Westpac Directory of Franchising
Stewart Germann Law Office
New Zealand’s longest established specialised franchise law firm with over 35 years’ experience. Expert legal advice to franchisors and franchisees nationwide. Winners of Legal 100 – Law Firm of the Year – Franchise 2019 and Global Law Experts – Boutique Franchising Law Firm of the Year 2019.
Who are we?
Stewart Germann Law Office (SGL) is the longest-established law firm in New Zealand, a multi-award winning specialist boutique law firm with over 35 years of franchising and licensing experience. SGL acts for franchisors and franchisees from all over New Zealand and has wide contacts in New Zealand, Australia, UK, Canada and USA.
Lawyers and Notary Public, SGL provides legal advice to franchisors on structure and initial documentation and to franchisees on franchise agreements.
Stewart Germann is a mediation expert and a past Chairman of the Franchise Association of New Zealand (FANZ). He has been guest speaker at franchising conferences in New Zealand, Australia and USA and is included in the International Who's Who of Franchise Lawyers.
SGL belongs to the Franchise Association of New Zealand, the Franchise Council of Australia and the International Franchise Association.
- Winner of LEGAL 100 – LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR – FRANCHISE – NEW ZEALAND for 2019
- Winner of 2019 LAWYERS WORLD GLOBAL AWARDS – STEWART GERMANN – FRANCHISE LAWYER OF THE YEAR – NZ
- Winner of 2019 CORPORATE INTERNATIONAL GLOBAL AWARDS – BOUTIQUE FRANCHISE LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR IN NZ
- Winner of 2019 ANNUAL AWARD CORPORATE AMERICA TODAY LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR FRANCHISE – NEW ZEALAND
- Winner of 2019 GLOBAL LAW EXPERTS - BOUTIQUE FRANCHISING LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR IN NEW ZEALAND
- Winner of GLOBAL 100 - LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR – FRANCHISE - NEW ZEALAND for 2018
- Winner of BOUTIQUE LICENSING LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR IN NEW ZEALAND - 2018 Corporate INTL Global Awards
- Selected as BEST LAWYERS IN NEW ZEALAND – FRANCHISE LAW for 2018
- Winner of LAWYER INTERNATIONAL – LEGAL 100 – LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR – FRANCHISE – NZ 2018
- Winner of CORPORATE LIVEWIRE LEGAL AWARDS 2017/2018 – FRANCHISE LAWYER OF THE YEAR – NEW ZEALAND
- Winner of CORPORATE USA TODAY ANNUAL AWARDS 2017 – LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR – FRANCHISE – NEW ZEALAND
SGL has extensive expertise in the following areas:
- Commercial law including drafting agreements which cover a wide range of commercial topics, restrictive trade practices and financing
- Sale and purchase of residential and commercial properties
- Leasing and subleasing
- Company law including the formation of companies, drafting of Shareholders' Agreements and related documents
- Trusts including the formation and administration of family trusts
In relation to franchising, SGL provides legal services to both emerging and established franchise companies including:
- Structuring the proposal
- Disclosure documents
- Franchise agreements
- Master franchise agreements
- Confidentiality agreements
- Intellectual property
- Expansion into foreign countries either by master franchising, direct franchising or joint ventures
How can we help?
We provide franchisors with advice on the proposed structure, we work with franchise consultants and we draft and finalise the required documentation. This documentation will include confidentiality agreement; licence to use trade marks and intellectual property; disclosure document; franchise agreement; franchisee application form and related documents.
We provide specialist and objective advice to franchisees in relation to interpretation of the disclosure document and reading and commenting on the franchise agreement. Our written opinion will include expert advice on the fairness of the franchise agreement, clauses which we consider go too far and missing clauses. Obviously, we do not advise a franchisee where we act for the franchisor for that would be a conflict of interest. SGL can assist in relation to formation of companies, leases and subleases and trusts.
Why should you seek advice?
Legal documents are complex and once signed are binding upon both parties. It would be foolish to sign anything without understanding the full implications of what you are signing. Franchisors who belong to the FANZ must refer franchisees to independent lawyers for legal advice. If we act for franchisees we provide that independent legal advice by objectively looking at the franchising documentation.
Who do we work for?
We work for both franchisors and franchisees. We also provide legal advice on licensing, the purchase and sale of non-franchised businesses and we have considerable expertise in leasing and subleasing.
Disputes in franchising can arise and Mediation is an accepted and recommended method of resolving disputes. Stewart Germann is on the Panel of Mediators of the FANZ and is a qualified mediator and a member of AMINZ (Arbitrators' and Mediators' Institute of New Zealand). He can act as a mediator or as Counsel for a franchisor or franchisee.
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