The Bell Group Settlement: Where Does it Leave Us?

(29 October 2013)

Speakers: Dr Katy Barnett, Dr Pamela Hanrahan, Professor Emeritus Michael Bryan

Presentation slides

Supreme Court of Victoria 2013 Commercial Law Conference

(9 September 2013)

Speakers: Professor Sarah Worthington, University of Cambridge; the Hon. Justice Marcia Neave AO, Supreme Court of Victoria; the Hon. John Doyle AC QC, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia; the Hon. Ray Finkelstein QC, former Judge of the Federal Court of Australia; Dr Sue McNicol SC, Victorian Bar; the Hon. Justice Tim Ginnnane, Supreme Court of Victoria

Private Equity and Hedge Funds after the Global Financial Crisis

(15 August 2013)

Speaker: Timothy Spangler, Partner, Kaye Scholer, Los Angeles and New York

Description: As the recession stutters onwards systemic and structural causes for the financial crash continue to dominate international news and debate. Never has there been such an appetite and desire to understand the financial institutions that govern us. Despite growing public interests, alternative investment vehicles such as private equity and hedge funds remain elusive. Both have always had a unique position in the market, designed as they are to function outside the rules that govern other financial organisations. But what is it that they do and - significantly - how is it that they have prospered since the 2008 financial meltdown despite the introduction of new regulatory regimes?

Insider Trading Regulation in China: Law and Enforcement

(14 August 2013)

Speaker: Professor Hui (Robin) Huang, Chinese University of Hong Kong

This seminar will provide an in-depth analysis of insider trading regulation in China, looking at both the “law in books” and the “law in action”. Since the early 1990s, China has gradually set up a regulatory regime for insider trading in line with international experiences. Twenty years on, how effective has China’s insider trading regulation been? How is it enforced? What are the recent developments and trends? The seminar will critically examine the key elements of the insider trading law as well as its theoretical basis in light of recent cases from a comparative perspective. It will then present empirical insights into public and private enforcement of the law, and based on this examination, explore possible ways to further improve the efficacy of insider trading regulation in China.

Presentation slides

How Directors' Duties, as Interpreted by US courts, Protect Business Judgments

(5 August 2013)

Speaker: Justice Randy J Holland, Delaware Supreme Court

Description: Justice Holland has been a judge of the Delaware Supreme Court since 1986. The court has an international reputation for the many important and influential corporate law judgments that it has delivered. A significant number of these judgments have dealt with the duties of company directors. They include Smith v Van Gorkom which concerned directors’ duties and the business judgment rule, Unocal v Mesa Petroleum, Revlon v McAndrews & Forbes Holdings, Inc and Paramount v QVC which concerned the duties of directors in the context of takeovers and in re Walt Disney Co Derivative Litigation in which the court rejected a claim that the directors of Disney were grossly negligent when they approved the remuneration of the executive president of Disney.

Evaluating the Performance and Accountability of Regulators

(17 July 2013)

Speaker: Professor Colin Scott, Dean of Law and Professor of European Union Regulation & Governance, University College, Dublin

Description: The Global Financial Crisis came in the wake of significant reforms to the structures, processes, powers and rules of the financial markets regulatory regimes in many of the countries adversely affected by the crash. It is striking that the reformed regulatory regimes in a number of key jurisdictions lacked the capacity both to anticipate and prevent the crisis which engulfed the world. Furthermore, even after this experience, it remains unclear whether regulators account effectively for what they do. Accountability, in this context, needs to go beyond traditional public accountability forms to include effective evaluation of performance.

In his presentation, Professor Scott investigates enhancements in mechanisms of accountability for regulators, including the development of performance evaluations and regulatory audit. He considers the appropriateness and robustness of these mechanisms in light of three significant trends in the relationship between regulation and markets. First, there is the gradual move in the centring of international financial markets from North America and Europe to Asia, a change accelerated by the Global Financial Crisis. Second, there is the continuing pressure to move the emphasis of regulation from the national to the supranational and even the global level. Third, there is the increasing recognition of the centrality of transnational private regulation setting and monitoring of financial markets. Taken together these changes require a significant re-evaluation of what effective accountability for regulators should mean.

