Franchising Solicitors

Birkett Long’s franchising team shares our clients' passion, entrepreneurial spirit and commercial approach, which helps us deliver innovative expansion strategies.

For franchisors…

  • Preparation of franchise agreements and master franchise agreements, and all the ancillary documentation
  • Corporate and commercial structuring of franchise arrangements, including setting up companies and LLPs with required constitution for use by corporate franchisees
  • Grant and renewal of franchises
  • Sourcing and acquisition of franchise premises
  • Leasing and underleasing of franchise premises
  • Enforcement of franchise agreements and franchise leases and underleases
  • Recovery and management of failed franchises
  • Sales of existing and recovered franchises
  • Protection of franchisor’s intellectual property rights, such as copyright, trademarks and patents
  • Enforcement of franchisor’s intellectual property rights, such as trademark infringement and passing off claims
  • Dealing with disputes with franchisees and others.

Our extensive expertise and experience in franchising matters enables us to help franchisors protect their interests with practical and effective franchise legal documentation, and to help with the taking of enforcement action when needs be.

For franchisees…

  • Advising on and helping set up the trading vehicles of franchisees (sole trader, LLP, company etc)
  • Advising on, and where required and possible negotiation of, franchise agreements and associated documentation, including franchise leases and underleases
  • Sourcing and acquisition of franchise premises
  • franchise workforce matters, including employees, agency workers and contractors
  • Enforcement of franchise agreements and franchise leases and underleases against franchisors and third parties
  • Dealing with disputes with franchisors and others
  • Purchase and sale of new or existing franchises, whether shares or business and assets
  • Where joint ownership of the franchisee, documentation such as a shareholders agreements and LLP agreements.

When assisting franchisees our experience shows that the franchisee who fully understands the nature and effect of the franchise arrangement tends to have a much better ongoing relationship with its franchisor, since it will have had the opportunity of clarifying and challenging any aspects of the contractual relationship that it is not comfortable with.

If you have any questions on franchising, please call Tracey Dickens on 01206 217326 for a short, no obligation phone call.

Examples of our recent work...

Advised the UK master franchisee on the establishment of a new UK franchised business for a North American coffee shop brand, including negotiating the master franchise agreement with the brand owner, the company franchise agreement and the standard franchise agreement for new UK franchises.

Drafted a new franchise agreement for a Dutch company expanding its operation to the UK, which currently operates 60 franchises in Holland and Germany (we were instructed because we were more responsive than a London firm they had contacted).

Panel solicitor for a leading international hairdressing salon franchise operation for 15+ years, and acting for 50+ franchisees and prospective franchisees on new franchises, renewals of franchises, and sales and purchases of franchises, plus franchise ‘snatch backs’ and enforcement action by the franchisor.

Advisor to a leading fitness gym franchise operation currently expanding into Europe and beyond, including drafting the bespoke and sophisticated franchise agreement and ancillary documentation used for all its franchisees.

Advising a leading international photography studio on its franchise operation, updating and upgrading their standard franchise agreement and ancillary documentation, and overseeing the implementation of fresh franchise agreements across all the franchises, and assisting the franchisor in relation to disputes with franchisees and the sales and purchase of franchises.

Acted in the franchising of a chain of restaurants in the City of London, preparing the franchise agreements and overseeing entry into them.

Drafted the franchise agreement for a class based fitness system, which operates in 126 studios across the UK and is expanding to Australia and New Zealand.

Advised one of the largest national franchisees in the leisure dining sector on acquisitions of outlets from other existing franchisees and taking on new franchise areas (11 transactions over 2.5 years).

Regularly drafting franchise agreements and ancillary documents for the franchisor of new franchises involving a variety of businesses including:

  • fitness gym franchises
  • domiciliary care agency
  • pet sitting business
  • driving school
  • new estate agency
  • baby swimming school
  • cosmetic surgery training establishment.

Our experience

5 members of our Business team deal with franchising, some focussing on different elements of the work. We have an intellectual property specialist who assists franchisors with securing the franchise brand, specialists in drafting franchise agreements, and others who concentrate on reviewing and advising franchisees on existing agreements.

Tracey Dickens has advised franchisors and franchisees for 14 years. Alan Massenhove has recently joined the team and has specialised in advising both franchisors and franchises for 20+ years.

What our clients say

  • Tracey was terrific. She proved that she is an expert in this field and can understand a client's needs far better than they can. Further, Tracey was accessible, reliable and always a pleasure to be in contact with. Result: documentation that exactly met our needs, a relaxed and speedy process and it all came in on budget.