Franchise Blog Contributors
This page lists some of our other valued contributors over the years.
- Brian Duckett – Chairman, The Franchising Centre
- Mark Scott – Senior Franchise Manager, NatWest
- John Pratt – Legal Advisor to BFA
- Dan Archer – Head of Marketing, Home Instead Senior Care
- Iain Martin – Director, The International Franchising Centre
- Sheilah Mackie – Senior Solicitor, Blake Lapthorne
- Steven Frost – Partner, Smith & Henderson
- Stephen Thorns – Managing Director, Qutis Clinics
- Jat Mann – MD, PC PAL
- Karl Lewins – Franchise Support & Business Development Manager, Spoton.net
- Steve Roulstone – Director, Castle Estates
- David Young – Chief Executive, Shield Corporate Finance
- Chris Roberts – Franchise Finance Ltd
- Naz Daud – Owner, CityLocal
- Carl Reader – Dennis & Turnbull
- Geoffrey Sturgess – Warner Goodman
- Simon Batholomew – Oscar Pet Foods
- Fiona Boswell - Freeth Cartwright LLP
Brian is chairman of The Franchising Centre. He writes regularly for the UK franchising and business media and has presented at several seminars and workshops, including those arranged for The Institute of Directors, The Confederation of British Industry, The British Franchise Association, The International Franchise Association and British Franchise Exhibitions. Internationally, he writes regular features for franchising magazines in the USA, Europe, Australia and India, and has spoken at several franchise conferences on five continents. His book “How to Turn Your Business Into The Next Global Brand – Creating and Managing a Franchised Network” was published in the autumn of 2007.
Mark Scott joined NatWest, now part of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, in 1982 and has a wide range of experience within the small business sector, having managed the banks small business advisers in the City and West End and relationships with national organisations, such as the BERR and Business Links in previous roles.
He joined the NatWest Franchise section in 1998 as Senior Franchise Manager. His role was to keep the bank up to date with changes to specific franchises and to encourage franchisees to use the banks services. He was appointed as Head of the NatWest team in December 2002. In 2005 he was appointed to the Board of the British Franchise Association for a 2 year period. More recently, in 2008, he became a Director, Franchise Development for the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, which incorporates both the NatWest and RBS brands.
Mark is a regular speaker at various seminars for prospective franchisees and franchisors, including the British Franchise Association.
John H Pratt
John Pratt is the Legal Advisor to the British Franchise Association (“BFA”), he is a past Chair of the International Bar Association’s International Franchise Committee. He was previously President of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce.
John has written “Franchising: Law & Practice”, “The Franchisor’s Handbook” and contributed the franchise section of a number of franchise publications. John obtained his law degree from Oxford University and completed a doctorate course in Comparative Law at the Universite d’Aix-Marseille.
Dan Archer has spent approaching 15 years in the franchise industry working with several brands and has in addition worked with the bfa as Head of Marketing.
Speaking both internationally and domestically on franchising, marketing and setting up franchise businesses, he has also worked extensively on franchising projects with Development Agencies and European funded local enterprise agencies. He is currently advising interested parties in Westminster on the business and social impact of franchising.
Having also previously started a marketing and web design consultancy business, he is now Head of Marketing at Home Instead Senior Care and has been a director of the British Franchise Association since 2008.
An active user of social media Dan has been involved in franchise websites, e-shotting and e-communication for over 10 years.
Iain was UK Sales Director of one of the UK’s largest specialist recruitment companies, prior to entering the franchise industry in 1994. Since then he has provided consultancy, franchisee and executive recruitment services to a broad range of franchisors.
He specialises in helping international franchisors secure UK partners, and UK franchisors to develop successful franchise networks, through several brokerage businesses.
Iain is currently a Director of The International Franchising Centre.
Sheilah joined Blake Lapthorn’s Commercial IP/ IT team in 2006 and heads up the firm’s non-contentious franchising practice. She advises on the full range of issues faced by those in the sector including setting up and managing franchise networks, complying with relevant regulatory requirements, dealing with underperforming franchisees and extracting franchisees from networks.
Sheilah prepares and advises on the interpretation of standard form agreements for franchisors, as well reviewing franchise agreements for prospective franchisees. She also has experience working as part of large cross-disciplinary teams advising groups of franchisees of failed networks including Threshers and Coffee Republic. Her clients include franchisors and franchisees in a variety of sectors including retail, leisure services, lettings and estate agencies, B2B and B2C services, domiciliary services, children’s groups and charities.
