Despite the slow emergence of a few economic bright spots, the economy of what was once called the ‘developed’ world continues to struggle for the most part, while even Brazil (despite the recent Olympics) is still wallowing in recession. As a consequence, businesses are often presented with little choice but to look to more vibrant markets in Asia, the Middle East and Africa for their future growth.
The key word would seem to be uncertainty.
…franchising, in its various forms, continues to present businesses with one way of achieving profitable and successful international growth without the need for either substantial capital investment or a broad managerial infrastructure. In sectors as diverse as food and beverages, retail, hospitality, education, healthcare and financial services, it continues to be a popular catalyst for international commerce and makes a strong and effective contribution to world trade. We are even seeing governments turning to it as an effective strategy in the future development of the welfare state, as social franchising continues to gain traction as a means of achieving key social objectives.
As will be apparent from the chapters of this book, there continues to be no homogeneous approach to the regulation of franchising around the world. Some countries specifically regulate particular aspects of the franchising relationship. Of these, a number try to ensure an appropriate level of pre-contractual hygiene, while others focus instead on imposing mandatory terms upon the franchise relationship. Some do both. In certain countries, there is a requirement to register certain documents in a public register. Others restrict the manner in which third parties can be involved in helping franchisors meet potential franchisees.
Mark Abell is global head of Bird & Bird’s franchising, licensing and multichannel strategies team. He is based in London.
Over the past 34 years he has constantly advised a wide range of household names, particularly in the retail, food and beverage, education and healthcare sectors, on the development and implementation of their international expansion strategies and the corresponding re-engineering of their businesses.
Having written his doctoral thesis on ‘The Law and Regulation of Franchising in the EU’, Mr Abell has acted as an expert to the WIPO and WTO on franchising and is co-editor of the world’s leading legal periodical in his field of practice, the International Journal of Franchising Law.
Mr Abell is a member of the IBA Franchise Committee and the ABA Franchise Forum. He is a frequent speaker at both legal and commercial conferences around the world on franchising and multichannel strategies.
Mr Abell has published more than 500 articles in a wide variety of publications and journals. He is also the author of nine books, including European Franchising: Law and Practice in the European Community, The International Franchise Option, The Franchise Option: A Legal Guide, Franchising in India, Alternative Corporate Re-engineering and The Law and Regulation of Franchising in the EU. He is the co-author of the WIPO publication on franchising and currently edits the LexisNexis Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents volume on franchising, distribution and agency, a standard text of the UK legal profession.
Mark is currently advising the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection of the EU Parliament on potential new franchise legislation, and is the author of its recent report ‘Legal Perspective of the Regulatory Framework for Franchising in the EU’.
The publisher acknowledges and thanks the following for their learned assistance throughout the preparation of this book: