Alex primarily researches on the Australian domestic income tax rules for business entities and Tax Policy, but her work also uses comparative analysis (to date of US Income Tax Law). She is passionate about how vehicles and the tax system can be used to drive innovation, and she is also interested in intergenerational wealth transfer. Alex’s PhD thesis presented a new design for the taxation of income (both income and capital gains) derived through business trusts in Australia, drawing on two different models from US Income Tax Law and using the tax policy criteria for creating a good tax system. Her PhD was awarded in 2016.
In 2019, the high quality of Alex's research was recognised by UNSW Business School - she was awarded a Research Excellence Commendation.
Alex has experience of US Law Schools. She attended Harvard Law School on a doctoral exchange in 2013 during her PhD candidature and participated in Antonin Scalia Law School’s 32nd Economics Institute for Law Professors in 2016. Alex was then a Visiting Scholar at the Law School at The University of Washington, Seattle, USA.
Alex has participated in international conferences. She wrote a country report for Australia on real property, the domestic income tax and Australian international tax implications of dealing with real property for the Maisto Conference (Milan, Italy) 2014, and she gave a presentation on Australia’s experience with principles-based drafting in the income tax context at a legal theory conference (Warsaw, Poland) in 2018.
Alex actively seeks collaboration with industry and the public sector in her work. She has had valuable interaction with staff from the Australian Tax Office in her research. This led to the publication of a table of data in the ATO’s 2015-2016 Tax Statistics. She recently began engaging with Australian Treasury.
Alex’s teaching philosophy is to empower students to actively engage in their learning process and she actively encourages and supports students to achieve their ambitions both in their program of study and in their lives more generally.
Alex comes to teaching income tax at UNSW with significant experience teaching foundational law courses (Contracts and Remedies) at Sydney Law School.
Alex also brings considerable industry experience to her teaching. She was admitted to practice in 2004 and she practised as a lawyer in the Tax and Revenue Group at Ashurst (then Blake Dawson) in Sydney for nearly 5 years before entering academia. Her principal areas of focus in practice were the income tax dimensions of M&A transactions, international tax, advisory work in relation to business structures and stamp duty. She was a member of the team that advised Kirin on its acquisition of National Foods in 2007.
Alex is the Associate Editor of the eJournal of Tax Research (A ranked in Australian Business Dean’s Council rankings for 2019). She also is also a regular reviewer of articles for peer reviewed journals, particularly in technical and complex areas relating to the Taxation of Trusts and Companies, Tax Policy and Environmental Taxation.
Alex has worked part-time since 2018 as she enjoys spending time with her young children. She is also currently one of UNSW Business School's Flexible Work Advocates.
My research focuses primarily on the domestic income tax treatment of business vehicles in Australia and traverses both the general law and income tax law dimensions of these vehicles. My research also incorporates fairly extensive comparative analysis and, to date, this has focused on US domestic income tax law. My broader motivation is to support business, particularly small business, in Australia to maximise its innovative potential.
I am also interested in legislative drafting, particularly in how legislation can be written so it can be easily interpreted.