Regulatory Recap - 27 June 2016

Recent Key Developments

  • ASIC and Monetary Authority of Singapore enter into Innovation Functions Co-operation Agreement.
  • ASIC commences first best interests duty case.
  • RBA's Glenn Stevens and FCA's Tracey McDermott both awarded in Queen's Birthday Honours List.


  • ASIC releases Consultation Paper seeking feedback on proposed approach to facilitating innovation in financial services, including regulatory sandbox licensing exemption: > read more 
  • ASIC commences first action against licensee for alleged breaches of the best interests duty introduced under FOFA reforms: > read more 
  • ASIC releases report detailing results of recent surveillance program and identifying serious and widespread compliance failures in retail over-the-counter derivatives industry: > read more 
  • ASIC Chairman, Greg Medcraft, addresses Annual Stockbrokers Conference on Building Trust and Confidence, noting ASIC priorities for ensuring market integrity are cyber resilience, conduct risk and handling of confidential information and conflicts of interest: > read more 
  • ASIC Chairman, Greg Medcraft, addresses Law Council of Australia on Directors' Duties and Culture, highlighting importance of a firm's social licence in addition to legal licence: > read more
  • ASIC Chairman, Greg Medcraft, addresses Reuters 4th Annual Australian Regulatory Summit on Tone from the Top: Influencing Conduct and Culture, reiterating his constant message that values and cultural leadership must come from the top: > read more 
  • ASIC Commissioner, John Price, addressed Governance Institute of Australia's Corporate Governance Forum on ASIC's Focus on Culture: Digging into the Detail, highlighting that promoting more diversity within organisations, particularly at the executive and board level, is an important mechanism for fostering a more positive culture within the firm: > read more  
  • ASIC reminder that from 1 July 2016, accountants must hold AFSL or be an authorised representative of a licence-holder or licensee to provide financial product advice on self-managed superannuation funds: > read more 
  • ASIC and Monetary Authority of Singapore sign Innovation Functions Co-operation Agreement to enable FinTech companies in Singapore and Australia to establish initial discussions in each other’s market faster and receive advice on required licences: > read more 
  • ABA announces former Auditor-General, Ian McPhee, to oversee new bank measures to protect consumer interests: > read more  


United Kingdom

  • FCA appoints Megan Butler as permanent Director of Supervision – Investment, Wholesale and Specialists: > read more 
  • FCA signs Women in Finance Charter to promote a more diverse workforce: > read more  
  • FCA Director of Strategy and Competition, Christopher Woolard, addresses Global Digital Banking Conference on Innovation and Improving Outcomes, explaining the work of the Advice Unit in supporting firms developing automated advice models to deliver lower cost advice to consumers: > read more 

United States

  • SEC Chair, Mary Jo White, gives testimony to US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs on Oversight of the SEC, confirming record achievements in fiscal year 2015 of over 800 enforcement actions, over $4 billion in orders directing the payment of penalties and disgorgement and conduct of 2,000 examinations: > read more  
  • SEC Chair, Mary Jo White, addresses Investment Company Institute on The Future of Investment Company Regulation, noting 3 most significant areas of regulation for asset management industry are: controls on conflicts of interest; a robust registration, reporting and disclosure regime and controls on specific fund portfolio composition risks and operational risks: > read more  
  • SEC grants $17 million whistleblower award, second largest ever issued by SEC: > read more


Our Regulatory Risk + Strategy Team

Scott Atkins

I'm unapologetically determined and fearless. I pursue excellence. Always.

Scott Atkins Partner

Scott is the Chair of our Board and an internationally renowned insolvency and restructuring lawyer. He is an inaugural Fellow and a member of the Board of INSOL International. Scott is also Vice President of the Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association (ARITA).

Scott is a trusted adviser to Australia's leading banks and insolvency and restructuring practitioners and has acted on some of the industry's most complex and sensitive banking and insolvency advisory and dispute resolution matters.

Prior to joining HDY, Scott practiced for 7 years as in-house counsel with Commonwealth Bank Group. He is now our Client Relationship Partner for the CBA Group. He is also the co-leader of our cross-border insolvency practice and our regulatory enforcement practice. Scott is recognised by his peers for his leading expertise in cross-border insolvency, acting on both inbound engagements in Australia and advising Australian clients on outbound engagements in the USA, UK, Cayman Islands, Hong Kong and The Netherlands, among other jurisdictions.

Scott was the Australian delegate on the Advisory Committee on Comparative Law established by the American Bankruptcy Institute as part of its Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code. This resulted in a landmark report for the reform of Chapter 11.

