Richard James leads in a landmark national franchise deal

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The Approved Franchise Association merges with The British Franchise Association

As one of only a handful of specialist franchise lawyers, Richard James (who is a partner both of Broomhead & Saul and of its associated commercial law practice Solicitors Title LLP) was approached by Claire Robinson and the Approved Franchise Association to support their merger with the British Franchise Association. 

The merger has just been completed successfully. The full press release is available here on the bfa’s website

The merger between bfa and AFA is a highly significant consolidation in a £15bn industry.

Richard James, acknowledged for his expertise by the independent peer review Legal 500, was appointed because of this first rate reputation as a commercial lawyer.  He has almost 20 years’ expertise in franchising work and during this time he has earned an outstanding reputation in all areas of franchising.  

Richard James began his career with leading franchising law firm, Mundays, and has specialised in the sector throughout his career.

Richard’s role in this landmark merger was to lead the transaction for the AFA, to ensure that the merger achieved all that was intended, working closely with CEO of the bfa, Pip Wilkins and Roz Goldstein, of Goldstein Legal (now part of nexa law), which acted on behalf of the bfa.

Commenting on the merger, Claire Robinson, CEO of the AFA, explained: ‘I have witnessed the transition of the bfa to become a much more inclusive association, with a desire to support every type of franchise business. I am excited about the future and how Pip and I can work together over the next 12 months to support the AFA Members with a transition to bfa Membership. I really feel that I have made the best decision for the industry in choosing the bfa to become my trusted partner too.’ Claire Robinson will take on a new role as ‘Lifestyle Ambassador’ within the bfa.

Richard’s recent professional engagements have included the creation of franchise models in various sectors (including the UK’s first health and safety franchise), acting on inward investment for international businesses, including for an Australian/New Zealand recruitment group, advising numerous franchisees on the terms of intended franchise opportunities, acting for franchisors and franchisees in disputes, involving issues such as the extent to which a franchisor can change its franchising system (successfully for a UK retailer), breach of contract and arguments around derogation from grant, misrepresentation and undertaking an extensive renegotiation of franchise renewals, achieving positive changes for a large group of franchisee clients.

On the announcement of the two organisations joining forces, Richard James commented: ‘We were honoured to been able to play our part in such a significant transaction for the franchise industry as a whole. The union of the AFA and the bfa will enhance the resources and support across the entire UK franchise sector and will further help to advance ethical business format franchising and to promote the opportunities that franchising has to offer, for a resurgent economy.’

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