Of the 143 investigations completed by ASIC in 2017, there were 874 criminal charges laid in summary prosecutions for strict liability offences and $713.2 million in compensation or remediation paid. The consequences of a regulatory investigation, even one that uncovers no wrongdoing, at best is inconvenient. At worst, it can be disastrous for a business and individual directors.
Regulatory inquiries and investigations come in all shapes and sizes. We have considerable experience in acting for clients and their insurers in a wide range of investigations and prosecutions. This includes OH&S and WorkSafe Australia and New Zealand investigations. Our New Zealand team is particularly experienced in health and safety prosecutions and statutory liability cover.
We assist regularly on banking and securities-related investigations, including by ASIC and the New Zealand FMA, the Commerce Commission, and Tax Office investigations. We have particular expertise in assisting and defending claims in the financial services sector, including for financial services licensees and directors and officers in investigations leading to claims under D&O and PI policies. We also regularly act for accountants, auditors and tax professionals.
Some of the inquiries and investigations on which we have assisted clients are:
ASIC and NZ FMA investigations
Acting as coverage counsel for the underwriters of an online foreign exchange trading company investigated by ASIC for offences including false trading and market rigging.
Successful defence of a MIS director in ASIC and Federal Court proceedings
Acting for a director of a managed investment scheme that operated retirement villages and collapsed with $450 million in losses. This included acting for the director in defence of an ASIC prosecution for breach of directors’ duties, and a successful appeal to the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia.
Investigation into price fixing and anti-competitive conduct across three sectors
Defending our client in regulatory investigations and High Court proceedings under the Commerce Act for anti-competitive conduct and price fixing, including investigations into the rural sector, real estate industry and electricity markets.
Defending WorkSafe prosecutions in the NZ forestry industry
Defending, settling and mitigating WorkSafe prosecutions deriving from incidents in numerous forestry and agricultural fatalities.
When you’re faced with complex investigation, you need a team that can quickly identify issues and move swiftly to protect your rights. Our team lives and breathes insurance, and we are the first point of call for leading insurers when their insured businesses and executives are facing down a potentially damaging regulatory investigation.