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My landscaper is suggesting installing a french drain right against the foundation to collect and drain water (I originally proposed just grading and possibly adding pond liner) but he thinks water will collect under it anyways.

Is there a risk this will have more water sitting against the foundation or is this common enough?

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Placing the french drain against the building's foundation wall is common and the correct way to remove moisture from around the structure. Remember, the moisture will be removed down to the "flow line" of the perf pipe. Here, we encapsulate the perf pipe in an envelope of drainrock and place it a few (6") inches below what we're protecting, (I.e.: 6" below basement slab, etc.)

If you move the perf pipe (and encapsulated drainrock) away from the foundation wall, then that allows moisture to lay AGAINST the wall and potentially leak through the foundation wall.

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