What is you experience of franchising?
I am an experienced commercial lawyer, specialising in franchising which is an area of law I have been involved in since my days as a trainee solicitor. I took a fairly traditional path to qualifying with a law degree followed by the Legal Practice Course and then 2 years on the job training. I have worked at two different law firms and have just celebrated a decade at Paris Smith, which is a great fit for me. My first taste of franchising was to review a franchise agreement for a Toni & Guy franchisee and I have been on their panel of recommended lawyers ever since. I have now reviewed more franchise agreements, in a wide range of different sectors from fast food to baby swimming, than I care to remember and am committed to ensuring franchisees fully understand the commitment they are signing up to.
I think that my experience assisting franchisees and the sheer amount and variety of agreements that I have seen over the years, mean that I am also well placed to advise franchisors as I have seen both sides from a legal perspective. Some of my greatest work achievements have been negotiating a good outcome for a franchisor or franchisee where the parties have been able to reach a relatively amicable solution to a dispute.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of work, two small children keep me busy and I try to run 2-3 times a week primarily for sanity-saving reasons, especially during the last year. The pandemic has brought its challenges juggling my type of work with home-schooling! I am the chair of the firm’s charity committee and enjoy this non-legal role very much, which give my colleagues and I the opportunity to support two local charities each year through fundraising initiatives.
What challenges have you faced?
I have faced challenges in my personal life that have impacted my career – a serious health crisis for starters. I have had to ‘start again’ many times over which whilst I cannot pretend has not been frustrating but it has also increased my resilience and ambition. Life is a journey not a race! My illness has also given a strong sense of what is important in life and that whilst your career is undoubtedly a large part of your life, it is not everything.