Chris Wormald Franchise Law - United Kingdom

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Riverbank House
2 Swan Lane
London EC4R 3TT

Tel: +44 (0)20 7861 4299
Fax: +44 (0)20 7861 4000


I am a partner and joint head of our franchising group, as well as head of our retail sector group. I specialise in all aspects of franchising, advising companies considering franchising and alternative expansion options, joint ventures and strategic alliances, ranging from major corporations considering re-engineering and international expansion, and government organizations, to small start-ups.

I work across commercial sectors – specializing in the retail, restaurant and service sectors, but also with businesses and organisations wishing to ‘clone’ their activities and so expand, in the IT, insurance and financial services, manufacturing, distribution and the public and not for profit sectors, including ‘social franchising’.

I am consistently rated in the Chambers, Legal 500 and Legal Business Guide to Legal Experts directories as a leader and expert in franchising. Who’s Who Legal, the official research partner of the International Bar Association has ranked me in its shortlist of Most Highly Regarded Individuals globally, one of the very few lawyers outside North America to have been recognized there.

Previously I was vice president and general counsel at McDonald’s EMEA for 10 years during a phase of intensive international expansion and foundation-laying. I therefore understand the needs and perspectives of retailers and restaurant businesses particularly well.

I have advised major national and international brands on expansion into most parts of the world, and on the development of franchise programmes and alternative re-engineering and expansion techniques. I am retained as leading counsel to a number of major domestic and international brands and the investors in them.

I speak frequently, both in the UK and overseas, on legal and business aspects of franchising. I am a member of the IBA Franchise Committee and the ABA Franchise Section. I co-authored The Guide to Franchising in UK Pubs and Restaurants and am a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the International Journal of Franchising Law. I am co-general editor of Alternative corporate re-engineering – Building businesses through third party relationships and expansion into new markets, and co-author of the introductory chapter ‘Alternative Strategic Techniques for the Board Agenda’.

I have lived and worked in Brussels and Frankfurt and speak French and German.

Franchise Law Practice:

Whether you want to expand or re-engineer your existing business, franchising offers a proven alternative to traditional capital intensive techniques. Franchising allows you to take advantage of your franchisees’ capital, local experience and enthusiasm to develop your business in ways that are simply not possible through traditional organic means.

Our role is to be part of your team, working with you to grow your business and develop and implement appropriate strategies. Franchising is just one possible option. We understand that your business is unique and that one solution does not fit all. We help you decide whether franchising suits your business and consider whether alternative channels such as agency, distribution, licensing, strategic alliances and hybrid structures might be more commercially and culturally appropriate.

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