Garth Fountain-Smith speaks at the Ross Parsons Centre Law & Business seminar on the subject on director duties

Garth Fountain-Smith speaks at the Ross Parsons Centre Law & Business seminar on the subject on director duties

The University of Sydney Law School invited Special Counsel and Corporate Governance Professional Garth Fountain-Smith, consultant to marshalls+dent+wilmoth lawyers to jointly speak alongside Dr Beth Nosworthy from Adelaide Law School at the Ross Parsons Centre Law & Business seminar: Employees duties under Ch2D of the Corporations Act.

Garth has been practising law for over 24 years. He has in-depth regulatory and legal compliance experience. He has extensive experience in corporate law matters including directors’ and officers’ duties, commercial litigation, professional conduct matters, regulatory and enforcement law across business and financial services sectors, and board reviews.

Beth is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Adelaide Law School, where she lectures in Corporate Law. She is also the Director of the Entrepreneur and Venture Advice Clinic. The free legal clinic allows law students to collaboratively work with practising solicitors to advise small businesses and start-ups as part of the Law School’s Clinical Legal Education program.

The webinar focused on the Cultural Impact of Employees: Regulation under ss 182 – 183 and the fiduciary obligations employees owe their employer when in a position of ‘trust and confidence’.

Dr Nosworthy gave a comprehensive account of the historical development of directors’ and officers’ duties, including discussing the role of the HIH Royal Commission to derive the present position, but noted that there appeared to be no clear justification why employees should be covered by provisions of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) that apply to directors’ and officers’ duties.

Garth took the audience through the process of defending a claim for breach of duties under the Corporations Act, including discussing the various investigation powers that ASIC has when enforcing compliance with the law.

The webinar highlighted the clear problems associated with covering employees with director’s duties.

The audience was made up of practitioners, business professionals, regulators and international attendees from South Africa, the Netherlands and the UK.

The webinar was hosted on Wednesday 14 October 2020. To view the recording, please click here.