• Commercial Law

    Commercial Law

    We are business people as much as we are lawyers. We will take care of the legal documents so you can confidently run your business.
    As your business grows, its risk profile and governance challenges will change. We partner with our clients over the long term to ensure they are in the driver’s seat for success.

  • Dispute Resolution

    Dispute Resolution

    We are in your corner when the going gets tough. Having resolved over 6,500 disputes for business owners have seen it all before.

    Whether you need a skilled negotiator or a fearless litigator, we specialise in delivering commercial results when:

    Customers refuse to pay;
    Suppliers let you down; and
    Business Partners do the wrong thing.

  • Employment & Safety

    Employment & Safety

    The biggest challenge for any business owner, is managing their employees.

    A difficult employee can make you question why you got into business in the first place and be toxic to your team morale.

    We deliver proactive solutions to manage your team via employment contracts, policies and procedures as well as handling employment disputes when they arise.

  • Property & Construction

    Property & Construction

    Property is the key most wealth in Australia.  Whether you are buying, selling, leasing or developing property, you need a lawyer you can count on.

    We can advise on the whole property development process from obtaining finance to development approvals, construction and sale or leasing.

    We also act for the Master Builders Victoria and have extensive expertise in construction contracts and disputes.

  • Family Law

    Family Law

    At Taurus Legal Management we understand the unique challenges clients encounter during family disputes, especially when children are involved. Our family lawyers specialise in handling high-asset cases with a focus on protecting clients wealth, securing their family’s future, and safeguarding the best interests of their children.


‘Contempt of Court’ relates to being disobedient or disrespectful toward a Court of law, usually by way of ignoring or opposing the authority or direction of a Court.

Ultra Tune Australia (Ultra Tune), a car servicing franchisor, has recently been penalised $1.5 million dollars for this reason, following already significant penalties for a failure to comply with the Australian Consumer Law and Franchising Code of Conduct.

In this article, we explain the importance of complying with not only orders made by the Court, but the Franchising Code of Conduct.


In 2019, the ACCC issued legal proceedings against Ultra Tune. The Federal Court of Australia ultimately found that Ultra Tune had breached both the Australian Consumer Law and Franchising Code of Conduct. They were issued a fine of $2.604 million dollars for two breaches regarding their disclosure document and marketing fund statements, and for also misleading a potential franchisee. This fine was appealed by Ultra Tune and subsequently reduced to $2.014 million dollars.

Court Orders and Failure to Comply

The Court ordered Ultra Tune to provide disclosure documents and marketing fund statements to franchisees, which were compliant with the Franchising Code of Conduct. They were also ordered to implement a compliance program, and report on its effectiveness within the company.

Ultra Tune failed to comply with these orders, more than once, by:

  • Failing to update their disclosure documents on time;
  • Failing to prepare their marketing fund statements on multiple occasions, with significant delays; and
  • Their compliance officer also failing (three times) to provide the mandatory quarterly report of the effectiveness of the compliance program.

This led to the ACCC seeking orders for contempt of court, and resulting in another hefty fine for Ultra Tune which could have been avoided.

Importance of Compliance with the Code

It is incredibly important for franchisors to prepare the relevant marketing fund statements and other disclosure documents in a timely matter, and provide them to franchisees and potential franchisees.

Not sure if your Business is a Franchise?

Some businesses aren’t sure whether they are categorised as a franchise and therefore need to abide by the Franchising Code of Conduct. For example, some businesses are incorrectly categorised as a licensor and are therefore unaware that they may be breaching the law.

A business can be a franchisor even though they label their documents as licenses.

To decipher whether you have entered into a franchise agreement, you need to look past the name of the document. You will need to consider the substance of the agreement, including:

  1. Is there a written or verbal agreement between you and a licensee or franchisee?
  2. Has there been any payments, either upfront or ongoing, other than for means of goods and services (for example a joining fee or marketing fee?)
  3. Have you given a licensee or franchisee permission to take on a business?
  4. Do you have a marketing plan or system which you control or manage?
  5. Is the other business associated with a trademark?

If you have answered ‘yes’ to all of the above, it means that you more than likely have a franchise agreement in place and are required to comply with the Franchising Code of Conduct.

How we can help

If you are not sure whether your business is a franchise or you are struggling to comply with the Franchising Code of Conduct, we recommend that you contact our experienced lawyers today on (03) 9481 2000 or info@tauruslawyers.com.au

Posted by Taurus Legal Management