Professor Dimity Kingsford Smith

Professor Kingsford Smith holds the Minter Ellison Chair of Risk and Regulation at UNSW a research position supported since October 2018 by Minter Ellison’s philanthropic gift. 

Professor Kingsford Smith’s research and publication is in the areas of corporate law and governance, financial regulation and regulatory theory and policy. The subject matter of her research ranges from director’s duties, through theory and practice of financial regulation, to empirical work on online investing and more recently the deterrent effects of enforcement using enforceable undertakings. She has published on the philosophy of fairness in financial markets and political obligation, and the idea of the ‘financial citizen’. As well as a critical appreciation of ‘responsive regulation’ in financial services, Professor Kingsford Smith has also published on the limits of financial consumer decision-making using the insights of behaviouralism and financial literacy research.

During her research career, Professor Kingsford Smith has held grants from the Australian Research Council including as chief investigator. She has held grants from other bodies and also undertaken contract research for regulatory agencies, notably ASIC and the Canadian Investment Dealers Association. From July 2016 to January 2019, Professor Kingsford Smith was the Director of the Centre for Law, Markets and Regulation, a research centre at UNSW Law.

Professor Kingsford Smith teaches in the areas of corporations law and corporate governance. In the past she has taught courses on the regulation of securities markets and online investing. She continues to teach at all levels of academic learning from undergraduate studies, through master’s degree seminars to doctoral degrees. She supervises PhD candidates on a wide range of corporate and financial regulatory topics.

Professor Kingsford Smith joined UNSW Law in January 2005.Before joining UNSW Law Professor Kingsford Smith was professor and Director of the Centre for Law in the Digital Economy at Monash Law from 2001-2004. She previously held appointments at the University of Sydney (1990-2000) and in the UK at University College London (1986-1989) and University of Warwick (1985-1986). She was a sabbatical visitor at the London School of Economics and Political Science Law Department in 1999 and at the University of British Columbia in 2012.

Professor Kingsford Smith has also served on a variety of policymaking, professional and regulatory bodies. She contributed to the Wallis Inquiry submission of the NSW Law Society in 1996. In 2013 and 2014 she made submissions to the Senate Inquiry into the Performance of ASIC and two written submissions to the Murray Inquiry into the Australian Financial System, focusing on fairness and the position of the financial consumer. From 2011-2017 she was a member of the Code Committee of the New Zealand Financial Markets Authority. From 2007-2014 she was the inaugural independent Chair of the Conduct Review Commission, a professional disciplinary panel in the financial services industry. From early 2015 until late 2017 she was the first independent Customer Advocate to the wealth business of the National Australia Bank.

In the development of the Future of Financial Advice program Professor Kingsford Smith served on an ASIC taskforce considering the establishment of a professional standards body for financial advisers, and reforms to their education and professional formation. From 2015 – 2019 Professor Kingsford Smith was a member of the ASIC External Advisory Panel. She served on a Taskforce considering ASIC Enforcement for Australian Commonwealth Treasury (2016-2017) and was an independent expert on a panel reviewing enforcement for APRA (2018-2019).

Profile Picture
Edited Books

Kingsford Smith D; Oliver D, (ed.), 1990, Economical with the Truth: The Law and the Media in a Democratic Society, ESC Publishing

Kingsford Smith D, (ed.), 1989, Current Developments in Banking and Finance, Sweet & Maxwell

Journal articles

Kingsford Smith D, 2017, 'The Fairness Rationale for Consumer Advocacy in the Financial Sector', Company and Securities Law Journal, vol. 35, pp. 444 - 463

Kingsford Smith DA; Clarke T; Rogers J, 2017, 'Banking and the Limits of Professionalism', University of New South Wales Law Journal, vol. 40, pp. 411 - 455,

Rogers J; Kingsford Smith DA; Chellew J, 2017, 'The Large Professional Service Firm: A New Force in the Regulative Bargain', University of New South Wales Law Journal, vol. 40, pp. 218 - 261,

Kingsford Smith D, 2013, 'The Academy and the Profession: Making the Conversation More Fruitful', Australian Journal of Corporate Law, vol. 28, pp. 82 - 92

Kingsford Smith DA, 2012, 'Governing the Corporation: The Role of "Soft Regulation"', University of New South Wales Law Journal, vol. 35, pp. 378 - 403

Kingsford Smith DA, 2011, 'A Harder Nut to Crack? Responsive Regulation in the Financial Services Sector', University of British Columbia Law Review, vol. 44, pp. 695 - 742,

Kingsford Smith DA, 2011, 'ASIC Regulation for the Investor as Consumer', Company and Securities Law Journal, vol. 29, pp. 327 - 354,

Williamson K; Kingsford Smith DA, 2010, 'Empowered or Vulnerable? The Role of Information for Australian Online Investors', Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science - Revue Canadienne des Sciences de l Information et de Bibliotheconomie, vol. 34, pp. 39 - 81,

Kingsford Smith DA, 2009, 'Regulating Risk: Individuals and the Global Financial Crisis', University of New South Wales Law Journal, vol. 32, pp. 514 - 546

