Our lawyers keep up with the latest trends and issues in New Zealand law and business, and regularly publish articles and reports on current topics.

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Prohibition on unconscionable conduct now in force

Written by David Alizade, PARTNER; Darryl King, PARTNER on September 29th, 2022.    

The Fair Trading Act 1986 (FTA) was amended last month to ban businesses from engaging in unconscionable conduct. When introducing the legislation at its first reading, Minister David Clark said that it was “necessary to deal with a very small minority of businesses that take advantage of the vulnerabilities and lack of bargaining power of consumers or other businesses”. This update explains the new law, considers some Australian cases where the equivalent law has been applied and suggests some steps businesses can take to avoid breaching the new law.


Unfair Contract Terms and Franchisors

Written by Darryl King, PARTNER on May 24th, 2022.    

The Fair Trading Act’s “unfair contract terms” regime is being extended to many B2B contracts from 16 August 2022. It is important that franchisors are aware of the new rules and that they update their franchise documentation and template B2B contracts before 16 August. This article discusses ten key points for franchisors.

Alert: Unfair contract terms protection coming to businesses?

Written by Darryl King, PARTNER on December 10th, 2018.    

The Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs and the Minister for Small Business have today released a discussion paper about whether there is a need for increased protections for businesses and consumers against unfair commercial practices. 

Cartel Amendments To Commerce Act: What Franchisors Need To Know - And Do

Written by Darryl King, PARTNER; David Alizade, PARTNER on September 4th, 2017.    

In a rush before the last sitting day before the 2017 election, Parliament passed the “cartel” changes to the Commerce Act. If your franchise system is not already prepared then you need to act now.

This article discusses whether your franchise system is affected, summarises the “cartel” changes and discusses what franchisors need to do.


Franchisor Update - Cartels Bill

Written by Darryl King, PARTNER on August 30th, 2016.    

Hon. Paul Goldsmith, Minister for Commerce and Consumer Affairs has confirmed that the Cartels Bill will be amended to clarify how the restraint of trade provisions apply to franchise agreements.  

Cartel Amendments to Commerce Act: Impact on Supply & Distribution Agreements

Written by Darryl King, PARTNER on March 21st, 2016.    

The Commerce (Cartels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill is currently in its final stages in Parliament.  This Bill will have an impact on supply, distribution, agency and similar arrangements where there is a competitive relationship between the parties – or would be but for the arrangement. 

Cartel Amendments to Commerce Act: Overview for Franchisors

Written by Darryl King, PARTNER; on January 25th, 2016.    

​The Commerce (Cartels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill is currently in its final stages in Parliament.  This Bill will impact most franchise businesses – including franchisees - as most franchise agreements will contain clauses that are considered to be ‘cartel’ provisions under the Bill. This article provides a brief overview for franchisors on the Bill, its potential impact on their franchise businesses and what franchisors need to do to prepare for the passing of the Bill.

Health and Safety Update: Franchisors

Written by Glenn Finnigan, PARTNER; Darryl King, PARTNER on December 1st, 2015.    

We recently published an update on the new Health and Safety at Work Act which comes into force in April 2016.  Under the new Act, business owners will have to take a more hands-on approach to health and safety. Franchisors are in the unique position of having two “layers” of health and safety duties to consider.

Restraints of Trade in Franchising

Written by Darryl King, PARTNER on November 9th, 2015.    

Most franchise agreements contain a restraint of trade clause. These are restraints on the franchisee and its owner from competing against the franchise system. Two recent interim injunctions have shown the Court’s ability and willingness to enforce restraints of trade against former franchisees, at least on a temporary basis.  In both cases the Courts have acted to protect the franchisor’s goodwill and upheld restraint of trade terms on an interim basis, until questions about the validity of the restraints can be resolved.

Franchising in New Zealand: A Legal Perspective

Written by Darryl King, PARTNER on November 2nd, 2015.    

Jackson Russell helps franchisors and franchisees successfully navigate the life cycle of a franchise or licensing business model from inception through to exit. This image shows a legal perspective on some of the regulatory changes and key trends in the franchising sector in New Zealand.

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