Honoree: Allen Z. Sussman

In-house counsel 2023
(Gittings Photography)

General Counsel
FAT Brands Inc.
Boston University

Allen Sussman became general counsel of FAT Brands Inc. in March 2021, after a 30-year career with the federal government and at major law firms. He initially served five years in government, first as a lawyer supervising savings and loans with the U.S. Department of Treasury, and then as an enforcement lawyer with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C.

At the SEC, Sussman worked in the task force that investigated and prosecuted violations in the banking industry. During his time in the government and law school, he also published articles on regulation and reform of the banking industry and an analysis of the regulation of junk bond investments in the Annual Review of Banking Law.

After five years of government service, Sussman entered private practice in Los Angeles in the mid-1990s. In private practice, he developed a recognized corporate transactional and securities practice in Los Angeles as a partner at Manatt Phelps & Phillis, Morrison & Foerster and most recently at Loeb & Loeb. In October 2017, Sussman handled the initial public offering of FAT Brands on NASDAQ, and in March 2021 joined as the company’s first general counsel.

Since becoming general counsel of FAT Brands in 2021, Sussman organized a new legal department and managed the company’s tremendous growth, during which time FAT Brands acquired multiple restaurant brands for over $1 billion and raised nearly $1 billion in new financing. The company has over 2,300 locations and is now a top 25 restaurant company with 17 iconic restaurant brands, including Round Table Pizza, Fatburger, Johnny Rockets, Marble Slab Creamery, Fazoli’s, Twin Peaks, and Hot Dog on a Stick.

In 2022, Sussman also played a role in the founding of the FAT Brands Foundation, created to uplift and unite the communities in which FAT Brands operates. While the company’s 17-brand portfolio is deeply rooted in charitable initiatives both locally and nationally, FAT Brands, as an organization, is seeking to magnify those efforts further. The 501(c)(3) organization is aimed at partnering with local non-profit organizations to provide essential programs to help families and communities thrive.