Very recently, the President has ruled in interlocutory proceedings that the franchisee has made statements, the correctness of which has not been established. In the context of the termination agreements made and the confidentiality observed, this franchisee was also not allowed to make those statements. The franchisee was sentenced to keep to those agreements in the future and also to refrain from negative reporting. The franchisee was also ordered to post a rectification to that effect on Eenvandaag’s Facebook page and by letter to the editors of Eenvandaag.
It is important to note that the President of the court considers that it is completely irrelevant that the franchisor has been given the opportunity to cooperate with the program. After all, franchisors have an interest in not responding to unjustified insinuations, partly in view of the franchisor’s position vis-à-vis (other) (prospective) franchisees.
The ruling shows that in the discussion surrounding the desire for legislation and self-regulation with regard to franchising, limits also apply and that all sorts of things cannot be said lightly and lightly without those facts having been established. If the parties have made agreements regarding the termination of a franchise relationship, the parties must also comply with them. The franchisee is then no longer free to make accusations, all the more so because the other party that does wish to comply with these agreements can no longer defend itself against this. The ruling also teaches us that not the (alleged) excesses that the media display, but nuanced arguments based on facts should support this discussion. In another case it also appeared earlier that the Court of Appeal had ruled that there are limits to the way in which franchisees express themselves in the media about a franchisor and these limits appeared to have been exceeded. However, these news items rarely receive attention. Perhaps if both the franchisor and the franchisee and the parties claiming to represent them take this into account, constructiveness may once again predominate in the discussion, which would be a good starting point for the franchise as a whole to achieve a viable self-regulation. more balanced form of franchising.
Mr. J. Strong – Franchise attorney
Ludwig & Van Dam Franchise attorneys, franchise legal advice. Do you want to respond? Mail to Sterk@ludwigvandam.nl