Professor Dimity Kingsford Smith

Professor Dimity Kingsford Smith

Law & Justice
School of Private & Commercial Law

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). From 2018-2021 Prof Kingsford Smith held the Minter Ellison Chair in Risk and Regulation. Since mid-2022 She has been the Director of Higher Degree Research in the Faculty of Law & Justice. 

+ 61 2 9385 2245
Room 217 Law & Justice Building UNSW Kensington Campus
  • Book Chapters | 2018
    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,
    Book Chapters | 2015
    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
    Book Chapters | 2013
    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
    Book Chapters | 2010
    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,
    Book Chapters | 2006
    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
    Book Chapters | 2003
    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
    Book Chapters | 1990
    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
    Book Chapters | 1982
    1982, 'Recent Developments in Electronic Banking in Britain', in Butler WE (ed.), Anglo-Polish Legal Essays, Transnational Publishers
  • Edited Books | 1990
    Kingsford Smith D; Oliver D, (ed.), 1990, Economical with the Truth: The Law and the Media in a Democratic Society, ESC Publishing
    Edited Books | 1989
    Kingsford Smith D, (ed.), 1989, Current Developments in Banking and Finance, Sweet & Maxwell
  • Journal articles | 2017
    2017, 'Banking and the Limits of Professionalism', University of New South Wales Law Journal, 40, pp. 411 - 455,
    Journal articles | 2017
    2017, 'The Fairness Rationale for Consumer Advocacy in the Financial Sector', Company and Securities Law Journal, 35, pp. 444 - 463
    Journal articles | 2017
    2017, 'The Large Professional Service Firm: A New Force in the Regulative Bargain', University of New South Wales Law Journal, 40, pp. 218 - 261,
    Journal articles | 2013
    2013, 'The Academy and the Profession: Making the Conversation More Fruitful', Australian Journal of Corporate Law, 28, pp. 82 - 92
    Journal articles | 2012
    Kingsford Smith DA, 2012, 'Governing the Corporation: The Role of "Soft Regulation"', University of New South Wales Law Journal, 35, pp. 378 - 403
    Journal articles | 2011
    Kingsford Smith DA, 2011, 'A Harder Nut to Crack? Responsive Regulation in the Financial Services Sector', University of British Columbia Law Review, 44, pp. 695 - 742,
    Journal articles | 2011
    Journal articles | 2010
    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, 34, pp. 39 - 81,
    Journal articles | 2009
    Kingsford Smith DA, 2009, 'Regulating Risk: Individuals and the Global Financial Crisis', University of New South Wales Law Journal, 32, pp. 514 - 546
    Journal articles | 2006
    Kingsford Smith DA, 2006, 'The Same Yet Different: Australian and United States Online Investing Regulation', The University of Toledo Law Review, 37, pp. 461 - 495
    Journal articles | 2004
    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, 2, pp. 12
    Journal articles | 2004
    Kingsford Smith DA, 2004, 'Beyond the Rule of Law? Decentred Regulation in Online Investment', Law and Policy, 26, pp. 439 - 476,
    Journal articles | 2004
    Kingsford Smith DA, 2004, 'Online Investing and the Online Consumer: State and Decentred Regulatory Responses', Law and Policy, 26, pp. 371 - 374,
    Journal articles | 2004
    2004, 'Is Due Diligence Dead? Financial Services Disclosure under the Financial Services Reform Act 2001', Company and Securities Law Journal, 22, pp. 128 - 150
    Journal articles | 2002
    Kingsford Smith DA, 2002, 'What is Regulation? A Reply to Julia Black's Critical Reflections on Regulation', Australian Journal of Legal Philosophy, 27, pp. 37 - 46
    Journal articles | 2002
    2002, 'Between the Market and the State: Interpretation in the Public Interest, a Rejoinder to Whincop’s “Immanent Conservatism”', Sydney Law Review, 22, pp. 287 - 296
    Journal articles | 2001
    2001, 'Decentred Regulation in Online Investing', Company and Securities Law Journal, 8, pp. 532 - 549
    Journal articles | 2001
    2001, 'Superannuating the Second Sex: Law, Privatisation and Retirement Income', Modern Law Review, 64, pp. 519 - 542,
    Journal articles | 2000
    2000, 'Who Knows Best? Review of Discretionary Powers in Superannuation Funds', Australian Business Law Review, 28, pp. 428 - 442
    Journal articles | 1999
    1999, 'Interpreting the Corporations Law: Purpose, Practical Reasoning and Public Policy', Sydney Law Review, 21, pp. 161 - 201
    Journal articles | 1999
    1999, 'Promoting Certainty: Purposive Interpretation of the Corporations Law', Australian Company Secretary, 51
    Journal articles | 1999
    1999, 'Studying modern corporations law in context', Law Teacher, 33, pp. 196 - 217,
    Journal articles | 1998
    1998, 'Unveiling the Waterfront: The Corporate Veil, Director’s Duties and Voluntary Administration', Butterworths Corporations Law Bulletin, pp. 7 - 11
    Journal articles | 1992
    1992, 'Life Insurance Linked Investment and the Trade Practices Act', Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance Journal, 15, pp. 50 - 50
    Journal articles | 1992
    1992, 'Regulation of the Promotion and Superannuation Investments in Australia', Australian Business Law Review, 16, pp. 32 - 37
    Journal articles | 1992
    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, 32, pp. 32 - 32
    Journal articles | 1990
    1990, 'The Banker's Right to Compound Interest', Lloyd's Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly, pp. 489 - 491
  • Other | 2018
    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, ,
    Reports | 2018
    2018, General Deterrence Effects of Enforceable Undertakings on Financial Services and Credit Providers,
    Other | 2017
    Kingsford Smith DA; Rogers J, 2017, Professional Accountability,
    Other | 2017
    Kingsford Smith DA; Rogers J, 2017, Professions, Professional Standards Councils,
    Other | 2017
    2017, Submission to Treasury, Inquiry into Design and Distribution Obligations and Product Intervention Power,
    Reports | 2015
    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,
    Reports | 2015
    Conference Papers | 2015
    2015, 'Caveat Vendor and Product Intervention Powers', Sydney, presented at ASIC Forum, Sydney, 23 March 2015 - 23 March 2015
    Conference Papers | 2015
    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 | 2015
    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
    Reports | 2014
    Kingsford Smith DA, 2014, A Submission for the Final Report Focusing on the Retail Investor and Financial Consumer, Commonwealth Treasury, Australia,
    Reports | 2014
    Kingsford Smith DA, 2014, Streamlining Amendments to Future of Financial Advice Reforms, Commonwealth Treasury, Australia
    Reports | 2014
    Kingsford Smith DA, 2014, The Interest of the ‘Financial Citizen, Commonwealth Treasury, Australia,
    Other | 2013
    2013, Submission No 153 to Senate Economic References Committee, Inquiry into the Performance of ASIC,
    Other | 2011
    2011, Submission to Treasury, Inquiry into the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) Exposure Draft of Legislation and Explanatory Memorandum,
    Other | 2006
    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,

My Teaching

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