Mark Abell of Bird & Bird explores the weight of regulations in different EU jurisdictions.
"Clearly, weight of regulation does not necessarily equate to effectiveness or appropriateness of regulation. Indeed the most heavily regulated member states are not, in the author’s view, the best-regulated ones."
The International Who’s Who of Franchise Lawyers has brought together Jennifer Dolman of Osler Hoskin & Harcourt, John Pratt of Hamilton Pratt and Andrew Wiseman of Allens to discuss levels of activity, access to financing for franchise clients, pressure on fees and levels of specialisation in this area of law.
Lee Plave of Plave Koch PLC looks at the impact of the digital revolution on the franchise industry.
"The greatest change of the modern era – the digital revolution – presents an ever-evolving array of challenges for all players in society – companies, their counsel, their vendors, their customers and even their governments."
This year, we identify 363 practitioners from 233 firms and 68 countries who are the leading lawyers in the field. Seven firms stood out in our research due to the number of practitioners they field to this edition. DLA Piper once again leads our research with an extremely impressive 16 lawyers recognised from seven different jurisdictions. Following closely behind is Gray Plant Mooty, which boasts one of the "world's leading franchise practices", and has 13 practitioners selected. International heavy-weight Dentons and specialist franchise firm Plave Koch both boast seven inclusions in this edition.
We also single out the 10 most highly regarded franchise lawyers in the world.
Franchising remains a strong model of expansion and the franchise legal market is robust. Following the financial crisis systems are looking to international expansion, both in traditional and new markets such as Africa. Levels of litigation remain strong and class actions could provide yet more work for lawyers, notably in Canada. The key concern for clients and many lawyers is the idea of the franchisor being reclassified as an “employer”, as this would have a profound impact on the nature of franchising and the role of franchise lawyers.
This report is the result of six months of independent research into the international franchise law marketplace, and builds on our previous analyses of the marketplace, encompassing hundreds of hours of interviews with leading professionals in jurisdictions around the world. We explore the the factors affecting franchise activity, particularly relating to expansion of North American markets into China and India, and the correlative trends in the global legal marketplace.
This year the findings of our research identify the firms and practitioners who stand out worldwide for their franchising expertise in a range of industries. DLA Piper LLP (US) emerges as the firm with the most inclusions, followed by Gray Plant Mooty with 10 lawyers mentioned. The research is dominated by North Amercian firms but most highly regarded individuals, such as Mark Abell from Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP, based in London stand out for their international work and knowledge of the area.
In this section we analyse the findings of our research in greater depth to identify the firms and practitioners who stand out worldwide.
Who's Who Legal highlights the leaders in this practice area in 61 jurisdictions. One firm stands out in this edition: DLA Piper has 17 individuals listed from its offices in the USA, China and Hong Kong and is regarded as “the go-to firm for franchise”.
The feeling among interviewees based in the US and Europe is that, as a result of the recession, the domestic franchise market has contracted. At the same time, clients are demanding more from their lawyers.
Our research identifies a small but highly talented contingent of franchise lawyers.
Our research identifies 235 lawyers in 52 countries that offer clients the highest standards of franchise expertise in their home jurisdictions, and often beyomnd national borders.
Conventional wisdom holds that the franchise industry is quite robust in a recession, with some even going so far as to classify it as counter-cyclical.
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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.