Review 2019

Review

With significant regulatory change coming into effect the spotlight is staying firmly on culture, ethics and regulatory compliance. An organisation’s social licence to operate remains a priority for Australian businesses.

Throughout Australia we are seeing a sharper focus on sustainable and socially acceptable business conduct, with unethical behaviour being publicly pursued and punished.

The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry revealed sweeping shortcomings among many in the industry sparking political and regulatory action to restore trust in the finance sector. Regulators, particularly the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), will be resourced to increase investigative activity, which we expect will result in an increase in prosecutions and civil penalty proceedings. The publicity surrounding these activities will in turn ensure that corporate behaviour, culture and compliance will remain in focus for Boards and senior management across all sectors.

Against that backdrop, the Australian Government has also announced new legislation to better expose corporate misconduct. This year we expect to see bi-partisan political support for proposed reforms to enhance protection and rights for whistleblowers and a comprehensive review of Australia’s white-collar crime laws.

In advising clients on their activities in transaction, dispute and compliance settings we are ever mindful of these changes in the commercial landscape, which of course will shape our approach and service offering.

The wonderful support we receive from our clients has seen us again recognised by many international directories as well as through industry awards, including our Dispute Resolution team being listed as a Band 1 Practice in the Asia Pacific Legal 500. This Review highlights a selection of our engagements to provide a sense of the firm’s strengths and the organisations we are privileged to represent.

Important Disclaimer: The material contained in this article is comment of a general nature only and is not and nor is it intended to be advice on any specific professional matter. In that the effectiveness or accuracy of any professional advice depends upon the particular circumstances of each case, neither the firm nor any individual author accepts any responsibility whatsoever for any acts or omissions resulting from reliance upon the content of any articles. Before acting on the basis of any material contained in this publication, we recommend that you consult your professional adviser. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation (Australia-wide except in Tasmania).

Related insights Read more insight

Changes to the ASX Listing Rules

Late last year the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) released its consultation paper “Simplifying, clarifying and enhancing the integrity and efficiency of the ASX Listing Rules”. After...

More
Myer class action: another good news, bad news story?

The Myer continuous disclosure class action decision1 is a landmark: the first judgment in a securities class action in Australia, and the first case explicitly accepting “market-based causation...

More
“Just and equitable” winding up: a viable cure for creditor distress and shareholder oppression

The Supreme Court of Victoria’s recent decision in Pacific Dairies Limited v Orican Pty Ltd illustrates judicial unwillingness to interfere in shareholder disputes, even in cases involving...

More