Distribution, Franchise & Agency

The Competition & Regulatory practice group has considerable experience in supporting companies in their international business activities. Our specialists understand the impact of differences in legal cultures and different work approaches in negotiating international commercial contracts. As well as identifying and assessing the legal aspects, we deliver clear added value in our role as strategic sparring partner in considering the commercial implications of various distribution forms. The overall objective is to select the distribution and organisation structure that best suits your business. The ideal structure can range from distribution, franchise agency or representation through to other forms of collaboration. Once you have chosen the ideal distribution structure, we can also effectively and efficiently assist your business in putting that structure into (international) practice.

Commonly occurring examples of commercial contracts include franchise, distribution and agency agreements within which other variants are also possible, including open, exclusive or selective distribution. The choice for a specific form will depend on the importance of internet sales to the organisation. The specialists in our practice group advise and counsel leading franchise chains and brand manufacturers on their national and international distribution structure. We also have extensive experience with other forms of cooperation such as R&D agreements, production and licensing agreements, letters of intent and non-disclosure agreements.

The (European) competition rules clearly influence the agreements that (brand) manufacturers, distributors, suppliers and retailers are permitted to conclude. Competition law determines what kinds of agreement are permitted between the various players in the supply chain, for example in respect of exclusive and selective distribution, pricing, marketing, internet sales, non-competition and exclusive purchasing rights. All these subjects are of great commercial importance and are increasingly influenced by competition law.