Anders Fernlund is the head of the franchising and distribution law department at NOVA law firm in Stockholm, Sweden; and a researcher and a doctoral candidate at the University of Stockholm.
During his 30 years of practice Fernlund has been the chair and the general counsel to the Swedish Franchise Association; the president and national representative of EuroFranchise Lawyers; senior vice chair of the international franchising committee of the IBA; and co-chair of the task force on franchising of the International Chamber of Commerce.
Why did you decide to pursue franchise law in particular?
As a young law clerk I was handling the first court case of franchise law in a Swedish court.
What do you consider to be the most interesting aspect of franchise law?
The win-win situation. The franchisees must be prosperous for the franchisor to make success.
Given that Europe is a well-developed market, what are the current opportunities for franchise growth in the region?
Franchising is still one of the best ways to expand business, especially cross-border. Thanks to the EU, it is also easy to expand throughout the union.
Has the Directorate-General for Competition helped or hindered a healthy market for franchisors?
DG Comp has helped the franchising market, firstly by setting standards through the BER 4087/88 and later by looking at franchising as a vehicle for the free movement of services.
How is EU legislation affecting the franchise market in Scandinavia and the rest of Europe?
The Block Exemption Regulation is the only EU legislation affecting franchising. This legislation has a positive effect and set reasonable standards to franchising.
What makes the franchise practice at NOVA unique?
NOVA has the most advanced and the bestrecognised franchise practice in Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia.
What future challenges will franchise lawyers likely have to face?
Like in the USA and many other countries, as well as the EU, on the union level, lawyers must start looking at the legal regulation of the relationship between franchisor and franchisees. Franchise lawyers should stand up for self-regulation instead of letting ignorant legislators create strange laws in this area.
Which developing markets are likely to be key jurisdictions for franchising in the future?
Many service markets have realised that franchising is the road ahead for them to be successful.
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