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 2020 and Global Law Experts – Boutique Franchising Law Firm of the Year 2019.

Who are we?

Stewart Germann Law Office (SGL) is New Zealand's longest established specialist franchising law firm and has won multiple franchising awards over the years for excellence in this area. The firm has 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.

Stewart lectures in Franchise Law at AUT University and is an Adjunct Professor of Law. He is the only lawyer in New Zealand to hold the CFE (Certified Franchise Executive) qualification following an accreditation ceremony in Florida 2020.

Khushbu Sundarji was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor in Auckland in 2010, and as a Barrister and Solicitor in Melbourne in 2011. She is experienced in the sale and purchase of property, sale and purchase of businesses and also has expertise in franchising and licensing and drafting commercial contracts. Khushbu worked in Melbourne for two years prior to joining SGL in 2017 and has been a partner at Stewart Germann Law Office since April 2022.

SGL belongs to the Franchise Association of New Zealand, the Franchise Council of Australia and the International Franchise Association.

NZ's award-winning franchise team

 Stewart & Khushbu

  • Winner of 2020 Lawyer International Legal 100 - Law Firm of The Year - Franchise
  • Winner of 2020 M&A Today Global Awards - Law Firm of the Year - Franchise - New Zealand
  • 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
  • Finalist in New Zealand Law Awards - Boutique Law Firm of the Year 2019
  • Winner of 2019 Global Law Experts - Boutique Franchising Law Firm of the Year in New Zealand

How can we help you?

1) Franchisors

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.  Stewart regularly reviews existing franchise agreements referred to him by other lawyers for his expert and specialist franchising advice.

2) Franchisees

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.

3) Disputes resolution

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.

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. 

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 

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. 



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