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Our legal experts will keep you up to date on all relevant and current developments.

shutterstock_1536856919 (Planet Fitness, Gym)
Nov 18, 2019 8:51:38 AM / by Corinne Attard posted in Franchising & Retail

Holman Webb is pleased to relay the firm's successful involvement in the recently announced Australian expansion of Planet Fitness® ('PF'), one of the largest and fastest-growing franchisors and operators of fitness centers in the United States.

Holman Webb's Franchising and Retail team, headed by Best Lawyers Sydney Franchise Lawyer of the Year 2019, Corinne Attard represented PF Growth Partners, LLC ('PFGP') one of the largest franchisees in the Planet Fitness® system with locations in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Tennessee, Florida, Washington and Northern California in its investment in Bravo Fit Holdings Pty Ltd. ('Bravo'), the Australian PF franchisee.


shutterstock_777786430
Sep 25, 2019 4:31:58 PM / by Corinne Attard posted in Franchising & Retail

Readers may recall that in January 2019, Ultra Tune Australia was hit by the Federal Court with a massive penalty of $2.6 million for breaches of the Franchising Code of Conduct - with this penalty including $1.1 million for breaches of disclosure obligations. Holman Webb previously reported on this matter.

A point of significance for other Australian franchisors was that the Federal Court judge stated that the standard financial statements for the marketing fund were not sufficient for Code purposes, and that sending out the marketing fund audit statements outside the required time frames were additional breaches, each attracting a penalty.

Further to this, the fact that Ultra Tune had 5 marketing funds (and a large number of franchisees) cumulatively meant there was a multiplier effect, which subsequently lead to an increase in the penalty.


shutterstock_517868233 (Food Delivery, Uber Eats, Just Eat)
Aug 28, 2019 12:49:40 PM / by Corinne Attard posted in Franchising & Retail

UK-based online food order and delivery company Just Eat, and Dutch rival Takeaway.com have agreed to proceed with consolidation, creating one of the largest delivery companies in the world outside of China.


shutterstock_520723945 (Reports, Financials)

Now that we are well into August, it is crucial for franchisors to be aware that there are just three months remaining before the deadline for franchise disclosure documents to be finalised (31 October 2019).  Franchisors should similarly note that there are now only 2 months left to get your vote organised and finalised in relation to the auditing of your marketing fund, if you have one.

If you are an Australian franchisor with operations based on the usual financial year (ending 30 June), now is the ideal time for you to look at organising a timeline for these necessary tasks.

With this in mind, Holman Webb has compiled a 10-step guide to compliance, which we encourage all franchisors to follow.


Landlord Tenant Leasing
Apr 4, 2019 2:23:47 PM / by Corinne Attard posted in Franchising & Retail Property

2019 has started with a couple of very significant cases in the retail leasing division of NCAT (NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal) – both of which have gone the landlord’s way and delivered some unfortunate news for tenants in New South Wales.


shutterstock_777786430
Feb 15, 2019 1:41:33 PM / by Corinne Attard posted in Franchising & Retail

The news headlines are shouting about the ground breaking penalty of $2.6 million imposed on the auto repair franchisor Ultra Tune Australia, by the Federal Court last month, in the case of Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Ultra Tune Australia Pty Ltd [2019] FCA 12.  Of that amount, $1.1 million was imposed for breaches of disclosure obligations under the Franchising Code of Conduct, including about $900,000 specifically arising from breaches of the obligations relating to accounting and disclosing of marketing funds. 


A little proof-reading goes a long way


The fairly dramatic facts surrounding the termination of a ‘Couriers Please’ franchise in a Victorian case last year shows the operational challenges of managing franchisees[1]. It also illustrated one of the lesser used grounds of immediate termination of a franchise – on the basis that the franchisee is operating the franchised business in a way that endangers public health and safety (Clause 29(1)(f) Franchising Code of Conduct).


On 15 September 2017 the Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Act 2017 took effect. It makes important changes to the Fair Work Act 2009. These changes potentially affect all businesses but in particular those in franchising or licensing or distribution.


Sep 6, 2017 9:49:06 AM / by Corinne Attard posted in Franchising & Retail

If you are looking to buy a franchised business which operates from any premises other than your home, you will need a lease.  For retail businesses location is critical and it is likely your franchisor will control the negotiation process and require that either the lease be in its name with a sublease or licence granted to you, or allow the lease to be in your name but with some conditions attached.  


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