What is the effect of a restraint of trade after termination of a Franchise Agreement?
Adacol was a Raine & Horne franchisee at Brighton and Ramsgate in Sydney.
The franchise agreement provided:
“29.1 - The franchisee and the (guarantors) agree they will not for a period of 12 months after termination (for whatever reason) of this deed, conduct or be in any way employed or interested in any real estate agency business which carries on business substantially within a 5km radius of the premises.”
The franchisor terminated the Franchise Agreement on the basis that Adacol “voluntarily abandoned the franchise business or the franchise relationship” prior to the end of the term.
Adacol continued to operate from the same premises but instead as a Ray White franchisee. It was a condition of the Ray White franchise agreement that franchise fees be waived until the end of the Raine & Horne term.