Bird & Bird advises Tortilla on its first international expansion in the Middle East


Bird & Bird's Franchising, Licensing and Multi-Channel strategies team has advised Tortilla, the Quilvest-backed fast-casual Mexican restaurant concept, on its strategic entry and expansion across the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council). Tortilla has signed a franchising deal with Dubai based development partner Eathos to open over 30 stores across the GCC in the next 10 years.

Bird & Bird team comprised lawyers based in both the UK and the UAE, who advised on the structuring requirements of the multi-territory arrangement as well as providing advice on some of the key Middle East market entry legal requirements.

Richard Morris, Managing Director, Tortilla said: "We are very excited about this first step in our international expansion. The UAE is fast becoming one of the leading Food & Beverage destinations in the world and when we decided it was going to be our first international destination, we realised it was crucial to appoint a legal adviser who could navigate us through the complexities of the local market. Bird & Bird, with whom we have worked over the last few years, was the right choice: their strong presence in the Middle East and the significant experience of their international franchising team helped us ensure the successful outcome of this venture."

Bird & Bird partner Graeme Payne said: "We were delighted to be appointed to advise Tortilla on this strategic move. In the last few years members of Bird & Bird's international franchise team have advised a considerable number of US, UK and European businesses in the Food & Beverage sector on their international expansion, particularly in the Middle and Far East. We are very pleased to see that our clients view us as strategic commercial advisers who help them achieve their commercial goals."

Bird & Bird team comprised Graeme Payne (Partner, London), Melissa Murray (Partner, UAE/Abu Dhabi), Jenny Willans (London) and Nick Green (London).