With you for the journey



The franchising sector continues to be under scrutiny, with the industry regulator, the ACCC, announcing that it will remain focused on ensuring that small businesses receive the protections of the competition and consumer laws and mandatory industry codes of conduct.

Compliance with the Franchising Code of Conduct is a “must” for franchisors with recent regulatory reforms, aimed again at lifting the standards of conduct, adding to the administrative burden on franchisors and significantly increasing the penalties for breaches of the Code.

Deep experience

In this context,
there is no substitute for focused, experienced advice.

An intimate knowledge of the Franchising Code of Conduct, the key regulation that governs the terms of franchising agreements and ongoing conduct between franchisors and franchisees, is foundational, but there is more to understanding franchising than the Code. Your lawyers also need to understand the intricacies of how various franchise systems operate within different industries. It is vital to appreciate how franchise systems interact with industry specific laws and, in disputes, to understand what motivates and concerns franchisors and franchisees.

Here at CIE Legal, we don’t just advise the franchising sector – we participate in it. The firm is a member of the Franchise Council of Australia and Managing Partner Peter George has appeared at the Joint Parliamentary Enquiry into the franchising industry on behalf of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.

Sector knowledge

Of course, this is only relevant if it means our legal solutions help your business.

Here are some examples of our work where our specialist franchising knowledge has been invaluable in delivering results:

  • years of experience advising car companies regarding their franchised dealer networks was essential to Peter George appearing on behalf of the FCAI at the Joint Parliamentary Enquiry into the franchising industry
  • sector experience helped us to advise Renault SA on the sale of its Australian import and distribution business to ATECO together with the appointment of Ateco as Renault SA’s independent distributor, and Inchcape Australia in acquiring the Australian distribution rights for Peugeot/Citroen vehicles from Sime Darby
  • knowledge of the way franchise dealer networks interact with vehicle manufacturers enabled us to draft, negotiate and roll out new franchise dealer agreements for manufacturers including Honda, Nissan, Peugeot, Polaris and Subaru
  • sector experience in advising franchisors in relation to their franchised networks was critical in developing and implementing a successful strategy for a major Australian retail homewares business converting its franchised network of stores to franchisor owned and operated stores and the corresponding wind-up of the franchised network
  • industry and sector knowledge was fundamental in assisting a US based franchisor operating both business to business and business to consumer franchise systems in preparing international area development/master franchise agreements for the appointment of Australian based Area Developers/Master Franchisees

Focused advice

We advise franchising clients on the full range of issues that any business needs and on the specialist issues too.

Here’s an overview of the franchise-specific issues we address:
  • appointment of new franchisees
  • business structuring and asset protection
  • disputes between franchisors and franchisees
  • Franchise Agreements and Disclosure Documents
  • franchisee breaches and defaults
  • franchisee recruitment processes
  • Franchising Code of Conduct advice and interpretation
  • Master Franchise and Area Development Agreements
  • purchase of franchised businesses
  • rationalisation and restructuring of franchise networks
  • sale and purchase of Franchised networks and systems
  • sale of franchisor-owned businesses to franchisees
  • termination of franchise agreements
  • workplace relations laws including employment and OH&S

Key contacts

Peter George

Managing Partner

Andrew Maher


Mark Waters


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