Perry C. Ausbrook, 80, a lawyer with an expertise in franchise law who retired in 2002 as a partner in the law firm now known as DLA Piper, died Jan. 10 at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville. He had pneumonia.

A son, J. Keith Ausbrook, confirmed the death.

Mr. Ausbrook began his legal career in the early 1960s with the U.S. Development Loan Fund, a primary source of American aid to foreign countries. He later entered private practice and, in 1969, became a founding partner of the Washington law firm of Brownstein, Zeidman and Schomer.

That firm eventually merged with the Chicago firm of Rudnick and Wolfe, which then merged with Piper and Marbury.

He was an arts patron, with interests including ballet and other forms of theater. He was past general counsel to the Washington Opera.

Perry Cleveland Ausbrook Jr. was a Little Rock native and a 1954 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton business school, where he was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.

After three years of Navy service, he attended Harvard Law School and graduated in 1960.

He moved from the District to Brighton Gardens assisted living in Chevy Chase a few years ago. He was a member and deacon of the Georgetown Presbyterian Church, and his other memberships included the Metropolitan Club, the Chevy Chase Club and the Annapolis Yacht Club.

His marriage to Dale Kimble ended in divorce.

Survivors include two sons, Michael K. Ausbrook of Bloomington, Ind., and J. Keith Ausbrook of Washington; and five grandchildren.

— Adam Bernstein