International Retail Franchising Summit returns to London

On Wednesday 9 March at the Hilton Olympia the International Retail Franchising Summit will be bringing together a whole host of leading speakers from the UK and overseas, representing some of the most successful and growing brands in international franchising.

The event aims to provide a unique opportunity to help businesses consider their current strategies, ask crucial questions, mitigate risk, maximise opportunity and successfully move into new markets. 

Speakers confirmed for the event are listed below and include senior figures from Debenhams, Hobbs and Hamleys, but you can check the full schedule here:

Chair: Siobhan Gehin, Partner, Kurt Salmon

Speakers and panellists:


The day will be jam-packed with panel debates and presentations, including a session entitled 'The many franchise agreements and how to avoid litigation over system changes', which will look at issues such as master franchise agreements vs area developer agreements and finalising agreements in times of economic and political challenge.

Graeme Payne, partner at law firm Bird & Bird, will join Cheryl Clifford, head of international at Hobbs, to discuss the topic in detail.

Essential Retail caught up with Payne to gauge his thoughts on the current climate.

How has your role changed over the last few years, as a result of new technologies hitting the international retail market?

Retailers who have typically expanded internationally through bricks & mortar franchising are now working out how best to integrate an international eCommerce and in some cases mCommerce offering into their businesses. As a lawyer my role has changed to now advising clients on a strategic multichannel international roll-out programme compared to a single growth channel of 5-10 years ago.

What are the different challenges facing franchisers compared to other international expansion models in the new world order of retail?

Which retailers do you admire from an international expansion perspective?

Those that invest in proper advice and don't cut corners.

Why is there a need for the International Retail Franchising Summit, this year, and why were you interested in taking part?

It is an area I have advised on for 16 years but unfortunately am seeing more and more bad / poor / unqualified advisers and brokers exploiting and ultimately stifling businesses and brands that are going international. The IRFS represents an opportunity for businesses and brands either considering or currently franchising internationally to learn from and meet real experts.

For more details on the summit, or to register for the conference, please contact event director, David Webster, on

Click below for more information:

International Retail Franchising Summit 2016