The Chair has been established through a philanthropic partnership with MinterEllison, an international legal and consulting firm headquartered in Australia and regarded as one of the Asia-Pacific's premier firms.
Professor Dimity Kingsford Smith, a leading voice in corporate and financial regulation, has been named the inaugural MinterEllison Chair in Risk and Regulation.
The establishment of the Chair comes at an opportune time when national leadership is required to address the findings of the Financial Services Royal Commission. The Chair will study risk governance, risk management and regulation to help organisations identify, understand and respond to known and unknown risks. This will develop new ideas and means of regulation to improve industries, such as financial services, to the benefit of society and the economy.
One of Australia’s leading corporate law scholars, Professor Kingsford Smith’s work covers areas including financial services regulation, corporate governance, online investing and theory and practice of regulation. Professor Kingsford Smith previously served as the National Australia Bank’s First Wealth Customer Advocate. In addition, she is a member of ASIC’s External Advisory Panel and has written research reports for ASIC. She was the inaugural chair of the Conduct Review Commission of the Financial Planners Association, a disciplinary panel in the financial services sector, and was a member of the Code Committee of the New Zealand Financial Markets Authority between 2011-2017.
"I look forward to working on the big questions of how to deal fairly with risk and regulation and all the stakeholders they effect,” said Professor Kingsford Smith. “Risk and regulation along with community expectations are central to most decisions in commercial and corporate life, and to how the legal system responds. I am very excited about and grateful for the opportunity this generous support provides to spend time as a research professor on these questions of continuing importance to some of our most significant institutions and to the lives of Australians."
Professor George Williams AO, Dean of the UNSW Faculty of Law, said the Chair position expands UNSW’s commitment to nurturing close partnerships between academic inquiry and leading professional practice.
“UNSW Law is delighted to be entering into this partnership with one of Australia’s leading firms, MinterEllison. Supporting risk professionals is important to the effective operation of government, markets and corporations,” said Professor Williams. “These activities help to protect the institutions and networks on which we rely on for security, safety and modern economic prosperity in a complex and increasingly inter-related world. The Royal Commission into Banking and Financial Services highlights why universities and their partners must take the lead in ensuring that financial services are delivered fairly the community. This Chair promises to have a large impact on those debates.”
Ross Freeman, MinterEllison Partner and Risk, Regulatory, Insurance & Controversy Leader, said that the firm is "particularly excited by the opportunity to facilitate and open up knowledge transfer and thought leadership between the leading thinkers at UNSW and MinterEllison, and to better connect academic inquiry to leading professional practice more widely – all of which is currently of critical importance to the financial services industry in Australia."
“The Australian financial services industry is going through the most profound changes we are likely to see in our lifetime,” said Rahoul Chowdry, MinterEllison Partner. “As advisors to the industry we have a particular interest in supporting sound risk management, regulation and legislation that benefits society and the economy more widely. Our partnership with UNSW Law will help us develop further our views on the interplay between community expectations, conduct and the law, and equip our people to deliver cutting edge advice that is particularly relevant in the turbulent times in which we live.”