Franchise Council of Australia

2022 FCA Legal Symposium Program

PROGRAM – Sunday 16 October

8.30am – 10:35am AEDT


8.30am – 8:40am AEDT

Official Opening – Opening & Welcome

Mary Aldred, CEO, Franchise Council of Australia

Mary Aldred FCA

8.40am – 9:00am AEDT

ACCC Update

Mick Keogh, Deputy Chair , ACCC

Mick Keogh

9:00am – 9.50am AEDT

Regulatory and strategic update

An expert panel will discuss the effect of recent changes to the Franchising Code of Conduct and key strategic challenges for franchisors. This session will explore the forthcoming Franchise Disclosure Register; approaches to new items of disclosure including rebates and capital expenditure; marketing fund compliance and reporting; and the strategic agenda for franchise systems in a constantly changing environment.

Stephen Giles, Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright

Raynia Theodore, Partner, MST Lawyers

Sean O’Donnell, Partner, HWL Ebsworth

Nick Rimington, Special Counsel, Norton Rose Fulbright

Stephen Giles
Raynia Theodore
sean odonnell
Headshot - Nick Rimington

9:50am – 10.35am AEDT

Practical compliance and enforcement issues for franchise networks

This session will provide a practical update on best practice enforcement and compliance issues for franchise networks including compliance programs and positive management of compliance within franchise networks and regulator attitudes post Covid.

Tamra Seaton, Director, MDS Legal

Kristie Piniuta, Managing Director – Law, BDC

Maija Kerry, Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright

Tamra Seaton
Maija Kerry150x150png

10.35am – 11.05am AEDT


11.10am – 11.50am AEDT


WHS compliance for franchisors and their franchised networks within a changing legal risk environment

In this presentation, Aaron will discuss the significant shift in WHS enforcement across Australian in recent years, including by reference to the introduction and prosecution of industrial manslaughter.

Aaron will discuss emerging risk areas, including in respect of sexual harassment and other psychosocial hazards, and the heightened compliance imperative for franchisors and their franchised networks in the WHS space in the current risk environment.


Facilitator: Ceri Clark, General Counsel & Company Secretary, Retail Zoo

Speaker: Aaron Guilfoyle, Special Counsel, MacDonnells Law

Master Franchising Update

This session will cover the legal and practicable ramifications of master franchising in Australia from the current requirements of the Franchising Code of Conduct to the contractual and operational aspects including the necessity for a tripartite franchise agreement between the head franchisor, the sub franchisor and the franchisee and problems if the sub franchisor [ie master franchisee] is not chosen carefully and “controlled”  by the head franchisor.


Facilitator: Derek Sutherland, Partner, HWL Ebsworth Lawyers

Speaker: Richard Solomon, Director, Richard Solomon Commercial Lawyers

Breach and termination workshop

This session will cover best practice techniques for managing franchisee non-compliance, ranging from early stage performance management through to breach and termination. Our panel will explore topical case studies from both a disputes and front-end perspective.


Facilitator: Philip Colman, Partner, MST Lawyers

Panellist: Shaun Temby, Partner, Maddocks

Panellist: Nick Rimington, Special Counsel, Norton Rose Fulbright

11.55am – 12:35pm AEDT


Giving Back: Navigating the charitable fundraising landscape to maximise impact and ensure legal compliance

People give for a variety of reasons – to support a cause, to show they care, to give a lift to a community in crisis. Franchised businesses have a unique opportunity to support and facilitate charitable fundraising efforts, whether this be at a local community or a broader network level. However, good deeds do not operate outside the bounds of legal and regulatory compliance. In this session, Darren and Elizabeth will consider the various legal requirements at play when running a charitable fundraising campaign and ensure you can confidently run a campaign that is compliant.


Facilitator: Ceri Clark, General Counsel & Company Secretary, Retail Zoo

Panellist: Rebecca Barber, Lawyer, Gilbert + Tobin

Panellist: Elizabeth Lathlean, Senior Lawyer, Gilbert + Tobin

Employment Law Update for Franchisor – Revisiting the “Responsible Franchisor” obligations five years on

In 2017, the Fair Work Act 2009 was amended to impose specific liability for “Responsible Franchisors” in respect of breaches of workplace laws by franchisees within their network.  The amendments require franchisors to take reasonable steps to prevent potential breaches.

Five years later, the Fair Work Ombudsman continues to closely monitor the franchise sector, including franchisors’ compliance with their relatively new obligations.

In this session Cassie will discuss:

  • the reasonable steps the FWO expects Responsible Franchisors to take to ensure franchisees are following workplace laws;
  • options for dealing with non-compliant franchisees; and

the proposed expansion of wage theft laws and what this will mean for franchisors


Facilitator: Megan Jongebloed, Director, Cowell Clarke

Speaker: Cassie Burfoot, Special Counsel, Cowell Clarke

Financial distress in your system – How is the current economic situation impacting franchise networks?  

In this session we will discuss the current economic factors and the challenges and opportunities this presents for franchise networks. We will provide a refresher on the insolvency process, as well as the directors duties that franchisors must keep in mind in connection with the financial position of their organisation and the importance of ensuring franchisees are also aware of these obligations. Finally, we will discuss practical tips for managing franchisees that are in financial distress.


Facilitator: Jenna Scott, Special Counsel, Norton Rose Fulbright

Speaker: Richard Hughes, Partner, Deloitte

12.35pm – 1.15pm AEST


1:20pm – 2.00pm AEDT


Arbitration as dispute resolution: why, when, how and who

This practical session considers why parties may wish to use arbitration to resolve a dispute, when this might be selected, how parties can ensure it is used as contemplated and who could be appointed to arbitrate the dispute.