He is a published author on insolvency and cross-border insolvency. Most recently, Scott was one of the Australian contributors to the 2015 publication 'International Contributions to the reform of Chapter 11 U.S. bankruptcy code' which is volume 2 of the European and International Insolvency Law Studies series. He also authored the Australian chapter of Avoidance of Antecedent Transactions and Cross-Border Insolvency (INSOL International). Among other publications, he is the co-author, together with Professor Rosalind Mason, of the Australian chapter of Look Chan Ho's leading text: Cross-Border Insolvency: Cases and Materials (Kluwer International).

Scott is a visiting lecturer on cross-border insolvency at the University of Sydney in its undergraduate and postgraduate law programs lead by Professor John Stumbles.

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Nikki Bentley

I understand the financial services industry and thrive on helping our clients in this industry succeed.

Nikki Bentley Partner

Nikki is the Group Leader of Henry Davis York's Corporate Group, which includes the legal teams for Corporate / Mergers & Acquisitions; Investments & Financial Services and Tax.

Nikki is a leading investment funds advisor specialising in financial services and corporate law.  She specialises in business establishment and structuring, fund establishment, funds merger and acquisition, product disclosure and distribution. Nikki leads HDY's corporate group which combines expertise from the Financial Services, M&A and Tax areas.

Nikki provides advice to leading Australian and global fund managers on a full range of corporate, commercial and regulatory issues facing their businesses. She has considerable experience in assisting clients with fund establishment (onshore and offshore), disclosure and distribution. Nikki regularly advises clients on establishing, buying, selling and restructuring their businesses. She also regularly assists clients responding to regulatory enquiries and investigations.

With more than 15 years funds management experience in private practice, government and as an in-house lawyer, Nikki's practice spans the range of funds management products, with particular expertise in hedge funds, property funds and equities.

Nikki is regularly involved in industry and government discussions on regulatory reforms impacting the Australian funds management industry. Nikki is a passionate advocate for the development of a new corporate collective investment vehicle because of the opportunities it could provide to grow the funds management industry. She is the Honorary Legal Counsel and Chair of the Regulatory Committee for the Australian branch of the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) and is a regular participant on the Financial Services Council (FSC) working groups.

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John Martin Partner

John is a leading lawyer in both financial sector dispute resolution (complex and regulatory) and corporate insolvency and restructuring, with a particular specialty in cross-border insolvencies. He is recognised by his clients, peers and legal directories as a leader in his field.

Domestically, John advises on large and complex insolvencies and assists in finding solutions for financial institutions with regulatory and other complex issues. His clients include several of Australia's major banks, as well as insolvency practitioners appointed to insolvent entities.

Internationally, John has advised in connection with insolvencies in England, Fiji, Bermuda, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, Brunei, and Norfolk Island. His cross-border experience includes acting for the liquidators of an insolvent bank, and various liquidators of insurance and reinsurance companies.

John is a recognised authority on insolvency issues, with articles published in media outlets such as The Australian Financial Review and the Insolvency Law Journal. He has presented at numerous domestic conferences as well as internationally in the US, England, South Africa, Singapore, Canada, New Zealand, and the Netherlands.

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Claudine Salameh Partner

Claudine has over 15 years' experience dealing with legal issues in the financial services sector.

She is a banking and insolvency litigator and regulatory expert. She acts for the major Australian financial institutions in matters involving customer disputes and litigation, fraud, regulatory and compliance issues, regulatory investigations, inquiries and enforcement matters, security enforcement and insolvency litigation. She also acts for insolvency practitioners in formal receiverships, voluntary administrations and liquidations.

Claudine is well known for her ability to manage risks posed by litigation and regulatory inquiries and investigations. She is particularly attuned to reputational and business risks. She is highly strategic and creative and is recognised by her clients for being able to achieve the perfect balance between legal arguments and commercial and practical outcomes.

Claudine has been instrumental in working with clients to provide insights into the field of behavioural economics, which over the past few years, has been of interest to policy makers and regulators as a tool to engage in 'choice architecture'. On a practical level, Claudine has worked closely with clients to design approaches to customer engagement that make use of behavioural insights.   

Claudine is an expert in the conduct of review and remediation programs and provided assistance to the regulator, by way of submissions and her involvement in an industry working group, on ASIC's regulatory guide on review and remediation programs.

Claudine is very familiar with ASIC's powers to obtain documents and information from financial institutions and is called upon by financial institutions to provide assistance in these matters. She has a style that is conducive to having a fruitful dialogue with both the regulator and the various stakeholders within a financial institution.

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