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2009 CLTA Conference

University of Technology Sydney
1st- 3rd February 2009
Haymarket Campus
Sydney

The 2009 Corporate Law Teachers Annual Conference explores the ticking bomb beneath our global financial markets

In 2002, iconic investor Warren Buffet made a prophetic observation about derivatives and the instability of the burgeoning world markets. He describe derivatives, an ill-defined but much hyped financial instrument, as “financial weapons of mass destruction.” Six years later, the unthinkable (though, perhaps according to Buffet, inevitable) had happened: Wall St investment bank Lehman Bros filed for bankruptcy, spurring a wave of hasty “once-in-a-century” corporate bail-outs and bank nationalisations by governments around the world. Iceland, a developed nation, requested the aid of an IMF emergency loan for $2.1bn, and closer to home, Australia’s Kevin Rudd spent big to cushion the domestic economy against recession, driving him to utter the sobering D word – budget deficit, in early November 2008.

Held in the wake of this unfolding drama, the 2009 Corporate Law Teachers Annual Conference hosted by UTS:LAW will give academics and practitioners an opportunity to take stock of the damage. Its theme: Raising Confidence in the Capital Markets through Gatekeeper Accountability – Lessons from the Credit Crunch. During the 3 days of the conference (1-3 Feb 2009), over 70 academics from Australia and the UK, South Africa, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and New Zealand as well as practitioners of law will gather to share research and ideas, make professional contacts and discuss a case study guided by panel of expert practitioners from major law firms, financial institutions and regulators.

“Given the theme, it is highly relevant for people in practice,” said Jason Harris, corporate law lecturer at UTS:LAW who is spearheading the organisation of the conference. “It is a great opportunity for academics and practitioners to come together and consider these difficult issues,” said Harris, observing that UTS:LAW has a strong academic reputation in corporate and commercial law – offering such lecturers as John Stumbles, a former partner of Mallesons Stephen Jaques, Sir Gerard Brennan Research Professor Paul Redmond, a leading authority on corporate governance and law, Lesley Hitchens, Geoff Moore, Colin Hawes, Sophie Riley, Francis Johns and Harris himself. This remarkable group of academics will lead the Corporate & Commercial Law specialisation of the UTS Faculty of Law’s highly anticipated LLM program to be launched in 2009.

Headlining the event will be International Guest Speaker Satyajit Das, one of the world’s foremost and knowledgeable figures in derivatives and best known for his popular book, “Traders, Guns & Money: Knowns and Unknowns in the Dazzling World of Derivatives,” a pitch black funny satire exposing the high flying and morally flexible world of Wall Street traders. Life Buffet, Das is credited with foretelling the monumental crash of global markets years before it occurred, and describes the current situation as not merely a credit bubble burst, but a crucible “in which theories of the ‘new money’ and the financial ‘jiggery pokery’ (more politely known as financial engineering) of the structured credit markets… will be tested.” Each conference attendee will receive a complimentary copy of Das’s book.

New to this year’s conference is the sponsorship of a PhD student from the University of Canberra to attend and present their research on China’s milk contamination scandal, and the role of government and reporting from a corporate governance perspective. Many of the papers to be presented at the conference focus on issues of adequate disclosure, which, according to Jason Harris, “seem to be a key problem, as people don’t understand what they have bought, even large, sophisticated investors. The CLTA Conference will be a great chance to have a detailed look at these sorts of products and how they have contributed to the mess that we now find ourselves in.”

Story by: Wenee Yap
Sourced from: UTS Law Website which you can visit here

2009 Conference Papers


2008 CLTA Conference

Securities Class Actions, Creditors Rights and Enhanced Corporate Governance: The Dawn of A New Age?

Business Law and Taxation at UNSW
3rd – 5th February 2008
Crowne Plaza
Coogee Beach, Sydney

The 2008 CLTA Conference was opened by Professor Andrew Terry, Head of the School of Business Law and Taxation at the Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales. The welcome address was followed by the delivery of the plenary speech by the key note speaker, Professor Janis Sarra of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Professor Sarra shared her expertise in the area of corporate insolvency law by speaking on the topic “Risk Allocation and Efficient Administration: A Comparative Analysis of the Treatment of Equity Securities Claims in Insolvency”.

The Panel Discussion, which followed the plenary address, was another highlight of the conference. The Panel also addressed the conference theme, ‘Securities Class Actions, Creditors Rights and Enhanced Corporate Governance: The Dawn of a New Age?’. The Panel was chaired by Professor Michael Adams and the second key note address was delivered during that session by Professor Cindy Schipani, University of Michigan, who spoke on “Securities Litigation in the United States: A Look at the Backdating Scandals.” The following persons on the panel addressed the legal and policy implications following the High Court decision in Sons of Gwalia and the release of the CAMAC Discussion Paper (2007): Professor Elizabeth Boros, Michael Duffy, Jason Harris and Anil Hargovan.

Forty individuals, representing delegates from the Asia-Pacific Region (Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and New Zealand) and South Africa delivered papers at the Parallel Sessions spread over two days. The papers were diverse and rich in content, addressing significant aspects of corporate and insolvency law. These sessions were chaired by the members of the 2008 CLTA Executive.

