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Fiona Smedley


Fiona helps clients with financial services regulation, funds management, funds M&A and structured products.



Fiona works with leading Australian and international clients in the financial services sector on a broad range of matters, including financial services regulatory issues including FOFA, capital management, acquisitions and disposals, retail and wholesale public offerings and the structuring and establishment of retail and wholesale funds and structured products.

Fiona works closely with government and industry bodies (including ASIC, Treasury, FSC and AFMA) in relation to financial services reform and developments including shorter PDSs, collective investment vehicles, the product intervention power and product suitability.

Fiona is recognised as a leading investment funds lawyer and as a leading financial services regulation lawyer by Chambers Asia-Pacific.

Fiona has also been named as one of Australia’s best funds management lawyers in the Best Lawyers peer review surveys each year since 2010 and as Best Lawyers’ “Sydney Investment Funds Lawyer of the Year 2017”. She is currently listed in Best Lawyers as one of Australia’s best lawyers in the areas of: Corporate/Governance Practice, Derivatives, Equity Capital Markets Law, Financial Institutions, Funds Management, Investment Funds and Investment Law.

Fiona has a broad financial services practice which ranges from regulatory matters and liaison with regulators to mergers and acquisitions and offers of financial products and includes:

  • ECM: public offerings by retail and wholesale funds and companies, including listed and unlisted IPOs, product disclosure statements and prospectuses, placements and JLM underwritings
  • Funds and products: structuring and establishing wholesale and retail funds, including property trusts, feeder funds, funds offering hybrid securities, hedge funds and various structured products, including deferred purchase agreements and warrants
  • M&A: listed and private acquisitions and disposals including privatisations, schemes of arrangement and trust schemes
  • Capital management: shareholder agreements and joint ventures, capital reductions, redemptions, restructures and reorganisations
  • Regulatory: advising on regulatory change including FOFA, shorter PDSs, custodial regulation, capital and NTA requirements and scheme constitutions and liaison with regulators
  • Schemes: general funds management advice in relation to operating schemes, meetings, changing the RE, entrenchment, trust deeds, stapling, registry agreements and other outsourcing and supply agreements
  • General corporate advice: general corporate and commercial advice in relation to the Corporations Act, trust law, contract law and the ASX listing rules

Fiona recent experience includes acting for:

  • AXA on its acquisition of Eureka Funds Management with $4.2 billion+ of assets under management
  • Citi in relation to its range of ASX listed and Chi-X listed warrants
  • UBS AG in relation to its acquisition of ING’s Australian funds management and investment advisory business increasing UBS’ funds under management by $34 billion and on UBS’ strategic alliance with ANZ and sale of the Optimix investment advisory business to ANZ;
  • a range of fund managers and banks in relation to the impact of, and responding to, regulatory reforms including FOFA, shorter PDSs, custody and constitutions
  • acting for a range of fund managers offering significant investor visa funds and in relation to significant investor visa compliance
  • ANZ/OnePath on restructuring and documenting how its retail and wholesale funds obtain over $1.7 billion of alternative investment exposure