Franchising code amendments - dispute resolution
The long awaited dispute resolution provisions under the Franchising Code of Conduct (the...
Mediation is a facilitative process. In mediation the mediator assists the parties to:
The mediator does not provide advice or make any determinations about the dispute.
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 Franchising Code) and the Franchise Agreement.
Under the dispute resolution procedures set out in the Franchising Code, the complainant must tell the respondent in writing:
(a) the nature of the dispute;
(b) what outcome the complainant wants; and
(c) what action the complainant thinks will resolve the dispute.
The parties should then try to agree how to resolve the dispute, but if they cannot agree within 3 weeks either party may refer the matter to mediation.
There are generally two stages to the franchise mediation process, the preliminary conference and the mediation.
The mediator will usually contact each party and arrange a separate preliminary conference.
The purpose of the preliminary conference is to:
There are a number of stages in the mediation.
The mediator’s statement will normally cover the following issues:
Each party will explain its position without interruption from the other party.
At the end of each of the party’s opening statements the mediator normally summaries the key issues raised by the party.
The mediator will list an agenda of issues for discussion and prioritise those issues in the order that the parties wish to deal with them.
The parties will discuss the issues set out in the agenda in a joint session.
The mediator will use his or her skills as a facilitator to
The mediator may spend time privately with each party exploring the issues and reality testing each party’s position. The mediator will not discuss the matters raised in a private session with the other party unless he is specifically authorised to do so.
The mediator and the parties will identify and explore options for settlement.
The mediator will ensure that any oral agreement reached between the parties is accurately reflected in a written agreement or heads of agreement.
The information in this article is general in nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any person or other entity. Although we do our best to provide timely and accurate information, we do not guarantee that the information in this article is accurate or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.