What is law reform?

Law reform, in the simplest terms, means making changes to the law. However, it’s not just the law that can impact your business. Changes to regulatory processes and policies can also be relevant. Laws, processes or policies might be changed to reflect changing Government policy or community values, developments in technology, or to ensure that the law operates as intended.

What is the law reform process?

The law reform process may vary depending on the stakeholders involved, the complexity of the subject matter, timing, and other factors.

However, in most cases, the law reform process will commence with a broad thematic review undertaken by a government department, such as Treasury.  The department will generally release a public consultation paper for feedback via submissions and stakeholder meetings.  Once the government’s policy position is finalised, exposure draft legislation implementing the government’s policy position is released for public consultation.  Legislation is then introduced to Parliament and must be passed by both houses before becoming law.

Reforms to policies, processes and regulations can involve different consultation processes and timelines, as these reforms do not require passage through Parliament.

Why is law reform important and why should I get involved?

Law reform is essential to ensure our laws are fit-for-purpose and relevant amidst ongoing change, including developments in technology.

Changes to the law can directly impact on your business and clients.  When modernising and improving laws and regulation, governments and regulators want to hear from the people who will be affected.  It is important to have your voice heard so that decision-makers understand the benefits and pitfalls of proposed reforms.

Law reform can impact many different industries.  Some of the industries we work with are:

We can analyse, draft and workshop your policy submissions

We offer a range of policy consulting services that help you to understand proposed law or policy changes, develop your policy positions and effectively engage with consultations.  We can help with:

  • Analysis of proposed legislation and regulation, including analysis of potential impacts of reform on business operations, policies and procedures
  • Drafting policy submissions and reports
  • Drafting speeches and opening statements for parliamentary hearings
  • Assisting with preparation for parliamentary hearings, forums and other events
  • Drafting meeting planners and meeting preparation
  • Workshop facilitation and panel moderation services

Our expertise

Our consultants have extensive experience navigating complex areas of law and policy development.  We have worked closely with governments, industry bodies, regulators and international policymakers on issues such as digital asset regulation, anti-money laundering and financial advice.

Our policy experience includes:

Our submissions are comprehensive and often result in further round-table and in-person meetings with the relevant body.  As a result of doing this work, we have developed a network of contacts within certain regulators and government departments.

Our policy work is subject to our values

Holley Nethercote aims to be innovative and social-minded in the way we deliver our services.  We value building trust and driving ethical outcomes in everything we do.  We approach our policy consulting services from a responsible business perspective.

If you share our attitude towards tackling the complex policy issues facing the finance sector, please contact one of experts to discuss how we can help you to achieve your policy goals.

Please note: HN Policy Consulting is a business that is separate from our law firm Holley Nethercote Lawyers, but with many of the same staff.  When our lawyers provide policy consulting services, they are not providing a legal service.