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International Franchising and Brand Extension

Businesses often look to international expansion as a means of continuing to grow. A business may decide to go it alone, raising their own funds to set up operations in other countries one at a time, but franchising and licencing options may prove to be more attractive, less expensive alternatives. Inevitably, these options require some investment in terms of finances, structure and people. However, it is often worth this investment as such arrangements can help the business to grow far quicker than using the business's own resources to set up operations abroad.

Companies embarking upon such a project need professional advisors who can help them navigate their way through the challenges of developing a global network and brand. The work undertaken at the very start will be the foundation that future revenues are rested upon. Careful planning at the outset of an expansion project can help to ensure long term success.

Why we are different

We have experience in helping our clients to expand their international reach and to generate income through franchising and licensing.

We offer the full range of services: from helping the business to decide upon the most appropriate structure for their international growth and ensuring their brands and other rights are protected to drafting and negotiating contracts including franchising, licensing, agency and distribution agreements and beyond to helping to manage the relationships once established.

Our lawyers are well versed in the challenges of growing a business internationally and the nuances of developing new operations in different jurisdictions. We have worked across a variety of territories including the Middle East, North and South America, Asia and Eastern Europe. We advise on legal issues before they arise so that there are no surprises after the contracts have been signed.

Where disputes arise, our litigators will endeavour to resolve the issue whilst maintaining valuable working relationships. We often act for the franchisor but our lawyers also have experience of acting for both sides and in many sectors. In particular, our clients are often, but not exclusively, based in the fashion and retail and food and beverages sectors.

  • Strategic advice on international expansion
  • Structuring of international arrangements
  • Advising on and drafting franchising and licensing agreements
  • Advising on and drafting distribution, supply and agency agreements
  • Drafting supporting contracts such as confidentiality agreements, commitment agreements, heads of terms, disclosure documents and guarantees
  • Brand clearance searches to identify any risks that are launching in target markets
  • Advising on appropriate brand protection for target markets
  • Dispute resolution
  • Advising Victoria's Secret International in relation to its European franchising arrangements. We advised Limited Brands Inc and Victoria's Secret in a significant corporate/insolvency/IP deal in which our clients terminated their franchise arrangement with La Senza UK as part of a back to back deal whereby Alshaya, their Middle Eastern franchisee, purchased about 60 La Senza stores from La Senza UK. We advised our client on its short term franchise arrangements with Alshaya and have been providing ongoing advice in relation to its UK franchising arrangements and dealing with issues relating to its La Senza UK's former sub franchises in Europe, Eastern Europe and Russia;
  • Successfully acted for Harvey Nichols in a multi-million dollar arbitration claim brought against the Indonesian franchisee
  • Advising a leading FTSE 100 retailer on its international franchising arrangements
  • We are advising currently a well-known high street clothing retailer on the restructuring of its franchising arrangements in certain territories, a sports goods retailer on its international franchising arrangements in Asia and South America and an award-winning shoe retailer on its expansion into Russia and Japan.
  • We successfully acted for a Burger King multiple franchisee in a breach of contract claim brought against it by Burger King.

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