King & Wood Mallesons

Tackling the fintech opportunity head on, our Fintech team offer a wealth of knowledge and experience. To date, King & Wood Mallesons have collaborated with high profile financial services organisations as well as fintech concept creators and new start-ups, to shape and build new fintech products.

We have a deep understanding of both the local and international financial services regulatory landscape and through our relationships with regulators and industry bodies, we are at the forefront of the latest fintech legislative developments.

Equipped with deep industry insight and contemporary legal thinking, we are well known as one of the leading innovative fintech teams in Australia.

Key legal services and expertise we offer in Fintech include:

  • Regulatory: we’re across all segments of the market covering government, corporates and the regulators. We advise on ground breaking transactions, create policy and advise on future implications as well as advise on regulatory strategy, investigate financial crimes, implement systems and develop products.
  • Strategic advisory: we are at the centre of policy development, working with government and regulators to ensure regulatory reform meets the ever-changing needs of the Australian market. We always engage with clients early in their journey to assist to ensure that their fintech businesses are commercially and legal viable.
  • CDR: Scott Farrell led the review into Open Banking and recommended the implementation of the Consumer Data Right (CDR) regime.
  • Blockchain and other innovative technologies: we are advising market participants, government and industry bodies, both domestically and internationally, on the use, risks, impact and creation of blockchain applications and have published innovative open source smart contract architecture for collaboration with the wider legal and tech community.
  • Market entry: we are advising new market entrants including entrepreneurs, start-ups and neobanks on appropriate market entry strategies and on establishment matters including commercial and regulatory issues;
  • Tech M&A and venture capital: drawing on our leading corporate/M&A and venture capital expertise we help with successful IPOs from structuring, corporate governance, regulatory, prospectus development, market announcements and subsequent agreements;
  • Disputes: we offer strategy development, as well as support, on contentious financial services regulatory matters;
  • Banking and finance: we navigate and shape regulatory change as well as develop innovative finance solutions for sophisticated transactions. We have the dominant market share in both non-bank and bank RMBS and ABS securitisation transactions along with new entrants in the fintech space;
  • Tax: structuring matters including in the context of M&A activity, as well as compliance and contentious tax matters;
  • IP: all aspects from strategy development through to advisory matters such as registration, protection and defence;
  • Employment: we advise on a full range of employment issues matters ranging from contracts, industrial and recruitment to terminations issues;
  • Corporate & commercial: in addition to establishment work, we advise on exit or re-integration projects, as well as funds establishment and other corporate venture activity.

Policy working groups that our team leads

  • Blockchain
  • Payments

Main points of contact

Scott Farrell

Scott Farrell has over 20+ years’ experience and is one of the region’s most innovative lawyers in the space of financial markets and financial systems law, working with leading national and international financial regulatory bodies and financial institutions developing new market infrastructure, structures, clearing and payment systems, exchanges and products – and leading on the development of new laws.

Scott advises on the creation and use of smart contract architecture and distributed ledger technology applications, including their interaction with existing legal and regulatory frameworks. Currently his work focuses on new sector developments such as Consumer Data Right, Open Banking, the NPP and development of financial market blockchain infrastructure.

Hannah Glass

Hannah Glass advises start-ups and incumbents on emerging issues in the fintech space, including regulatory, licensing and structuring matters and specialises in blockchain technology and payments.

She works with a broad range of clients including start-ups, industry bodies, corporates and government bodies advising on the evolving legal and regulatory issues associated with the implementation and application of innovative technologies to existing systems including with respect to blockchain technology, cryptographic assets and digital currencies. Hannah was named an “Up and Coming” lawyer in the 2019 and 2020 Chambers and Partners FinTech Guide.

Kate Jackson-Maynes

Kate Jackson-Maynes is a thought leader on regulatory considerations relevant to the implementation of new financial services technologies and market entry of innovative fintech companies. With 15+ years’ experience in financial services advisory matters, she works closely with banks, credit providers and start-ups and focuses on financial crime (AML/CTF, sanctions and POCA), Australian financial services and Australian credit licensing, responsible lending, payments and market entry.

We can help you navigate the top FinTech issues in 2020

Consumer Data Right & digital identity

Appointed by the then Australian Treasurer (Finance Minister), Scott Morrison to lead the Review into Open Banking, KWM Partner Scott Farrell recommended the implementation of the Consumer Data Right (CDR) regime across the Australian economy.

Scott Farrell, has recently been appointed by the Australian Government to lead the inquiry into the future direction of the CDR regime. The inquiry will look at additional ways to give consumers greater choice and convenience when it comes to selecting service providers through better control of their data.

KWM continues to lead the conversation on the development of the CDR regime having jointly published a white paper in May 2019 on the ramifications of an ‘open data’ future for companies in other industry sectors and the broader Australian economy.

Blockchain & smart contracts

Our team draws on its experience in advising market participants, government and industry bodies, both domestically and internationally, on the use, risks, impact and creation of blockchain applications and have published innovative open source smart contract architecture for collaboration with the wider legal and tech community.

We have been closely involved in various innovative and potentially transformative projects incorporating novel uses of blockchain, including working with ISDA on the transformation of the global derivative market to smart contracts having jointly published the practical framework for smart derivatives contracts.

Digital payments

Our work with Australian regulators, industry bodies, financial institutions and new market entrants has allowed us to contribute to the development of the Australian payments industry and acquire unprecedented knowledge and understanding of the current environment affecting the industry and its players.

This has enabled us to advise banks, financial institutions, card issuers, providers of financial market infrastructure, payment providers, telcos, utilities, insurers, credit reporting agencies, loyalty and other marketing scheme managers, government organisations on payment systems and relevant regulatory concerns.