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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Franchising clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Bird & Bird LLP  has a strong reputation in both contentious and non-contentious matters. Mark Abell  leads the team and focuses primarily on the consumer and education sector. He recently advised Westminster School on its arrangement with Hong Kong Melodious Education Technology, which will set up set up six schools in China. Graeme Payne  is also a key figure and is notably strong in the consumer sector.  Recent work highlights of his include advising The Mothercare Group on restructuring deals in Russia, Indonesia and Ukraine, in relation to its Mothercare and Early Learning Centre brands. He also assisted Casual Dining Group on rolling out two of it brands in the Republic of Ireland. Legal director Shelley Nadler regularly works with Costa on its franchising arrangements across the UK.  Victoria Hobbs, who focuses on franchising disputes, and associate Nick Green are also recommended.

For some, Fieldfisher  is 'the top franchise law practice in the country' and works for clients such as Hamleys, Thomas Pink and Arcadia. David Bond co-heads the practice and provides 'pragmatic' and 'commercial' advice. He advised easyHotel on two master development deals involving large hotels in Iran and Sri Lanka. Fellow practice head Chris Wormald  is notably strong in the food and beverage sector. The franchising disputes team consists of Andrew Dodd  and James Seadon: the former focuses on litigation while the latter has a strong emphasis on mediation. Also recommended is senior associate Gordon Drakes , who was made partner in 2017 and is 'a rising star'.

The 'excellent' Hamilton Pratt  provides 'prompt responses', with 'detailed guidance' and 'value for money'. John Pratt  leads the team and is 'a good communicator', 'knowledgeable' and 'commercial'. James Barrett   focuses on contentious issues and advised Belvoir on a dispute involving a franchisee failing to renew its franchise agreements and establishing a competing business. Also recommended is  Emma Lusty  who leads the franchise resale team.

Hospitality, education and healthcare are the key areas of focus for Dentons. Babette Märzheuser-Wood  leads the team and is 'charming' and 'efficient', with 'excellent knowledge' and 'commercial nous'.  Her recent work highlights include assisting Pret a Manger with a franchising transaction with Autogrill SPA, and advising Godiva on restructuring its franchise agreements for Vietnam, Korea, China and Indonesia. Tim Constable specialises in contentious issues and represented Dollar Rent A Car on the termination of agreements  and ensuing litigation with its master franchisee in Morocco.

Owen White acts for clients such as Bluebird Care, Energie Fitness Clubs and Snack In The Box, with a strong track record in contentious and non-contentious issues. Jane Masih  heads the team  and advised Peter and Louise Harris on their sale of shares in Wilkins Chimney Sweep to Darren Taylor Holdings, which runs the Stumpbusters franchise. Litigator Russell Ford represented three joint venture partners in High Court litigation against Vision Express, which allegedly misrepresented its joint venture quasi-franchise agreement. Associate Lynsey Smith is also experienced in contentious issues.

Stevens & Bolton LLP  runs the gamut of franchise work with clients that include Papa John's and My Cookie Dough. Practice head Nicola Broadhurst  has extensive experience in handling franchise agreements.  She advised TM Lewin & Sons on renewal agreements for its franchise operations in the Philippines, Nigeria and Ghana, as well as the termination of its development agreement in Indonesia. Other notable names include Sarah Murray, who focuses on contentious matters; property specialist Andrew Steele; brand protection and enforcement expert Tom Lingard; and Andrew Quick, who is experienced in disputes.

Norwich-based Ashtons Legal  works for domestic clients wishing to expand overseas as well as international clients looking to enter the UK market. Damian Humphrey  heads the practice and recently advised easyGym on establishing its UK franchising operations and on its license to use the 'easy' brand. Consultant John Chambers  is also a key figure and assisted BUBBLEOLOGY on ending its existing master license for Switzerland  and re-granting development rights to a new operator. Associate Tracy Williamson is another notable name.

