Latest updates

Talking mumbo jumbo: legal risks and rewards of multi-unit, multi-brand franchising
Fieldfisher
  • United Kingdom
  • 01 June 2021

According to the latest British Franchise Association-NatWest survey of the franchising sector in the United Kingdom, around one-third of franchisees now run more than one franchise business, compared with just one-quarter in 2013. The trend is not just towards multi-unit franchising, but also towards multi-unit and multi-brand franchising. This article examines these risks and rewards from the perspective of both franchisors and multi-unit, multi-brand operators (also known as 'MUMBOs').

When it's not 'better late than never' with franchisee claims
Lapointe Rosenstein Marchand Melançon LLP
  • Canada
  • 27 April 2021

The Quebec Superior Court recently revisited certain franchising principles and reaffirmed the leading principles of Dunkin' Brands Canada Ltd v Bertico inc concerning the duties of franchisors, while holding both franchisor and franchisee responsible for their respective actions and negligence that led to the downfall of their relationship. This decision highlights the importance of exercising franchisee claims in a timely manner and the dangers of tacit acceptance of franchisors' misrepresentations.

Tell us what you think and you could win a £100 Mastercard voucher
  • International
  • 07 April 2021

This survey is now closed.

Do franchisors and franchisees still have to pay rent during a government-ordered shutdown?
Noerr PartGmbB
  • Germany
  • 23 March 2021

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are still omnipresent in Germany. The courts have yet to resolve some legal issues, including the issue of payment of commercial rent. One example is whether franchisees and franchisors as tenants can reduce or even suspend their rent payments due to widespread government-ordered shutdowns. This article presents a brief summary of the current situation and sets out the implications for the franchise industry in particular.

A litigator's perspective: the trouble with success
Fieldfisher
  • United Kingdom
  • 16 March 2021

Successful franchisor-franchisee relationships which stand the test of time share the common traits of mutual respect, good communication, a convergence of interests, an appreciation of what drew the parties together in the first place and, perhaps most importantly, a willingness to make up. However, even the biggest and most successful franchise networks run into difficulties. This article considers common issues faced by well-established and successful franchisors and how to best handle or avoid them.

Unfair competition in case of financial support provided by franchisor
Aramis Law Firm
  • France
  • 09 March 2021

May franchisors provide financial support to their franchisees through loans or payment periods? This question is of interest as this type of financial support is often provided to franchisees in order to help them set up and run their outlets. In a 2020 decision, the Supreme Court had the opportunity to rule on this question in a lawsuit between Speed Rabbit Pizza and Domino's Pizza France.

How to select and what to expect from your franchise lawyer
Fieldfisher
  • United Kingdom
  • 02 March 2021

Franchising is a complex area of law and, aside from ensuring that a business is franchisable and ready to franchise, choosing the right franchise lawyer is a key strategic decision. The right specialist advice can maximise the chances for long-term success and minimise the risks of incurring big expenses and liabilities down the road. However, choosing a franchise lawyer who is a good fit can be difficult.

Cold cut for franchisees! Supreme Court of Canada denies designated supplier's duty of care for pure economic loss
Lapointe Rosenstein Marchand Melançon LLP
  • Canada
  • 16 February 2021

The Supreme Court of Canada recently dismissed the proposed class action brought by Mr Sub franchisees against Maple Leaf Foods for damages resulting from a listeria outbreak linked to Maple Leaf cold cuts. By ruling in Maple Leaf's favour, the majority of the court found that no duty of care is owed by an exclusive supplier for purely economic losses suffered by franchisees with which the supplier has no direct contractual relationship.

Appeals court finds clause allowing franchisor to unilaterally increase franchise fee to be invalid
Noerr PartGmbB
  • Germany
  • 22 December 2020

The Jena Higher Regional Court recently held that a clause which allows a franchisor to adjust the franchise fee at the beginning of each quarter and does not clearly disclose to the franchisee the scope of the fee increase mechanism is in breach of the law regarding general terms and conditions, which applies to standard-form contracts and thus standardised franchise agreements. The decision shows that caution is needed when drafting fee adjustment clauses.

Cutting the red tape: recent amendments to Ontario's franchise disclosure act
Lapointe Rosenstein Marchand Melançon LLP
  • Canada
  • 24 November 2020

In 2017 the Ontario government enacted the Cutting Unnecessary Red Tape Act with the objective of alleviating unnecessary regulatory burdens for businesses. The act provided for a series of proposed amendments to Ontario's franchise disclosure legislation and ultimately came into force on 1 September 2020. The amendments include measures to clarify the province's franchise laws and temper or delay franchisors' disclosure obligations towards prospective franchisees in certain circumstances.

