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Chris Wormald

Chris Wormald is a partner and joint head of our Franchising & Licensing Group, as well as Head of our Retail Sector Group.  He specializes in all aspects of franchising, advising companies considering franchising and alternative expansion options, joint ventures and strategic alliances, ranging from major corporations considering re-engineering and international expansion, and government organizations, to small start-ups. He works across commercial sectors – specializing in the retail, restaurant and service sectors, but also works with businesses and other organizations wishing to "clone" their activities and so expand, in the  IT, insurance and financial services, manufacturing, distribution and the public and not for profit sectors, including "social franchising". Chris is consistently rated in the Chambers, Legal 500 and Legal Business Guide to Legal Experts directories as a leader and expert in franchising. Who’s Who Legal, the “Official Research partner of the International Bar Association” has ranked Chris in its shortlist of “Most Highly Regarded Individuals” globally, one of the very few lawyers outside North America to have been recognized there.

Before joining Field Fisher Waterhouse Chris led the Eversheds' franchising team for 12 years before bringing their top commercial franchising specialists with him to join Field Fisher Waterhouse's "equal top" franchise team four years ago. Before that, Chris, originally a 5 year international tax and commercial lawyer at City of London law firm Simmons & Simmons, had been a Vice President and General Counsel at McDonald’s EMEA for 10 years during a phase of intensive international expansion and foundation-laying. He therefore understands the needs and perspectives of retailers and restaurant businesses particularly well.

Chris has advised major national and international brands on expansion into most parts of the world, and on the development of franchise programmes and alternative re-engineering and expansion techniques.  He is retained as leading counsel to a number of major domestic and international brands and the investors in them, advising on all aspects of the development of their networks and the structuring of and ongoing relationships with their franchisees, investors and business partners. He also occasionally advises franchisee groups in connection with their relations with their franchisor.

He is also a Director of FFW Consulting LLP, a wholly-owned affiliate of the law firm, which provides non-legal assistance to companies and brands considering re-engineering their operations, or expanding into new markets using structures involving third parties.

Chris belongs to a number of legal and business organizations, and writes and speaks frequently both in the UK and overseas on legal and business aspects of franchising. He was a member of the Legal Committee of the British Franchise Association until its abolition, and is a member of the IBA Franchise Committee, and the ABA Franchise Section.   He co-authored for specialist UK publishers The Guide to Franchising in UK Pubs and Restaurants and is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the International Journal of Franchising Law.  He is Co-General Editor of “Alternative corporate re-engineering – Building businesses through third party relationships and expansion into new markets”, and co-author of the introductory chapter “Alternative Strategic Techniques for the Board Agenda” published by Sweet & Maxwell in 2011. Chris has lived and worked in Brussels and Frankfurt and speaks French and German.

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