ASIC Investigations

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is the agency responsible for investigating contraventions of the Corporations Act 2001.

Common types of offending behaviour ASIC will investigate and prosecute include:

  • company directors committing a fraud upon the company;
  • carrying on financial services without a licence;
  • falsification of company records;
  • offences against the stock market, such as insider trading and market manipulation.

In conducting its investigations, ASIC has very wide powers – wider than the police in many respects.

ASIC’s powers extend to the ability to conduct compelled (compulsory) hearings where those being questioned are required to attend secret hearings and cannot legally refuse to answer questions. ASIC can also issue notices requiring persons to provide company records and other documents relevant to their investigations.

What are the penalties for failing to comply with directions of an ASIC investigation?

Failing to comply with a lawful direction to answer ASIC’s questions, or produce documents, is a serious offence carrying maximum penalties of jail and/or large fines. 

There are certain defences available to such charges. Anyone who has received a notice from ASIC, or who is the subject of charges arising from an ASIC investigation, should immediately obtain legal advice, whether on their own behalf or that of the company in question.

Am I entitled to legal representation during ASIC investigations?

You are entitled to legal representation at an ASIC hearing. 

Such representation can be invaluable in guiding you through what can be a very confronting and difficult process. Often questions need to be answered in a certain way, or certain objections made, to best protect your interests. 

Claims of privilege are possible in some circumstances, which can be crucial in limiting the prospect of your evidence being used against you.

If you have been served with a notice requiring you to attend an ASIC hearing or court, you should obtain legal assistance immediately. 

Why Gilshenan &  Luton?

Gilshenan & Luton has vast experience and expertise in ASIC investigations. Likewise, we are regularly involved in the defence of charges brought against business people, arising from ASIC investigations. 

Managing Director Glen Cranny has been listed by the independent guide to the legal profession, Doyles Guide, as the only pre-eminent corporate crime and regulatory investigations lawyer in Queensland.