Global Franchise meets UK-based commercial contract lawyer Emma Lusty
Emma is a lawyer at Shoosmiths with an interest in commercial contracts, specialising in franchising, and works with franchisor and franchisee clients on a wide range of franchise matters including: drafting franchise agreements and other franchise documents; advising franchisors in relation to their resale process and franchisees in relation to the buying and selling of both franchise businesses and competitor businesses; and advising franchisors in relation to breach/termination issues and disputes. Emma is an active member of the British Franchise Association (bfa) and regularly speaks at franchise events.
Where is home for you?
Having grown up in the East Midlands, I spent time studying at Warwick University and then the College of Law in York, but the pull of my roots in the West Midlands was too great and I am now back living near Solihull.
Did you always want to be a lawyer?
Yes, although no-one is really sure where that desire came from since no-one in my family is involved in the law and I had not encountered lawyers until I did some work experience at a regional firm during my time in the Sixth Form!
Why specialise in franchise law?
Despite my family history with franchising, I hadn’t even considered franchise law – I actually wanted to be a clinical negligence lawyer! But I couldn’t resist an opportunity to train at a niche franchise practice. It turns out that I’m not a fan of litigation so would have made a crummy clinical negligence lawyer!
How would you describe the franchising community?
The franchising community is like no other business community. Despite the perception of franchisors being in competition with each other, in my experience, franchisors are only too happy to share best practice and give advice to others. There is a real sense that we are all in it for the greater good, to promote franchising as a fantastic way of developing your business.
How do you think would other people describe you?
I think other people would describe me as hyper-organised, a little (ahem, very) “OCD” but otherwise not your typical lawyer.
If you had to start over, what would you do differently?
One of my biggest regrets in life is that I wasn’t a natural linguist at school so gave up the study of foreign languages as the earliest opportunity. I wish that I had persevered not least because it would perhaps make me braver with my holiday destinations!
What would have as your last supper?
My Mum’s Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. And a cheeky Yorkshire pudding…it is my last supper after all…
How much travelling do you do?
Not as much as I would like to do! I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit many different places across the globe, but in recent years my bucket list seems to be growing rather than shortening.
How do you prefer to relax?
When I’m not in the office you will usually find me with a gin and tonic in front of the TV watching a boxset on Netflix and probably battling with a cross stitch.