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Law Council of Australia

Business Law Section

About the Section

The Business Law Section (BLS) was established in August 1980 by the Law Council of Australia with jurisdiction in all matters pertaining to business law. It is governed by a set of by-laws passed pursuant to the Constitution of the Law Council of Australia and is constituted as a Section of Law Council of Australia Limited.

It provides a forum through which lawyers and others interested in law affecting business can discuss current issues, debate and contribute to the process of law reform in Australia, and enhance their professional skills.

The Business Law Section:

BLS Strategic Plan 2022-2026

The purpose of the Business Law Section of the Law Council of Australia is to be an objective and independent national body comprised of experts who actively contribute to the ef-fective development, implementation and administration of business law in Australia in accordance with its guiding principles.

The Business Law Section has developed a new strategic plan which will guide the BLS through challenging times over the next few years. 

Click here to view the plan.
 

Section Executive


Dr Pamela Hanrahan, Chair

Dr Pamela Hanrahan is a lawyer, author and legal academic who specialises in corporate law, corporate governance, financial services regulation, and financial markets law. Pamela is a Consultant with Johnson Winter Slattery and a Senior Fellow of the Melbourne Law School.

She was Professor of Commercial Law and Regulation at the UNSW Business School from 2017 – 2023 and is the founding director of the Cybersecurity and Data Governance Research Network at UNSW Sydney. She is also a founding member of the Society of Investment Law (USA), a Fellow of FINSIA, a solicitor member of the Law Society of New South Wales, and a non-executive director of Landcom. Pamela has been a member of the Corporations Committee of the BLS for two decades, and was elected to the BLS Executive in 2017.

Mr Adrian Varrasso, Deputy Chair

Adrian is the head of MinterEllison's tax practice. Adrian is a member of the BLS's Taxation Committee, having been Victorian and National Chair, and now sits on the Executive of the BLS. Adrian also holds various roles outside of his practice, including being a member of the ATO's Commissioner's Remedial Power panel and the University of Melbourne Law School Dean's advisory board.


 

Dr Elizabeth Boros KC, Treasurer

Elizabeth is a barrister, author, and academic, specialising in corporations law and trusts. Before being called to the Bar, Elizabeth held the Sir Keith Aickin Chair of Company Law at Monash University and was a consultant in the corporate group at Ashurst in Melbourne. She is the author of Minority Shareholders’ Remedies and the co-author of Corporate Law, (now in its 4th edition), both published by Oxford University Press, as well as numerous journal articles.  She is a long-standing member of the Business Law Section’s corporations committee.

Elizabeth has taught subjects including Corporations Law, Corporate Governance and Directors’ Duties, Shareholders’ Remedies, Equity and Trusts at Melbourne, Monash and Sydney Universities. 

Executive Members

Committees of the Business Law Section

The Business Law Section currently has 14 specialist committees and working groups. To learn more about the work of each committee please click on the links below.

The Competition and Consumer Committee provides a forum through which lawyers, economists, academics and other interested parties can discuss competition and consumer law issues. The committee meets regularly to discuss legal developments, policy issues and potential areas of competition and consumer law reform. Read more.

Chair: Ms Lisa Huett

The Construction and Infrastructure Committee advises on policy and legislative reform impacting on the building and construction sector in Australia. The committee sees their role as consultative with government and other peak legal membership bodies such as state law societies and building practitioners associations. The committee’s key role is in commentary on legislative reform including drafting and education. Read more.

Chair: Ms Adrienne Parker

The Corporations Committee takes an active role in consultation and submissions to Federal Treasury, ASIC, ASX, the Takeovers Panel and other regulators on law and policy reform proposals as they relate to Australian corporations and securities laws. Including topics such as corporate governance, fundraisings, takeovers, continuous disclosure, directors and officers duties and liability frameworks for corporations and their officers. The committee also collaborates with the Financial Services Committee on financial services reforms, and broader reforms emerging from the Royal Commission. Read more.

