RP Law and Business Series: Effective Corporate Communication

8 September 2014

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'Great companies exist only because they are created and safeguarded by our institutions; and it is our right and our duty to see that they work in harmony with these institutions. The first requisite is knowledge, full and complete; knowledge which may be made public to the world.' - Theodore Roosevelt, State of the Union Message to Congress (3 December 1901).

Complete, balanced, and timely listed company disclosure is vital for the health of corporations and financial markets, for sustainable and competitive economies, and for the wellbeing of national and global communities. Most developed nations around the globe have enacted regulation requiring listed companies to report periodically and on a continuous basis. Gill reviews this disclosure regulation in countries spanning the Americas, Europe, North Asia and the Asia/Pacific and she examines leading company communications, regulatory reviews, and relevant scholarly studies. To identify essential elements of effective corporate communication frameworks, she notes common disclosure practices and issues, discusses sound regulatory features, and highlights best practice communication features.

Associate Professor Gill North contends that enacting company disclosure regulation is only a first step. As corporate communication policy and practice is essentially about power, politics and perspective, effective communication frameworks require robust and consistent support from bodies of committed stakeholders. To work well, disclosure regimes should be systematically monitored, supervised and enforced; the content and quality of company reports, disclosures and engagement mechanisms should be reviewed independently; and the disclosure regulation should be re-considered periodically to ensure it remains relevant and appropriate as financial market and corporate environments change.

About the Speaker
Associate Professor Gill North has extensive experience of company reporting and communication spanning more than two decades in various roles in Australia and globally. She has worked for Japanese, British and American investment banks, and her roles have included senior executive positions in Wellington, London, Tokyo, New York, and Sydney in the areas of corporate strategy, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, securities analysis and funds management.

Gill has published extensively on matters relating to corporate communication, including a book entitled "Company Disclosure in Australia" published by Thomson Reuters in 2013. A second book on global company disclosure law and practice will be published by Kluwer International in early 2015.

Gill's primary areas of research include corporate communication; corporate governance; banking and financial regulation and reform; and efficiency in financial markets.

Gill has a doctorate in law from the University of New South Wales. She is also a chartered accountant and a qualified and experienced securities analyst.
Gill is currently working at the University of Western Australia, where she teaches banking law, finance law, corporate finance and securities regulation, and corporations law.

About the Commentator

Robert (Bob) Austinheld an academic position in the fields of equity and company law at the University of Sydney from 1969 to 1990, becoming Professor (1984) and Head of the Department of Law (1985). He has continued to teach part-time in the postgraduate program, with emphasis in recent years on corporate takeovers, fundraising and corporate governance.

He was a partner with Minter Ellison from 1990 to 1998. He was a member of the Takeovers Panel from 2001 to 2006. After serving as a Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales from 1998 to 2010, he has returned to full-time legal practice as a Senior Legal Consultant with Minter Ellison, and is Head of Minters' Corporate HQ Advisory Team.

He is co-author of Ford's Principles of Corporations Law, the leading Australian corporate law text (with Professor Ian Ramsay), and Austin and Black's Annotations to the Corporations Act (with Justice Ashley Black).

Chair:Professor Jennifer Hill, Sydney Law School

Law & Business Program 2014

Sydney Law School is pleased to announce its Law & Business Program for 2014 .Students can also enrol in single units as part of their professional development under the Legal Professional Development program (LPD). Single unit enrolment students are not required to undertake assignments or examinations.

Click here for more information.

Time: 6 - 7.00pm (Registration & refreshments from 5.30pm)

Location: Minter Ellison Room, Level 13 Old Law School, St James Campus, Phillip St, Sydney

Cost: Full Fee $77; SLS Alumni $66; SLS Student $44; Group (3+) $55 inc GST

Contact: Professional Learning & Community Engagement

Phone: 02 9351 0429

Email: 5e37424a120e3f04403c214613540a09365f211d16460718