Next Generation Partners

Rising Stars

Firms To Watch: Franchising

James Gill leads the franchising team at Lewis Silkin, which was bolstered by its merger with specialist commercial, technology, IP, and media law firm Forde Campbell in Belfast in early 2022. Franchising is a growing area of focus for the group.

Franchising in London

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP‘s franchising team is praised by clients as ‘first rate’, with members of the group being highly skilled in assisting clients with their global brand expansion through the use of franchising. The team’s offering extends across Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, and it also boasts a franchising disputes specialism, which is led by the ‘exceptionalVictoria Hobbs, who frequently represents clients in domestic and international litigation and arbitration proceedings. The practice’s impressive client roster includes companies from the food and beverage, retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors, in addition to healthcare, education, and green energy. Graeme Payne heads up the practice, and primarily advising consumer-focused businesses on their domestic and international expansion strategies. Nick Green - who was promoted to partner in  May 2023 - advises clients on distribution and agency agreements, in addition to hybrid growth strategies, manufacturing and warehousing.

Practice head(s):

Graeme Payne

Other key lawyers:

Shelley Nadler; Victoria Hobbs; James Fowler; Nick Green


‘The team at Bird & Bird is very efficient, very knowledgeable, very helpful, and always has a mind to commercial decisions and the impact on the overall business.’

‘The team is very knowledgeable on all things franchise. One can always rely on the team for prompt and pragmatic advice and its prominent positioning in this market means clients will be getting the most up to date industry best practice.’

‘The franchising team at Bird & Bird is first rate; excellent industry knowledge and experience with agreements and negotiations.’

‘Very hands on, the team explains difficult concepts and distills the issues very clearly.’

‘Shelley Nadler brings a wealth of experience and technical skill to the franchise practice and is without exception responsive and helpful.’

‘Graeme Payne is hugely experienced and provides an invaluable perspective on franchise work in the wider commercial context.’

‘On the disputes resolution side, Victoria Hobbs is very responsive and quick to cut to the heart of an issue, giving pragmatic and practical advice.’

‘Victoria Hobbs is exceptional in her franchising knowledge, her approach, and that she takes the time to understand clients’ businesses so she can apply commercial reasoning to her advice.’

Key clients


Neat Burger



Laser Clinics

Franchise Brands

Jamie Oliver


Home Instead


Work highlights

  • Advised IWG on its international franchising, licensing, and partnerships arrangements.
  • Advising the Laser Clinics commercial and legal teams in Australia and the UK on adapting the number of franchise and corporate documents so that they are suitable for legal and business practices in the UK.
  • Acting for Franchise Brands and its stable of brands in relation to all franchising matters.


David Bond and Gordon Drakes co-chair the franchising practice at Fieldfisher, which assists major domestic and international clients with their global expansion mandates. The group's strength spans the retail, food and beverage, hotels and leisure, education, real estate, and care sectors. In addition to large franchisors, the team also supports large multi-unit, multi-brand franchisees with transactional mandates. Andrew Dodd leads the team’s franchise disputes arm, and regularly representing franchisors, large corporates, and groups of franchisees. Dual qualified in Germany and England, Vicky Reinhardt advises UK and international clients on brand management, especially in the hotel sector. Associate Rachel Bowley is another key member of the team, assisting clients with the international growth.

Practice head(s):

David Bond; Gordon Drakes

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Dodd; Vicky Reinhardt; Rachel Bowley


‘Professionalism, breadth of expertise, franchising, and IT and IP expertise, commercial dexterity.’

Key clients

Brighton College

Crème and NAC

St Paul’s Girls’ School



Burger & Lobster




CoCo Fresh Juice & Tea

Work highlights

  • Advising Brighton College on its international franchise development.
  • Advised Sook Retail on the franchise management of its pop-up space concept whereby Sook grants management franchises to landlords for Sook’s flexible retail space which is operated by Sook on behalf of its franchisees.
  • Advised Chopstix on four area development agreements over the past year, including Yorkshire and the East Midlands, the South West of England, the South East of England and the North West and North Wales regions, setting the foundations for the growth of its UK franchise network.

Hamilton Pratt

Hamilton Pratt specialises in franchising mandates, regularly acting for a significant proportion of the British Franchise Association’s members in addition to large non-members and foreign franchisors. The reputable John Pratt co-leads the well-established practice alongside Nick Seddon, who has a strong focus on transactional work in the franchising sector, and dispute resolution expert James Barrett, who handles matters for both domestic and international brands. Pratt has extensive expertise advising clients on the entire spectrum of franchising matters, from preparing agreements and competition issues, to international mandates and disputes. Andrew Ward rejoined the team from George Green LLP in November 2022, having previously trained at the firm.