Chair: Mr Robert Sultan

The Customs and International Transactions Committee focuses on legal issues associated with international trade, particularly trade in goods. The committee’s focus areas are customs compliance, tariff classification, free trade agreements, tariff concession orders and Australia's obligations as a member of the World Trade Organisation. Read more.

Chair: Mr David Ware

The Digital Commerce Committee was formed in the 1990s as the E-commerce Committee and has a focus on commercial and government/regulatory transactions with business and consumers using digital and related technologies and platforms including digital marketing, procurement, supply and service delivery, contracting, authentication, signing and consents. Read more.

Chair: Ms Susannah Wilkinson

The Financial Services Committee monitors developments in the laws and regulations governing financial services, actively contributing to public consultation on changes to these laws. These include, for example, the Australian Financial Services License regime, the National Credit Code, the Banking Code of Practice, the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act, the Personal Property Securities Act. Read more.

Chair: Ms Phillipa Bell

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Working Party was formed to represent the views of the Law Council in relation to issues involving foreign corrupt practices, including law reform initiatives in this area and OECD scrutiny of Australia's compliance with its obligations under the relevant directive. Read more.

Chair: Mr Greg Golding

The Foreign Investment Committee was formed initially to engage with the Federal Government on much needed reform to Australia’s foreign investment regime. Following the rewrite of the legislation in 2015 the committee has continued to be actively engaged with the Federal Government at both bureaucratic, board and ministerial level. Read more.

Chair: Ms Wendy Rae

The Insolvency & Restructuring Committee (IRC) was formed in 1994 (formerly known as the Insolvency and Reconstruction Law Committee). The IRC is the peak legal body at the federal level for insolvency and restructuring and its members are many of Australia’s most respected and senior insolvency and restructuring lawyers. Read more.

Chair: Mr Chris Pearce

The Intellectual Property Committee has been active in law reform of Australia’s intellectual property system for over 40 years. It comprises barristers, solicitors and academic scholars who, through its various sub-committees, debate and contribute to the process of law reform across all aspects of intellectual property law. Read more.

Chair: Mr Angus Lang

The Media and Communications Committee focus is in the areas of privacy (jointly with the Privacy Committee), defamation and broader media and communications reform (particularly arising from competition law reform). The Committee's membership is a mix of practitioners, from private practice, the bar and in-house counsel.  In addition to practitioners in the areas of traditional media and telecommunications, the Sydney group now has representatives from the area of online platforms.

Chair: Ms Connie Carnabuci

The Privacy Law Committee is focused on developments in privacy laws, mostly on the Federal level and from a business law perspective. The committee contributes regularly to initiatives such as the introduction of consumer data right, Digital Platform Inquiry and the privacy impacts of emerging technologies such use of biometric data and artificial intelligence. The committee also takes a keen interest in key investigations and enquiries undertaken by privacy and other regulators as these relate to privacy and data. Read more.

Chair: Ms Olga Ganopolsky

The SME Business Law Committee was initiated by Prof Bob Baxt in 2010 to represent the perspective of small businesses when providing submissions and consultations in areas where other BLS committees represented the interests of the large business clients of the practitioner members. Read more.

Chair: Mr Bruce Collins

Through its policy and consultation work the Taxation Committee plays a key role in the strategic direction of the tax system and in the identification of opportunities to improve tax administration generally. The last four years have seen a marked increase in the number of significant changes and amendments to tax laws, many of which charter new and complex territory. The complexity of the tax system has continued to grow unabated. Read more.

Chair: Mr Justin Byrne

Section Administration

Ms Jessica Morrow
Executive Officer
Business Law Section
T. (02) 6246 3737
E. Jessica.Morrow@lawcouncil.au

Disclaimer

The Law Council is the peak body representing the interests of the legal profession at the national level. The Law Council does not offer advice on individual cases. If you do require legal advice, please contact your local law society or legal aid.
 

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