Herbert Smith Freehills

Financial Services Regulation Department

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What the team is known for Broadly acknowledged as Australia's leading adviser for the handling of regulatory investigations and disputes, and remains highly regarded for the strength of its advice on all facets of financial services regulation. Serves a prestigious client base across the industry, offering excellent cross-border capabilities through its global network of offices, with the team particularly suited to handling matters involving the UK and Hong Kong, and recognised as a leader in the growing fintech space.

Strengths The team wins praise for its "commerciality, timeliness and value for money," a client noting: "They provide pragmatic and commercial solutions to problems, and that sets them apart from other firms who just tell us what the law says."

Another client describes the team as "very strong practitioners who have a very good understanding of the Corporations Act and are particularly good on contentious matters."

Work highlights Assisted AMP on the legal obligations surrounding remediating customers and reporting breaches of financial services laws to ASIC.

Notable practitioners

Andrew Eastwood
is "a very experienced litigation and regulatory lawyer," according to market sources. He often acts on contentious matters for major clients in the financial services sector.

Fiona Smedley
is an established practitioner who is recognised for her expertise in relation to investment funds and Corporations Act matters. "She's very commercial and very practical," comments a client. "She has good market knowledge and is a very trustworthy adviser who has a lot of integrity."

Luke Hastings
is widely regarded as a leading litigator in the financial services regulation space, one client describing him as "an excellent partner on regulatory and contentious matters." Another client comments: "He's an excellent practitioner for regulatory work and provides strategic advice as to how to approach situations."

Michael Vrisakis
frequently assists clients in the superannuation sector with regulatory issues and is described by one client as "very frank, unafraid to take strong positions, and a very creative thinker who is well connected across the industry." Another client adds: "His key strengths include his in-depth knowledge of the law and his ability to apply the law in a creative way to provide simple solutions to complex problems."