Sheilah also acts for franchise consultants and industry associations. She is an Affiliate of the British Franchise Association and is currently studying for the Qualified Franchise Professional qualification. She is also a member of the Society for Computers and Law.
Steve is a Partner at Smith & Henderson, which helps reputable franchisors to recruit more suitable franchisees. He’s passionate about innovation, introducing to the UK profiling technology which is purpose-built for franchising and in 2011 launched the Franchise Satisfaction Benchmark, which helps franchisors to measure franchisee satisfaction and differentiate their franchise from the competition.
Steve was introduced to franchising in 2007 when leading a franchise pilot which saw the conversion of company owned bank branches to owner managed stores. He has also successfully founded two businesses, won several national entrepreneurship awards and twice represented the UK at international enterprise events.
Stephen Thorns is the founder and managing director of Qutis Clinics, a new franchise model based on our success owning and operating clinics in Oxfordshire since 1998. Qutis Clinics specialise in providing a range of skin treatments; using dermal fillers for lips and face, toxin injections to relax frown lines and laser for hair removal.
Formerly, Stephen was UK Managing Director of Mentor Medical, recently acquired by Johnson & Johnson. Mentor specialised in the manufacture and supply of medical devices to the NHS and Plastic Surgeons.
Stephen began his career as a graduate with Allied Lyons plc. After many roles in pub and restaurant operations, brand marketing and purchasing, he moved to become a Director at Scottish and Newcastle.
After leaving the pub hospitality Stephen became a director at Sodexo formerly Gardner Merchant, providing catering services to Schools, Colleges and Universities. Jamie Oliver’s TV campaign ensured this was a high profile sector requiring careful media & PR management.
Jat is the founder & Managing Director of PC PAL, UK’s leading on-site Computer Repair and Support franchise network providing rapid, reliable & affordable IT support to homes and small businesses. PC PAL Engineers are Microsoft qualified and dedicated to rescuing customers from their IT gremlins. Jat is also an Associate member of The British Franchise Association (BFA), as well as a number of other industry associations.
Previous to launching PC PAL, Jat qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant 10 years ago and progressed to be one of the youngest Heads of Finance in his industry. He also worked for a number of leading companies including Bridgestone Motorsport, Lloyds Pharmacies and National Grid Transco.
Having always had a passion for IT and excellent customer service, Jat decided to set up a local pc repair service following an unfortunate encounter with a rogue computer repair company. Following extensive retraining and research, Jat founded PC PAL in 2004, with the goal in mind to become the leading PC repair and support brand in the UK, offering customers an unrivalled level of service.
Having grown the business successfully over the last 5 years, PC PAL is now one of the leading on-site computer repair companies. Jat is now spearheading the expansion of the PC PAL brand by rolling out the franchise network throughout the UK and overseas.
Karl is Franchise Support and Business Development Manager at Spoton.net, he has over 8 years experience in Marketing, Media and Business Development.
Karl has a degree in Advertising and Media and started out working with F1 World Champion Nigel Mansell, he was also Marketing Manager at a luxury Hotel Golf and Country Club based in Devon before utilising his skills in the media industry.
Karl has a wealth of experience in the online industry including marketing, SEO, web design, online promotion, web development and social media.
Steve Roulstone is the Managing Director of Castle Estates Franchising Ltd having been a Franchisee with Castle Estates since 2000, the opportunity to buy the organisation came along in 2009 and Steve left the Franchise in Stafford, which had grown to be the largest Office to concentrate on developing the Castle Estates brand.
Steve started his career in retail, becoming one of the youngest Managers at John Collier Tailoring in the North Midlands. He moved in to the Building Industry after a short spell with a local Sports Equipment Distributer, with the Encon Group, joining the Insulation manufacturing arm in Stirling as a National Sales Manager from its conception in the late 80’s.
Steve then moved to be Sales Manager with a Ceiling material Distributer in Liverpool in 95 before the move was made with Castle Estates in 2000. His role now is to build on the professional image of the Company as Legislation changes the Industry and ensure that Castle Estates remains the choice of the professional property owner.
Previously Head of JPMorgan’s European Sell-Side M&A Practice, David had a rare opportunity to distil the secrets of success from the firm’s vast range of transaction experience. He became a senior negotiator, working across all industry sectors, and helped take the bank to the top of the European sell-side league tables.
