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The Team

Hamilton Pratt has the largest team of specialist franchise lawyers in Europe. The team consists of partners, associates, solicitors, trainees and paralegals. At all levels the firm’s team is extremely knowledgeable in franchise law and related issues such as intellectual property, property and competition law.

There will always be someone available to deal with your enquiry whenever it may arise. Whilst we do not operate on a 24/7 basis it is unusual for email contact to be made and not acknowledged within a matter of hours, whenever that email may be sent.

John Pratt

John Pratt

Partner

John was previously managing partner at Pinsent Masons and Legal Advisor to the British Franchise Association for six years. He is the author of the leading textbook, "Franchising: Law & Practice", a contributor to the franchising chapter of ‘’Practical Commercial Precedents’‘ and a contributor to American Bar Association’s publication – A Practical Guide for International Franchising – Competition Laws and Data Privacy. Acknowledged by Legal Who‘s Who as an expert in international franchising, a past president of the Union Internationale des Avocats franchise committee, past Chair of the International Bar Association’s international franchise committee and Director of the American Bar Association’s International Franchise Division and a frequent lecturer on franchise issues both in the UK and elsewhere. John was previously Honorary French Consul, President of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and a member of the board of the British Chambers of Commerce. He is currently a director of a number of companies including The Bardon Group, a multi-brand company incorporating well known franchise brands such as Recognition Express and Kall-Kwik.

John has expertise in the following areas:

• Preparing franchise agreements and related agreements such as confidentiality agreements and deposit agreements;

• Advising on competition law issues (both EU and UK);

• Advising on international franchising matters including the preparation of master franchise agreements and reviewing foreign franchise agreements to ensure compliance with UK mandatory legal requirements and custom and practice;

• Advising on franchise disputes; and

• Preparing reviews of franchise agreements for prospective franchisees.

Interests: supporting Gloucester Rugby (and hoping that it returns to its glory days!) and collecting British Portraits (much to the annoyance of his wife!).

Additional languages: French (fluent).

James Barrett

James Barrett

Partner

James is a graduate of Southampton University in Law and Politics. He has a Postgraduate Diploma in Corporate Risk and Security Management from Southampton University. James is also a ‘Solicitor-Advocate’. James is named in Who’s Who Legal and Legal 500 for expertise in franchising. A Legal 500 testimonial reads: “James Barrett is highly skilled, reliable and tenacious, and has a deep understanding of franchising.” James regularly delivers lectures and seminars on franchising issues. James, in conjunction with John, recently published an article on ‘Franchising in the United Kingdom’ in the American Bar Association’s Franchise Law Journal. James has extensive experience with respect to both the commercial aspects of franchising and franchising disputes. James’ dispute work includes:

• Assisting franchisors to enforce the post termination obligations and restrictive covenants contained in their franchise agreements. If necessary, by seeking urgent injunctive relief to protect the franchisor’s intellectual and confidential information;

• Assisting franchisors to pursue and defend misrepresentation, breach of contract and debt claims;

• Assessing franchisee claims with respect to pre-contractual statements made by franchisors and their in-term conduct;

• Representing franchisee action groups and defending franchisors against the same;

• Advising on disputes arising from complex international franchise agreements;

• Undertaking due diligence and risk assessments associated with the purchase of franchise networks;

• Advising clients on franchise and intellectual property related issues, including breach of trademark, copyright, passing off and breach of confidence.

Outside of franchising, James also has experience:

• Advising on disputes arising from supply, distribution and commercial agency agreements; and

• Advising on breaches of director’s duties, insolvency and shareholder disputes.

Interests: James plays hockey for Warwick Hockey Club. He has played at County and Regional level, and has been trialling to represent England 035s. When not playing hockey, he is kept busy by his two young daughters.

Additional languages: French (basic), Italian (basic) and Danish (learning).

Barbara Lock

Barbara Lock

Partner

Barbara qualified in 1978 with the City of London firm Waltons & Morse (now part of Eversheds LLP).

Barbara joined the legal team at Allied Dunbar now part of Zurich Insurance Group and became a senior legal adviser. Zurich had one of the largest franchise networks in the UK.

Additional languages: Welsh (fluent).

Annabel Dunster

Annabel Dunster

Associate Solicitor

Annabel joined the firm in 2017 after training at Cohen Cramer in Leeds. Annabel specialises in franchise disputes, including:

• Assisting franchisors with respect to issues surrounding termination of franchise agreements, including enforcement of the post-termination restrictions on competition;

• Advising both franchisors and franchisees with respect to both pursuing and defending breach of contract and misrepresentation claims;

• Advising on trade mark issues, including infringement of trade marks and pursing and defending oppositions to the registration of trade marks.

Annabel studied Law at the University of Birmingham. She completed her Legal Practice Course at BPP Law School in Leeds.

Interests: Sewing, Reading, History and Baking.

Additional languages: Spanish (basic).

Francesca Briggs

Francesca Briggs

Legal Secretary

Started working with John Pratt in November 1983! She has built up considerable expertise in a large number of franchise related issues including:

• Issuing franchise agreements on behalf of clients;

• Assisting in the preparation of franchise reports; and

• Preparing franchise agreements and other franchise related documents.

Interests: renovating old houses, walking and reading.

Nick Seddon

Nick Seddon

Consultant

Nick is a corporate transaction lawyer who handles acquisitions, disposals and share investments. For over 20 years he was a law firm partner and spent over 10 years of his career in Hong Kong. In addition to being a lawyer he has been a partner in a private equity firm and a professional services consultant.

Interests: classic cars, gardening and photography.

Vyara Yordanova

Vyara Yordanova

Trainee Solicitor

Vyara started working at the firm on a 2-week work experience and was offered a role as a Paralegal as part of her placement year at university. She continued working for the firm whilst completing her final year.
Vyara started her training contract in 2018. Her area of work includes:

• Advising franchisors in relation to resales and handling the legal process from start to finish.

• Acting for franchisees in relation to purchase of new franchised businesses or property portfolios.

• Advising franchisors in relation to the renewal, termination or variation of terms of their franchise agreements and preparing the relevant documentation.

• Assisting franchisors and franchisees regarding general commercial matters.

• Advising prospective and established franchisors in relation to registration and renewal of trade marks.

• Assisting partners and associates in relation to franchise disputes by producing legal notes on relevant areas of law, drafting letters and claim forms, and preparing bundles for hearings.

Vyara achieved a 1st Class degree in International Law at Coventry University and graduated top of her class in 2018.

Interests: playing the piano and salsa dancing.

Additional languages: Bulgarian (native).

Arslaan Mahmood

Arslaan Mahmood

Trainee Solicitor

Arslaan joined the firm in 2018 after spending a year as a legal assistant at a large firm. The focus of his work includes:

• Assisting franchisors with the sale and purchase of franchises;

• Assisting new or experienced franchisees with the sale and purchase of franchises;

• Preparing documents relating to the renewal, termination or change of terms of a franchise agreement;

• Preparing applications to register or renew trade marks.

Arslaan graduated in Law from the University of Birmingham in 2017.

Interests: walking, cricket, riding and travelling.

Additional languages: Urdu (fluent), Hindi (fluent), Punjabi (fluent) and Pothwari (fluent).