Post-term non-compete clauses in franchise agreements becoming more challenging to enforce
Aramis Law Firm
  • France
  • 10 November 2020

In practice, non-compete clauses are often enforced in France if they meet the general conditions required for the validity of non-compete clauses under French law. However, this traditionally favourable approach to post-term non-compete clauses in franchise agreements was overturned by the Macron Act 2015 in relation to retail businesses. A recent Paris Court of Appeal decision provides an interesting illustration of this new provision in the retail sector.

Guide to international expansion in the education sector – part two
Fieldfisher
  • International
  • 03 November 2020

School closures, social distancing, remote learning and a reduction in international travel and student exchange for the foreseeable future are all placing a significant strain on businesses in the education sector. Nevertheless, with every crisis comes opportunity. For the education sector, international expansion will be an important way of securing long-term financial viability through the creation of new revenue streams and the development of new edtech innovations.

What legal impact has the COVID-19 pandemic had on the franchise sector so far?
Noerr PartGmbB
  • Germany
  • 06 October 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to significantly affect the franchise sector, along with many others. In May and July 2020 the German Franchise Association issued a guidance document which provided an overview of the COVID-19 Mitigation Act and the associated legal issues specific to franchising. A few months on, this article examines which issues remain the most relevant for franchising practice.

Podcast: how to prepare your business for franchising
Fieldfisher
  • United Kingdom
  • 06 October 2020

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the franchise model will play an important role in economic recovery, helping individuals to take their first steps into business ownership, presenting opportunities to established operators to grow their portfolios and enabling brand owners to expand and regain or grow their market share. This podcast explores the key legal considerations for any business which is preparing to franchise.

Surprise! Rescission notice can be served in a pleading
Lapointe Rosenstein Marchand Melançon LLP
  • Canada
  • 22 September 2020

Ontario's Arthur Wishart Act (Franchise Disclosure) requires franchisors to provide adequate pre-contractual disclosure to potential franchisees, failing which a franchisee may be entitled to rescind its franchise agreement. When properly invoked, rescission by a franchisee imposes extensive obligations on the franchisor. The Ontario Court of Appeal recently dealt with the issue of whether a notice of rescission of a franchise agreement is valid if it is contained within a pleading.

European Commission's VBER review – what does it mean for franchising?
Fieldfisher
  • European Union
  • 15 September 2020

The EU Vertical Block Exemption Regulation will expire on 31 May 2022 and the European Commission is reviewing its effectiveness to determine whether it should lapse, its duration should be prolonged or it requires revision to take account of market developments since 2010 (most notably with regard to online sales and online platforms). This article explores the process so far and examines what this review means for franchising.

'Special relationship' between franchisors and franchisees: could it give rise to a pre-contractual duty of good faith?
Lapointe Rosenstein Marchand Melançon LLP
  • Canada
  • 14 July 2020

Common law jurisdictions recognise that certain circumstances could arise that would lead contracting parties to have some type of pre-contractual good-faith obligation, including where they have a 'special relationship' – typically characterised by an imbalance of information. A franchise arrangement has been characterised as an example of such a special relationship that could fall within the narrow set of particular requirements for good faith in the pre-contractual context.

When the asterisk is missing: Munich Higher Regional Court's King of the Month decision
Noerr PartGmbB
  • Germany
  • 02 June 2020

Special deals are common among competing burger chains. Although this may be detrimental to franchisees, the Munich Higher Regional Court recently decided that such deals do not infringe antitrust rules. This decision deserves particular attention, as it concerns the common situation of a franchisor using non-binding price recommendations in its advertising and once again clarifies how important the asterisk reference is in such cases.

IP Enterprise Court considers interplay of EU Trade Secrets Directive and breach of confidence for first time
Fieldfisher
  • United Kingdom
  • 02 June 2020

The IP Enterprise Court recently considered the impact of the EU Trade Secrets Directive on the law of breach of confidence – in particular, in the context of ex-employees who sought to franchise their services. The case confirms the limited impact of the directive on the pre-existing law on breach of confidence. However, it also indicates that the directive can be useful in helping to tease out the distinctions between confidential and non-confidential information.

Can good faith require parties to help each other properly exercise their rights?
Lapointe Rosenstein Marchand Melançon LLP
  • Canada
  • 12 May 2020

It is well known that franchisors have been facing increasing pressure to conduct themselves in accordance with the principles of good faith. A recent Ontario Superior Court case has led to questions with respect to a franchisor's duty to protect its franchisee's right to operate in circumstances where the franchisor is the gatekeeper of rights with respect to a third party. In its decision, the court navigated the duty of good faith owed in respect of the renewal of a head lease between a franchisor and a landlord.

Current search

Refine search

Type

Work area

Jurisdiction

Firm