France: Franchise 2016
Franchise networks continue to grow in France, with the business model now contributing around €60 billion to the domestic economy through over 1,500 systems and 60,000 franchisees. France is the largest franchising market in Europe and many international brands see it as the entry point for the European continent. However, appreciating cultural, economic and legal differences to the Anglo-Saxon markets is vitally important to the success of brand expansion in France, which cannot be accomplished without advice from well-versed local counsel. We list six leaders in this regard.
GM Avocats is a leading franchising boutique based in Paris. It specialises in helping franchisors set up, manage and expand their brands. Fellow experts claim managing partner Gilles Menguy is “one of the very best franchise lawyers in France”, with one source adding that “he is absolutely my go-to guy in France – his knowledge and strategic nous is first rate”.
At the franchise and distribution law boutique Henry Sautereau, founder Gerard Sautereau is described as “the dean” by one leading international peer. Meanwhile, another source noted that “he really knows his stuff” and that clients were impressed by his “bespoke and creative advice”.
Taylor Wessing’s franchise practice head in Paris, Grégoire Toulouse, advises both domestic start-ups and multinational brands on domestic and international expansion. Delighted with his work, one client described his advice as “accurate, easily digestible and commercially applicable”.
Olivier Deschamps recently founded the distribution and franchise boutique Cabinet Linkea. He is a highly regarded specialist, with “a consummate understanding of franchise systems”.
Granrut Avocats has a strong franchise offering led by Olivier Binder, who is experienced in setting up domestic franchises and tailoring international franchise agreement to the French market. He is “a true specialist”, who has “all the necessary know-how”, according to respondents.
At FIDAL, Simon Hotte is also recommended for his strong knowledge of the French franchise market. Respondents found his advice to be “accessible and user-friendly”.