The Baxt Prize honours the contribution of Professor Robert (‘Bob’) Baxt AO to business law in Australia.
The Baxt Prize recognises Professor Baxt’s longstanding involvement with, and commitment to, the Business Law Section of the Law Council of Australia (BLS). Professor Baxt was a founding member of the BLS, served on three BLS committees (chairing two of them), served as an Executive member for more than 30 years, and was the Section Chairman from 2001 – 2003. Professor Baxt was instrumental in creating the annual Competition Workshop which is, and has been for some years, the pre-eminent workshop in this field in Australia.
Professor Baxt practised and published extensively in the fields of trade practices, corporate law and taxation law, and had a longstanding commitment to legal education. After serving as Dean of Law at Monash University from 1980 – 1988 and Chairman of the Australian Trade Practices Commission from 1988 – 1991, Professor Baxt was a partner of Allens from 1991 – 2004 and a partner (later Emeritus Partner) of Herbert Smith Freehills from 2005 – 2017. He was also a professorial Fellow of the University of Melbourne, Chairman of the Law Committee of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and the founder and general editor of the Australian Business Law Review and the Company and Securities Law Journal.
Professor Baxt was a recipient of the Centenary Medal and was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2003 for services to law.
Throughout the many phases of his extensive legal career in academia, administration and practice, Professor Baxt held a deep interest in the professional development of young lawyers.
Baxt Prize 2023 round
The 2023 round for the Baxt Prize is now open.
The Baxt Prize honours the contribution of Professor Robert (‘Bob’) Baxt AO to business law in Australia. In 2023, the Baxt Prize will be awarded for an outstanding journal article on a topic related to Australian trade practices, corporate law or taxation law published in an A* or A ranked journal between 1 July 2022 and 30 June 2023 by an author under the age of 35.
How to apply
Applications must be submitted on an official application form. Please submit applications to BaxtPrize@lawcouncil.au by 2 September 2023 AEST.
If you have any questions about the Baxt Prize, please contact the BLS Administrator, Jessica Morrow via email Jessica.Morrow@lawcouncil.au or phone 02 6246 3737.
The 2022 Baxt Prize was awarded to Joshua Sinn for his paper “Managing Nascent Digital Competition: An Assessment of Australian Merger Law under Conditions of Radical Uncertainty”. His paper argues that Australian merger law cannot adequately navigate the radical uncertainty inherent in merger review involving highly dynamic digital markets. It explores experimentalist governance as a regulatory innovation that allows regulators and firms to respond to radical uncertainty by recursively crafting solutions to challenges that emerge in dynamic markets over time.
Joshua graduated from the University of Sydney in 2020 with First Class Honours in Law and the University Medal in Commerce (Economics). He is currently a Strategy Consultant in Accenture’s Economic Insights practice. His work combines economics, data and public policy analysis to inform strategic advice for clients.
The 2021 Baxt Prize was awarded to Nik Angelakis for his paper “Unfair Preferences as an Instrument of Restoration”. In his paper, he examines preferential payments made by a related entity to an insolvent corporate debtor, and the rationale for and relief that flows from a preferential payment under Part 5.7B of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). In doing so, he considers competing decisions of intermediate appellate courts which promote conflicting rationales for the avoidance of unfair preferences.
Nik is an Associate in the Commercial Disputes and Insolvency team at Mills Oakley. He graduated from the University of Adelaide with Honours in 2018 and is presently undertaking a Master of Laws at the University of Melbourne, where he is completing a minor thesis on the adjudication of proofs of debt in corporate insolvency. In 2018 to 2019, he was the Associate to the Honourable Justice Sifris of the Supreme Court of Victoria. He practises in corporate insolvency, commercial litigation, and secured debt recovery.
The 2020 Baxt Prize was awarded to Joshua Anderson for his paper, “Directorial liability for inappropriate employee remuneration schemes: An incentive for directors to care about incentives?”, which explores the role and influence of incentives on lower-level employees, the deleterious consequences that inappropriate remuneration schemes may have, and directors’ and officers’ potential liability under s 180 of the Corporations Act.
Joshua is currently a Senior Associate in the Disputes & Investigations team at Allens. He graduated from the University of Melbourne Law School with First Class Honours in 2013 and is presently undertaking a Master of Laws. In 2017, Joshua was associate to the Honourable Justice Moshinsky of the Federal Court, and in 2019, he was seconded to the Chief Legal Office at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. He practices in commercial litigation, with a focus on regulatory enforcement, class actions and insurance.
The 2019 Baxt Prize was awarded to Connor Hogg for his paper, "The Sharing Economy: The Modern Consumer’s Challenge", in which he analyses how our Australian consumer law rights are adequately protected when using sharing economy apps like Uber and Airbnb. Connor is a senior project officer at the ACCC working in international affairs, having previously been a lawyer in competition and regulation at Gilbert + Tobin in Sydney.
He graduated from the Macquarie University with First Class Honours in 2016, and was the 2018/2019 Tarlo Scholar at Trinity College Dublin where he completed a Master of Laws (with Distinction). Currently, he is also an adjunct lecturer at Macquarie University, teaching competition and information technology law subjects.
The 2018 Baxt Prize was awarded to Simon Frauenfelder for his paper, "Penalty Privilege in Non-Curial Proceedings: The Decision in Frugtniet", in which he analyses recent decisions on the privilege against self-exposure to penalties and considers whether the privilege applies outside of judicial proceedings, in contexts such as administrative and disciplinary tribunals.
Simon is currently a reader at the Victorian Bar, having previously been a senior associate in litigation at Corrs Chambers Westgarth in Melbourne. He graduated from the University of Melbourne Law School with First Class Honours in 2011, and from June 2015 to December 2016, he was associate to the Honourable Justice Gordon of the High Court of Australia. He practices in commercial litigation, with a focus on regulatory enforcement and defence, class actions and insolvency.
Riana Cermak was awarded the 2017 Baxt Prize for her paper 'Directors' duties to respect human rights in offshore operations and supply chains: an emerging paradigm' which explores the Australian corporate law framework and director accountability for human rights violations in offshore operations and supply chains. She is interested in continuing research on the introduction of a Modern Slavery Act in Australia modelled on the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (UK).