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’.
Since the publication of the seventh edition of The Franchise Law Review, the major economic and geopolitical developments that we would expect to have a significant impact on world trade have been dwarfed by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Covid-19 has had a devastating effect on the global economy and despite the advent of vaccines and the roll-out of national vaccination programmes, it is likely to continue to do so for some time to come.
The hotel sector has evolved. A lot. It is now a far cry from the coaching inn and the ‘Mom and Pop’ motel, and those who wish to own a hotel no longer have to be involved in its operation. There is no need to put a mint on the pillow, fill the ice buckets or even visit the property. If an investor so chooses, a hotel can remain a line on a balance sheet and no more. This apparent cut in complexity is not, however, reflected in the sector’s legal demands.
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