We appreciate the complexities that franchise disputes have. Our franchise dispute resolution team is experienced in dealing with disputes between franchisees and franchisors.
We act for both franchisors and individual franchisees. We are also experienced in representing large groups of franchisees in complex disputes.
The first step is usually a discussion between the franchisor and franchisee. If there is no disagreement that cannot be resolved, one or both of the parties will at that point typically seek legal advice from a franchise dispute lawyer.
A franchise dispute will usually start with correspondence with the parties but the first engagement may be with a Notice of Dispute. The Notice of Dispute will set out the nature of the dispute and what is required to resolve it. This will mark the effective beginning of the dispute resolution process.
Following a Notice of Dispute by the aggrieved party, there will be an opportunity for a response to the Notice of Dispute and mediation will usually be the next step. This is a formal process involving round table discussion, with a qualified mediator present to try to bring the parties together to resolve their issues.
If mediation does resolve the dispute, litigation becomes an option – and it frequently follows. Most franchise litigation will be in the County Court of Victoria (or one of the federal courts) because most disputes that involve litigation are over $100,000 in terms of the quantum of alleged loss. If the claim is less than $100,000, the appropriate jurisdiction will usually be the Magistrates Court of Victoria.
Our commercial litigation lawyers have acted in many franchise disputes and have a deep understanding of the nuances and complexity of franchising systems. Our lawyers have this working knowledge combined with the legal knowledge of the Franchising Code of Conduct and the other related legislation that will ensure you have the best advice and representation.