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UK Guide

Franchising — UK-wide


Bird & Bird - Franchising Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 1 legal director
- 14 associates
- Office location: London

What the team is known for Globally recognised as a leading franchising practice that helps household-name brands build and develop national and international franchise networks. Acts for restaurant chains, fashion labels and retailers of all types. Increasingly active in the establishment of school franchises in overseas markets.

Strengths The team provides "timely responses which are detailed and relevant," according to clients, who have an "excellent impression" of the team.

Sources say: "The service is good and their commercial understanding of our proposition really helps us a lot."

Work highlights Advised Hamleys on the drafting and negotiation of multiple international franchise and development agreements, and compliance with local law requirements.

Renegotiated and restructured deals in Europe, Asia and the Middle East on behalf of Mothercare.

Significant clients Stagecoach, Casual Dining Group, Costa Coffee, PizzaExpress, Wellington School.

Notable practitioners

Mark Abell is one of the UK's foremost franchising practitioners, and market sources say: "There is no doubt he is pretty outstanding." He advises an enviable list of clients on a wide range of franchise issues including large-scale rollouts, master franchise agreements and business restructuring.

Victoria Hobbs "has excellent commercial understanding in addition to her legal knowledge," according to a client. She focuses on litigating franchise disputes on behalf of clients in the retail, hotel and leisure, and food and beverage sectors.

The "very bright" Graeme Payne offers extensive commercial expertise to franchisors looking to expand into new markets. He specialises in the retail, leisure, healthcare and food and beverage sectors.

Shelley Nadler has extensive experience advising start-ups as well as established brands on a wide range of issues, including structure, IP ownership and developing new networks in the UK and new markets.

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Fieldfisher - Franchising Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- 10 partners
- 18 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: London

What the team is known for World-leading practice able to advise on the most challenging restructuring exercises, M&A, disputes and all commercial issues faced by international brands. Acts for household names in retail, hospitality and the restaurant trade. Growing client base in education, healthcare and media.

Strengths A client says this is "a great team with a broad range of skills, great specialist knowledge and a commercial approach."

Work highlights Advised Arcadia Group on a range of franchising issues including the renewal and registration of its franchised brands in Vietnam and the Philippines.

Advised Burger & Lobster on rollouts in Thailand and Malaysia.

Significant clients Brighton College, Hamleys, Karen Millen, Häagen-Dazs, Gourmet Burger Kitchen.

Notable practitioners

Chris Wormald has an enviable client list, drawn particularly from the retail and restaurant sectors. He is a former McDonald's European general counsel, and is described by a market source as "one of the top franchising lawyers."

David Bond advises household-name brands on international expansion and the application of quasi-franchising models. He has additional expertise in advertising law. Sources say: "He's down-to-earth and very pragmatic."

Gordon Drakes advises brands on network expansion through the use of third party relationships such as business format franchising, joint ventures and strategic alliances. A source says: "He is very commercial, smart and has great franchising expertise."

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Dentons - Franchising Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 9 associates
- Office location: London

What the team is known for Celebrated practice able to use its impressive worldwide network to help leading franchises with all conceivable structural, contractual and expansion-related issues. Advises on franchise disputes and compliance. Renowned for its strength in hospitality, fashion, retail and restaurants.

Strengths A client says: "I find their work to be exemplary."

Work highlights Advised Godiva on the restructuring of its franchise agreement and high-value franchise and distribution agreements in Vietnam, Korea, China and Indonesia.

Advised Starwood on its programme of franchise agreements for hotels in Europe.

Significant clients Wagamama, Waitrose, Avis, Hilton, Mint Velvet.

Notable practitioners

Babette Märzheuser-Wood heads the firm's EMEA franchise team and enjoys a strong international reputation in the hotels sector. She advises on the full sweep of franchising issues, including concession agreements and IP-driven joint ventures. She is dual-qualified in Germany and the UK.

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Hamilton Pratt - Franchising Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 2 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: Warwick

What the team is known for Highly regarded franchising specialists offering the full span of related services to emerging and established businesses. Offers expertise to clients in all industries on domestic and international franchising matters.

Strengths A source says: "I'm very happy with them - they are very approachable, very friendly and they give good advice."

A client says: "The service is always tremendous."

Work highlights Acted for Auriga on its acquisition of Central Coffee, a multi-unit operator of Costa Coffee outlets.

Co-ordinated the preparation of new franchise agreements for Newton Fallowell's lettings and estate agency businesses following its acquisition by Belvoir.

Significant clients Dyno Rod, Dunkin' Brands, Rainbow, Boots Opticians, Metro Rod.