Practice head(s):

John Pratt; James Barrett; Nick Seddon

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Ward; Sophie Peasley

Key clients

Mbe Worldwide SpA

Boots Opticians Professional Services Limited

Belvoir Group Plc

Dunkin’ Brands Inc

Tutor Doctor Management Services Inc

Luigi Lavazza S.P.A

The Bardon Group Limited

Mary Brown’s Inc

Rentokil Initial Group Plc

Fireaway Pizza Ltd

E-Storage Worldwide Limited


The team at IBB Law has extensive expertise in advising franchisors, franchisee associations, and multi-unit franchisees on the entire spectrum of both contentious and non-contentious franchising matters. The quick-serve restaurant sector is an area of increasing industry strength for the group. Practice co-head Jane Masih has significant experience assisting clients with master license agreements and business re-sales and acquisitions, with Russell Ford jointly leading the team from Uxbridge. Ford is highly proficient in representing franchisees and franchisors in complex disputes involving securing court orders and undertakings to enforce restrictive covenants. Associate director and commercial litigator Lynsey Smith in Reading is also a team member of note.

Practice head(s):

Jane Masih; Russell Ford

Other key lawyers:

Lynsey Smith

Key clients

Dwyer (UK) Franchising

Stagecoach Theatre Arts

Puro Ventures

AIMS Partnership

Barack Holdings

GA Carers Franchises

Bluebird Care

Home Instead

Costa Franchise Association

NIC Services

Work highlights

  • Represented Dwyer (UK) Franchising successfully in a claim for damages for breach of contract against a former franchisee and its director, including successfully defending a claim for misrepresentation.
  • Acted for Barack on the sale of 8 central London KFCs to another franchisee.
  • Acted for Panesar in a claim against a franchisor and its director for fraudulent misrepresentation of financial projections in the franchisor’s prospectus.

Stevens & Bolton LLP

Stevens & Bolton LLP places particular emphasis on assisting its diverse client roster with ethical franchising issues, which includes franchisors, multi-unit operators, master franchisees, and franchisees in the retail, quick-service restaurants and casual dining, leisure and hospitality, and education industries. Its offering is wide ranging and encompasses setting up franchise documentation, handling disputes, expansion support, and real estate-related mandates. Nicola Broadhurst sits at the helm of the practice in Guildford, with broad expertise in fashion and luxury brands and international expansion. Broadhurst is supported by Tom Lingard, who is skilled in contentious matters and brand protection, and dispute resolution expert Catherine Penny.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Broadhurst

Other key lawyers:

Tom Lingard; Catherine Penny; Andrew Quick; Helen Wheddon; Kerry Garcia; Stephanie Newton


‘They are very personal and take time to understand the business to customize the services needed. They will bring in experts that are necessary with the vast network they have.’

‘Very personable, dedicated and timely in their delivery of work. Nicola Broadhurst is amazing.’

Key clients

Clarks Shoes

COOK Trading

Hey Sheba

Immersive Gamebox

Le Cakery

Love Beer Bars

Papa John’s

Pepe’s Piri Piri


Vivo Energy Investments B.V.

Work highlights

  • Advising Papa Johns on a wide range of matters relating to its franchise network, including brand promotion, franchise sales, and employment and immigration matters.
  • Advising My Cookie Dough on its international expansion programme, including preparing, negotiating, and completing a development agreement for Malta.
  • Advising an international education group on the launch of a school in Mexico via a franchise arrangement, including assisting on the renegotiation of an existing relationship and the transition from a management to a franchise relationship.

Ashtons Legal

The Norwich-based practice at Ashtons Legal is ‘highly skilled and experienced’, advising both UK and overseas clients, and almost exclusively acting for franchisors, master licences, and franchise developers. A strong focus for the group includes assisting clients with expanding their businesses overseas and establishing franchise models, an area in which team head Damian Humphrey is especially skilled. Barrister Tom Bailey is a specialist franchising litigator who predominately acts for franchisors, in addition to conducting international arbitrations. Tracy Williamson is regularly instructed by start-ups, growing, and mature franchisors on transactional management matters, as well as franchisees on re-sales.

Practice head(s):

Damian Humphrey

Other key lawyers:

Tracy Williamson; Tom Bailey


‘Ashtons Legal has a highly skilled and experienced franchise team. It provides exceptional service with an unwavering commitment to its clients.’

‘The team’s attention to detail and prompt advice ensures that each step is communicated clearly and professionally.’

‘A very helpful and supportive team.’

‘Damian Humphrey is a forward-thinking, knowledgeable, and experienced franchise lawyer. He has a deep understanding of franchise law and extensive field experience.’

‘Tracy Williamson’s expertise is continuously evident; she consistently displays a high level of professionalism and is extremely patient when explaining the intricacies associated with franchising.’

‘Tracy Williamson always responds promptly and professionally to any request.’

