Franchising and Commercial - Associate/Senior Associate

PQE: 3 years +
Term: Permanent
Working hours: Full time/Part time
Practice area: Franchising and Commercial
Location: Guildford/ Hybrid/ Remote - Whilst we are based in Guildford, we also operate a hybrid working model but will consider candidates who wish to work wholly remotely.
The Role

We are looking for great lawyers to join our highly ranked and renowned franchising and commercial practice.  This is a great opportunity to work as part of a highly professional team advising and assisting on a wide variety of high quality commercial matters primarily with a franchise focus. The franchise team work for a large number of franchisors and franchisees and has a particular focus on international expansion work within the franchise sector. As members of the British Franchisee Association, we are committed to the promotion of ethical franchising and this informs all of the work we do in this area.

We also recognise that lawyers value the ability to work flexibly - we have agile working policies to facilitate flexible working and we are happy to consider both full time and part time working.

What will you be doing?

You will be primarily advising franchisors and franchisees on all aspects of their franchised businesses.  This includes: preparing the suite of franchise documentation for new franchisors, preparing international franchise agreements for clients looking to expand their businesses internationally (including master franchise and development agreements), managing franchise resales and advising on the day to day issues raised by franchisee clients such as consumer law compliance, data protection and online trading matters.  All members of the team also advise on commercial and IT contracts, as well as data protection and cyber security matters. 

So, you can expect to get involved in a fantastic range of work, with an impressive client list that includes well-known brands and multinationals. There is plenty of opportunity to have direct client contact and become the day to day point of contact under the retainers we operate for a number of our franchisor clients. Many of our clients are owner-managed businesses and the relationships with our intermediaries are also key. Therefore, the right candidate will be expected to assist with business development activities as well as attending franchisee industry events. The team (and the wider firm) has a significant focus on international work and much of what we do has a cross border dimension.

Representative recent matters include:

  • Advising a large multi-national pizza brand on the sale by its largest franchisee of over 60 stores and preparing a development agreement for the new partner acquiring the stores;
  • Adapting the franchise documentation for a US franchisor seeking to expand its CBD business within the CBD market;
  • Advising a UK business in the events industry on its expansion into New Zealand via franchising;
  • Advising the master franchisee of an Australian owned concept on the re-write of its UK franchisee agreement to standardise this with the Franchisor’s template;
  • Managing on behalf of a franchisor the resales of its franchisee’s business;
  • Advising a well know shoe retailer on the amendments required to its franchise agreement template in preparation for renewal with its franchise and assisting with negotiations with the franchisee association;
  • Advising a well-established franchisor in the children’s music sector on the adaptations required to move the physical classes to an online format and preparing terms and conditions of business; and
  • Advising a French bakery with outlets across London and the south east on its planned expansion through franchising including preparing the template development agreement and franchisee agreement.
Qualifications and Experience

We are looking for strong team players with good inter-personal skills, good academics and high quality franchise legal experience. You will have a commercial approach and excellent technical, communication and negotiation skills and enjoy direct contact with clients.

The Firm

Stevens & Bolton – making a positive difference to your career

Stevens & Bolton is a UK law firm with over 200 staff. Of those around 150 are lawyers, approximately a third of them partners, many of whom chose to join us from City law firms. Our office is based in Guildford and our staff work from here and also flexibly.

We’ve made excellence the hallmark of our firm: in the clear advice we give, in the enduring client relationships we build and in our proactive and highly responsive service.  We seek to recruit people who will help us maintain and build on this, and in return we offer excellent long-term career and development opportunities.

You’ll work with people who listen, and who actively and willingly support one another within a collaborative and engaging environment.  We genuinely care about our people and strive to build and maintain a diverse, inclusive and happy workforce.

We have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion (D&I). This drives a strategy which focuses on constant promotion of an inclusive culture that encourages everyone to realise their full potential and be themselves at work. In 2020 we were shortlisted for “Best D&I Initiative” at The HR Awards and for “Best Talent and Inclusion Initiative” at The Lawyer Awards.

Our vision is to be one of the UK’s most successful law firms, offering excellence beyond the city, a supportive culture and the best client experience. Always making a positive difference. We were proud to be named Law Firm of the Year: The Independents at The Lawyer Awards 2020.