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Consumer Law Conference

14–15 May 2019 | Radisson Blu Plaza Sydney

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Govt, Consumer Advocates, NFP, Start-Ups SME Rates available // See pricing below


Since its introduction in 2011, the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) has brought about significant change in the Australian market – providing greater definition of consumer rights and allowing greater powers of investigation and enforcement from regulatory bodies.

Following the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) recent review into the ACL’s performance, it is evident that more can be done to ensure that businesses conduct themselves ethically, and that consumers are better protected and made aware of their rights.

In this light, the 2nd Annual Consumer Law Conference will bring together some of nation’s leading legal, business and regulatory minds to examine and debate the suggestions for reform, including unfair contract terms, product safety regulation, unconscionable conduct, enforcement penalties, online and overseas retailers, and much more.

Please join us on 14-15 May 2019 at the Radisson Blu Plaza Sydney for two-days of in-depth presentations, case studies, panels and round table discussions.

Key topics to include:

  • Assessing the key findings from the Royal Commission
  • Evaluating state-level enforcement of the ACL
  • Landmark cases against bait advertising
  • Compliance costs with the ACL reforms
  • 101 essentials in ACL compliance
  • Unconscionable conduct meaning and examples
  • Impact of gift card reforms
  • Buy Now Pay Later: ASIC review



8:00 am

Registration and coffee

8:50 am

CHAIRPERSON | Introductory remarks from the Chair


9:00 am

  • A look at what the emerging regulatory and enforcement trends
  • Penalties – where to from here?
  • Consumers and the digital economy – issues and trends
  • The ACCC’s priorities for 2019 and beyond

9:30 am

  • How did the RC alter the regulatory landscape for financial services organisations & corporates more generally?
  • How are regulators responding?
  • Thoughts on approaching the new regulatory paradigm

10:00 am

  • Emphasising the importance of trust & confidence in businesses
  • Key findings from the Banking Royal Commission
  • What should businesses be looking for to avoid penalties or even scandal within?

10:30 am

  • Do the ACL changes go far enough to meet the needs of the vulnerable & disadvantaged?
  • What is the regulator’s key focus over the next period and why?
  • What are the major cases being chased by regulatory bodies?
  • What are the pros & cons of having national consumer law vs. state level policy pushing ahead?

11:00 am

Morning tea


11:15 am

  • A move from disclosure to safety and fairness in financial consumer protection
  • The state of competition in the financial sector – can it benefit everyone?
  • Implementing reforms from the Royal Commission

11:45 am

  •  What is the problem and which consumers are the most at risk?
  •  What harm does entering into these agreements do to consumers who are unable to pay?
  •  How can buy now pay later be better regulated?

12:45 pm

  •  Is lowest cost best?
  •  High-street vs. online: how can we protect businesses & consumers alike?
  •  Utilising regulation to provide safeguards to future business

1:15 pm

Lunch and networking break


2:15 pm

  • What have been the key pitfalls for businesses recently?
  • Ensuring not to oversell products
  • Examining special offers

2:45 pm

  •  Highlighting the compliance issues for retailers and manufacturers in the current framework
  •  Do extended warranties serve consumers’ best interests?
  •  What we can learn from other countries

3:15 pm

  •  A look at the digital data platform inquiry
  •  The “Consumer Data Right” Act: how has this affected companies so far?
  •  How will the new act affect relationships between businesses & their customers?
  •  What are the expected costs to business in compliance?

3:45 pm

  •  Agency, autonomy & consumer choice in the digital age
  •  The intersection of consumer protection, competition & privacy
  •  Building trust for regulators, policymakers & businesses

4:15 pm

Afternoon tea


4:30 pm

  •  Re-affirming the OECD Report & ACCC’s position
  •  Understanding the investigative process employed
  •  Avoiding common yet critical mistakes during investigations

5:00 pm

  •  How is the ACL being enforced at a State-level and is it effective?
  •  Pros and cons of civil penalty actions vs prosecutions
  •  Are the penalties being imposed serving as a deterrent?

5:30 pm

  • Have ACL penalties historically been seen as a ‘cost of doing business’?
  • Will the new penalty regime & $10m maximum operate as a deterrent for contraventions & bad behaviour?
  • Courting the risk & counting the cost – likely impacts on compliance culture
  • Shaping the horizon – future development & areas for further reform

6:00 pm

Networking drinks provided for End of Day One

8:30 am

Registration and coffee

8:50 am

CHAIRPERSON | Introductory remarks from the Chair

Eileen Webb, Professor, Law University of South Australia


9:00 am

  •  Ensuring Products Sold are Relevant and Suitable for Customers
  •  Avoiding Claims of Unconscionable Conduct
  •  Encouraging Compliance through Good Workplace Culture
  •  Lessons Learnt and Outcomes

9:30 am

  •  Getting the basics right when dealing with customers
  •  Ensuring staff at the base level understand when a customer has a right to refund or repair
  •  To what extent must businesses inform consumers about their ACL rights?

