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Herbert Smith Freehills welcomes financial services regulation expert Lesley Symons to its market-leading Financial Services Regulatory practice in Australia.

Based in the firm’s Brisbane office, Ms Symons joins Herbert Smith Freehills as an Executive Counsel, and becomes one of the leaders of the firm’s banking regulation offering.

Ms Symons is a seasoned financial services lawyer with experience on both the contentious and non-contentious sides of the financial regulation spectrum, having run large-scale and complex enforcement investigations for ASIC and, more recently, acted on behalf of private clients in response to such matters. While at ASIC, she was one of the senior managers responsible for running high-profile investigations and for launching related civil penalty proceedings.

Tony Coburn, consultant and head of the Australian Banking Regulatory team at Herbert Smith Freehills, said, “Lesley brings a wealth of valuable experience from her time at a boutique financial services compliance and advisory practice, as well as her background at ASIC, where she worked for more than seven years on a variety of high-profile matters, often managing teams and providing strategic, technical, and practical advice to the Commission, various committees, members of the executive, and the Chairman.

“Lesley is uniquely qualified for this role and we are delighted to welcome her to our team.”

Ms Symons’ main focus will be on financial and corporate regulation, including licence obligations, corporate and director obligations, and the regulation of financial and credit products that are the subject of ASIC supervision.

She will also advise clients on Anti-Money Laundering, Counter-Terrorism Financing and “Know Your Customer” obligations, privacy, prudential regulation and the governance of financial organisations (including the BEAR regime), in addition to evolving areas such as payment systems.

Outside of her legal practice, Ms Symons is an acknowledged advocate for women’s equality, with an emphasis on increased access to career-enhancing opportunities for women in the law and on ensuring equal access for women to financial literacy education (as a means of achieving long-term financial stability and security).

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Emily Coultas

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