Outside the franchise context, equity commonly has a place in legal disputes. Even where the defendant has committed a legal wrong, courts consider whether there is anything about the plaintiffâ€™s conduct that should excuse what the defendant may have done or that would make it â€œinequitableâ€ (essentially, unfair) for the plaintiff to obtain some or all of the relief requested. This can include whether the plaintiff has come to court with â€œunclean handsâ€ and whether the plaintiff has waived its rights or acquiesced in the infringement of its rights.
Not so in rescission cases under Canadian franchise statutes like Ontarioâ€™s Arthur Wishart Act. With very few exceptions, if a franchisor doesnâ€™t provide a prospective franchisee with a disclosure document 14 days before the franchisee signs an agreement or pays any money to the franchisor, then the franchisee may rescind the franchise agreement. End of story.