Key clients

TaxAssist Accountants

Water Babies


Monkey Puzzle Day Nurseries


Signs Express

Oscar Pet Foods

Pitman Training Group


Snowflake Gelato

Flip Out


Eggfree Cake Box

Get A Drip

XP Factory Plc

The Grooming Company International

Work highlights

  • Assisted Bubbleology with setting up its franchise operation in France.
  • Advised Brisk Food Operations Ltd on acquiring the regional master franchise rights for Wok & Go for the South West of England.
  • Advised Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme on the granting of franchise rights into the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman.

DLA Piper

The franchising team at DLA Piper regularly advises multinational clients with the assistance of the firm’s global network of offices, especially those across Europe and the US. Leeds-based Matthew Duncombe heads up the group, where he sits as global co-chair of the firm’s hospitality and leisure practice, sectors which are a strong focus for the firm’s franchising team, in addition to retail and food and beverage. In Manchester, senior associate David Booth has vast expertise in handling franchise and distribution agreements, and in Leeds, senior associate Sophie Conroy frequently assists clients with supply chain issues.

Practice head(s):

Matt Duncombe

Other key lawyers:

David Booth; Sophie Conroy


‘It is easy to contact them and discuss any issues, and they have a great personal touch.’

‘The team’s knowledge of franchising is particularly good and they are quick to pick up what is required.’

‘Keen to help and very personable team.’

Key clients

Hyatt International Corporation

CBRE Investment Management

Little Caesars

Blueground Inc

Intercontinental Hotels Group


InterIkea Systems BV

Marriott International

Yum! Group

Teneo Financial Advisory

HOA Franchising

Stanley Black & Decker

Edvoy Educational Services

THG plc

Work highlights

  • Acted for Hyatt on its franchise arrangements with Lindner Hotels, which involved over 30 hotels across 7 European countries joining Hyatt’s hotels portfolio.
  • Acting for an international hotel on its global affiliation arrangements in over 100 hotels across the world.
  • Advised HOA Franchising on the extension of an existing franchise partnership in the UK.

Harper Macleod LLP

Scottish-based firm Harper Macleod LLP is adept at advising franchisors from the food and beverage, education, care at home, and property sectors. The team expertly handles a range of franchising disputes and transactions for global brands and has an increasingly international client base, with companies from the US, UAE, Europe, and Malaysia seeking the team out for assistance with expanding or establishing in the UK market. Marc Penman sits within the franchising team, having previously been part of the wider corporate, commercial, and regulatory group, while Craig McKerracher supports both franchisors and franchisees. Former practice head David Kaye left for Spencer West in July 2023.

Other key lawyers:

Marc Penman; Craig McKerracher; Scott Kerr; Fiona Neilson


‘The team is very approachable and very easy to work with.’

Key clients

Chicken Cottage

Car Wash Company

Monterey Jacks Franchising UK

Practical Car & Van Rental

Barrhead Travel Service

Rainbow Room International

Senior Care at Home

Quiz Clothing

JF Restaurants

Speech Bubble Languages

Work highlights

  • Acting for Chicken Cottage Global on a retainer arrangement in the UK and overseas.
  • Advised JE Restaurants on the acquisition of five separate McDonald’s Franchises on the retirment of the original Franchisee.
  • Advised Senior Care at Home on the buyback of the franchise from the franchisee.

Mishcon de Reya LLP

Lewis Cohen leads the franchising group at Mishcon de Reya LLP, which assists franchisors and significant international multi-brand franchisees with international transactions. The team assists a varied client base of hotel owners, retailers, and restaurant owners. In January 2023, the firm merged with Mishcon de Reya LLP, bolstering the team’s franchising expertise with the addition of Hugh Tebay. Commercial partner Adam Rose advises clients on licensing and franchising agreements, and associate Olivia Bowden supports clients in the leisure and hospitality sectors on the termination and re-negotiation of franchise agreements.

Practice head(s):

Lewis Cohen

Other key lawyers:

Hugh Tebay; Adam Rose; Olivia Bowden; Anne Rose

Key clients

ELM 101 Ltd Partnership

HotPod Yoga

Work highlights

  • Advised HotPod Yoga on all aspects of its extensive franchised business.
  • Advised PGIM on the franchise and operating arrangements regarding a hotel in Brighton.

Simons Muirhead Burton

Simons Muirhead Burton assists clients in the publishing, education, luxury retail, fashion, jewellery, and hospitality sectors with both contentious and non-contentious franchising matters, and the group’s work often involves international elements. The team represents a wide range of clients, from household and international names to start-up companies. Highly experienced practice head Maninder Gill is well-equipped to assist companies on their franchising and licensing matters abroad, particularly in the Middle East and Far East markets.

Practice head(s):

Maninder Gill


‘Exceptional level of engagement and commitment to client needs.’