The Teaching Workshop, held immediately after the AGM, was another highlight of the conference. The Workshop explored curriculum content and the art of teaching and was admirably facilitated by Claire Macken and Paula Darvas. I am also grateful to Professor Paul Redmond for his inspiration and contribution to the success of the Workshop.

The Best Paper Prize (sponsored by the Chartered Secretaries Australia) was awarded to Janet Austin (University of New South Wales) with a paper titled “Shareholder Class Actions – Sounding the Death Knell for ASIC Section 50 Actions?”.

The Conference Dinner at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Coogee Beach (sponsored by LexisNexis) was a great social and culinary event and a good time was enjoyed by all. Professor Jean du Plessis, President of the CLTA, welcomed our conference guest, Tim Sheehy, the Chief Executive of the Chartered Secretaries of Australia – a major sponsor of the CLTA. Professor du Plessis also presented a gift to John Nelson, the former Director (Education and Training) at Chartered Secretaries Australia, for his valuable contribution and support since inception of the CLTA.

Apart from our major sponsors (Chartered Secretaries Australia and LexisNexis), I would like to thank Thomson for sponsoring the Welcome Cocktail Reception and LexisNexis for sponsoring the Conference Dinner. CCH is also thanked for their sponsorship and the book displays by the three publishers is also appreciated.

I am grateful for the administrative support provided by Bibi Moore, School Administrator at the University of New South Wales. Her valuable event management skills ensured the smooth running of the conference. I would also like to thank our Web Administrator, Yen Ho (University of Sydney), for her dedication and great work on the CLTA 2008 Conference website

Anil Hargovan (UNSW)
Conference Chair

2008 Conference Papers


2007 CLTA Conference

Corporate Law and Corporate Governance: Stocktaking on Compliance and Enforcement

CLTA’s 17th annual conference will be hosted by the School of Law, Deakin University at Deakin’s Melbourne campus at Toorak
4-6 February 2007

Approximately 80 delegates from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and South Africa attended the Conference. In addition, about 15 practitioners and people from the Austrian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) attended the Panel Discussion held on Monday afternoon.  

After the Conference was opened by Prof Sally Walker, Vice-Chancellor Deakin University, Professor Klaus Hopt, Director,  Max-Planck-Institut fur Auslandisches und internationales Privatrecht, Hamburg delivered his Keynote Address on the topic “Corporate Law, Corporate Governance and Takeover Law in the European Union- Stocktaking, Reform Problems and Perspectives”. The second Keynote Address was delivered by Mr Nigel Morris, Director, Takeover Panel, on Tuesday morning on the topic “Recent developments in takeovers regulation”.

A highlight of the Conference was the Panel Discussion on Monday afternoon where the Regulators commented on the Conference theme: “Corporate Law and Corporate Governance: Stocktaking on Compliance and Enforcement“. The Panel Discussion was Chaired by Professor Paul Redmond and the following persons acted as Panel Members: Mr Jeremy Cooper, Deputy Chair, ASIC; Mr Eric Mayne, Chief Supervising Officer, ASX; Ms Louise Sylvan, Deputy Chair, ACCC; and Dr Christine Parker, University of Melbourne. Unfortunately Ms Alison Lansley, Mallesons, had to withdraw as Panel Member because of illness.

Approximately 36 individuals delivered papers at the Parallel Sessions. These Sessions were Chaired by the member of the 2007 CLTA Executive. The papers covered almost every aspect of the conference theme, but there were also some interesting and stimulated papers dealing with corporate law, corporate governance and insolvency law more generally.

The Annual Dinner (sponsored by CCH)  was held on Monday afternoon in the Rialto South Tower (FortyOne, 525 Collins St, Melbourne). It was a pleasant evening where corporate law colleagues and friends had the opportunity to discuss the academic issues of the day in a relaxed atmosphere. At the Dinner the honour of becoming a Life-long Member of the CLTA was bestowed on Professor Paul Redmond by the 2006 National President of the CLTA, Associate Professor Chris Symes. Professor Redmond is only the second person who received this honour after Professor Harold Ford.

The Best Paper Prize (sponsored by the Chartered Secretaries Australia (CSA)) was awarded to Michelle Welsh (Monash University) with a paper entitled “Contraventions of the Continuous Disclosure Provisions: Civil or Administrative Penalties”.  The second price went to Nance Frawley (Monash University) and the third prize to Neels Kilian (Tshwane University of Technolog, South Africa). The 2nd and 3rd prizes were sponsored by Oxford University Press.

Apart form our major sponsors (Chartered Secretaries Australia (CSA), CCH and Thomson), I would also like to thank LexisNexis for their sponsorship and display.

I would like to extend a special word of  thanks to Koula Antoniou from Deakin University for taking care so meticulously of all the administrative arrangements. Without  her assistance this Conference would not have been possible or at least it would not have run so smoothly! I would also like to thank our Web Administrator, Connie Cook (Deakin University) for her patience and doing such a great job on the CLTA Website generally, but in particular the 2007 CLTA Conference site.

Professor Jean J. du Plessis
Conference organiser

2007 Conference Papers


2006 CLTA Conference

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1994 CLTA Conference

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