Leasing & franchising


Ward Keller acts for clients entering into commercial property leases as both landlords and tenants.

We work with landlords to draw up the lease agreement so both parties understand their obligations under it.

For tenants, we review the lease agreement and advise on amendments.

We deal with two types of commercial leases: general commercial leases, and leases under the Business Tenancies (Fair Dealing) Act.

The latter was introduced to protect tenants with limited experience. Often these are prospective ‘mum and dad’ business franchisees. The leases are usually complex and involve drawing up extra documentation.

Leasing can be simple, but it can also be complex. It is important to get legal advice if you are a landlord or a tenant entering into a commercial lease.


Buying and selling franchises is common in the Northern Territory, and we act for buyers and sellers of many franchises, such as Bakers Delight, Wendy’s Milk Bar, and Gloria Jeans.

We help these clients by preparing, reviewing or updating franchise agreements, and ensuring they comply with the Franchising Code of Conduct.

Part of our work in this area is counselling clients who often have no business experience, but intend leaving secure employment to realise their ‘grand plan’ of buying a franchise and securing a better quality of life.

It is often not like that; few people work harder than franchise owners. Many do not realise the potential extra issues, like long hours, staffing issues, franchisor issues, marketing obligations and dealing with the landlord.

Our advice has prevented many clients from making bad financial decisions.

Northern Territory Leasing & franchising lawyers

Leasing and franchising matters we advise on are:

  • preparing and reviewing of leasing agreements
  • compliance with the Business Tenancies (Fair Dealings) Act
  • sale and purchase of franchise businesses
  • preparing, reviewing or updating franchise agreements
  • compliance with the Franchising Code of Conduct.