Competition and consumer law
Our Competition and Consumer team is recognised for its depth of experience and strong understanding of a range of business sectors — retail, health, financial services, manufacturing, energy and resources, transport, infrastructure, technology, media and telecommunications.
We assist clients in navigating the legal and regulatory landscape and dealing with regulators, as well as in relation to the preparation of compliance plans and systems, the implementation of risk management systems and regulatory requirements. We also advise on all aspects of franchising.
Our sectoral expertise and experience providing advice within highly regulated industries enables us to identify risk and provide innovative solutions to risk mitigation.
We provide strategic, confidential advice on how to formulate commercial decisions to minimise competition law risk. We regularly advise clients on the application of the laws relating to:
- Cartel conduct
- Misuse of market power
- Exclusive dealing and third line forcing
- Resale price maintenance
- Other conduct prohibited under Part IV of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.
Our competition and consumer lawyers also include recognised experts in dealing with the ACCC on merger clearance applications, exclusive dealing notifications, investigations and enforcement proceedings.
We work with our clients to develop organisation-wide procedures promoting and ensuring compliance with the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.
We advise in relation to the preparation of competition and consumer law training modules, in particular, in relation to restrictive trade practices, misleading and deceptive conduct and consumer guarantees.
We assist in developing codes of employee conduct and policies and procedures in areas such as:
- Product safety mandatory reporting
- Dealing with product liability issues and product recalls
- Appropriate document destruction
- Document execution
- Use of social media
- Gifts policies (for the avoidance of bribery and corruption).
We also regularly assist in the development of marketing practices to ensure compliance with the Australian consumer law as well as privacy and spam laws.
We advise our clients on Australian consumer law issues relating to marketing practices or arising from advertising campaigns, including in relation to:
- Credit applications
- Terms of sale
- Terms of purchase
- Service agreements
- Purchase orders
- Other template documents
We also regularly advise on voluntary product warranties, processing of customer complaints and warranty claims and product safety and product liability issues.
Franchising in Australia is highly regulated under a national mandatory Franchising Code of Conduct, which is enacted under the Competition and Consumer Act 2011.
We have extensive experience in providing legal support to franchisors and master franchisees in relation to establishing and maintaining an effective franchising network in Australia.
We assist both Australian and internationally based franchisors and master franchisees. Our expertise includes:
- preparing franchise agreements, disclosure documents, leasing documentation (including sub-leasing and licensing), employment contracts and supply contracts;
- advising on commercial aspects of setting up a franchise, intellectual property protection (including branding), operational matters and regulatory compliance;
- advising and acting in relation to disputes between franchisors and franchisees, including mediations and Federal and State Court litigation;
- compliance with the Franchise Code of Conduct; and
- acquisitions and sale of franchise businesses.