding, Grouse, Robinson & Arnzen—1976-1979

Admitted to Practice Law

Kentucky 1979; U.S. Western District of KY 1982
U.S. Eastern District of KY 1983; Tennessee 1999


Morehead State University, Bachelor of Arts—1974
Salmon P. Chase College of Law, Juris Doctor—1979

Professional Associations

American, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Fayette County Bar Associations; AV® Preeminent™ (153 or 8482) Rating 16 years by Martindale-Hubbell

Selected Charitable Organizations

Ben Norby Kentucky Autism Foundation (Lexington); Children's Charity Fund/Bluegrass (Lexington); Estep Home for Boys (Rush); Habitat for Humanity (Richmond); Kids Count (Erlanger); Memory Hill Foundation (Caney); Paint Lick Family Clinic (Paint Lick); Ruby E. Bailey Family Service Center (Lexington); WaysMeet Healing Arts (Berea)


Born July 5, 1952, West Liberty, Morgan Co, KY, USA; Married, 2 daughters, 5 grandchildren; Hobbies include woodworking and genealogy

Contact Info

Slone & Benton PSC
201 Walton Avenue
Lexington KY 40502-1451 U.S.A.
Phone: 859.252.6600, Ext. 2
Fax: 859.252.1388