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Franchise Dispute Solicitors
Disputes between franchisors and franchisees may arise during the lifetime of a franchise agreement and threaten the continuation of the relationship. While uncommon, it is vital that disputes are resolved quickly and, where possible, amicably to avoid the complete breakdown in the relationship and threats to undermine the stability of the wider network.
A dispute may arise due to a change in performance of the franchise or when one party does not fully understand their obligations under the franchise agreement.
JMW’s understanding of the franchising model enables us to offer initial troubleshooting practical advice, as well as advise on the legal options available to you. We will also discuss wider commercial concerns, such as the impact on the network or the day-to-day running of a business that you have invested substantial time, money and resources into over many years.
How JMW Can Help
Litigation can be costly, time-consuming and demanding, which is why we are here to provide clear legal guidance through each step of the process. We have provided guidance on franchise disputes that have arisen for the following reasons:
- Breaches of the franchise agreement
- Issues regarding the exit or termination of a franchise agreement, including breach of confidence or infringement of intellectual property rights
- Franchisees setting up in competition
- Claims of misrepresentation, usually arising where a franchisee believe that they are not making the level of profit or provided with a level of support promised
At JMW, we work with clients to better understand their business, objectives and resources to move them towards the results they want to achieve. We provide clear and strategic advice to move clients towards those goals.
It is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible where a dispute has arisen or has the potential to arise, as we may be able to help you avoid legal proceedings, reducing the cost and disruption to you and your business.
As members of EWIF (Encouraging Women Into Franchising) and the British Franchising Associations, our team has been recognised for their expertise in this field. Our substantial understanding and experience of the franchising model means you can rest assured that you’re working with professional, knowledgeable and reputable franchise dispute solicitors.
How are franchise disputes resolved?
For unavoidable disputes, the best option is to find a commercial solution that avoids the costs and demands of litigation.
We encourage parties involved in a franchise dispute to consider alternatives to litigation, including exploring mediation. Where litigation is the only option, and a franchisor considers the wider impact of its network of franchisees, we can assist you in court proceedings, including considering injunctive relief.
How can franchise disputes be avoided?
In our experience, prevention is better than cure. While not all disputes will be preventable, common themes often identified in franchise disputes include feelings of lack of support raised by franchisees, or mismanagement of financial expectations and performance of the franchise.
Often disputes can be avoided by ensuring both parties receive clear legal advice of what is being offered and their obligations under the franchise agreement before signing on the dotted line.
Effective communication and expectation management throughout the term of the franchise agreement can also avoid disputes escalating, and many franchisors are now making use of technology to stay in touch with and monitor franchisees’ performance. This will allow for open and honest dialogue if problems arise.