find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Lawyers assuming regulator role

Lawyers assuming regulator role

Grant Holley

ASIC is increasingly outsourcing oversight responsibilities to financial services lawyers and other professionals, a boutique managing partner has said.

Grant Holley, co-founder of two-office firm Holley Nethercote, suggested ASIC is facing a funding shortage.

“ASIC has had more and more areas given to it to look after, but it's also had a lot of money pulled out of it so it's not as well-resourced as it could be,” Mr Holley said. “The effect of that is it's expecting gatekeepers in the industry – such as lawyers and auditors – to do more.”

ASIC’s cost-cutting strategy is to rely increasingly on enforceable undertakings (EU), when companies commit to implementing changes approved by ASIC, Mr Holley suggested.

Under an EU, companies are usually obliged to engage a consultant to advise on compliance and often also an independent auditor, roles which are frequently filled by lawyers.

“[The government] is shifting or allocating some of the things ASIC may have done previously to law firms like ours,” Mr Holley said.

In his view, the trend is both a boon and a risk for financial services firms.

“It's an opportunity because it creates work, but it's also a challenge because it creates risk. It's not a traditional legal practice role, because it's as much about being a business consultant or performing an auditor type function.”.

Another area where Holley Nethercote is taking on new responsibilities is the remitting of funds.

According to Mr Holley, many people – especially those from developing countries – seek to transfer money to families and communities through a money remittance service.

However, these services sometimes fall foul of money-laundering and counter-terrorism authorities, meaning many banks refuse to service them.

Mr Holley believes lawyers can play a role in helping manage such services, although careful vetting is required.

“If you're a firm that's involved in assisting those kinds of clients, the risk to the firm is that you take on some you shouldn't take on,” Mr Holley said. “You really have to do your due diligence on these clients.”

“On the other hand, we don't feel right doing what a lot of the banks have done, which is just ‘de-banking’ these people. It is such a vital service. If [these economies] don't have the money from people who are overseas in jobs, families could starve.”



Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Lawyers assuming regulator role
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...