About Liam Hennessy

Liam Hennessy specialises in financial services compliance & governance matters, regulatory investigations and complex commercial disputes.

He has worked in London, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. He is a Partner with Gadens Lawyers in Brisbane, a preeminent commercial law firm, where he works with Qld’s leading practitioners in the banking, corporate and property space. Liam has a large, skilled team which assists him to expertly service his clients’ needs, and who work closely with the firm’s other practice groups. The firm and financial services regulatory group is a big adopter of technology and innovation to meet its clients’ specialist needs e.g. the Gadens Breach Manager: https://breachmanager.gadens.com/

Liam holds four university qualifications, is a thought leader / media commentator and lectures a financial services regulation law course at a Brisbane university. He sits on a number of policy working groups, and is also a director of a charity focusing on providing breakfasts to school children.

On the non-contentious side, Liam has considerable experience with structuring, licensing applications, privacy, risk, governance and regulatory compliance. On the contentious side, he has acted in many commercial disputes, class actions and regulatory inquiries across multiple international jurisdictions. He has worked for leading banks, funds, corporates and individuals.

The financial services industry is experiencing a regulatory wave in the wake of the Hayne Royal Commission’s findings of widespread misconduct.

There is a dramatic increase in principles-based laws such as the Banking Executive Accountability Regime (now Financial Accountability Regime), which can be deeply interpretational, focus on individual liability and the regulators have become much more hawkish in terms of enforcement activity.

Liam and his team continues to advise financial services clients in relation to compliance with new and newly significant laws, responding to increasing regulatory inquiries and acting in associated court disputes.

Current reforms

  • banking executive accountability regime / financial accountability regime
  • design & distribution regime
  • mortgage brokers’ best interest duties regime
  • anti-hawking reforms
  • unfair contracts terms regime
  • whistle blowing and modern slavery regimes
  • updated breach reporting regimes for AFSLs and ACLs

General advisory

  • governance, risk and culture reviews
  • e-payments, payment systems regulation and products
  • fintech/regtech regulation, development and launch
  • development and launch of financial and credit products
  • finance and mortgage broking and financial planning
  • privacy – credit reporting and private sector regime
  • Australian Consumer Law
  • anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing and sanctions
  • financial services regulation, licensing, compliance and risk assurance
  • consumer and commercial credit, licensing and industry codes of practice
  • banking licensing, including ACL, AFSL and restricted ADI applications
  • alliances and acquisitions – including white labeling and co-branded products
  • domestic and international funds management and investment funds
  • financial and investment products and structures and corporate matters


  • regulatory breaches
  • critical incident management
  • dealing with regulators such as ASIC, APRA and AUSTRAC

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