Bird & Bird strengthens international franchising offering with the appointment of Mark Abell


Bird & Bird today confirmed that leading global franchising specialist Mark Abell will join the firm as a partner in the newly created position of Head of Franchising, Licensing and Multi-Channel Strategies.

Mark has built an impressive long-standing practice on matters relating to franchising and the internationalisation and exploitation of intellectual property rights. The Chambers legal directory rates him as the UK’s top franchising lawyer and describes him as “the Guru of franchising”.

Earlier this year, Bird & Bird appointed Victoria Hobbs and Graeme Payne in the same area of practice to complement its growing international capability in this field.

CEO of Bird & Bird David Kerr said: “There are excellent synergies between Mark’s expertise, the clients he works for and Bird & Bird’s strong reputation for protecting and commercialising ideas and brands. His practice aligns closely with our experience helping clients in industries that are being disrupted by technology. In addition, his practice is extremely international, which fits with our expanding global footprint. This is a very exciting move for the firm.”

Mark commented: “Franchising relies on an in-depth understanding of how businesses work and how to exploit brands and ideas. In addition, because it is a very effective way to expand operations internationally, you have to be able to work all around the world. Bird & Bird’s expertise in commercial contracts and its reputation for protecting brands, as well as its global-reach, mean it is the perfect place in which to build a leading international franchising practice. I am now looking forward to working with colleagues across the firm to achieve that goal.”