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Vol 8 (2010) - Issue 2

A new start for the European Commission

Cathy McKenna, Associate, Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP, London

The new European Commission has started work under the presidency of José Manuel Barroso. This report considers the agenda and likely priorities of the new Competition Commissioner and looks at the likely impact of Europe 2020, the European Union’s 10 year plan for economic growth.

Enforcement issues in international franchising

Jeffrey A. Brimer, Special Counsel, Faegre & Benson LLP, Denver; Karsten Metzlaff, Partner, Nörr Stiefenhofer Lutz, Berlin, and; John R. F. Baer, Officer, Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale P.C., Chicago

This paper addresses the myriad issues that arise when an international franchise program encounters problems. These are complex transactions, and there is little black and white guidance on how to resolve the difficult legal and practical issues that arise when a master franchise agreement or other international franchise agreement fails of its essential purpose. The authors address the subject in two chapters from the perspective of the franchisor and the master franchisee.

Vicarious liability update

David W. Oppenheim, Partner and Felicia A. Nadborny, Associate, Kaufmann Gildin Robbins & Oppenheim LLP, New York

Franchisors frequently find themselves the subject of litigation arising from injuries sustained by the franchisees’ employees or third parties at franchised locations. Litigants seek to hold the “deep pocket” franchisor vicariously liable under the theory that the franchisee is merely the franchisor’s agent. Vicarious liability cases in franchising focus primarily on whether the franchisor exercised a significant degree of control over the franchisee’s operations and whether the franchisee had authority to act on behalf of the franchisor. This article summarizes agency law and vicarious liability in the context of the franchisor/franchisee relationship and discusses recent franchise case law focusing on the elements of control and authority.