Clayton Utz's dedicated franchising law experts have significant experience in relation to the regulation of franchise systems and disputes between franchisors and franchisees.
Whether you're an established or emerging company, Australian-based or international, you'll need expert advice to navigate the unique legal and commercial issues in franchising your business model and systems.
At Clayton Utz, we build longstanding relationships with some of the country's biggest franchisors – so they can build longstanding relationships with their franchisees.
We've helped franchisors in a wide range of industries, from retail & fashion, food & beverage and hospitality & leisure, to high technology and consumer and professional services, to find the franchising model that works for them.
But while we focus on giving our clients expert guidance on managing those relationships, we know that not all disputes can be avoided. But we also know that litigation is not always inevitable either. We turn to alternative dispute resolution procedures to avoid court proceedings wherever possible; if we can't avoid them, we deploy our market-leading litigation expertise to ensure the dispute can be resolved efficiently and cost-effectively.
It's the same with regulatory scrutiny. We use our deep knowledge of regulatory bodies, such as the ACCC, to help clients understand regulators' drivers and priorities, and promote a culture of compliance. If regulatory investigations arise, we leverage that knowledge to help you respond, calmly and effectively.
Our work for franchisors has covered all aspects of franchising law and commercial arrangements, including:
Structuring your franchise model
- reviewing existing or proposed arrangements to determine whether they will be subject to the Franchising Code of Conduct, or raise any issues under Australia's competition laws
- structuring distribution systems to ensure they do not fall under the Franchising Code
- advising on the sale of franchise businesses and rearrangements of systems
Creating your franchise agreement
- preparing detailed standard form franchise agreements
- preparing and updating disclosure documents
- advising on the protection of the franchise system's key brands, including securing trade mark registrations
- considering other intellectual property rights used in the franchise system and ensuring that they are properly protected
Managing the franchisee relationship
- advising on the franchisor’s position under current franchise agreements
- advising on marketing fund issues and the franchisor’s marketing obligations
- advising on appointments of new franchisees and termination of existing franchisees
- reviewing proposed marketing campaigns
- assisting with compliance systems including designing and implementing competition and consumer law compliance programs
- advising in relation to customer loyalty and gift programs
- managing franchise disputes.
They're very good at responding almost immediately and nothing is ever a problem for them to deal with.
Chambers Intellectual Property, 2018