How we can help
Our team comprises of a number of Australian Financial Services Lawyers who have different financial services backgrounds and expertise, ranging from senior roles at ASIC, CIO & FOS (now known as AFCA) and large legal firms. We have developed a team of Australian Financial Services Lawyers with expertise to cover all areas of financial services law.
We can provide legal advice on any matter concerning Australian Financial Services Law. This could include:
- Advice regarding your general licensing obligations (appointments, training, outsourcing, breach reporting, dispute resolution, risk management), structuring or growth strategies.
- Assistance with drafting or reviewing agreements (e.g: Authorised representative and Intermediary agreements)
- Assistance with drafting or reviewing customised disclosure documents (FSGs, SOAs, PDSs – we have all the acronyms covered!)
- Purchase or sale of an AFSL
- Legal disputes
- Responding to ASIC investigation or enforcement action
- Assistance with drafting or reviewing licensee policies such as Internal Dispute Resolution (IDR) policies, Conflicts of Interests etc.
We often advise on the following question:
In light of our intended activities, do we require an Australian Financial Services Licence and, if so, what authorisations are required?
When providing legal advice, we look at:
- the type of business you operate or are intending to operate
- the AFSL authorisations required for the activities of running your business
- AFSL requirements and whether or not there are any exemptions in the business you’re operating
- AFSL compliance obligations that you may need to consider
We also, if applicable, combine that advice with consideration of related but separate legal regimes, including the application of obligations under:
- AML/CTF legislation; and
- APRA-regulated activities (for example, whether or not an intended activity meets the definition of a Purchased Payments Facility).
We regularly review a business against its obligations as a licence holder. Sometimes, the scope of the review also takes into account Commissioner Hayne’s recommendation in the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. Specifically, Hayne said:
Recommendation 5.6 – Changing culture and governance
All financial services entities should, as often as reasonably possible, take proper steps to:
- assess the entity’s culture and its governance;
- identify any problems with that culture and governance;
- deal with those problems; and
- determine whether the changes it has made have been effective.
We also undertake risk-based reviews. For example, we may review the end-to-end delivery of personal advice for a risk insurance advice business.
Compliance Committee Meetings
We can help you establish, chair and operate your Compliance Committee. We can sit on as an “external member” and test your compliance processes and help you show (via your committee minutes) ongoing compliance with many of your key licence obligations.
We can help with:
- AFCA complaints. Some of our lawyers had senior roles at both the Credit and Investments Ombudsman and the Financial Ombudsman Service (both of which are now called the Australian Financial Complaints Authority).
- Regulatory Investigations. Some of our lawyers had senior roles at ASIC, and we regularly represent clients who are subject to administrative, civil or criminal action initiated by a Regulator.
- Litigation. Our team includes seasoned litigators who regularly represent clients in court proceedings.