Bywaters Timms is a leading commercial law firm with lawyers practicing in commercial law, business law, franchising law and wills and estate planning operating from Brisbane and the Gold Coast. We provide our clients with legal results throughout Australia, no matter where they are.
Our lawyers see beyond legal issues, providing practical, coordinated and "results driven" commercial solutions.
At Bywaters Timms we have the experience to make our clients feel comfortable in placing their legal issues in our hands. We take time to understand our clients’ businesses and their particular issues. We genuinely care for our clients, their businesses and the outcomes achieved. We strive to achieve good commercial results for our clients and develope close, long term relationships.
Our reputation is based on proven depth of experience and expertise. We have a strong established client base with whom we work closely. We really do become an essential part of our client's team.
Our mission is to be an essential part of our client’s business by providing timely, up to date commercial legal advice.
Christine Taylor of Aussie Pooch Mobile inducted into Franchise Hall of Fame
Christine Taylor is the founder and director of Aussie Pooch Mobile and a long standing client of Bywaters Timms. At a gala dinner held by the Franchise Council of Australia on 9 October 2012, Christine was inducted into the Franchise Hall of Fame.
John O'Brien of Poolwerx was also inducted.
We wish both Christine and John congratulations and acknowledge their long standing contribution to franchising.
Pecuniary Penalties for false and misleading representations under the Australian Consumer Law.
Two recent cases highlight the amount of penalties that may be imposed for false and misleading representations under the Australian Consumer Law. TPG Internet was fined $2m plus and Apple Pty Ltd was fined $2.25m plus. Businesses need to be careful to ensure their advertising is not false or misleading in any way. The pecuniary penalties and damage to reputation can be substantial. Read more here.
ACCC warns about inflated income claims
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has put out a news release warning about inflated franchise income claims.
The release is directed at franchisees warning them to be careful about claims made by franchisors. However, it is also a timely warning to franchisors not to make unsubstantiated claims about the possible income that franchisees may earn. The release contains a warning for franchisors "misrepresenting the potential income of a franchise can be subject to litigation and court imposed penalties of up to $1.1 million per contravention".
Franchisors need to take care to ensure that any claims they make to franchisees about possible income must have a reasonable basis. If you are in doubt at all, speak to us.
With the introduction of the carbon tax, it is a good time to be reminded about taking care when increasing prices. There is nothing wrong with a normal increase in prices. However, if the prices are being increased because of the impact of the carbon tax, then make sure that the amount of the increase is only the amount of the carbon tax.
If you want to increase prices over the increase in the carbon tax, then you must be clear that the increase relates to both the carbon tax and a normal increase in prices. Otherwise, it is misleading and deceptive conduct and you might find yourself the recipient of a Substantiation Notice from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission or even worse an Infringement Notice. Brumby's was a bit too off hand with their recent remarks that could have landed them in hot water. Brumby's carbon tax misfire a legal warning for franchisees.
Fair Work Ombudsman
The Fair Work Ombudsman is offering new services for the franchise sector by way of a National Franchise Program. Read the letter from Fair Work Ombudsman or visit their website http://www.fairwork.gov.au/franchising
The Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) will start on 30 January 2012. There will be changes that will affect the way a number of loan arrangement are documented. One of them is a purchase money security interest (PMSI). Read more on PMSI.
The Federal Government Department of Innovation Industry, Science and Research has produced a publication titled “Key Statistics Australian Small Business”. The report was launched by Senator Nick Sherry on 31 October 2011 and aims to provide a comprehensive overview of Australia’s small business, with emphasis on business counts, characteristics and performance. A copy of the publication may be accessed here.