Notable practitioners

John Pratt is recognised for his deep expertise in franchising, and he advises on the full range of commercial, operational and contentious matters faced by franchisors and franchisees. A client says: "He is knowledgeable, practical and provides excellent client service."

Emma Lusty is a senior associate who specialises in the commercial aspects of franchising and franchisor-franchisee relations. She has particular expertise in resales and brand protection matters. A client says: "She always has the right answer and is very efficient."

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Owen White - Franchising Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- Office location: Slough

What the team is known for Offers expert advice on all manner of franchising matters, including litigation, resale and master licence agreements, sales and transfers. Acts for businesses large and small in traditional sectors such as retail and leisure, but also domiciliary care, commercial cleaning and residential lettings.

Strengths A client says the service is "excellent overall," highlighting "the firm's attention to detail, knowledge of our company, speediness of communication and working to tight deadlines."

Another adds: "The service is superb. The phone is always answered quickly. They do what they say they're going to do, when they say they're going to do it."

Notable practitioners

Jane Masih leads the franchising department and offers her extensive experience and knowledge to a wide range of domestic clients. One says: "Aside from her excellent work for us, our credibility is enhanced among other service providers when they know we have been working with her."

Russell Ford is recommended for his work as a litigator acting on behalf of both franchisees and franchisors, and is also sought after for alternative dispute resolution mandates. A client says: "He is straight-talking, gets to the heart of a problem very quickly and offers sensible and pragmatic lines of approach to a problem."

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Stevens & Bolton LLP - Franchising Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 7 other lawyers
- Office location: Guildford

What the team is known for Full-service outfit providing a multidisciplinary commercial service to major franchisees and franchisors across the EU. Strong retail and IP practices supporting notable brands across a wide range of industries. Well versed in international expansion issues and franchise disputes.

Strengths A client says: "They understand our business and they challenge us. They truly understand where we're coming from."

Sources say: "We're delighted with the service they provide. The team is consistent and they are very responsive."

Work highlights Advised MyCookieDough on an area development agreement granting exclusive rights to open franchises in Bahrain and Qatar.

Advised Cook Trading on all its franchising matters, including reviewing and amending the template franchise agreement and issuing all franchise agreements and renewals.

Significant clients Papa John's, Monkey Music, Promedica24 UK, Esquires Coffee, Energi Leisure Parks.

Notable practitioners

Nicola Broadhurst offers a broad array of services to clients such as master franchise and licensing agreements as well as advice on international expansion strategy. A source says: "She's prompt, knowledgeable and extremely diligent."

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Ashtons Legal - Franchising Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: Norwich

What the team is known for Well-reputed practice servicing clients at home and abroad across the full spectrum of franchising matters, including contentious situations. Offers additional support to franchisors with the launch of its new consultancy arm, Ashtons Franchise Consulting.

Strengths Clients say: "They offer a high level of expertise and good turnaround times."

A source says: "They provide a knowledgeable, efficient, practical and timely service."

Work highlights Advised Bubbleology on the appointment of an area developer in Hungary to open and operate Bubbleology cafes.

Assisted Trend Transformations with its rebranding exercise, having previously been known as Granite Transformations, which included advice on network buy-in and documentation.

Significant clients TaxAssist Accountants, Pitman Training, Harry Ramsden's, Tossed, Water Babies.

Notable practitioners

Damian Humphrey advises established and new franchises on domestic and international expansion. A client says: "He has very good industry knowledge, provides prompt responses and understands our needs."

John Chambers assists domestic and international clients from a broad array of industries with the full range of commercial issues and franchise agreement terminations. Clients describe him as an "absolutely superb" practitioner.

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Blake Morgan - Franchising Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers
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Office location: Southampton

What the team is known for Comprehensive franchising offering to businesses of all sizes in the UK and overseas. Provides clients with franchisor-specific support on tax, pensions, banking and consumer credit issues. Supported by a well-regarded IP and brand protection offering.

Strengths A client appreciates the team's "consistency of expertise and communication skills at all levels."

Work highlights Assisted private investors with the acquisition of a Camping and Caravanning Club site from the previous franchisee.

Significant clients Costa, Molly Maid UK, UK Greetings, Driving Miss Daisy UK, Trussell Trust.

Notable practitioners

Sheilah Mackie advises on setting up and managing networks, compliance and expansion strategy. A client says: "She is very efficient and has excellent knowledge of franchise law."

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Cubism Law - Franchising Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- Office location: London

What the team is known for Advises franchisees and franchisors on all manner of commercial matters and enjoys a particularly healthy reputation for litigation. Also recommended for pre-signing services for franchisees, such as financial projection and franchise agreement reviews.

