By Mark Abell, Bird & Bird
The decision of the United Kingdom on 23 June 2016 to leave the European Union will have a very real, but not yet fully known, impact upon all those franchisors around the world that have a presence in the UK and possibly many of those which have a presence in the rest of the EU. This will present challenges for franchise lawyers, who will need to understand the potential implications as they change and develop over the coming years and advise their franchise clients how best to deal with them.
Who’s Who Legal brings together Lee Plave of Plave Koch, Penny Ward of Baker & McKenzie and Jennifer Dolman of Osler Hoskin & Harcourt to discuss issues facing franchise lawyers and their clients today.
Who’s Who Legal brings together Stephen Giles of Norton Rose Fulbright, John Pratt of Hamilton Pratt, Peter Snell of Gowling Lafleur Henderson and Jennifer Dolman of Osler Hoskin Harcourt to discuss pressing issues facing franchises today, noteworthy court decisions and the effect of technology on franchising.
Philip Colman of MST Lawyers takes an in-depth look at the franchising sector in Australia:
"On the whole, the sector has coped well with the Franchising Code. Certain flaws have been recognised over time and it is expected that by the commencement of 2015, many of those flaws will be addressed."
We are pleased to present the 14th edition of Who’s Who Legal: Franchise. Our latest research identifies 500 leading individuals from over 300 law firms across 73 countries.
Despite economic uncertainty around the world the franchise market has continued to grow, remaining robust in developed markets and making inroads in the developing world. Furthermore, with increasing internationalisation of brands, markets that in the last decade might have seemed unlikely spots for franchisors to set up shop have since seen a flowering of brands. But the market is not without its problems, several of which bring into question the fundamentals of franchise law and the franchisor-franchisee relationship. Despite the industry’s strong response to a turbulent market, franchise law is currently facing something of a crucible.
We are pleased to present the 13th edition of Who’s Who Legal: Franchise. Our latest research identifies 425 leading individuals from 284 firms across 73 countries.
In a time of global economic uncertainty, franchise systems are seen as prudent business models, offsetting some of the risks traditionally associated with opening or expanding a business. Reports indicate that the industry is continuing to show significant growth in both mature and emerging markets. It is an ever-expanding global practice with an increasingly sophisticated and diverse range of franchisors and franchisees. Law firms are thus said to be growing their franchise offerings and rapidly adapting to keep pace with market developments.
This year, we recognise 388 practitioners from 241 firms in 65 countries as leading lawyers for franchise law. Several firms stand out, most notably DLA Piper which has individuals from seven of its offices across the US, Europe and Asia singled out. Dentons, Bird & Bird and Gray Plant Mooty all perform strongly, as does specialist franchise outfit Plave Koch, which is home to our top practitioner in North America: Lee Plave.
We also list the most highly regarded lawyers in North America, Europe and the rest of the world.
With the benefit of over 17 years of research, encompassing tens of thousands of votes from clients and private practitioners, as well as hundreds of hours of interviews with legal professionals around the world, Who’s Who Legal offers an overview of the recent trends and developments in the global franchise legal market.
This year, we identify 360 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.
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.
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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.