Franchising and Retail
The Australian franchise sector contributes in excess of $146 billion to the nation’s economy and the sector facilitates employment to in excess of 470,000 people. The size and popularity of the franchise sector means that national regulation is necessary and therefore all franchising arrangements are governed by the Franchising Code of Conduct, which is a mandatory industry code prescribed by the Competition and Consumer Act. Despite intense competition in many industries and mounting political pressure for more franchise regulation, franchising as a business model continues to grow and flourish.
HWL Ebsworth’s team of leading and recognised industry specialists offer commercial and legal advice on all disciplines relevant to retailing and franchising. Our expertise extends from setting up business and preparation of contracts to exit strategies and ASX listing.
With specialists located on both east and west coasts HWL Ebsworth operates one of Australia’s most respected retail and franchising practices, acting for over 70 franchise and retail systems. Importantly, our retail and franchising practice forms part of our multidisciplinary team, which also includes practitioners with expertise in various aspects of retail and franchising law and commercial tenancy arrangements. This enables HWL Ebsworth to provide a uniquely integrated service to our retail and franchising clients.
- Franchisors on start ups of franchise systems, including drafting and reviewing of Franchise Agreements and Disclosure Documents and associated documentation;
- Master Franchisees and Franchisors in negotiating Master Franchise Agreements for operations in Australia and overseas;
- Franchisors about system growth and expansion, including overseas expansion;
- Franchisors and Master Franchisees about sale or acquisition of systems;
- Franchisors and Franchisees in relation to disputes, from informal dispute resolution, to Code mediations through to fully litigated Court disputes (including class actions);
- Franchisors in responding to ACCC enquiries and formal ACCC and other regulatory investigations;
- Franchisors in relation to various legal compliance issues, including Code updating and compliance, employment issues and relevant national and state based laws impacting on a system;
- Franchisors in relation to Competition and Consumer Law (formerly Trade Practices) advice and compliance strategies, audits and programs and ACCC enquiries and investigations;
- Clients about documentation in non-franchise licences, distribution systems and supply relationships; and
- Clients about retail leasing issues including standard documentation and transactional process development and management.