Australia: Franchise 2018

In this section we recognise 26 leading lights in the field of franchise law who draw widespread recommendations for their strong track record advising franchisors and franchisees on an array of related matters.

Most Highly Regarded
1. Stephen Giles Norton Rose Fulbright Australia, Melbourne
2. Philip Colman MST Lawyers, Mount Waverley
3. Penny Ward Baker McKenzie, Melbourne
4. Greg Hipwell Maddocks, Melbourne

MST Lawyers stands out in our research this year, achieving an impressive four nominations. Philip Colman is “a big name” in the market who is internationally recognised as “a leader in franchise matters”. Sources name him “one of the best practitioners in the area,” and are quick to highlight his “excellent client manner”.
The “excellent” Raynia Theodore is a “highly respected” franchising expert. She regularly acts for well-known domestic clients, as well as international franchisors expanding into the Australian market.
John Sier has a “very high profile” in the market, with one peer calling him “a guru” in the franchising space. He is frequently sought out by major American and Asian companies to advise on the establishment of distribution networks.
Alicia Hill is “a superb lawyer” who is “very well respected” in the market thanks to her excellent track record handling franchise disputes. Commentators describe her as “a strong litigator”.

Leading commercial law firm HWL Ebsworth stands out as a top firm for franchise work, with four practitioners highlighted for their expertise in this chapter.
The “excellent” Sean O'Donnell comes “highly recommended” for his “extensive experience” in the field of franchise law. Sources also highlight him as “an outstanding litigator” thanks to his work on complex franchise disputes.
Derek Sutherland “stands out” as “a very active lawyer” in the international franchise arena. He is “very experienced” across an array of areas including due diligence, drafting franchise documentation and providing strategic advice on compliance matters.
Tony Garrisson is another leading lawyer in the franchise space who sources say is “very good in his field”. He garners respect for his in-depth legal expertise with which he advises companies across the food, manufacturing and retail sectors.
Allison McLeod impresses peers and clients alike with her “practical and commercial approach” as well as her “astute knowledge of the franchising landscape in Australia”. She boasts “a unique ability to understand commercial challenges” faced by franchise businesses and is internationally regarded for her “considerable technical skills”.

Members of Maddocks are well known for their strength in the international franchising arena. This year three excellent lawyers are selected for inclusion.  
Greg Hipwell is “an outstanding franchising expert” who is considered “a key player in the market”, particularly in the automotive franchise area. He consistently impresses clients with his “ability to distil and impart his strong technical expertise into a format that can be easily understood and digested by clients”.
Shaun Temby is “a great litigator” who draws praise from commentators who consider him “an expert”. He is a trusted adviser to many high-profile franchise networks, thanks to his vast knowledge of franchise and consumer law. 
Fiona Wallwork is “a great franchising lawyer” who stands out as a prominent player in the market. She is a long-standing fixture in the market with more than 20 years’ experience advising franchisors in a wide range of matters.  

Norton Rose Fulbright Australia also performs well with two listings.
Stephen Giles is “really outstanding” according to sources, who call him “one of the best-known and most highly respected franchising lawyers in Australia”. Having served on the board of the Franchising Council of Australia for almost 20 years, he boasts unparalleled knowledge in the area.
Nigel Jones is “a top franchise litigator,” say sources, who admire his “skill handling franchising disputes” across the country. One peer effuses, “He is one of the best-known franchising lawyers in Australia.”

Sources are effusive in their praise of Penny Ward at Baker McKenzie, calling her “the genuine article” and “one of the top franchising lawyers in Australia”. She comes “highly recommended” for her “excellent” work advising on all aspects of franchising and distribution agreements.

Iain Irvine at KHQ Lawyers is held in high esteem by peers for his strong expertise assisting domestic and international franchisors in a range of industry sectors. He is commended for his “detailed knowledge of franchising from a practical, commercial and legal perspective”.

Commentators call Warren Scott at Mills Oakley “a top franchising lawyer” and applaud his “excellent work acting for numerous prominent franchisors” in the Australian market.

The “excellent” Josh Simons at Thomson Geer is “highly recommended” for his “fantastic work on the franchisor side”. He also draws praise for his expertise handling IP and competition law matters affecting franchised businesses.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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