Facilitator: Alicia Hill, Principal, MST Lawyers

Panellist: Dr. Craig Latham, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman’s Office

Panellist: Vasantha Stesin, Graded Arbitrator, Mediator and Lawyer

Insurance Risks – Learn about major financial risks in franchising and how the right insurance policies and strategies reduces exposure – for Franchisors, Franchisees & their Lawyers.

This session will focus on some of the main insurance risks to be aware of in franchising (franchisors, franchisees and lawyers), and then you will be presented with insurance strategies to mitigate these risks, to ensure your client and you are both aware and protected.  This session will also discuss some of the learnings from Covid and new developments that you may want to consider when structuring or drafting your franchise documents.


Facilitator: Simone Pentis, Managing Director, Advantage Partners Lawyers

Speaker: Paul Benjamin, Managing Director, Benjamin & Benjamin Insurance Group

Buying a franchise system – assess and understand the risks

Key things to be aware of when purchasing an existing franchise system (in Australia). The matters that need to be attended to during due diligence, both legal and practical. What to include in your letter of offer. Understanding the legal process and compliance issues to be aware of.


Facilitator: Allison McLeod, Partner, HWL Ebsworth

Panellist: Rob Guy, Director and General Manager, Inspirations Paint 

Panellist: Lisa Anaf, Partner, Mills Oakley

Panellist: Maryclare Cassisi, Legal Counsel, Concept Eight Pty Ltd

2.05pm – 2:45pm AEDT


Retail Shop Rentals Post COVID-19 Impact – Where are we heading?

  1. Understand Landlord’s perspective – Recapturing asset value
  2. Dealing with Generational Inflation – Tips to flatline rents
  3. National Code of Conduct COVID-19 – Post pandemic


Facilitator: Derek Sutherland, Partner, HWL Ebsworth Lawyers

Speaker: Phil Chapman, Director & Founder, Lease1

Franchisor to the rescue! A practical consideration of the legal and operational issues which arise when a franchisor buys a franchisee’s business.

Over the past 12 months Godfreys has implemented a buy-back of many franchise stores within its franchise network. Megan Jongebloed, Director at Cowell Clarke and Pamela Hausmann, Franchise Administration Manager at Godfreys will use the Godfreys experience as a case study to work through the legal and operational issues which arise when a franchisor purchases a franchisee’s business. This session will cover:

  • The reasons why a franchisor may want purchase a franchisee business;
  • Process of negotiating the terms of purchase and the role of good faith;
  • Documenting the purchase – including key terms of such documentation;
  • Pre-settlement operational and legal considerations;
  • The settlement process; and
  • Post-settlement integration.


Facilitator: Megan Jongebloed, Director, Cowell Clarke

Speaker: Pamela Hausmann, Franchise Administration Manager, Godfreys

Territory & Online Sales: Considerations in Structuring, Drafting and Advising Franchisors and Franchisees

 This session will look at current and future positions and trends with respect to Territories and Online Sales. How these concepts legally interact and need to be dealt with when structuring documents and/ or providing advice.  The impact of and lessons from Covid as well as other practical considerations and tips when dealing with Territories and Online Sales will also be covered.


Facilitator: Simone Pentis, Managing Director, Advantage Partners Lawyers

Panellist: Andrea Hetherington, Special Counsel, McInnes Wilson

Panellist: Marshall Bromwich, Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright

2:45pm – 3.15pm AEDT


3.20pm – 5.45pm AEDT


3.20pm – 4.00pm AEDT

Supply Arrangements – (Supply Chain interruptions, force majeure clauses and modern slavery)

In this session we will cover:

  • Supply chain disruptions and how to manage these disruptions from a contractual perspective
  • The importance of supply chain due diligence for both franchisor and franchisee

Modern slavery laws and the increasing importance of implementing appropriate measures in your supply chain

Maija Kerry, Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright

Abigail McGregor , Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright

Maija Kerry150x150png
Abigail McGregor150x150png

4.00pm – 4.05pm AEDT

Recent Legislation in New Zealand Affecting Franchising

Stewart Germann, Partner, Stewart Germann Law

Stewart Germann Pic

4.05pm – 4.40pm AEDT

Data sharing, Ransomware and Cybersecurity – What Franchise Networks Need to Know

The year 2022 has continued to bring changes to the data protection and cybersecurity space. With privacy law reform on the horizon, an ever increasing number of ransomware and cybersecurity incidents, and the proliferation of online platforms and data sharing within franchise networks – there has never been a more important time for networks to ensure that their data practices are on point.

This session will focus on practical considerations for:

  • drafting data, privacy and cybersecurity provisions in franchise documentation, and associated procedures for operations manuals;
  • facilitating data sharing within networks; and
  • managing data breaches,

in the context of the current regimes, upcoming reform and common cybersecurity incidents.

Speaker: Bronwyn Furse, Partner, Thomson Geer


4:40pm – 5.40pm AEDT

Case Update – including Recent Actions taken by ACCC

The panel will examine and discuss 4 recent Court cases involving franchisors.  The panel will provide key take away points from each case to assist franchisors manage legal risk and Code compliance.  In addition, the panel will provide a debrief on recent high profile ACCC Court proceedings against franchisors and discuss what can be learnt from those actions, pending a final Court decision.

Melissa Hanbidge ,  Partner, HWL Ebsworth Lawyers

Philip Vickery, Partner, K & L Gates

Alicia Hill, Principal, MST Lawyers


5.40pm – 5.45pm AEDT

Closing remarks

Mary Aldred, CEO, Franchise Council of Australia

Mary Aldred FCA

Please note program is subject to change.


A maximum of 225 CFE education points toward the Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) qualification are awarded for participation in the FCA Legal Symposium.