The Franchising, Licensing and Multi-Channel Strategies (FLMCS) team held a series of significant events in Madrid last week.
Seminar on International Expansion Strategies
On 22 January, the group organised an evening seminar entitled "International Expansion Strategies - one step beyond franchising" for clients and contacts based in the city, including representatives from McDonalds, Burger King, Cortefiel, Cheminova and The Phone House. FLMCS group head Mark Abell's presentation examined how although "vanilla" franchising remains a useful tool for international expansion, more versatile, complex strategies such as sub-ordinate equity, "manchising" and "francubation" structures are able to deliver additional income streams and enhance brand owners' overall control of the relationship.
Following a lively discussion, attendees continued the debate over wine and tapas, hosted by our Madrid team, including managing partner Javier Fernández-Samaniego, Lourdes Ayala, Antonio Cueto and Fidel Porcuna. The event received glowing feedback from the audience; Antonis Kyprianou, Group Franchise Manager of Grupo Cortefiel reported, "The pleasure from our discussion was mutual. It was really constructive for me. I was delighted to find such a different approach from a legal firm". Javier commented, "This kind of workshop, aimed at a small number of very senior people from a select number of good clients and contacts, is a great opportunity to enhance and open up our relationship with carefully targeted clients and contacts".
Mark's presentation addressed similar themes to a speech he gave in London earlier last week, as reported in last Thursday's BirdTalk.
Meeting the Spanish Secretary of State for Trade
The following day, Mark and Javier held a meeting with Jaime García-Legaz Ponce, Spanish Secretary of State for Trade. The meeting was made possible thanks to the recent publication of Mark's book, "The Law and Regulation of Franchising in the EU", plus our Madrid office's strong ties with the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competition. The discussion centred on how Mark's proposals for a new EU Franchise regulation would encourage the growth of franchising and the role that franchising can play in revitalising the Spanish economy by encouraging entrepreneurship and job creation.
During the meeting, the Secretary of State heard how the lack of a homogeneous EU wide regulatory system is preventing the cross border growth of franchising and how an appropriate regulatory environment would not merely seek to restrict abuses but would also actively promote the use of franchising as a catalyst for the growth of SMEs.
The Secretary of State's staff will be closely analysing Mark's recommendations and it is expected that they will be asking for further guidance in due course.
International franchising seminar for Madrid associates
The same day, Javier organised an international franchising seminar for over 20 associates in the Madrid office. The attendees spent a two hour educational session and Q&A with Mark, who outlined the various options available to businesses seeking to expand internationally or to re-engineer their existing structures. Mark commented, "This was the first of what should be a string of educational initiatives by the FLMCS team to share know how and encourage a harmonised approach to our work across the firm."