Disputes can be unavoidable.
Your approach to the resolution of a dispute may depend on many factors, both financial and non-financial.
In any franchise dispute the franchisor and the franchisee must comply with the dispute resolution procedures set out in the Franchising Code of Conduct (the Code) and the Franchise Agreement.
We will provide you with advice based on our extensive experience in franchise disputes and general commercial disputes so that you can make an informed decision on the strategy which is right for you.
In any dispute we will:
- focus on your wishes, goals and needs;
- provide you with relevant advice based on your needs and our experience;
- work with you to resolve your dispute through negotiation and mediation;
- litigate if necessary;
- work with you to manage costs.
We can agree fixed prices or retainers in most dispute resolution matters.
We understand that effective negotiation is a skill. It requires timing, strategy and preparation.
Many factors will affect a person’s willingness to settle a dispute. These factors may be commercial, for example the protection of a franchise system, or emotional, for example the feeling of wanting your day in court.
It is always best that you attempt to resolve a dispute early before significant costs have been incurred. It is also important that you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your position before you accept or make an offer to settle a dispute.
In any agreement the parties to the agreement will have obligations to each other. Obligations under an agreement include the payment of monies, the doing of something (such as providing support or operating a franchise business) or the not doing of something (such as operating a similar business or using confidential information).
Obligations may be enforced in a number of ways including issuing a notice to remedy breach, issuing a termination notice, issuing injunction proceedings or issuing other proceedings.
Mediation allows the parties to a dispute to try to reach an agreement with the assistance of a mediator.
We have been involved in the resolution of many disputes through mediation throughout Australia and internationally since the inception of the Code.
Mediation is a genuine alternative to litigation because:
- mediation is relatively inexpensive
- mediation is private and confidential
- mediation allows parties to have control over the outcome of the dispute
- mediation allows for settlements that have commercial flexibility
- mediation is less likely to destroy a business relationship.
We specialise in complex issues involving legal, forensic and evidentiary skills. We are focused on efficiency and our advanced use of technology means that we can efficiently and cost effectively handle litigation involving large volumes of documents.
We have acted for many franchising clients in both simple and complex litigation proceedings at all levels of the Australian Court system.
We have also acted in a number of commercial matters in the High Court of Australia, including in one of the leading Australian cases involving misleading and deceptive conduct.
Our extensive litigation experience means that we can give you the information that you need to define or revise your commercial strategy.