Dimity Kingsford Smith is the Director of the Centre for Law, Markets and Regulation at UNSW, and lectures on corporate and financial regulatory topics in law.
Kingsford Smith joined UNSW in 2005, having held academic appointments in Australia and the UK at the University of Sydney, Monash University, the University College London, London School of Economics and University of Warwick.
Her research is focused on directors’ duties and their moral obligations to shareholders – somewhat grey areas of law that have been catapulted into media spotlight by recent Royal Commission hearings. Kingsford Smith will be presenting a paper on directors’ moral duties at the Supreme Court Conference in November.
You studied at the London School of Economics during the 1980s, which was a period of substantial de-regulation of financial markets. What impact do you think that experience had on your ideas and academic career?
It was a time in my life and a time in Britain when everything seemed possible. I was in my late 20s, it was the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher was in power, the markets were rising, new international relations were happenings. Gorbachev, the fall of the Berlin Wall. There was a lot of land reform going on. I studied restitution at a time before restitutionary law was even recognised by the High Court. In some ways, it made me the academic I am. I had international legal experience at a very young age. The same financial regulation that eventually came to Australia had an earlier version in Britain while I was there.