Franchise Law

Claiming Privilege: So You Don’t Have To Tell All!

The right to claim ‘Privilege’ provides protection from having to make disclosures, answer questions or provide documents. It can be lost if conduct occurs that is contradictory to the maintenance of the confidentiality of the information over which privilege is claimed.

In today’s business environment, franchise systems and franchisees can potentially face the prospect of regulatory action against them by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commissioner, the Fair Work Ombudsman, the Australian Taxation Office, and where companies are involved, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission. The ability to keep matters confidential and avoid being compelled to provide information, answer questions or make statements can be a critical tool in defending prosecutions that may be commenced.

This article reviews different types of privilege and how this can be used or lost.

Getting It Wrong When Contracting

The Courts are kept busy with cases where the parties have failed to satisfy the basic elements of a contract, leading to unhappy outcomes. This article provides examples where the parties have not got it right and highlights the need for seeking professional assistance whenever there is uncertainty.

FWO Pursues Caltex Franchisee

In 2016, the FWO randomly audited 15 franchisees to ensure compliance with the Fair Work Act. Due to discrepancies discovered during the audit, Aulion Pty Ltd will shortly appear in court in relation to the alleged underpayment of overseas workers and falsification of employment records.

Immediate Franchise Termination For Endangerment Of Public Health And Safety: When Franchisors May Act

The recent case of Sondoananh Trading Company Pty Ltd v Couriers Please Pty Ltd decided by his Honour Judge Woodward in the Victorian County Court concerned the legitimacy of a franchisor’s termination of a franchise agreement on the basis of alleged threatening conduct by the franchisee towards customers.

The Court decided that the franchisee’s conduct was grounds for immediate termination of the agreement.