Derek Sutherland

Derek Sutherland specialises in business law with a particular emphasis on franchising, motor dealerships, retail and distribution.

Derek assists overseas master franchisors, franchisors, master franchisees and franchisees in all aspects of franchise law including due diligence and acting for parties in mergers and acquisitions, drafting code compliant franchise documentation, preparing trade practices compliance programs, issuing transaction documentation and providing strategic advice on compliance with the Franchising Code of Conduct and Competition and Consumer Act 2010. This includes advice on contract law and specific issues such as complying with obligations under the Code, preparing notices required to comply with the Code, issues affecting marketing funds, renewals, transfers, breaches and termination of franchise agreements and commercial matters affecting franchisors.

His industry recognition includes being listed in Best Lawyers™ Australia and Who’s Who Legal for his expertise in Franchise Law.

Derek has been Chair, Legal Committee of the Franchise Council of Australia (over 6 years); a member of the Small Business Committee of the Law Council of Australia (over 5 years); a member of the Queensland Law Society Franchising Committee (over 17 years); and is a former long standing member of the ACCC Franchising Consultative Committee (over 8 years).


Derek’s recent experience includes:

  • A client: Due diligence and acting for a client in the acquisition of a large established franchise network including drafting new documentation and issues regarding assignment;
  • Franchises: Preparing and issuing franchise and master franchise documentation for franchises in New Zealand, Singapore and other Asian Countries;
  • Franchises: Establishment of franchise documentation for new franchise systems in Australia;
  • Franchises: Advising on breaches and terminations and issues concerning renewal and non renewal of franchises at end of term; and
  • Franchises: Conducting a review and preparing an annual audit report of franchise compliance for a company required as a condition of the company giving an S87B undertaking to the ACCC.

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