Neath law firm Hutchinson Thomas held a special seminar on Friday June 8 to showcase the benefits of franchising for business – as well as the potential pitfalls.
Hutchinson Thomas is the only law firm in South West Wales accredited by the British Franchise Association to act on legal matters for franchises or franchisees.
This is a specialist area of law with only a handful of firms in the UK recognised in this way.
Hosted by Hutchinson Thomas and chaired by Darren Davies, head of the Franchise Law team within the firm, the event featured presentations from Suzie McCafferty, an international franchise consultant; David Kaye, a specialist lawyer in this field with Scottish law firm Harper Macleod; and Sukhdeep Dehal, a franchise development manager with Lloyds Bank.
Attendees learned the types of businesses best suited to this business model, what the legal requirements are and some of the dangers and pitfalls.
It is estimated that the UK franchise industry now contributes a remarkable £15 billion to the UK economy annually. It is estimated that some 45,000 franchises are operating in the UK, employing more than 600,000 people.
The industry, which can offer a less risky alternative to launching a business from scratch, has enjoyed phenomenal growth in the past 10 years with the number of people employed by the sector increasing by 70% in the ten years between 2006 and 2016.
Darren Davies, head of the Franchise Law team at Hutchinson Thomas, said: “We were delighted to be able to bring so many experts in this field to South Wales and the presentations were well attended by companies interested in exploring the potential for growth that franchising a business can offer.
“This sector has enjoyed incredible growth in the past decade and we are very proud to be one of only a very small number of firms in the UK accredited by the British Franchise Association to act in this field.”
Hutchinson Thomas was the first law firm in Wales to achieve the Law Society mark of excellence and in 2017, was named the best firm for family law in South and Mid Wales, as well as being recommended in a further six areas of law in the Legal 500.
The company, which currently employs 61 people, was founded with the aim of combining the reassurance offered by traditional family solicitors, along with a forward-thinking approach to business development.
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