After an international M&A career spanning twenty years, David founded independent specialist advisory firm Shield in 2001, with a determination to deliver remarkable results for those selling a business, without conflicts of interest, in a world of financial advice increasingly biased in favour of acquirors. International M&A advisors Shield provide a unique combination of corporate finance and consultancy support, all designed to help owners and managers increase the value of their businesses, and ultimately extract it at a premium when the time is right; and have also developed a Business Improvement/Recession-Proofing consultancy business (featured in The Times and The Telegraph).
Chris Roberts started his career with Nat West and after completing his professional qualifications became an Associate of the Institute of Bankers in 1980. He had a successful and varied career which at managerial level saw him as a Corporate Lender, an Underwriter, also heading up the Bank’s Lending courses in London and then taking on various consultancy roles working with seconded accountants from the major UK accountancy firms.
Chris left the Bank in 2000 to set up his own business consultancy with the aim of helping banks to better understand businesses and businesses to better understand banks. Since then, and acting as a ‘middle-man’, broker and consultant, he has successfully helped many hundreds of people start up or grow their businesses. He has specialised in the franchise market since 2004 and is now co-owner of Franchise Finance Limited, with his colleague Stuart Walsh.
Naz is Owner and Founder of the CityLocal Franchise, since its launch in 2006. Previous to that, Naz and his brother successfully managed a packaging company, Nexxus (UK) Ltd, for over 8 years supplying household names such as NCR, Hewlett Packard & Compaq. Their packaging was used to distribute products to large blue chip companies like M&S & Tesco, and the company employed over 40 people with approximately 40 000sq.ft. of manufacturing and warehousing space, forming part of the supply chain to companies the length and breadth of the UK.
Carl Reader is the head of franchising at franchise accountants Dennis & Turnbull. He is a member of both the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, and the Institute of Business Consultants.
Dennis & Turnbull are a leading firm of accountants in the franchise industry and are also a British Franchise Association Affiliate. They look after several networks ranging from start up franchise networks to established international brands. Their services are offered to franchisees for a low monthly fee, whilst providing franchisors with peace of mind.
Involved in franchising since 1980 (he started his career in Unigate PLC where he was involved in setting up some of the very first dairy round franchises), Geoffrey became a BFA affiliated lawyer in 1991 after moving out of the dairy industry and into private practice on the South Coast. Since then he has been a regular “face” on the franchising circuit acting for both franchisors and franchisees. He has sat on the BFA’s legal committee and in 2010 was elected to the BFA board only to resign in 2011 following his resignation from Blake Lapthorn.
In recent years he obtained a degree of public “profile” when acting for the franchisees of Coffee Republic and Threshers when those franchisors became insolvent.
As well as a franchising lawyer Geoffrey describes himself as a technology lawyer drafting and negotiating contracts for “cloud computing” and anything to do with things that buzz or whirr. He says his most interesting recent job was a franchise-like arrangement between the Australian subsidiary of his client and a Chinese engineering company relating to works to be done in China.
Geoffrey is currently a Consultant Solicitor at Warner Goodman LLP. Warner Goodman has offices in Southampton, Fareham and Portsmouth.
Currently a member of the management team of Oscar Pet Foods with responsibility for training, support and marketing Simon Bartholomew has worked in the franchise industry for 30 years.
After studying catering at Brighton, Simon started his career with McDonald’s in company operations before moving to work in the franchise department of KFC.
After a spell as a consultant Simon became a franchise owner with a fast food restaurant in Preston and later joined Oscar Pet Foods management team where he now looks after 93 franchisees across the UK.
Fiona is a Senior Associate Solicitor at Freeth Cartwright LLP and Head of FC Franchise Build, Manage, Grow, Exit ™ Unit.
In particular, Fiona has a wealth of experience in acting for franchisors in the retail sector. She advises on setting up and managing franchise networks, the preparation of master and standard franchise contracts, regulatory compliance, the management and removal of underperforming franchisees, franchise contract portfolio management, leveraging your franchise brand and franchise e-commerce.
Fiona also advises franchisees providing fixed fee franchise contract reviews, a free helpline, start up business advice and exit strategy.
Fiona is part of a multi-disciplinary franchise team that advise franchisees and franchisors on all legal aspects concerning franchising – including disputes, mediation, resales, international franchising and property issues.
Fiona is an affiliate member of the BFA and has a postgraduate diploma with distinction in Commercial Intellectual Property. She currently acts for clients in the following sectors, retail, property, technology, leisure, professional services and public sector.
Fiona also advises on e-commerce and the exploitation of brands, copyright works and data.