55 Not out for franchising pair!

Jane Masih and Russell Ford

Jane Masih (54), head of franchising and Russell Ford (47), director of the litigation department, are celebrating their 30t and 25th and anniversaries respectively, working for franchising specialists Owen White Solicitors, giving them a combined 55 years of legal franchising experience.

The pair have worked together advising and representing names from across the franchising sector, from producing franchise agreement for start-up businesses, to representing franchisors in major litigation.

They are widely considered to be amongst the most experienced franchise solicitors in the UK today.

Jane joined Owen White as a trainee solicitor in 1986 and Russell followed her five years later in 1991, straight from law school.

Having worked her way up through the firm from trainee to partner, Jane became head of Owen White Solicitor’s franchising team in 2002; she was elected to the board of the bfa (British Franchise Association) in 2011, as the legal affiliate board member and re-elected in 2013. Jane is on the Finance and General Purposes committee and was recently been named once again, as one of the leading individuals in franchising in the latest Legal 500 and Chambers Guides. She was a founding member of EWIF (Encouraging Women into Franchising) and is still an active member to this day. In 2014 Jane received the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Women in Franchising’ award from EWIF.

Russell qualified in 1993 and became a partner in 2000. Following incorporation he became a director in the litigation department. His main area of practice is handling franchise disputes. He acts for well-known names in the franchising industry and, in some circumstances, for groups of franchisees conducting High Court litigation and mediations. His work also encompasses securing injunctions to enforce non-competition terms in franchise agreements. He was recently named again as a leading individual, in the Chambers Guide to the legal profession for franchising.

Recent reported franchise cases that Russell has successfully worked on include:-

  • Peart Stevenson Associates Limited v Holland [2008] EWHC 1834;
  • MGB Printing and Design Limited v Kall Kwik UK Limited [2010] EWHC 624;
  • Dream Doors Limited v Lodge [2012] EWCA Civ 1556

Commenting on reaching 30 years with Owen White Solicitors Jane said,
‘In my 30 years of practice I’ve seen franchising grow from a niche and occasionally untrusted business model, to a mainstream business activity across a wide range of household brands. I’m proud to be part of an industry that is thriving in 2016, producing an ever increasing amount of sustainable, profitable businesses, for thousands of hard working people across the UK.’

Russell said, ‘Having been with the firm, man and boy for 25 years and got half way through my career, I‘m now looking forwards to the next 25 years. Much has changed across the corporate landscape over that time, but an in-depth knowledge of the legal franchise landscape and, ultimately, skilful negotiation and litigation, remains at the heart of what the Owen White Solicitors franchise team does and will continue to do, every day. ‘

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