Working with you to achieve your franchise’s potential

Franchising is a powerful tool for businesses with ambitions to grow. A successful franchising model can unlock the hidden value in a franchisor’s brand and know how developed over many years and pair it with a franchisee’s enthusiasm and knowledge of a certain market or audience.

Without a doubt franchising has changed the face of various sectors. With an established brand, an intelligent operating model and a marketable product or service, franchising can be successful in multiple sectors and markets – with the right legal framework and advice.

We have advised many start up franchises over the years and assisted them in drafting their franchise documentation including businesses operating restaurants, cafes, driving schools, delicatessen, drain maintenance and repair, antenatal care, garden services and camping sites.

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Our services

How we can help:

  1. Advise you on whether or not the franchising model is right for you.
  2. Drafting the franchising documentation for franchisors including confidentiality agreements, intent to proceed agreement, franchise agreement, and deposit agreement.
  3. Review of franchise agreement and documentation for franchisors. Franchising agreements form the basis of the relationship between franchisor and franchisee, so it’s important to get the right legal advice from the outset. Our lawyers can draft new franchising agreements from scratch or update existing ones to ensure they are still fit for purpose. We can advise you on common franchising issues such as buy-back clauses, deposit agreements, leases and more.
  4. Bringing or defending clients in franchising disputes in the courts.
  5. Resolving franchising disputes through alternative dispute resolution. Our franchising team has significant experience in helping franchisees and franchisors resolve franchising disputes. Our experience includes:
    • Cooked meals franchise buy out: We acted on behalf of the buyer for the buyout of a franchise business, which included the negotiated termination of a franchise agreement by mutual consent.
    • Second-hand retail franchisee exit: We acted on behalf of a franchisee seeking to exit a franchise. We negotiated an early termination of the franchise agreement on favourable terms for the franchisee which enabled them to continue to trade in the area post termination.
    • Conflicts of law issues: This concerned a dispute which arose when the Franchisor sought to terminate, with immediate effect, the Master Licence Agreement for the Republic of Ireland. Proceedings were commenced in Ireland by the Franchisee and in England by the Franchisor. There was a dispute over jurisdiction and we had to act fast to instruct Counsel and advise the client on the issues. The client’s preference was proceedings continue in Ireland and the English proceedings were ultimately stayed, without waiving the right to challenge jurisdiction, in order to preserve our client’s rights. The parties ultimately resolved both the English and Irish proceedings.
    • Fast food franchise: We acted for an international franchisor in respect of a dispute with a franchisee seeking to terminate two franchise agreements and close two stores before the expiry of the fixed terms. We advised the client on the allegations raised and responded to support the client’s employees, together with terminating the franchise agreements and reaching an acceptable settlement.
  6. Advising franchisors on international expansion.

Why choose Foot Anstey?

Our franchise lawyers have a wide range of experience in assisting clients in delivering their franchising models. We understand and can advise on the advantages and disadvantages of franchising as a route to market. Our specialist sector expertise ensures that we provide practical and relevant advice that is tailored to your industry and sector. Our clients include both franchisors and franchisees ranging from start-ups to large international companies.

As members of the British Franchising Association, we also work alongside franchising consultants, which means we can provide you with a full service to facilitate and support your journey to setting up a franchise business.

When you work with us you’ll be assigned a specialist franchising solicitor. They will be your point of contact for all your franchising needs and will coordinate any further advice you need, whether it be around employment, data protection, commercial property or any other area of law.

Our specialist franchising lawyers are located across the UK in our many offices including in Bristol, Exeter, London, Manchester, Plymouth and Southampton.

Our recent experience

Transport Industry Franchises

All aspects of transport industry franchises principally in the rail sector for major rail operators.

Suite of Template Agreements

Preparing the suite of template agreements (including deposit agreement and franchise agreement) to set up a new franchise business – often working alongside franchise consultants.

King Harry Ferry

Setting up, tendering and commissioning a passenger ferry operator’s franchise of the King Harry Ferry.

Advising Franchisees

Advising franchisees on the interpretation of restrictive covenants within their franchise agreement.

UK Newspaper Publishing Group

A major UK newspaper publishing group in relation to the republication of classified adverts as an annual supplement, and the termination of an advertising franchise.

Land Rover Jaguar Dealership

Land Rover Jaguar Dealership – acted on the purchase of development land at Matford Green where a combined Land Rover Jaguar dealership will constructed in line with the franchisors requirements.

Italian Sandwich Franchise

A Private Equity firm on a venture capital investment into Sfilatino, an Italian sandwich franchise.

Vospers Motor House

Vospers Motor House which operate 16 franchised motor retail dealerships on the acquisition of a 9.5 acres site on Matford Green Business Park in Exeter for a multi-million pound motor park development.

Helston Garages

Assisting national Garages Group, Helston Garages, with 37 franchised dealerships turning over in excess of  £580m with all real estate needs including both site occupation and acquisition, portfolio management / restructuring, site disposal, planning, construction, and refinance needs.

International Restaurant Chain

One of our team members was seconded to this large franchisor to assist in updating its international franchise documentation across the EU and ensuring that all procedures were followed.

Retailer Dispute Resolution

We successfully resolved a dispute between our client and a large international franchisor over the terms of the franchise agreement and how to terminate it.

Real Estate Panel

We are on the panel of law firms recommended by a national franchisor for franchisee real estate work.

Our people

Our franchising team has significant experience in helping franchisees and franchisors resolve franchising disputes. This includes advising them on the merits of their cases and taking legal action in the courts to protect their interests. Most cases are resolved before trial and can result in the purchase and sale of the franchise business.

Meet our team

Key contacts

What do our clients say?

The team has continued to be highly responsive to all projects and requests. They fully understand the specific demands and protocols of franchising and therefore the advice and guidance provided has consistently proved to have been highly effective and reliable. Foot Anstey remains our preferred legal partner because the standard of service is first class.

Legal 500 2022

‘They are prompt and professional with their responses, and the team is plain speaking and frank about possible legal outcomes.’

Legal 500 2024

‘They are extremely approachable and relate well to all levels, from individuals to large SMEs with regards to their extensive franchise services and knowledge.’

Legal 500 2024


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