10:00 am

  •  Now that further clarifications have been provided regarding unsolicited agreements at a legal level, how do companies & authorities ensure consumers actually understand?
  •  What more can be done to reform Door-to-Door trading and protect consumers?

10:30 am

Morning tea


11:00 am

  •  The general safety provision for the ACL, what to expect
  •  Requiring retailers to provide information about unsafe products, including 3rd parties & overseas suppliers
  •  Accident blame: product or operator?
  •  Case study examples

11:30 am

  •  Highlighting consumer challenges and the role of standards and the regulatory landscape
  •  Where do consumers get their safety information from?
  •  Product safety information for vulnerable consumers

12:00 pm

  •  How do we continue to reduce the associated risks and improve consumer awareness with everyday items? E.g. Button Batteries
  •  How do you best manage legal risk in the supply chain?
  •  How is the industry ensuring safety from online retailers, particularly overseas?
  •  How big will the impact be of technology & IoT be on product safety in Australia?

12:30 pm

Lunch and networking break


1:30 pm

  •  Are people complaining enough, and know where to start?
  •  Improving access to ACL support & advice, particularly for low & modest-income households
  •  Is there a general trend to limit funding to supporting trusts?

2:00 pm

  •  Taking a look at cases brought by Consumer Affairs Victoria
  •  The effects of underquoting
  •  False or misleading representations
  •  Unconscionable conduct
  •  Compliance and enforcement outcomes

2:30 pm

  • When will an Australian Court have jurisdiction under the ACL?
  • Examples of what Australian Courts will have jurisdiction over
    > Unfair Contract Terms
    > Misleading and deceptive conduct
    > Consumer Guarantees
  • The theory and the realty of enforcing the ACL against overseas retailers

3:00 pm

Closing remarks from the Chair

3:10 pm

End of Conference


Packages Price
Package(Two Days)$2095+GSTEarly Bird
Packages Price
Package(Two Days)$1295+GSTEarly Bird
  • Early bird rate expires 31 March 2019


Daniel Tynan

Barrister, 12th Floor Wentworth Selborne Chambers

Richard Harris

Partner and Litigation Practice Group Leader, Gilbert + Tobin

Catherine Wolthuizen

Chair of the Board, Consumer Policy Research Centre & NAB Customer Advocate

Melissa Smith

Senior Executive Leader - Financial Services Enforcement, ASIC

Gerard Brody

CEO and Chair, Consumer Action Law Centre, & Consumers Federation of Australia

Kevin Foo

Senior Manager - Credit, Retail Banking & Payments, ASIC

Daniel Tirado

Senior Corporate Counsel and Regulatory Change Project Owner, Toyota Finance Australia Limited and Sessional Academic Faculty of Law, UTS

Peter Strong

Chief Executive Officer, COSBOA

Peter Le Guay

Partner, Thomson Geer

Lynsey Edgar

Partner, Dentons

Adrian Lawrence

Partner, Practice Leader, Competition, Consumer & Regulatory, Baker & McKenzie

Lauren Solomon

Chief Executive Officer, Consumer Policy Research Centre

Ayman Guirguis

Partner, K&L Gates

Dini Soulio

Commissioner, Consumer Affairs SA

Zoe Thomas

Senior Solicitor, Crown Solicitor's Office SA

Tom Bridges

Partner, Webb Henderson

Eileen Webb

Professor, Law University of South Australia

Rose Webb

Deputy Secretary, Better Regulation Division & Commissioner for NSW Fair Trading

Adrian Kuti

Special Counsel, Clayton Utz

Gillian Stapleton

Executive Director, Direct Selling Australia

Gail Greatorex

Owner, Product Safety Solutions

Daniel Chidgey

Head of Stakeholder Engagement, Standards Australia

John Simpson

Barrister, Victorian Bar

Alexandra Kelly

Principal Solicitor, Financial Rights Legal Centre, New South Wales

Dr Michelle Sharpe

Barrister, Victorian Bar

Steven Brown

Chairman, Etienne Lawyers


Ethics versus compliance in restoring consumer trust in financial services
As the Australian financial services sector continues to grapple with a post-Royal Commission consumer trust deficit, the efficacy of a compliance-based approach to banking has been called into question.

Remuneration and regulation post Hayne
The dust has now settled since Commissioner Hayne released his final verdict following the years-worth of industry interrogation, that formed the backbone of the Royal Commission into banking misconduct.

How well is the ACL serving Australian consumers?
In March 2016, Consumer Affairs Ministers throughout Australia and New Zealand began a twelve-month review of the Australian Consumer Law – in a bid to better protect Australian consumers. The review sought to future-proof the law against new and emerging issues and in doing so identified a set of reforms to improve the operation of Australian markets.

when & where

14 - 15 May 2019

Radisson Blu Plaza Sydney
27 O’Connell St, Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 8214 0000

Book Accommodation with Lido Group
For your convenience Lido Group will manage your accommodation needs. Click here or call on 02 8585 0808.


Still have a question?

Alex Dunn
Conference Manager

Andrew Sinkovich
Sponsorship & Exhibitions Manager
02 9080 4008

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