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Penny Ward

Penny Ward is a senior counsel in the Melbourne office of Baker McKenzie where she advises on telecommunications, information technology, licensing and franchising. She is a leading Australian franchise lawyer and heads Baker McKenzie’s Australian franchise practice as well as the Firm's Asia Pacific franchise practice. Penny has extensive experience in advising local and international clients on the Australian regulatory regime and is recognised as a leading Australian lawyer.

Our 16 February 2024 Client Alert reported on the recommendations of the Federal Government’s Independent Review of the Franchising Code of Conduct (“Code”). 

We noted that the recommendations were largely sensible and light touch and that the Review considered that the Code was generally fit-for-purpose.

The Government has now released its formal response, adopting the Review recommendations in full.

Changes to the Franchising Code commencing 1 April 2022 will introduce an online public Register of franchises in Australia from later this year. Anticipated for some time, the Register and will add to the annual compliance requirements for most franchisors. However, the information required to be filed is significantly reduced from that suggested in the Government’s 2021 Exposure Draft legislation.