The 2019 Franchise Law Day was a success on all accounts, and the first ever “sold out” event. Andrae Marrocco and Helen Fotinos were Co-Chairs of the event titled: “Franchising Beyond 2020: Trends & Transformations,” which included pertinent, interesting and thought provoking topics for Canadian Franchise Association members and attendees.
The event commenced with the first plenary session, Franchise Law: The Year in Review, a critical review of the past year’s judicial and legislative developments as they pertain to Canadian franchise law.
I’ve Been Hacked, Now What? (morning concurrent session), presented by business leaders in the fields of accounting and insurance, addressed the increasing incident of cyber crime and cyber breaches (and the various types of incident), particularly against franchise systems and retail organizations. Interesting statistics: (1) in Canada during 2017 the average cyber breach claim for a large company was $5.78m (down from $6.08m in 2016), (2) the average cost for crisis services (forensics, notification, legal guidance etc) was $366,797, and (3) the average cost for legal settlement was $558,520. The session ended with practical steps for developing and implementing a cyber security compliance program as a preventative measure.
Business & Legal Issues Posed by Virtual Kitchens (morning concurrent session) explored some of the recent trends faced by franchise systems in the advent of the rising popularity of virtual/ghost kitchens.
Franchisee Associations and Franchisee Advisory Boards: Enhancers or Disrupters? How, When and Why (morning concurrent session), contained a wealth of information about how these organizations operate with the eco-system of a franchise system, and how they can be used as an agent of positive change for franchisors that take the right approach to same.
Roundtable sessions on a myriad of topics relevant to franchisors and franchisees were a key part of the program. The focus of the topics included: system change, joint venture arrangements, determining “material facts,” labour and employment law updates, protection of knowledge assets, summary judgement and rescission claims, diversity in franchising, damages claims, leasing considerations, earnings projections and estimates of operating costs.
Keeping Your Sales People In Line was one of the afternoon concurrent sessions that covered best practices for franchisors to ensure that their sales processes and sale representatives are not placing franchisors offside franchise disclosure laws. The session also explored the application of the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act to franchisor sales representatives.
Conscious Uncoupling explored best practices for managing the franchise relationships including the termination of same. Achieving successful and conscious uncoupling involves practical elements (eg the manner in which the parties will part ways), reviewing the terms of the franchise agreement to ensure that the process is undertaken correctly and by protecting each party’s interests, as well as risk mitigation in taking the relevant steps (so as to minimize potential disputes and litigation).
The day ended with an excellent business presentation on the topic of Corporate Culture which explored topics such as the trends and impacts of corporate culture in the current business environment, practical steps to building a strong culture, measuring the change to your culture.
If you’re interested in any of the materials for the above sessions, please do not hesitate to reach out.