Notable practitioners

Andrew Pena is noted for his highly successful franchise litigation practice, and advises on disputes in the UK and across overseas jurisdictions.

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Leathes Prior - Franchising Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: Norwich

What the team is known for Long-established franchising practice providing a comprehensive service to franchisors operating across the UK and increasingly out into the EU, Russia, Australia, China and the Middle East. Also advises prospective franchisees on all aspects of entering into franchise agreements.

Strengths A source says: "They are good at listening to the client's needs."

Work highlights Advised Greensleeves Lawn Care on issuing new franchise agreements, franchise renewals and deeds of variation.

Advised a number of Budgens franchisees on the sale, renewal or reorganisation of their stores after the expiry of the initial ten-year term.

Significant clients Baby Sensory International, India Jane Franchising, Jigsaw Arts Franchise, C&A Franchising, Little Squigglers Franchise.

Notable practitioners

Jonathan Chadd advises on domestic and international expansion, franchisor-franchisee relations and complex franchise structures.

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TLT LLP - Franchising Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: Bristol

What the team is known for Full-service offering with an emphasis on retail and leisure, acting on behalf of significant brands operating in Russia, the EU, the Middle East and South Korea, as well as in the UK. Also advises UK-franchised automotive dealership associations. Recommended for joint venture and concession arrangements.

Strengths A client says: "They respond quickly and they're user-friendly. They engage with you fully to help you understand the bigger picture."

Work highlights Advised WHSmith on a joint venture with Post Office for the latter to operate franchised concessions in over 160 of the client's stores.

Advised Sainsbury's on a collaboration with Euro Garages which will see the client operate petrol station forecourt convenience stores across the UK.

Significant clients The Co-operative Group, Peacocks Stores, Jane Norman International, Ripples Bathrooms, Merlin Entertainments.

Notable practitioners

Bill Hull is a key contact.

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Senior Statesperson

Leathes Prior

From the Chambers UK guide

Jonathan Chadd advises on domestic and international expansion, franchisor-franchisee relations and complex franchise structures.

^ See whole ranking table

Senior Statesperson

Ashtons Legal

From the Chambers UK guide

John Chambers assists domestic and international clients from a broad array of industries with the full range of commercial issues and franchise agreement terminations. Clients describe him as an "absolutely superb" practitioner. 

^ See whole ranking table

Senior Statesperson

Sherrards Solicitors

From the Chambers UK guide

Manzoor Ishani of Sherrards Solicitors is praised by market commentators for his established presence in franchising work. He focuses on multi-jurisdictional franchising arrangements, and has recently overseen rollouts in Russia and Norway.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Bird & Bird

From the Chambers UK guide

Mark Abell is one of the UK's foremost franchising practitioners, and market sources say: "There is no doubt he is pretty outstanding." He advises an enviable list of clients on a wide range of franchise issues including large-scale rollouts, master franchise agreements and business restructuring.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Nicola Broadhurst

Stevens & Bolton LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Nicola Broadhurst offers a broad array of services to clients such as master franchise and licensing agreements as well as advice on international expansion strategy. A source says: "She's prompt, knowledgeable and extremely diligent." 

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Babette Märzheuser-Wood

Dentons

From the Chambers UK guide

Babette Märzheuser-Wood heads the firm's EMEA franchise team and enjoys a strong international reputation in the hotels sector. She advises on the full sweep of franchising issues, including concession agreements and IP-driven joint ventures. She is dual-qualified in Germany and the UK.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Owen White

From the Chambers UK guide

Jane Masih leads the franchising department and offers her extensive experience and knowledge to a wide range of domestic clients. One says: "Aside from her excellent work for us, our credibility is enhanced among other service providers when they know we have been working with her."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Hamilton Pratt

From the Chambers UK guide

John Pratt is recognised for his deep expertise in franchising, and he advises on the full range of commercial, operational and contentious matters faced by franchisors and franchisees. A client says: "He is knowledgeable, practical and provides excellent client service."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Fieldfisher

From the Chambers UK guide

Chris Wormald has an enviable client list, drawn particularly from the retail and restaurant sectors. He is a former McDonald's European general counsel, and is described by a market source as "one of the top franchising lawyers."  

