The Franchising Code recognises the important role that an ADR practitioner plays in the resolution of a franchising dispute between franchisees and the franchisor.
When a Franchising Code dispute is initiated by serving a Notice (cl 40A), the parties must then try to agree how to resolve the dispute. If the parties cannot agree how to resolve the dispute within 21 days, any party may refer the matter to an ADR practitioner for an ADR process.
The Code (cl. 4) provides a definition of an ADR practitioner as a conciliator or mediator but provides no further explanation in the Code of what those roles require. Although both are facilitative processes, there are important distinctions between them, which you can read about here: Compare resolution processes
The ADR practitioner acts as an independent facilitator of the dispute by engaging the parties in constructive discussion towards an agreed resolution. The ADR practitioner is usually a lawyer or business professional who has National Mediator Accreditation (NMAS) as well as experience in the franchising industry. We maintain a panel of ADR practitioners that have are available for appointment Australia-wide.