Banking and finance law is a large area which covers both individual consumers and corporate entities.
Broadly speaking, in this area, a banking and finance lawyer may typically advise on:
- The structure and regulation of the banking and financial system;
- Obligations between banks and customers; and
- Ways of financing commercial transactions
However, there are a number of more specialised areas in which issues may arise, including the following:
- Compliance with major regulators such as the Reserve Bank, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and Australian Securities and Investments Commission;
- The legal implications of opening or holding funds in a range of bank account types, including the consequences of holding sole accounts or joint accounts;
- Bank secrecy and confidentiality, and considerations under the provisions of the Privacy Act 1988;
- Responsibilities, liabilities and obligations in the area of electronic banking, involving any transfer of funds through an exchange of electronic signals, either among financial institutions, or between financial and commercial institutions;
- The legal benefits or detriments as to various payment systems, including cash and non-cash payments, and any issues as to payment clearing and settlement, surcharging standards and retail payments;
- Cheques and negotiable instruments, being documents providing a guarantee as to payment of a given sum of money on demand or at a set time. As outlined in the Personal Property Securities Act 2009, this may include bills of exchange, promissory notes, letters of credit or other written documents providing evidence as to a right to a payment of money;
- Lending, borrowing and project finance, whether or an individual or a corporate basis;
- Planning and documenting financial instruments and finalising commercial transactions. This includes drafting and advising on various loan and security documents, mortgages, guarantees, commercial and retail leases, building contracts, and setting up trusts and business structures such as companies, partnerships, unit trusts and discretionary trusts;
- Asset management and wealth management, involving advice as asset management businesses, fund establishment, capital raisings, hedge funds, property, investment funds, onshore and offshore assets, administrative arrangements, incentive schemes and regulatory advice;
- Company restructuring, from informal restructuring processes to other matters including but not limited to financial restructuring, debt refinancing, operational restructuring, business stabilisation, turnaround management, financial distress, and whether insolvency may result in restructuring or liquidation;
- Alternative dispute resolution options and strategies as to negotiating an outcome prior to resorting to an external decision-maker; and
- Intersections between banking and finance and technologies such as cryptocurrency, blockchain, Bitcoin, Ethereum and FinTech.
We have access to a broad network of accountants, liquidators, administrators, brokers, financial advisors and other professional service providers with which we work closely to provide a tailor-made solution to your banking and finance legal issues.
Contact us for expert legal assistance.