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

David Bigmore & Co in association with Goodman Derrick LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

David Bigmore of David Bigmore & Co in Association with Goodman Derrick LLP is "very approachable and very knowledgeable," according to commentators. He advises franchisors and franchisees on a wide range of issues, including disputes and property matters.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Fieldfisher

From the Chambers UK guide

David Bond advises household-name brands on international expansion and the application of quasi-franchising models. He has additional expertise in advertising law. Sources say: "He's down-to-earth and very pragmatic."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Owen White

From the Chambers UK guide

Russell Ford is recommended for his work as a litigator acting on behalf of both franchisees and franchisors, and is also sought after for alternative dispute resolution mandates. A client says: "He is straight-talking, gets to the heart of a problem very quickly and offers sensible and pragmatic lines of approach to a problem." 

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Bird & Bird

From the Chambers UK guide

Victoria Hobbs "has excellent commercial understanding in addition to her legal knowledge," according to a client. She focuses on litigating franchise disputes on behalf of clients in the retail, hotel and leisure, and food and beverage sectors.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Nina Moran-Watson

NMW Legal/Franchise Consultancy Services

From the Chambers UK guide

Nina Moran-Watson of NMW Legal/Franchise Consultancy Services provides legal and operational support to prospective and existing franchisees and franchisors. Sources say: "She's delightful to deal with - she's clever, she's sensible and she doesn't try to score points."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Bird & Bird

From the Chambers UK guide

Shelley Nadler has extensive experience advising start-ups as well as established brands on a wide range of issues, including structure, IP ownership and developing new networks in the UK and new markets.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Bird & Bird

From the Chambers UK guide

The "very bright" Graeme Payne offers extensive commercial expertise to franchisors looking to expand into new markets. He specialises in the retail, leisure, healthcare and food and beverage sectors.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

DLA Piper UK LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Iain Bowler of DLA Piper UK LLP "is a very good lawyer, hugely experienced, and he does a lot of international work," according to interviewees. He is a commercial contracts specialist and is recommended for advice on domestic and international expansion, joint ventures and the treatment of franchise networks in M&A transactions.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Simons Muirhead & Burton

From the Chambers UK guide

Maninder Gill of Simons Muirhead & Burton is a well-known franchising specialist, and he advises prominent leisure, publishing and retail brands on international commercial matters. A client says: "We quickly established a rapport - he was highly effective and took a long view of the future of my business."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Goldstein Legal

From the Chambers UK guide

Roz Goldstein of Goldstein Legal is a rising name in the world of franchising, having established a specialist firm which offers complementary expertise in employment and broader commercial issues.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Ashtons Legal

From the Chambers UK guide

Damian Humphrey advises established and new franchises on domestic and international expansion. A client says: "He has very good industry knowledge, provides prompt responses and understands our needs."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Blake Morgan

From the Chambers UK guide

Sheilah Mackie advises on setting up and managing networks, compliance and expansion strategy. A client says: "She is very efficient and has excellent knowledge of franchise law."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Boddy Matthews

From the Chambers UK guide

Kate Matthews of Boddy Matthews is a commercial disputes specialist with significant expertise in franchise matters. A source says: "She has an incredible depth of knowledge and is practically-minded." 

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Cubism Law

From the Chambers UK guide

Andrew Pena is noted for his highly successful franchise litigation practice, and advises on disputes in the UK and across overseas jurisdictions.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Birketts LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Edward Savory of Birketts LLP brings to bear his corporate law expertise and concentrates largely on growth-stage franchises. Market sources describe him as a "sensible and logical" thinker.

^ See whole ranking table

Up and Coming

Fieldfisher

From the Chambers UK guide

Gordon Drakes advises brands on network expansion through the use of third party relationships such as business format franchising, joint ventures and strategic alliances. A source says: "He is very commercial, smart and has great franchising expertise."    

^ See whole ranking table

Up and Coming

CMS

From the Chambers UK guide

Joel Vertes of CMS advises retail, hotel and leisure franchises on commercial and contentious matters, including brand protection.

^ See whole ranking table

Associates to watch

Hamilton Pratt

From the Chambers UK guide

Emma Lusty is a senior associate who specialises in the commercial aspects of franchising and franchisor-franchisee relations. She has particular expertise in resales and brand protection matters. A client says: "She always has the right answer and is very efficient."

^ See whole ranking table

Associates to watch

NMW Legal/Franchise Consultancy Services

From the Chambers UK guide

Victoria Mitman of Birketts LLP is an associate developing a flourishing franchising practice. She advises on the preparation of franchise agreements and resale processes. Clients say: "She was exceptional at communicating and at understanding what was important to us."  

^ See whole ranking table

Associates to watch

Mundays LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Fiona Moss of Mundays LLP advises franchisees and franchisors on all manner of commercial matters and the implications of corporate transactions involving franchised businesses.

^ See whole ranking table