Owen White Solicitors was invited to take part in a webinar held at the US Embassy in London recently, in recognition of their role as an expert in UK franchise law. The event was hosted and co-organised by commercial specialist Chrystal Denys for the Embassy.
Owen White is one of the leading franchise specialists in the UK with over 30 years’ experience of providing legal advice to both franchisors and franchisees. They were the first legal adviser to join the British Franchise Association in 1977, advised the founder members and drafted the Association’s constitution.
The groundbreaking event was organised jointly by the US Commercial Service, the equivalent of the UK Trade and Investment agency, and Venture Marketing Group, publishers of Business Franchise Magazine and organisers of franchise shows and exhibitions across the UK.
Owen White director Andrew Hayward represented the firm alongside representatives from HSBC, Venture Marketing Group and Anytime Fitness, a US brand now franchising and expanding rapidly in the UK.
The primary focus of the webinar was for the British franchise experts to talk to US franchisors about the unique challenges they would face in the UK and how they had seen other US brands mitigate and overcome these challenges.
The webinar was broadcast via a live webcam feed from a conference room in the US Embassy in London to delegates across the US. Each speaker had a 5-7 minute time slot to present to the group, followed by a Q&A session.
Commenting on the importance of helping US franchise brands to trade in the UK, Andrew Hayward said: “US brands have traditionally been strongly represented in the UK franchise sector, the best known of which is of course McDonald’s. They provide significant employment in the UK and generate substantial revenue within and for the British economy. The webinar was very well received in the US with all those who took part in the Q&A very generous in their appreciation of the advice they’d received.”
Asked about the reality of presenting via webinar to an audience many thousands of miles away, Andrew continued: “The webinar went very well; I think I’m right in saying it was a first for all the speakers. While we have all shared platforms from time to time, none of us had ever taken part in a webinar of this kind before and, if done properly, I don’t see why we couldn’t use this form of communication more often; however I’m struggling to see how we could top broadcasting to America from the US Embassy!”