Kingsford Smith DA, 2006, 'The Same Yet Different: Australian and United States Online Investing Regulation', The University of Toledo Law Review, vol. 37, pp. 461 - 495

Kingsford Smith D, 2004, 'Is Due Diligence Dead? Financial Services Disclosure under the Financial Services Reform Act 2001', Company and Securities Law Journal, vol. 22, pp. 128 - 150

Kingsford Smith DA, 2004, 'Beyond the Rule of Law? Decentred Regulation in Online Investment', Law and Policy, vol. 26, pp. 439 - 476,

Kingsford Smith DA, 2004, 'Online Investing and the Online Consumer: State and Decentred Regulatory Responses', Law and Policy, vol. 26, pp. 371 - 374,

Kingsford Smith DA; Williams K, 2004, 'How Do Online Investors Seek Information, And What Does This Mean for Regulation?', Journal of Information, Law and Technology, vol. 2, pp. 12

Kingsford Smith D, 2002, 'Between the Market and the State: Interpretation in the Public Interest, a Rejoinder to Whincop’s “Immanent Conservatism”', Sydney Law Review, vol. 22, pp. 287 - 296

Kingsford Smith DA, 2002, 'What is Regulation? A Reply to Julia Black's Critical Reflections on Regulation', Australian Journal of Legal Philosophy, vol. 27, pp. 37 - 46

Smith DK, 2001, 'Superannuating the Second Sex: Law, Privatisation and Retirement Income', Modern Law Review, vol. 64, pp. 519 - 542,

Kingsford Smith D, 2001, 'Decentred Regulation in Online Investing', Company and Securities Law Journal, vol. 8, pp. 532 - 549

Kingsford Smith D, 2000, 'Who Knows Best? Review of Discretionary Powers in Superannuation Funds', Australian Business Law Review, vol. 28, pp. 428 - 442

Kingsford Smith D, 1999, 'Promoting Certainty: Purposive Interpretation of the Corporations Law', Australian Company Secretary, vol. 51

Smiths DK, 1999, 'Studying modern corporations law in context', The Law Teacher, vol. 33, pp. 196 - 217,

Kingsford Smith D, 1999, 'Interpreting the Corporations Law: Purpose, Practical Reasoning and Public Policy', Sydney Law Review, vol. 21, pp. 161 - 201

Kingsford Smith D, 1998, 'Unveiling the Waterfront: The Corporate Veil, Director’s Duties and Voluntary Administration', Butterworths Corporations Law Bulletin, pp. 7 - 11

Kingsford Smith D, 1992, 'The ISC’s Administrative Guidelines for the Promotion and Sale of Life Insurance and Superannuation Bonds', Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance Journal, vol. 32, pp. 32 - 32

Kingsford Smith D, 1992, 'Life Insurance Linked Investment and the Trade Practices Act', Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance Journal, vol. 15, pp. 50 - 50

Kingsford Smith D, 1992, 'Regulation of the Promotion and Superannuation Investments in Australia', Australian Business Law Review, vol. 16, pp. 32 - 37

Kingsford Smith D, 1990, 'The Banker's Right to Compound Interest', Lloyd's Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly, pp. 489 - 491

Book Chapters

Kingsford Smith DA; Dixon O, 2018, 'What Next for the Financial Consumer? More Disclosure? Caveat Vendor? Or Fin-Tech Online?', in Handbook of Research on International Consumer Law, edn. 2nd Revised edition, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd,

Kingsford Smith DA; Dixon O, 2015, 'The Consumer Interest and the Financial Markets', in Maloney N; Ferran E; Payne J (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Financial Regulation, OUP Oxford, Oxford, pp. 697 - 735

Kingsford Smith DA, 2013, 'Can There be a Fair Share? Fairness, Regulation and Financial Markets', in Sarra JP (ed.), An Exploration of Fairness - Interdisciplinary inquiries in law, science and the humanities, Carswell, Toronto, pp. 251 - 276

Kingsford Smith DA, 2010, 'Financial Services Regulation and the Investor as Consumer', in Howells G; Ramsay I; Wihelmsson T (ed.), The Handbook on Research on International Consumer Law, Edward Elgar, United Kingdom, pp. 431 - 481,

Kingsford Smith DA, 2006, 'Importing the E-world into Canadian Securities Regulation', in Canada Steps Up, edn. Original, Task Force to Modernize Securities Legislation in Canada, Toronto, pp. 289 - 349

Kingsford Smith DA, 2003, 'Networks, Norms and the Nation State: Thoughts on Pluralism and Globalized Securities Regulation', in Dauvergne C (ed.), Jurisprudence for an Interconnected Globe, edn. Hardback, Ashgate, England, pp. 93 - 126

Kingsford Smith D, 1990, 'The Regulation of International Financial Intermediaries in the United Kingdom', in Kingsford Smith D (ed.), Current Developments in Banking and Finance, Sweet & Maxwell, pp. 89 - 119

Kingsford Smith D, 1982, 'Recent Developments in Electronic Banking in Britain', in Butler WE (ed.), Anglo-Polish Legal Essays, Transnational Publishers


