Stephen Giles is a corporate and commercial partner based in Melbourne and Sydney, but with extensive international experience. He leads the Australian Consumer Markets Group, and is global leader of our International Franchising Business Group.
Stephen’s particular proficiency includes the drafting and negotiation of complex commercial agreements and the application of competition laws to product distribution, pricing and supply issues faced by manufacturers, franchisors and suppliers. This includes recent amendments to the law in relation to good faith and unfair contract terms, where he has been intimately involved in the legislative process. He also has extensive transactional experience in mergers, acquisitions and international commercial negotiations, and in providing legal and strategic advice for companies seeking to leverage their brands and expand internationally.
Stephen’s client list features many leading international brands, including 7-Eleven, ANZ Bank, Australia Post, BMW, Bounce, Caltex, Honda, Grill’d, helloworld, Kia, Luxottica, McDonald’s Australia, Nando’s, Nestle, Pandora, Quest, Retail Food Group, Steinhoff Asia Pacific, Stihl, Tempur Sealy International, Yum Brands. He has represented over 200 retailers and franchisors, and has pre-eminent connections into most major retail networks as well as at the highest levels with Government and regulators.
Stephen has served for almost 20 years on the board of the peak industry body, the Franchise Council of Australia, handling industry regulation and government relations and serving 5 terms as national chairman. He has written numerous publications on franchising and competition and consumer law, including the authoritative text Franchising Law & Practice, and is a regular speaker at conferences in Australia, Asia and the US. In 2009 he was inducted into the Australian Franchising Hall of Fame, and was ranked in the top 10 most respected international franchise lawyers by the International Who’s Who of Franchise Lawyers. He is currently a member of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Small Business and Franchising Consultative Committee.