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How do I decide which legal firm to use when running a franchise?
Shelley Nadler writes:
Franchise law is a specialist area and it may not be something that your local high street lawyer will be able to advise you on. You do not want to put yourself at a disadvantage by using a lawyer who is not a franchise specialist. You should use a lawyer who is accredited by the British Franchise Association (“bfa”). A list of bfa affiliated lawyers can be found on the bfa website, and the bfa will only accredit a franchise lawyer if they can show that they are experienced in the area of franchise law.
A specialist franchise lawyer will be used to drafting, reviewing and advising on a large number of franchise agreements they understand that franchise agreements are different from other commercial agreements, they are in a certain form and contain certain “standard” terms.
Specialist franchise lawyers understand that a franchisor needs to have a number of controls in the agreement to protect its brand and other intellectual property rights, to ensure the uniformity of the system and the quality of its products or service.
You will need a legal firm that understands how franchise agreements work should you get into a dispute with your franchisor.
Shelley Nadler is a legal director in Bird & Bird’s international franchising team and has many years’ experience of advising on all aspects of franchising.
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