I'm the global co-head of our Franchising, Distribution and Multi-Channel Strategies practice. I focus on the retail & consumer and international education sectors and lead our International Education group.
For more than 35 years, I've advised a range of household names in the retail, food & beverage, education, hotels & leisure and healthcare sectors on the development and implementation of their international expansion plans and the re-engineering of their businesses.
My team and I pride ourselves on our technical excellence and cutting edge thought leadership in our field of practice. In order to build mutually enjoyable and rewarding long term relationships with our clients we work hard to ensure that we really understand their businesses and how their management and in house legal teams feel most comfortable engaging with us. After all, at the end of the day, law is a people business.
We don't have a crystal ball to predict what the future holds for our clients, but our deep and broad sector knowledge means that we are well positioned to spot trends early on and then invest time and energy creating strong, focused and commercially appropriate solutions that can be delivered to our clients in a timely, bespoke and cost effective manner, rather than having to react to one unexpected client crisis after another.
I invest a great deal of time and effort trying to make sure that everyone in my team has a real passion for what they do and thoroughly enjoy their work. It's a question of chemistry. That is probably why every single member of my team started off their professional careers as my trainee - and for one of them that was over 25 years ago. To see my former trainees as hugely successful, globally respected experts in our mutual field of practice is something that gives me a real buzz.
I also place great store in what I call 'intellectual muscle'. I believe that in order to be able to deliver strong, meaningful and strategically relevant solutions to our clients a lawyer really needs to specialise and know his or her legal field of practice inside out. There is no substitute for that depth of knowledge and the intellectual rigour that comes with it. That's why I chose to do a PhD in my area of practice and am such a prolific author.
I've published over 1,000 articles in a variety of journals and written thirteen books including "Educational Institutions – A Legal and Regulatory Handbook for Setting Up Overseas", 'European Franchising – Law and Practice in the European Community', 'The International Franchise Option', 'The Franchise Option – A Legal Guide', 'Franchising in India', 'Alternative Corporate Re-Engineering', 'The Law and Regulation of Franchising in the EU' and "The Franchise Law Review – editions 1 – 6). I am currently editing and co-authoring a book on the international hotel sector which will be published in late 2019.
I am the co-author of the CBBC Guide to establishing Foreign Schools in China and the WIPO publication on franchising. I edit the Butterworth's Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents volume on Franchising, Distribution and Agency law, a standard text of the UK's legal profession.
I have recently advised the European Parliament on amendments to the regulation of franchising in the EU and am the author of its Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee's publication "Legal Perspective of the Regulatory Framework and Challenges for Franchising in the EU". I'm also co-editor of 'The International Journal of Franchising Law', the world's leading legal periodical in my field of practice.
Lawyers need to live in the real world and understand how their expertise fits into it. That's why I am active in trade associations and international organisations that promote and support international trade.
Having written my doctoral thesis on the Law and Regulation of international Franchising, I have acted as an expert to sovereign governments such as China and India for the WIPO and WTO on the use of franchising to create and support economic infrastructure.
I'm a member of the IBA Franchise Committee, the ABA Franchise Forum, the BFA and the Health Foundation Advisory Board, which is working with the NHS to introduce franchise-based structures to optimise efficiencies and improve client care. You'll find me speaking on international growth, franchising and multi-channel strategies at legal and commercial conferences such as the Independent Schools Bursar's Association (ISBA), HMC, MCA and The Hotel Investment Forum around the world. I also lecture on franchising at Queen Mary University of London.