Nehme M; Anderson J; Dixon O; Kingsford Smith D, 2018, General Deterrence Effects of Enforceable Undertakings on Financial Services and Credit Providers,

Kingsford Smith DA; Nehme M, 2015, Product Intervention Powers: A Legal, Comparative and Policy Analysis, Centre for Law Markets and Regulaton, Australian Securities and Investments Commission,

Kingsford Smith DA; Nehme M, 2015, Product Intervention Powers: a Legal, Comparative and Policy Analysis,

Kingsford Smith DA, 2014, Streamlining Amendments to Future of Financial Advice Reforms, Commonwealth Treasury, Australia

Kingsford Smith DA, 2014, The Interest of the ‘Financial Citizen, Commonwealth Treasury, Australia,

Kingsford Smith DA, 2014, A Submission for the Final Report Focusing on the Retail Investor and Financial Consumer, Commonwealth Treasury, Australia,


Harris H; Kingsford Smith D, 2018, Australia's Financial Regulatory Future: Structure, Enforcement & Legal Complexity, In CLMR, Submission in Response to the Interim Report of the Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation, and Financial Services Industry

Kingsford Smith D, 2017, Submission to Treasury, Inquiry into Design and Distribution Obligations and Product Intervention Power

Kingsford Smith DA; Rogers J, 2017, Professional Accountability

Kingsford Smith DA; Rogers J, 2017, Professions, Professional Standards Councils

Kingsford Smith D, 2013, Submission No 153 to Senate Economic References Committee, Inquiry into the Performance of ASIC

Kingsford Smith D, 2011, Submission to Treasury, Inquiry into the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) Exposure Draft of Legislation and Explanatory Memorandum

Kingsford Smith D; Healey D, 2006, Unfair Contract Terms in Consumer Terms in Consumer Contracts: Examples, Arguments and Recommendations from Online Investing - Submission No 29 to Legislative Council Standing Committee on Law and Justice, Parliament of New South Wales

Conference Papers

Kingsford Smith D, 2015, 'Caveat Vendor and Product Intervention Powers', Sydney, presented at ASIC Forum, Sydney, 23 March 2015 - 23 March 2015

Kingsford Smith D, 2015, 'Suitable or Systemic? Regulating Financial Consumer Risk Using Product Intervention Powers', Melbourne, presented at Corporate Law Teachers Association, Melbourne, 01 February 2015 - 03 February 2015

Conference Presentations

Kingsford Smith D, 2015, 'The Consumer Interest: Product Intervention Powers and Fairness', presented at Superannuation Committee of the Law Council of Australia, 19 February 2015 - 20 February 2015

  • Financial regulation, corporations law, online investing regulation
  • Regulation of securities 
  • The development and operation of regulation, techniques and cultures of regulation, comparative financial regulation, especially in large financial institutions
  • Techniques of financial regulatory enforcement 
  • Professionalization in the financial sector 
  • Customer advocacy in the financial sector

Harris H; Free C; Kingsford Smith D, 2018, In defence of ASIC: there’s more to regulation than prosecution,



Opinion|06 Mar 2019
Culture, accountability and courts: UNSW Alumni event reveals why change in banking will take years
Law, business and banking experts on the UNSW Legal Hour panel said the significant findings of the banking royal commission would be met with a slow response.
Thought leadership|11 Feb 2019
The question we are all asking: how will the royal commission report bring fairness to financial services?
There are five key areas where the imminent financial services royal commission final report can propose change to protect consumers from the abuses endemic in these industries. 
Opinion|06 Feb 2019
Banks given a decade of work to change their culture and governance
Some of the big hits failed to materialise, but the banking royal commission final report still lays out serious challenges for the industry, say experts from the UNSW Centre for Law, Markets and Regulation.
Opinion|19 Nov 2018
OPINION In defence of ASIC: there's more to regulation than prosecution
ASIC is under pressure to take every significant case to court. But that would delay justice and break its budget.
25 Oct 2018
UNSW research finds ASIC contracts with financial services deter misconduct
Effectiveness of Enforceable Undertakings in the financial services industry has been studied for the first time.
16 Oct 2018
UNSW Law appoints new Chair to tackle corporate danger areas
Professor Dimity Kingsford Smith, a leading voice in corporate and financial regulation, has been named the inaugural MinterEllison Chair in Risk and Regulation at UNSW Sydney. The establishment of the Chair comes as national leadership is required to address the findings of the Financial Services Royal Commission.
06 Dec 2017
Don't expect a long line of victims to front royal commission: experts
Professor Dimity Kingsford Smith speaks to The Age, Melbourne (6 December 2017) about the royal commission into financial services led by former High Court judge Kenneth Haynes.

Teaching Activity

Prof Dimity Kingsford Smith has taught the following courses in the Bachelor of Laws (LLB), Juris Doctor (JD) and Master of Laws (LLM) degrees:

  • Business Associations (Corporations Law)
  • Corporate Governance
  • Regulation of Financial Products and Markets
  • Regulation of On-line Investing