Leathes Prior is one of the leading specialist franchise law firms in the UK with our franchising expertise recognised through affiliation to the British Franchise Association. Over many years the team has acted for a formidable array of franchisors and franchisees on both contentious and non-contentious matters - many of them household names.

Business format franchising has now become well established as a popular and successful structure for business expansion, which is essentially a particular type of licence incorporating specific features. In the absence of any specific legislation on franchising in the UK, advice on it requires detailed knowledge of a number of areas of law that relate to it. Our team provides a highly cost effective and comprehensive service, both nationally and internationally to franchisors and franchisees across the full range of business sectors. We will identify, at the outset, budgets for any work you instruct us to undertake and agree with you the timetable within which it is to be completed.


If you are a new or prospective Franchisor we can provide you with general advice on the franchising of your business together with specific advice on the legal documentation you require for its operation.

New Franchisors

If you are a new or prospective Franchisor we can provide you with general advice on the franchising of your business together with specific advice on the legal documentation you require for its operation. This may include advice on:

  • Protection of intellectual property rights
  • Trade mark registration and licensing
  • Preparation of agreements including Confidentiality Agreement, Intent to Proceed Agreement and Franchise Agreement
  • Advice on the legal aspects of the Operating Manual
  • Terms and conditions
  • Advice on any property issues
  • Review of Franchise Prospectus and marketing materials
  • Preparation of a software licence
  • Advice on data protection and privacy compliance

Existing Franchisors

We are able to offer specialist services to existing Franchisors which include the following:

  • A review of your company’s existing Franchise Agreement
  • Audit of legal documentation associated with the Franchise Agreement
  • Terms and conditions of trading and website terms of use
  • Review of your notification, systems, websites, databases and procedures relating to data protection & privacy
  • Advice on the Operations Manual
  • Commercial property advice
  • Franchise Sale and Purchase Agreements
  • Master licences

International franchising

As one of the leading UK law firms specialising in franchising we also provide a specialist service to clients involved in franchising internationally to include all of the services listed above as well as bespoke advice on matters it is crucial you consider with international franchising.


As a prospective Franchisee it is vital that you fully understand and appreciate the obligations you will be taking on under the franchise. We provide all of the services you will need as a prospective Franchisee including:

Fixed Fee Report

In order to provide you with the cost effective advice you require we have developed a fixed fee report service. This is a detailed written report on the Franchise Agreement and related documentation, explaining precisely what the agreement means in commercial terms, highlighting any problem areas and indicating points which it fails to cover. Our report will also identify for the franchisee those points which should be raised with the franchisor or its solicitors and set out other steps that the franchisee should take to investigate the franchise before signing the agreement. Our costs for preparing such a report will normally be between £490 and £690 plus VAT and disbursements, depending upon the particular agreement. We will agree with you the precise amount of the fixed fee before we commence the preparation of the report.

Franchise Information Exchange

Leathes Prior is a member of the Franchise Information Exchange which comprises a group of British Franchise Association affiliated law firms across the UK which provide each other with information on franchise opportunities and early warning of problems arising in particular franchises. Our fixed fee report includes conducting a Franchise Information Exchange Search on your selected franchise.

Even in the best run franchised business we recognise that disputes can arise. There is much that can be done to avoid disputes arising in the first place and a clear dispute resolution plan and well executed strategy will help to protect the integrity of the franchise business. We are able to advise both on the merits and disadvantages of particular alternatives to resolving disputes, whether it be mediation, Alternative Dispute Resolution, arbitration or litigation. If disputes do arise, our franchise litigators are experienced in acting swiftly and effectively to protect your company’s interests, conscious always of the need to preserve the good name of the franchise network. If you have any queries relating to franchising disputes, please contact our experts Mike Barlow or Polly Langford.