‘Maninder Gill is very experienced in preparing and executing international franchise agreements. His knowledge of franchising best practices is invaluable when it comes to negotiating deals with tough, international franchisees.’

Key clients

Dennis Publishing

Riverford Organic Foods

ETM Restaurant and Bars Group


Harvey Nichols

Mamas & Papas

North London Collegiate School

Work highlights

  • Advised Riverford Organic Farmers on the purchase of franchises from franchisees, the renewal of franchises and release agreements on termination of franchises, compliance with data protection legislation, and compliance with the British Franchising Institute’s code of conduct.
  • Advised ETM on the franchise of a new bar and restaurant concept at a major UK airport.

Boddy Matthews Limited

Boutique commercial firm Boddy Matthews Limited is based in Surrey, and advises clients on contentious and non-contentious franchising matters, with notable sector expertise in the baby and child care industry. Co-founding partner Kate Matthews sits at the helm of the practice, and acts as the chair of Encouraging Women into Franchising for the South. Matthews dispenses advice to both franchisors and franchisees.

Practice head(s):

Kate Matthews


‘Boddy Matthews has two specialist areas which are employment law and franchising. The partners also understand these in-depth so can provide that focused and specialist advice across many sectors.’

‘Kate Matthews always provides great legal advice with a commercial and practical application, so clients absolutely trust her advice and expertise.’

‘A small dynamic team willing to explain things clearly and get the job done on-time in a professional manner.’

Key clients

Little Kids Sports Club Limited and Raymond Lau

Babyballet Franchising


LK Wokin

Riverpoint Enterprises


Brush Party UK Limited

BCR Restaurants


Pepe’s Piri Piri

Work highlights

  • Acting for Babyballet Ltd to secure additional contracts with other child activity brands to promote the Babyballet brand, including on the expansion through franchising and adding licenses and expansion in Australia to increase the network reach during UK lockdowns.
  • Acting for Gesibsumnes in securing its trading position for the franchise network of over 80 franchisees in the UK and internationally in Indonesia Singapore China in particular, and advising on brand and franchising matters.
  • Advising Pepe’s Piri Piri Franchising Limited and the Pepe’s group on franchising litigation.

Foot Anstey

The team at Foot Anstey advises both franchisors and franchisees, ranging from start-ups to large international companies. The group's client roster consists of businesses operating restaurants, cafes, driving schools, delicatessens, antenatal care and camping sites. Paul Cox leads the group from Southampton, assisting clients with dispute resolution and the drafting of franchise agreements. Peter Singfield is a notable name in the Exeter office, advising clients on exiting domestic franchise agreements.

Practice head(s):

Paul Cox

Other key lawyers:

Charlene Nelson; Chandni Jobanputra; John Shaw


‘The team is very helpful, clear, and concise, with answers to any legal questions clients may raise.’

‘They are prompt and professional with their responses, and the team is plain speaking and frank about possible legal outcomes.’

‘They are extremely approachable and relate well to all levels, from individuals to large SMEs with regards to their extensive franchise services and knowledge.’

‘Paul Cox is very approachable and down to earth.’

‘Paul Cox, Charlene Nelson, Chandni Jobanputra, and John Shaw go the extra mile to oblige the client, and their individual expertise is considerable and extensive.’

Key clients

Franchise Focus

CK Acquisitions

Sixes Cricket


TLT‘s franchising team sits within the firm’s commercial group, which is headed up by Perran Jervis. Franchising practice head Pauline Cowie is praised as ‘one of the best and most qualified franchise solicitor in the UK’, with notable expertise in the retail and leisure industries. The team assists clients with the full spectrum of mandates, including structuring agreements, brand protection, supply chain issues, real estate matters, and dispute resolution, spanning across the UK and internationally. The team is also home to Miles Trower, who is strong in the automotive retail sector.

Practice head(s):

Pauline Cowie

Other key lawyers:

Perran Jervis; Miles Trower; Emma Davies


‘TLT has a team that specialises in franchising, and the company collaborates with and is a member of the British Franchise Association, and has helped companies with franchise agreements for many years.’

‘Pauline Cowie is a member of the British Franchise Association and is one of the best and most qualified franchise solicitor in the UK.’

Key clients

Archies Burgers & Shakes

Dignipets Partners

Greene King

J Sainsbury

Punch Retail

Purepay Retail





Work highlights

  • Advised Multi Brand Restaurant Group on the entering into of franchise and licence agreements in UAE and Qatar for two of their brands, including a Michelin starred restaurant.
  • Advised Dignipets Partners on the establishment of a franchise for mobile veterinary practices, for companion end-of-life care, offering 24/7 euthanasia service and daytime hospice care consultations, carried out on a joint venture basis.
  • Assisted Ripples Holdings with updating franchise agreements, franchise sales, and agreements for new franchisees.