Birketts LLP continues to grow its reputation in franchising work, with a client list that includes MamaBabyBliss, Little Squigglers and The Avanti Group UK. Legal director Ed Savory  leads the team and is an expert in franchising agreements and resales. He is supported by senior associate Robert Tiffen , who is an expert in contentious matters, and associate Vicki Mitman , who focuses on brand and licensing issues.

Blake Morgan LLP  is led by Sheilah Mackie  who specialises in non contentious matters such as regulatory requirements, network agreements and advising on the franchising aspects of M&A deals. She is supported by Jill Bainbridge , who focuses on franchising disputes and is an experienced mediator.

CMS ' international footprint has made the franchising practice notably strong on global expansions, particularly in the hospitality sector. Joel Vertes   leads the team and focuses predominantly on non-contentious matters. Recent work highlights of his include advising BARBOUR on expanding into China and launching a brand new fragrance. He also advised Viacom in relation to its Nickelodeon brand, including drafting merchandising agreements for its worldwide stores as well as the introduction of a Nickelodoen themed hotel in The Philippines. Corporate partner David Roberts assisted chef Robin Gill with an agreement with Marriott Hotels involving the establishment of five bar and restaurant concepts at one of the latter's hotels.

The 'excellent' David Bigmore & Co in Association with Goodman Derrick LLP  has 'specialist knowledge' and 'vast experience of the franchising world'. The practice is led by name partner David Bigmore , who is  a 'knowledgeable franchise lawyer' and works on both contentious and non-contentious matters for both franchisors and franchisees. He recently advised Endura Roses on its master franchise agreement and its global area development agreement.

DLA Piper  is a popular choice for international franchising matters, representing clients such as Hilton, Gino D'Acampo and Merlin Entertainments. Iain Bowler  co-heads the global franchising team and is 'a first rate franchising and licensing counsel' who 'understands complex issues'. He is supported by associate Maria Fitzpatrick  who has a similar focus on assisting clients with geographic expansions.

Harper Macleod LLP  'excels at finding practical commercial solutions' and 'delivers  easy to understand advice'.  David Kaye  leads the team and is particularly strong in retail franchising. Recent work highlights of his include advising German Doner Kebab on its international supply chain arrangements and assisting Chicken Cottage with its expansions into Germany and Nigeria.  Also recommended is the 'friendly', 'responsive' and 'knowledgeable' associate Andrew Fraser.

Mishcon de Reya LLP 's core focus is on international expansion agreements, with additional expertise in disputes and competition issues. Lewis Cohen  leads the team and recently advised JKC Retail on its global expansion agreements and assisted City Hotels on its arrangements with Black and White Hospitality regarding the operation of a Marco Pierre White restaurant in the former's hotel. Tesco Stores, River Island and Pure Waffle are also key clients.

Simons Muirhead & Burton represents a number of household names such as Selfridges, Urban Outfitters and Dennis Publishing. Maninder Gill  leads the team and has extensive experience in the retail, publishing and education sectors. Also recommended are Natalie Wright , Peter Weiss  and associate Anne Rose.

Operating from its Manchester and Bristol offices,TLT 's client roster includes a number of big names including Sainsbury's, WHSmith and Merlin Entertainments. Manchester-based Pauline Cowie leads the franchising team and is an expert in advising on transactions. Notable work highlights of hers included advising  Co-operative on its wholesale supply agreement with Costcutter. Bristol-based Perran Jervis  leads the broader commercial team and recently advised Conviviality, which is the owner and the operator of the Bargain Booze brand, on its acquisition of Central Convenience stores.

Travers Smith LLP's franchising expertise covers the restaurant, hospitality, retail and fashion sectors. Tom Purton leads the team and recently assisted 3i with the sale of its brand Hobbs to The Foschini Group. Dan Reavill works heavily in the food and beverage sector and advised  franchise businesses owner Bridgepoint on its acquisition of the master franchise rights to Burger King in the UK. Senior associate James Longster  is also recommended.

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