The Law Reviews

The Franchise Law Review

Edition 4

Published: February 2017Contents


Editor's Q&A

i) What are the hot topics?

a)  The impact of technology on franchising: this continues to be a matter of great importance. It manifests itself in issues such as:

  • the co-existence between franchise networks and the digital platforms used by the franchisor; and
  • the increasing complexity of data flows, particularly with the advent of cloud computing and the way in which this relates to the cross border regulatory environment.

b)  Increasing investment in franchising by private equity investors: this results in the re-engineering of franchise networks, and is pronounced on both a domestic and international level.

c) The advent of social franchising: this brings a host of new challenges to franchising experts.

d) The use of franchising for the expansion of educational and healthcare organisations.

e) The lifting of sanctions against Iran: this has led to great interest in that market by non-US franchisers.

ii) Tell us about any key legal developments – recent or pending – and their international impact.

A number of recent legal developments are having an impact on franchising agreements. First, Brexit has introduced an element of uncertainty in the way that the intellectual property of franchisers can best be protected in the EU and the UK.

Additionally, increasingly complex data protection and privacy laws are having an impact on the way in which many franchise networks structure themselves.

Another key development to follow is the proposal for a new franchise regulation in the EU by the European Parliament

iii) What are the biggest opportunities and challenges for practitioners and clients?

The opening of Iran for non-US franchisers is a great opportunity for clients and legal challenge for practitioners.

The development of new hybrid structures that take conventional franchise businesses to the next level and increase their competitiveness is the greatest challenge for practitioners.