If you purchase a significant asset, such as a business, a franchise, a home, or engage a professional, such as a building company, or IT company, and you have been misled, you may have a claim for misleading and deceptive conduct in trade. The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) is the leading piece of legislation which can offer remedies to you. The ACL regulates misleading and deceptive conduct in trade and commerce.
Does the law apply to my situation?
There are only very limited scenarios in which the law does not apply to an individual or business.
In most cases, where an individual or business has engaged in trade or commerce, they will be subject to the laws of the ACL and need to be careful. Any misrepresentation about a past or future fact by the other person or business, that you have relied on in proceeding with the transaction, could mean you have been misled and you may have a claim against the other party.
Was conduct misleading or deceptive?
There are certain rules and regulations about what constitutes misleading and deceptive conduct. Essentially there needs to be a statement, which can be verbal or written, by a person or business, that is misleading about a past, present or future fact. For example, a franchisor makes an overly optimistic business profit projection in the sale of a franchise. The recipient of the statement must have relied on the statement, such as the franchisee relying on the profit projection in making the decision to buy the franchise. And that reliance must be to the detriment of the recipient, for example the franchisee does not make the profit projected, and instead the business fails.
What should I do if I’m dealing with a misleading and deceptive conduct case?
It’s best to seek advice on your matter and understand the implications. The next steps will be determined by the facts of the case and you will need to act accordingly.
Gorval Lynch are experts in handling cases relating to misleading and deceptive conduct. Give us a call today for a confidential consultation and to find out your next best steps.