Stephen Giles

Stephen Giles is a partner with Norton Rose Fulbright Australia based in Melbourne and Sydney, but with extensive international experience. He leads the Australian Consumer Markets Group, and is global leader of Norton Rose Fulbright’s International Franchising Business Group.  He is one of Australia’s most experienced commercial lawyers, with over 35 years of experience in private practice, including 30 years at partner level. Stephen is also a director of the peak industry body, the Franchise Council of Australia, where he has handled industry policy and Government relations for over 20 years.  He is generally recognised in legal guides as Australia’s leading franchising lawyer.

Stephen is the Author for LexisNexis publication Franchising Law and Practice.

Speaking Engagements

Regular keynote speaker at franchising and legal conventions around the world, delivering papers and keynote addresses on franchising, international transacting and competition and consumer law in Australia, China, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States or America.  Recent examples include:

  • Keynote addresses on legal and regulatory issues to Franchise Council of Australia Annual Convention 1998 -  2018;
  • Joint employment and franchising – International Franchise Association Convention 2017;
  • International Franchising Disclosure Laws, American Bar Association Franchise Forum 2015;
  • The Future of Franchising, Franchise Council of Australia Annual Convention, 2012;
  • Negotiating International Master Franchise Agreements, American Bar Association Franchise Forum 2010;
  • Go East Young Franchisor – Franchising in Asia Pacific, American Bar Association Franchise Forum 2011;
  • Franchising in Asia Pacific, LAWASIA and Franchise Council of Australia Annual Convention 2009;
  • Franchising in Asia Pacific, International Bar Association, Spain 2007.
  • Joint Employment Around the World – International Franchise Association Legal Forum and International Bar Association Franchising Committee Convention 2018.


  • Bachelor of Economics;
  • Bachelor of Laws;
  • Fellow, Australian Franchise Academy;
  • Certified Franchise Executive.

Publications and Editorial Contacts

  • Franchising Law & Practice (Lexis Nexis);
  • The Annotated Franchising Code of Conduct (Lexis Nexis)
  • Practical Law - Franchising (Thomson Reuters)
  • How to Franchise Your Business (Franchise Council of Australia)
  • Going International—A Guide for Australian Franchise Systems (Franchise Council of Australia)
  • The Franchisor’s Manual (Franchise Council of Australia)
  • Compiling a Franchise Operations Manual (Franchise Council of Australia)
  • Asian regional editor and Australian author – International Franchise Sales Laws (American Bar Association)

Awards & Recognition

  • 2009 – Inducted into the Australian Franchising Hall of Fame
  • Franchise Council of Australia Outstanding Contribution to Franchising Award 1986, 2003, 2006;
  • Consistently recognised as the leading franchise lawyer in Australia in Best Lawyers, Chambers Legal Guide and Who’s Who Legal Franchise;
  • "Lawyer of the Year - Franchising" - Best Lawyers Australia 2016, 2017;
  • Ranked Top 10 globally in The International Who’s Who Global Most Respected Franchise Professionals 2011;
  • Ranked Top 10 globally in Chambers Legal Guide – Franchising 2015 – 2018;
  • Leading franchise lawyer in Asia Pacific, Legal Profiles Australia 1999;
  • Fellow of Australian Franchise Academy;

Professional Organisations & Memberships

  • Law Council of Australia, Law Institute of Victoria
  • Franchise Council of Australia
  • International Franchise Association
  • American Bar Association
  • International Bar Association
Areas of expertise
Domestic and international franchising law and practice – advice, document drafting, strategic input, transactions and dispute management;
Competition and Consumer Act advice and handling regulatory disputes;
Mergers, acquisitions and commercial transactions;
General commercial law – advice, structuring and drafting of commercial agreements.
Stephen’s particular expertise 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.
Academic Qualifications
Bachelor of Economics, Monash University (1978)
Bachelor of Laws, Monash University (1980)
Accredited Franchise Executive – Franchise   Council of Australia
Certified Franchise Executive – International   Franchise Association
Professional Contact
Norton Rose Fulbright Australia
Level 15,
485 Bourke Street,
Melbourne.  3000. Victoria. Australia
Tel: +613 86866965