Addressing Systemic Risk in East Asia: Financial Regulatory Design

(22 May 2013)

Speaker: Professor Douglas Arner, University of Hong Kong

Description: The global, Eurozone and Asian financial crises have highlighted the importance of appropriate regulatory design and coverage for financial stability. In particular, in the wake of the global financial crisis, the Group of 20 and Financial Stability Board (FSB) and its constituents (such as the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the International Organisation of Securities Commissions, and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors) have or are in the process of developing international regulatory standards and guidance in relation to financial regulation and financial stability. Professor Arner will discuss the range of international initiatives in the context of the overall design of a system of financial regulation, focusing on issues of greatest significance to East Asian financial systems. Of these, approaches to regulation of systemically important financially institutions (SIFIs), particularly domestic SIFIs, are a major concern for economies across the region. In addition, non-bank finance has proven to be a major source of potential systemic risk and the G20/FSB is currently addressing this in the context of “shadow banking”, an issue that is of increasing concern throughout the region. Professor Arner will also discuss financial regulatory structure in the context of financial regulatory design, particularly as it relates to SIFIs, shadow banking and financial conglomerates.

Presentation slides

Transactional Law Roundtable: Liberalisation of Legal Services in Asia – an update

(22 May 2013)

Speaker: Mr Andrew Godwin

Description: Over the past two decades, many countries have opened up their markets to foreign lawyers and foreign law firms. This has been partly in response to efforts under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and partly in response to the globalisation of professional services generally. This is particularly true in Asia, where significant reforms have been introduced by countries such as Singapore and South Korea in recent years.

This roundtable will be led by Andrew Godwin, Director Transactional Law and Associate Director (Asian Commercial Law), Asian Law Centre, and will provide participants with an update on developments in Asia and an opportunity to discuss the implications for international legal practice.

Key topics of discussion include:

  • The different regulatory models adopted in Asia
  • Recent developments, including market-opening in South Korea
  • Future trends in markets such as China and India

Launch of Ms Ingrid Landau, Professor Ann O'Connell and Professor Ian Ramsay's New Book, 'Incentivising Employees: The theory, policy and practice of employee share ownership plans in Australia' by the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation and Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, the Hon Bill Shorten MP

(20 May 2013)

Description: This book is the culmination of a multi-year research project funded by the Australian Research Council and represents the first detailed discussion of the theory, policy and practice of employee share ownership plans (ESOPs) in Australia. The topics examined in the book are key legal and policy issues relevant to ESOPs, the current incidence and forms of ESOPs in Australia, the corporate law and taxation law frameworks, why employers implement ESOPs and why employees participate in them, international comparisons, and recommendations for reform.

The Harold Ford Memorial Lecture – From Managing to Monitoring: The Evolution of the Modern Company Board

(30 April 2013)

Speakers: Justice Julie Dodds-Streeton, Federal Court of Australia, who delivered a tribute to Professor Ford and The Hon Robert Austin who presented the lecture.

Presentation slides

Global Developments in the Regulation of Derivatives
(12 March 2013)

Speaker: Jan Job de Vries Robbé - Manager, Legal Affairs at the Netherlands Development Bank FMO and Senior Fellow, Melbourne Law School.

Description: In line with global trends, regulators in Australia are proposing significant reforms to the functioning of domestic over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives markets. The aim of the proposed reform measures is to enhance efficiency, integrity and stability of domestic OTC derivatives markets through the use of centralised infrastructure such as trade repositories, central counterparties (CCPs) and trading platforms for specified classes or products and participants. This seminar locates Australia’s reforms within the context of global developments.

Key topics of discussion include:

  • The background to the reforms, including the fall-out from the global financial crisis.
  • The impact of the proposed reforms.
  • Global trends in the regulation of derivatives generally.