Darwin Gray is a commercial law firm based in Cardiff, providing support and guidance to businesses and organisations from start-up and growth phase to sale and everything in between.
Darwin Gray’s specialist Franchising team provides legal guidance and support for both franchisors and franchisees, from setting up or buying a franchise to managing employees and dealing with disputes to expanding or selling.
Headed by Managing Partner, Stephen Thompson, the firm’s Franchising team is an affiliate member of the British Franchise Association (BFA). The team has particular experience in the buying and selling of franchise businesses.
In addition to day-to-day legal assistance such as drafting franchise agreements, operations manuals and licence agreements, the team also assists with strategic goals such as expansion of franchise networks and advising on long-term goals and re-sales. They also deal with franchise disputes, although preferring to help franchisors to pre-empt such disputes arising in the first place by having the right policies and agreements in place.
The team at Darwin Gray also regularly deliver training on intellectual property issues, both generally and in relation to franchises. Training has included guidance on how to maximise and commercially leverage your intellectual property as well as protect it within your franchise model.
Meet Stephen Thompson…
I’m Stephen Thompson, the EWIF South West and Wales Regional Chair. I am Managing Partner and Head of Franchising at Cardiff-based commercial law firm Darwin Gray.
As an Affiliate member of the British Franchise Association (BFA). With over 20 years’ experience in the franchising industry, I have considerable experience in advising prospective franchisees and both new and experienced franchisors including the buying and selling of franchises.
In addition to day-to-day legal assistance such as drafting franchise agreements, operations manuals and licence agreements, I also assist with strategic goals such as expansion of franchise networks and advising on long-term goals and re-sales.
A trained litigator, I am also experienced in dealing with franchise disputes, although I prefer to help franchisors to pre-empt such disputes arising by having the right policies and agreements in place.
In addition to advising on the legal aspects of franchising, my colleagues and I regularly speak at franchising events in relation to the legal and commercial aspects of franchising.
We are delighted to be partnering with EWIF for 2020. Our Managing Partner, Stephen Thompson is the chair of the South West and Wales EWIF region, and we have been proud sponsors of the EWIF awards for the last few years. Becoming official EWIF partners was a natural next step for us to take to help spread the EWIF message and support more women who are entering the franchise sector.
EWIF offers fantastic support for women who are looking to franchise their business or who are looking to buy a franchise. The events EWIF hold are always informative, but in our view the most valuable aspect to them is how friendly and informal they are. EWIF provides a space where women in the franchising sector can share ideas, collaborate with each other, and pass on advice. The members of the South West and Wales region are really engaging, and we look forward to each of our quarterly meetings with them.
As franchise lawyers, our EWIF membership really enhances our offering to our clients. We take something away from every EWIF event we attend, whether it’s industry knowledge or details of challenges affecting franchisors and franchisees. As a result, we are able to offer much more rounded advice and a more holistic service to our franchise clients.